Front Page Titles (by Subject) NOTE ON THE VERBUM SAPIENTI. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
NOTE ON THE VERBUM SAPIENTI. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1 
The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, together with The Observations upon Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain John Graunt, ed. Charles Henry Hull (Cambridge University Press, 1899), 2 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Note On the “treatise of Taxes.”
- The Preface.
- Chap. I.: Of the Several Sorts of Publick Charges.
- Chap. II.: Of the Causes Which Encrease and Aggravate the Several Sorts of Publick Charges.
- Chap. III.: How the Causes of the Unquiet Bearing of Taxes May Be Lessened.
- Chap. IV.: Of the Several Wayes of Taxe, and First, of Setting a Part, a Proportion of the Whole Territory For Publick Uses, In the Nature of Crown Lands; and Secondly, By Way of Assessement, Or Land-taxe.
- Chap. V.: Of Usury.
- Chap. VI.: Of Customs and Free Ports.
- Chap. VII.: Of Poll-money.
- Chap. VIII.: Of Lotteries.
- Chap. IX.: Of Benevolence.
- Chap. X.: Of Penalties.
- Chap. XI.: Of Monopolies and Offices.
- Chap. XII.: Of Tythes.
- Chap. XIII.: Of Several Smaller Wayes of Levying Money.
- Chap. XIV.: Of Raising, Depressing, Or Embasing of Money.
- Chap. XV.: Of Excize.
- Verbum Sapienti.
- Note On the Verbum Sapienti.
- The Introduction.
- Chap. I.: Containing Several Computations of the Wealth of the Kingdom.
- Chap. II.: Of the Value of the People
- Chap. III.: Of the Several Expences of the Kingdom, and Its Revenues.
- Chap. IV.: Of the Method of Apportioning Taxes.
- Chap. V.: Of Money, and How Much Is Necessary to Drive the Trade of the Nation.
- Chap. VI.: The Causes of Irregular Taxing.
- Chap. VII.: The Collateral Advantages of These Taxes.
- Chap. VIII.: Of the Expence of the Navy, Army, and Garisons.
- Chap. IX.: Motives to the Quiet Bearing of Extraordinary Taxes.
- Chap. X.: How to Employ the People, and the End Thereof.
- Note On the “political Anatomy of Ireland.”
- To His Grace the Duke of Ormand 1 .
- To the Right Honourable Thomas, Lord Parker 1 , Baron of Macclesfield In the County of Chester. Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.
- The Author's Preface.
- Advertisement 1
- The Contents of the Political Anatomy of Ireland 1 .
- The Political Anatomy of Ireland. 1672 1 .
- [chapter I.] 2: Of the Lands of Ireland.
- [chapter II.]: Of People, Houses, and Smoaks; Their Number, Differences, and Values.
- [chapter Iii]: of the Church and Benefices.
- [chapter Iv]: Concerning the Late Rebellion.
- [chapter V]: of the Future Settlement of Ireland, Prorogation of Rebellions, and Its Union With England.
- [chapter Vi]: of the Government of Ireland.
- [chapter Vii]: of the Militia and Defence of Ireland.
- [chapter Viii]: of the Cœlum and Solum of Ireland.
- [chapter Ix]: of the Proportion In Value, Which the Several Counties In Ireland Do Bear to Each Other , Viz.
- [chapter X]: of the Money of Ireland.
- [chapter Xi]: of the Trade of Ireland.
- [chapter Xii]: of the Religion, Diet, Cloaths, Language, Manners, and Interest of the Several Present Inhabitants of Ireland.
- [chapter XIII.]: Several Miscellany Remarks and Intimations Concerning Ireland, and the Several Matters Aforementioned.
- Report From the Council of Trade 1676.
- Political Arithmetick, Or a Discourse Concerning,
- Note On the “political Arithmetick.”
- To the King's Most Excellent Majesty 1 .
- Preface 1 .
- The Principal Conclusions 1 of This Treatise Are,
- Chap. I.: That a Small Country and Few People, By Its Situation, Trade, and Policy, May Be Equivalent In Wealth and Strength, to a Far Greater People and Territory: and Particularly That Conveniencies For Shipping and Water-carriage, Do Most E
- Chap. II.: That Some Kind of Taxes and Publick Levies, May Rather Increase Than Diminish the Wealth of the Kingdom .
