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Addenda to the Memoir of Ricardo - 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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Addenda to the Memoir of Ricardo
The preceding Memoir of Ricardo written shortly after his death is the fullest account that we have of his life based on personal knowledge. Every subsequent biographer, from McCulloch onwards, has drawn almost exclusively upon it for the earlier part of Ricardo’s life. The reason why a more detailed biography is not available, although Moses Ricardo at one time intended to write one, appears to have been the attitude of Ricardo’s children, who (unlike his modern descendants whose ready cooperation has made these volumes possible) were averse to any such publication. This is disclosed by a hitherto unpublished entry in the MS Diary of J. L. Mallet. Writing on 24 June 1830, he notices ‘the aristocratical feelings which almost universally prevail in England’ and gives two examples. One is that in recommending candidates for the newly-founded Athenaeum Club ‘you are, if possible, to avoid mentioning that they are Merchants.’ The other instance is this: ‘Mr Moses Ricardo, a brother of David Ricardo, and a man of information and intelligence who intended writing a Memoir of his brother, and was collecting materials for the purpose, has been prevailed upon by Ricardo’s family to relinquish the undertaking; and I understand from him that their real objection to it is, that as they are now people of fortune and of some consequence, and landed gentry, they do not like that the public should be reminded of their Jewish and mercantile origin. Indeed all that Ricardo’s family seemed to value in their father, was his kindness of disposition, and power of acquiring money. They never had any proper sense of, or respect for, his intellectual pursuits.’ The story was no doubt told to Mallet at the monthly dinner of the Political Economy Club held on the day of this entry (24 June 1830) at which both he and Moses Ricardo were present.1
To supplement the Memoir, such additional facts as it has been possible to collect from various sources concerning the family and early life of Ricardo are given in what follows.
The Family of Abraham Ricardo
The origins of the Ricardo family are somewhat befogged by the attempts made by nineteenth-century genealogists to present them as being of high rank and noble lineage. There is a legend that they were descended from a Spanish grandee of that name who lived in Andalusia in the sixteenth century, an offspring of whom in the middle of the seventeenth century married a Jewess and had five children, three of whom took the religion of their mother and went to settle in Holland. There is no evidence for this story, which cannot be traced back beyond a paper circulated among the family over the name of Isaac Da Costa, the Dutch poet, who was related to the Ricardos.2 The story probably arises from the fact that the Ricardos belonged to the body of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who, during the persecutions in those countries at the end of the fifteenth century, were forcibly converted to Christianity and remained there, possibly as Marranos or crypto-Jews.3 Subsequently, with the heightened rigour of the Inquisition, like many other Marranos, they emigrated and eventually came to Amsterdam. Apparently they were not yet there by 1675, for which year there is a complete list of the members of the Sephardic Jewish community of Amsterdam (compiled on the occasion of the consecration of the Synagogue) and no Ricardos appear in this list.1 Professor Hollander accepts the view that on leaving the Iberian peninsula they first found a refuge in Livorno, settling there about 1660;2 but of this there is no confirmation in the records of the Jewish community of that city.3
Once they were abroad, and had reverted to Judaism, they must have adopted the additional family name of Israel, since it is as Israel Ricardo that they first appear in Amsterdam and afterwards in London;4 and not until Ricardo’s father had settled in London did the ‘Israel’ come to be dropped.5 Under the name of Israel Ricardo we find them established in Amsterdam early in the eighteenth century.
The first of them about whom something is known beyond the bare name and dates is Ricardo’s grandfather, Joseph Israel Ricardo, ‘of the Portuguese Jewish Nation’ in Amsterdam (as he describes himself in his will), who was a stockbroker and in that capacity took part in the drawing up of new rules for dealing in options on the Amsterdam Bourse in 1739.1 His interest in the English Funds must have been considerable since at his death in 1762 his executors found it necessary to prove his will and obtain administration of his estate in England. He was twice married; the first marriage being in 1721 to Hannah Israel, who died in 1725, the second in 1727 to Hannah Abaz, who survived till 1781.2 Of his second marriage four sons and two daughters were born. Three of his sons became stockbrokers. The eldest son, David, married and had five children (the youngest of whom, Rebecca, Ricardo knew in his boyhood in Amsterdam): he died in 1778.3 Two others were Samuel, who married Rachel Pereira, had several children and died in 1795, and Moses, who died unmarried. The youngest son was Abraham Israel Ricardo, the economist’s father.4 The date of his birth has been a matter of some doubt, since the registers of births of the Amsterdam Synagogue do not begin until 1736 and no entry concerning him is to be found from that date. A Dutch genealogy, however, which has already been referred to,5 gives 1750 as the year of birth—a date which is also adopted by Professor Hollander,1 but which can now be shown to be impossible (see below, note 7). It is strange that no attention has been paid to the statement in The Times2 and in the Gentleman’s Magazine,3 when announcing his death in 1812, that he died ‘in his eightieth year’—which establishes his date of birth as about 1733.
