John Locke, a philosopher and political theorist who is often regarded as the father of liberalism, was born in Wrington, a village in Somerset, England, on August 29, 1632. He lost his mother early in his life. His father was a lawyer and small landowner who served as a cavalry captain in the parliamentary army during the English Civil War. But the violent conflict of 1642-1646, which split the nation apart, had no significant effect on the course of Locke’s life. In 1646, he entered the elite Westminster school, and in 1652, he went to the University of Oxford, where he studied medicine and natural science, in addition to the classics.