Front Page Titles (by Subject) To the Honourable S r Robert Moray 1 , Knight, One of His Majestie\'s Privy Council for His Kingdom of Scotland , and President of the Royal Society of Philosophers meeting at Gresham- Colledg , and to the rest of that honourable Society. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 2
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To the Honourable S r Robert Moray 1 , Knight, One of His Majestie's Privy Council for His Kingdom of Scotland , and President of the Royal Society of Philosophers meeting at Gresham- Colledg , and to the rest of that honourable Society. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 2 
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.
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To the Honourable
TheObservations which I happened to make (for I designed them not) upon the Bills of Mortality, have faln out to be both Political and Natural, some concerning Trade and Government, others concerning the Air, ‖ Countries, Seasons, Fruitfulness, Health, Diseases, Longevity, and the proportions between the Sex and Ages of Mankind. All which (because Sir Francis Bacon reckons his Discourses of Life and Death to be Natural History2 ; and because I understand your selves are also appointing means, how to measure the Degrees of Heat, Wetness, and Windiness in the several Parts of His Majestie's Dominions) I am humbly bold to think Natural History also, and consequently that I am obliged to cast in this small Mite into your great Treasury of that kind.
His Majesty being not only by ancient Right supreamly concerned in matters of Government and Trade, but also by happy accident Prince of Philosophers, and of Physico-Mathematical Learning, not called so by Flatters and Parasites, ‖ but really so, as well by his own personal Abilities, as Affection concerning those matters; upon which account I should have humbly dedicated both sorts of my Observations unto His most Sacred Majesty: but, to be short, I knew neither my Work nor my Person fit to bear His Name, nor to deserve His Patronage. Nevertheless, as I have presumed to present this Pamphlet, so far as it relates to Government and Trade, to one of His Majestie's Peers, and eminent Ministers of State: so I do desire your leave to present the same unto You also, as it relates to Natural History, and as it depends upon the Mathematicks of my Shop-Arithmetick. For You are not only His Majestie's Privy Council for Philosophy, but also His Great Council. You are the three Estates, viz. the Mathematical, Mechanical, ‖ and Physical. Your are his Parliament of Nature; and it is no less disparagement to the meanest of your number, to say there may be Commoners as well as Peers in Philosophy amongst you. For my own part, I count it happiness enough to my self, that there is such a Council of Nature, as your Society is, in Being; and I do with as much earnestness enquire after your Expeditions against the Impediments of Science, as to know what Armies and Navies the several Princes of the World are setting forth. I concern my self as much to know who are Curatours of this or the other Experiment as to know who are Mareschals of France, or Chancellor of Sweden. I am as well pleased to hear you are satisfied in a luciferous Experiment, as that a breach hath been made in the Enemie's Works: and ‖ your ingenious arguings immediately from sense, and fact, are as pleasant to me as the noise of victorious Guns and Trumpets.
Moreover, as I contend for the Decent Rights and Ceremonies of the Church, so I also contend against the envious Schismaticks of your Society (who think you do nothing unless you presentlytransmute Metals, make Butter and Cheese without Milk; and (as their own Ballad hath it) make Leather without Hides1 ) by asserting the usefulness of even all your preparatory and luciferous Experiments, being not the Ceremonies, but the substance and principles of useful Arts. For, I find in Trade the want of an universal measure, and have heard Musicians wrangle about the just and uniform keeping of time in their Consorts, ‖ and therefore cannot with patience hear, that your Labours about Vibrations, eminently conducing to both, should be slighted, nor your Pendula2called Swingswangs with scorn. Nor can I better endure, that your Exercitations about Air should be termed fit imployment only for Airy Fancies, and not adequate Tasks for the most solid and piercing heads. This is my Opinion concerning you: and although I am none of your number, nor have the least ambition to be so, otherwise than to become ablefor your service, and worthy of your Trust; yet I am covetous to have the right of being represented by you: to which end I desire, that this little Exhibition of mine may be looked upon as a Free-holder's Vote for the choosing of Knights and Burgesses to sit in the Parliament of Nature, meaning thereby, ‖ that as the Parliament owns a Free-holder, though he hath but forty shillings a year, to be one of them; so in the same manner and degree, I also desire to be owned as one of you, and that no longer than I continue a faithful Friend and Servant of your Designs and Persons.
Sir Robert Moray (or Murray) was born about the beginning of the seventeenth century. He was educated at St Andrews and in France, and, being devoted to the royal cause, lived chiefly on the continent until the Restoration. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society and presided over its meetings from March 1661 to July 1662. Moray died 4 July, 1673.
The History of Life and Death, or the second Title in natural and experimental History for the Foundation of Philosophy: being the third Part of the Instauratio magnn. Works, x. 9–176.
A ballad of twenty-eight stanzas, “In praise of the choice Company of Philosophers and Wittes who meet on Wednesdaies weekely at Gresham Colledge,” is in Ashmole MS. 36, 37, f. 310–312. The first, fifteenth and seventeenth stanzas are:
Petty was among those interested in the experiments upon pendulums which were made in January, 1662. Birch, 1. 70, 74, also 46, 53.