As the Memoir says,4 Abraham Ricardo, ‘a native of Holland, and of very respectable connections, came over on a visit to this country, when young, and preferring it to his own, became naturalised and settled here.’ The time of his coming to England is not definitely known, and this too has been the source of some confusion.5 However, certain entries have been discovered in the records of the Bevis Marks Synagogue,6 which establish that he must have settled in London in 1760 or shortly before. From these it appears that Abraham Israel Ricardo on 15 October of that year submitted himself to the Elders for assessment,7 which was provisionally fixed at £1 per annum at the Wardens’ meeting of 19 November 1760,8 pending the triennial assessment which took place early in 1761, when it was raised to £1. 6 s. 8 d. For the year 1764 the full list of assessments of the Congregation has been published9 and from this it is possible to get some idea of the economic position of Abraham Ricardo at the time as compared with the other members of the Jewish community. While the lowest assessment on any individual is 2s. 6d. and the highest £18. 15s., Abraham Ricardo is assessed at £2 and his future father-in-law, Abraham Delvalle, at £4. 16s. 8d.1
Abraham Ricardo, like his father, was a stockbroker in Amsterdam. The Dutch at the time possessed ‘great property’ in the English Funds, as Adam Smith says,2 and these formed a large proportion of the stock dealt in on the Amsterdam Bourse. During the Seven Years War (1756–1763) the neutrality of Holland enabled them to subscribe to the English war loans and thereby increase enormously their stake in the Funds.3 It was in the middle of this boom of Dutch investment in England, which reached its climax in 1763, that Abraham Ricardo travelled to London. His visit was no doubt in connection with dealings in the Funds, and when he settled in England his business continued for some time to be largely on behalf of correspondents in Holland. As the Memoir says, ‘his transactions lay chiefly in that country’; and this is confirmed by his being listed among ‘the more prominent Jewish dealers who worked in London for Amsterdam correspondents between 1720 and 1780’.1
The first appearance of Abraham Ricardo in the Stock Ledgers of any English Funds is on 27 February 1761, as a holder of the Four per cent Annuities of 1760.2 He was active on the Stock Exchange in London at an early date and is said ‘to have been a member for several years’ before 1772, when David was born.3 In the words of the Memoir he, ‘being a man of good natural abilities, and of the strictest honour and integrity, made a corresponding progress; acquiring a respectable fortune, and possessing considerable influence within the circle in which he moved.’4
In December 1770 Abraham Ricardo and six others, who, being aliens born and ‘professing the Jewish religion, have for some years past lived in Great Britain’, petitioned for Letters of Denization ‘for their greater encouragement to settle and trade here’. This was granted by Letters Patent of 1 June 1771.5 In 1773 he was appointed to one of the twelve brokerships reserved for Jews in the City of London, which he held until 1784 when he relinquished it and was apparently succeeded by his brother-in-law, Isaac Delvalle.6 Originally these brokerships were intended to be concerned with merchandise; but many of the ‘Jew Brokers’ during the eighteenth century became increasingly specialized in stockbroking: a matter which gave rise to unfavourable comment.7
He was co-opted at a meeting of 9 January 1799 as a member of the Committee for General Purposes of the Old Stock Exchange, but six months later by a letter of 4 July he declined reappointment. When on the reorganization of the Stock Exchange in 1801 a rule was introduced that all members or ‘subscribers’ must be ballotted for, the Committee resolved unanimously that an exception be made in favour of some twenty proprietors who ‘shall be admitted subscribers without being ballotted for’, and Abraham Ricardo was one of these privileged proprietors.1 There were no exceptions, however, to the rule that henceforward applications for membership should be renewed annually. The first application of Abraham Ricardo, dated 12 February 1802 (with his son Jacob as his clerk), is signed by himself in a tremulous hand; but thereafter, although he remained a member until his death in 1812, the annual application was signed on his behalf by one of his younger sons.2
Abraham Ricardo was also a prominent figure in the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community in London. He was elected in 1781 to serve for one year as a ‘Parnas’, or Warden, of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, being re-elected at approximately four-yearly intervals on five further occasions, the last time in 1802.3 He also for many years acted as broker for the Synagogue, which in those days ‘were wont to leave a large sum in the hands of their agent to be advanced in properly covered loans in the Stock Exchange. Abraham Israel Ricardo carried out many transactions of this nature to the great satisfaction of his brethren, and nearly every year a vote of thanks was awarded to him by the elders,1 for the care and zeal which enabled him to hand over to them by no means contemptible profits.’2
Abraham Ricardo was married on 30 April 1769 to Abigail Delvalle; she was only sixteen years of age and some twenty years his junior. There is a story in the family that ‘he would not marry young as he did not wish to have a large family’.3 Yet the marriage resulted in an astonishing number of children: no less than seventeen (and possibly as many as twenty-three),4 of whom fifteen grew up—nine sons and six daughters. Of the sons, six eventually followed the family profession as stockbrokers.
