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NOTE ON THE BULLION ESSAYS - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 3 Pamphlets and Papers 1809-1811 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 3 Pamphlets and Papers 1809-1811.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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NOTE ON THE BULLION ESSAYS
After the Bank Restriction of 1797, the price of gold had remained for two years at its Mint parity of £3. 17s. 10½d.; it began to rise in 1799, reaching £4. 6s. 0d. in January 1801; and returned near to its normal level by 1804, remaining steady until late in 1808. But in 1809 it had again risen sharply, touching £4. 12s. 10½d. on 4 July. Just as the previous period of a rising price for gold had produced a body of controversial literature, including Boyd’s Letter to Pitt (1801), Thornton’s Paper Credit(1802), and Lord King’s Thoughts on the Restriction of Payments(1803), so now the increase in the price of gold which began in 1808 gave rise to the Bullion Controversy.
What is extant of this private controversy is printed in the present volume, after Ricardo’s published letters, below, pp. 34–46. It is clear, however, that there must have been more communications, and their probable sequence was as follows. To Trower’s letter of 23 September published in the Morning Chronicle of 30 October, Ricardo must have replied with two papers:
(a) one not intended for publication and sent privately to Trower, which is not extant;
(b) the letter of 4 November, published in the Morning Chronicle of 23 November.
Trower’s reply to (a), which was found among Trower’s papers, is printed below, pp. 34–6; his reply to (b), consisting of the Observations mentioned by Ricardo (below, p. 43) was probably intended for publication, but was not inserted in the Morning Chronicle, and has not been found.
Malthus’s article appeared in the Edinburgh Review for February 1811, nominally as a review of the pamphlets on Bullion by Mushet, Ricardo, Blake, Huskisson and Bosanquet, and of Ricardo’s Reply to Bosanquet.
On 7 April Malthus, referring to the Appendix, wrote to Horner: ‘I have this moment been reading Mr. Ricardo’s observations on the Review, but remain quite unconvinced— indeed there is no point on which I feel more sure than of the incorrectness of attributing the variations of the exchange exclusively to redundancy or deficiency of currency. I was sorry to find a small monosyllable put into the article either by Jeffrey, or by accident, which made a considerable alteration in the sense, and may have offended Mr. Ricardo in some degree justly. I had said “We do not think these facts are all satisfactorily explicable upon the principles of M Ricardo alone[”],—it is printed at all, which makes a good deal of difference. By the by, have you heard any other critiques on the article. Jeffrey thinks it is not popular enough and probably he is right.’
In the present edition the contributions to the Morning Chronicle are reprinted from the text of the Morning Chronicle, the High Price of Bullion from the fourth edition of 1811 (the variants of the previous editions being given in footnotes), and the Reply to Bosanquet from the original edition of 1811.