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NOTE ON THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE MEMOIR - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany.
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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 AUTHORSHIP OF THE MEMOIR
The Memoir of Ricardo was published unsigned in The Annual Biography and Obituary, for the year 1824.1 In the Preface the editor of the series states that three of the memoirs in the volume, including that of Ricardo, ‘are from much more able pens than his own’. McCulloch, who in the successive editions of his Life and Writings of Mr Ricardo quotes from the Memoir, says that it is ‘supposed to be written by one of his brothers.’ Various circumstances suggest that the brother in question was Moses Ricardo: he was of all the brothers the one most intimately connected with Ricardo; he was with him at the time of his death (a fact referred to in the Memoir itself)2 ; and he is known at a later date to have contemplated writing a full biography of Ricardo.3 Besides, there is a circumstance which definitely points to Moses Ricardo as the author. It has been noted in the introduction to the Bullion Essays4 that the Memoir contains a singular error about the date of Ricardo’s first contribution to the Morning Chronicle: it says that this was published on 6 September 1810,5 whereas the actual date was 29 August 1809. The source of this curious mistake is revealed by a document, which though written after Ricardo’s death has been found among Ricardo’s Papers. This is a packet containing cuttings from the Morning Chronicle of another set of three articles written subsequently by Ricardo, after the publication of the Bullion Report. The first of these is, in fact, dated 6 September 1810. The packet is addressed ‘M. Ricardo, Esqr.’ and on the wrapper there is this inscription:
‘These are papers written in the Chronicle after the Bullion report—but I have a perfect recollection that he wrote several before Mr Horner moved for a Committee, and I say, and think, that Mr H. was led by those papers to bring the subject before Parliament which I think will be seen by a reference to his speech, as he expresses great doubts on the subject therein. I collected those papers, but I suppose I destroyed them when his first pamphlet appeared which embodied all they contained—but they may easily be seen at the Institution, and I think the dates on them will prove they were written before Mr Horner’s motion for a Committee.’
Evidently Moses Ricardo when preparing the Memoir had sought the help of a friend about Ricardo’s early writings. He seems, however, to have neglected his advice to look up the newspaper files at ‘the Institution’ (namely, the London Institution, of which Moses was a member since its foundation in 1805),1 and to have made what he could of the cuttings that had been supplied to him—whence the error in the date.
The friend in question who had sent the packet was an old friend of David Ricardo, George (or Joshua) Basevi, sen., in whose handwriting the packet is addressed and the note on it inscribed.2
It may be added that, just as James Mill and Moses Ricardo were jointly concerned with the posthumous publication of the Plan for a National Bank,3 so no doubt they kept in touch while Moses was writing the Memoir; and Mill’s influence is noticeable in one or two places, particularly in the paragraph on the Principles.4
[1 ]Vol. viii, London, Longman, 1824, pp. 368–77. The description given above is on the title-page. Onp. 1, however, the caption-title is The Annual Biography and Obituary, of 1823. It contains, in fact, memoirs of persons who had died in 1822 and 1823.
[2 ]Above, p. 12.
[3 ]See below, p. 16.
[4 ]Above, III, 3, n.
[5 ]Above, p. 7.
[1 ]See the Plan and Bye-laws of the London Institution, mentioned below, p. 49, n. 1.
[2 ]As appears from a comparison of the handwriting on the packet with that of a letter from Basevi to his son and namesake the architect which is preserved in the Sir John Soane’s House and Museum in London.
[3 ]See above, IV, 273–4.
[4 ]Above, p. 10.