- Chap. III.: That France Cannot By Reason of Natural, and Perpetual Impediments, Be More Powerful At Sea, Than the English, Or Hollanders 1 Now Are, Or May Be .
- Chap. IV.: That the People and Territories of the King of England, Are Naturally Near 1 As Considerable For Wealth and Strength, As Those of France.
- Chap. V.: That the Impediments of Englands Greatness, Are But Contingent and Removable .
- Chap. VI.: That the Power and Wealth of England Hath Increased This Last Forty Years .
- Chap. VII.: That One Tenth Part of the Whole Expence, of the King of England's Subjects, Is Sufficient to Maintain Ten Thousand 1 Foot, Forty Thousand Horse, and Forty Thousand Men At Sea; and Defray All Other Charges of the Government Both Ordina
- Chap. VIII.: That There Are Spare Hands Enough Among the King of England 's Subjects, to Earn Two Millions Per Annum More Than They Now Do; and That There Are Also Employments, Ready, Prope, and Sufficient, For That Purpose .
- Chap. IX.: That There Is Mony Sufficient to Drive the Trade of the Nation.
- Chap. X.: That the King of England's Subjects, Have Stock Competent and Convenient, to Drive the Trade of the Whole Commercial World.
NOTE ON THE VERBUM SAPIENTI.
The Verbum Sapienti was first published in 1691 as a supplement to the Political Anatomy of Ireland (q v.). In Petty's list of his own writings , however, the entry “Verbum Sapienti, and the value of People” stands opposite the year 1665, and the internal evidence makes it probable that the booklet was written in the latter part of that year. Thus Petty speaks of the continuance of the war with Holland, declared 14 March, 1665, “at the value of the last years Expence” as if the additional assessment beginning Christmas, 1665, were not yet gone into effect . Furthermore his assertion that 100,000 died of the plague looks like an exaggerated estimate made in advance of the yearly bill of mortality, upon whose publication in December, 1665, the official figures were seen to be but 68596. It may be, however, that Petty distrusted the official figures and purposely exceeded them . But by no hypothesis can we assign the Verbum Sapienti to a later date than July 1667, when the war closed.
A MS. of the Verbum Sapienti is contained in a volume preserved at the Public Record Office in Dublin, and called “Dr Petty's Register .” The copyist's title, fol. 10, is simply “Verbum Sapienti,” but Petty's autograph index to the volume has “Verbum Sapienti Or a discourse about Taxes & ye Value of People,” a title so similar to the memorandum mentioned in the preceding paragraph as to justify the assumption that we have in the Verbum Sapienti all that the entry quoted from Petty's list of his own writings calls for. Another MS. of the Verbum Sapienti very carelessly written is appended to a MS. of the Political Arithmetick in the British Museum . The latter portion of it is but a précis of Petty's argument. Sir Peter Pett had, before 1680, a MS. of both these tracts and it is not impossible that the present Sloane MS. is identical with that once in his possession. The Dublin MS. is not divided into chapters and its paragraphs are consecutively numbered throughout. Otherwise it is substantially similar to the printed text of 1691 here reproduced. Significant differences are indicated in the notes, the readings of the Dublin MS. being marked “D,” those of the Sloane MS. “S.”
- INtroduction, Page 1 
- Chap. 1. Containing several computations of the Wealth of the Kingdom, 3 
- Chap. 2. Of the Value of the People, 7 
- Chap. 3. Of the several Expences of the Kingdom, and its Revenue, 10 
- Chap. 4. Of the Method of apportioning Taxes, 11 
- Chap. 5. Of Money, and how much is necessary to drive the Trade of the Nation, 13 
- Chap. 6. The Causes of Irregular Taxing, 15 
- Chap. 7. The Collateral Advantages of these Taxes, 16 
- Chap. 8. Of the Expence of the Navy, Army, and Garisons, 18 
- Chap. 9. Motives to the quiet bearing of Extraordinary Taxes, 19 
- Chap. 10. How to imploy the People, and the end thereof, 22