Front Page Titles (by Subject) 121.: grenfell to ricardo1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815
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121.: grenfell to ricardo1 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815.
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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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grenfell to ricardo1
Taplow House September 24th. 1815
My dear Sir
I have now to acknowledge your Letter of the 27th:2 and am much gratified that you are occupied upon Bank Affairs and I look forward with much interest to what you announce to me by the Coach to Spring Garden. I send you herewith Parliamentary Papers which may be of use to you in ascertaining the amount of Circulation for some Years past, particularly that marked C: Page 6: in which you will find the amount stated for every Year from 1761 to 1810.3 Have you got the Accounts since 1810? If not, I can furnish you with them when I go to Town without giving you the trouble of searching the Papers at the Institution.4 In the mean time you have from my Papers here D: A and B: the circulation from April 1812 to February 1815: so that you only now want the Account from 1810, to 1812.
I must trouble you to take care of and return to me 4 of these Papers viz A: B: C: and D: as I have no Duplicates of them. You may keep the other, being the 3 Years Average— a Paper produced by the Bank and which, if I mistake not, I sent you before.1
Since I last wrote to you I have fully considered the Basis upon which you have calculated in your former Letter of the 17th: the Bank Profits: and it is very intelligible and as a Principle correct and ingenious.2 To work upon it however, with a View to coming to a correct Arithmetical result, would require a knowledge of many particulars that could only be furnished by those who are in the Secret at the Bank. But these particulars are of a Nature to allow of their being guest at with sufficient accuracy to Answer the purpose of a calculation of this kind.
The Account of Deposits in 1797 included Public and private deposits. That lately laid before Parlt: which stated, as you say, the Average in 1800 at 5,625,000 referred to Public deposits only.
You assume, I think, that the 10¾ pr Cent divided in the 4 Years to 1801 included the whole of their Profits made during that period—but I should rather doubt this fact.
The Income Tax commenced in 1798 but I think in 1803 it was not at 10 pr. Cent. I have no doubt but that the number of Clerks in 1807 was correctly stated by the Committee at450.3 I think however the Committee under rated the Law expenses and losses by Forgeries at £10,000; but the Bank must annually gain a great deal from the distruction and loss of their Notes; I have heard intelligent Men give it as their opinion that what they gain from this must be equal to the whole expenses of their establishment! I understand the sum stated by the Committee to be meant as their whole expense in 1807: I really cannot venture an Opinion upon its increase since Mr Thornton told us that the present number of Clerks was 1000,1 but I am confident the “old Proprietor” has considerably over rated the expenses of the Bank.2
I have no doubt but that the Bank might at their present rate of Profit divide 20 to 25 pr Cent.
I know not any other mode of calculating the Annual Income for managing the Debt from Year to Year, but by referring to the Amount of the National Debt of each Year and calculating the Commission per Million which from 91 to 1808 was £450 and since 1808, £340—to which must be added the allowance on Loans and Lotteries. I understand that the allowance in 1807 exceeded [that]3 of 1797 by £155000. Mr Perceval proposed that the £4000 for House allowance should cease, but upon the Bank objecting to it, he gave way.
I am my dear Sir very truly yours
Excuse a female Amanuensis—and very rapid dictation— which I have hardly time to read over.
David Ricardo Esq
[1 ]MS in R.P.—Dictated; only the close and the postscript are in Grenfell’s hand.
[2 ]A slip, probably for ‘22nd’.
[3 ]‘Bank of England. Accounts relating to Bank Notes in Circulation, and to Prices and Sales of Bullion and Silver’, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 22 Feb.1811. (Parliamentary Papers, 1810–11, vol. x.)
[4 ]The London Institution, which had an extensive library.
[1 ]Cp. above, p. 266, n. 2.
[2 ]See Appendix to Economical and Secure Currency, above, IV, 119 ff.
[3 ]See ‘Second Report from the Committee on the Public Expenditure, &c. of the United Kingdom. The Bank’, ordered to be printed 10 Aug. 1807, p. 71. (Parliamentary Papers, 1807, vol. 11.)
[1 ]See above, p. 276, n. 2.
[2 ]See above, p. 276, n. 1.
[3 ]Omitted in MS.