For many years after his marriage Abraham Ricardo lived in the City with his growing family and conducted his business from the same address; this appears from the directories of the time, in which he is entered as a stockbroker,5 and from the City Rate Books.6 In 1792 the family moved to Bow, and home and office became separated. Thereafter the directory,7 which now describes him as ‘Merchant’, gives his business address as Garraway’s Coffee House in Change Alley. As regards the home, from 1792 to 1799 Abraham Ricardo is shown in the Bow Rate Books as paying house and land tax, but the addresses of the ratepayers are not recorded.1 Near the turn of the century the family left Bow and went to live at Stoke Newington, where Abraham Ricardo dates his will in 1802 and the first codicil to it in March 1807. Finally, at Michaelmas 1807 he moved to Canonbury Lane, Islington,2 and there remained for the rest of his life. His wife Abigail had died in October 18013 (at 48 years of age) after which he continued to live with his unmarried children, dying ‘in his eightieth year’ on 21 March 1812.
Abraham Ricardo was a man of considerable wealth, and at his death left a fortune which was valued for probate at £45,000. In his will4 he was at pains to see that no distinction was made between sons and daughters. There were fifteen surviving children, and to each of them with the exception of David (on whom see below, p. 37–8) he left a legacy of £3000 in South Sea Stock (then quoted at 65), or the equivalent,5 and an equal share in the residuary estate. The portion of the younger children was left in trust until they came of age or married; the annual allowance for the ‘maintenance, dress and education’ of each to be £80 up to 14 years of age and £90 thereafter. He left all household goods and furniture for the use and enjoyment of his unmarried children, ‘provided they live together’. At the same time, he directed that ‘the diamonds, jewels and paraphernalia’ of his ‘late dear wife’ should be sold immediately after his death.1 The family servants were also remembered in the will. First there was ‘my servant Jacob de Joel’ to whom he left a life annuity of £21, ‘being the amount of the annual wages I now pay to him’; this was independently of ‘whether he shall continue in the service of any of my family or not’, but if he did so continue, ‘the same to be considered and taken by him in lieu of wages’. (The annuity was reduced, however, from twenty guineas to ten by the codicil of 1807, ‘considering that he cannot require so much’.) Secondly, ‘my servant Mary Rundle’ was to receive a bequest of £10 if in his service at his death, and he recommended to his children ‘to take care of her the said Mary Rundle if it shall be in their power’. Finally, in the codicil of 1807 he left £5 to ‘William Primmer my late Coachman’.
The Delvalle Family
The family of David Ricardo’s mother, the Delvalles, unlike the Ricardos, had long been established in England. Her great-grandfather, Abraham Delvalle, had two sons, Daniel and Isaac, both of whom were married on the same day in 1725,2 and both of whom were in the tobacco business. Daniel is referred to in the Gentleman’s Magazine for September 1732 as ‘an eminent Jew Snuff-Merchant’: the occasion for the notice was a meeting of ‘a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons’, over which he presided as Master, held at the Rose Tavern, Cheapside, ‘in the Presence of several Brethren of Distinction both Jews and Christians, for whom was a handsome Entertainment’.3 In announcing his death in 1737 the Gentleman’s Magazine describes him as ‘a Jew Merchant in Bunhilfields’.1 The other brother, Isaac Delvalle, who was Ricardo’s great-grandfather, was a leading personality in the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London. In 1721 he had been involved in a curious theological dispute as one of a group of Talmudic scholars who signed a protest against a heretic who in their school had denied that God could have spoken to Moses since ‘God had none of the human organs of speech’.2 Later, from 1751 until his death in 1757, he was a member of the rabbinical tribunal, an office whose holders were honoured with the title of Haham (that is, Rabbi and teacher).3 Like his brother twenty years before, he too is mentioned as an ‘eminent snuff-merchant’ in the London Magazine of 1751,4 but is now described as of Bury Street. This reference was on the occasion of the marriage on 20 September 1751 of his son Abraham with Rebecca Henriques de Sequeira. These were the maternal grandparents of Ricardo. Abraham Delvalle’s business is best described by his engraved trade card which is in the Print Room of the British Museum, representing the successive operations of curing tobacco and grinding snuff and inscribed as follows:
Abraham Delvalle Of Bury-Street, St. Mary-Ax, London, Makes and Sells all Sorts of Snuffs and Tobaccos, at his Manufactory in Featherstone Street, Bunhill Fields.
Likewise Great Variety of Foreign Snuffs, Neat as Imported, Wholesale and Retail at the Lowest Rates.5
Ricardo’s mother, Abigail Delvalle, was the eldest of the eight children (three sons and five daughters) of Abraham Delvalle. Next to her came Isaac and Leah, as is apparent from the will of old Isaac Delvalle their grandfather (dated 1757), which mentions, in that order, these three children of Abraham Delvalle, evidently the only ones then born. Of these Isaac, although the eldest son, did not succeed to the family business, having obtained in 1784 one of the Jew brokerships in the City.1 He is only remembered in his father’s will of 1785 by the recommendation ‘to follow the business he now carries on, being well persuaded that with due care and attention he will succeed therein’. This hope was soon to be belied, and in 1789 he was declared a bankrupt2 and had to give up his brokership. The second son Joseph inherited, jointly with his mother, the whole of the snuff and tobacco business which he was to carry on ‘under the firm of Joseph Delvalle and Company’. The family business continued under that name for twenty-five years; it must have been wound up in 1811, after which year it is no longer listed in the annual directories.3 With the disappearance of the family fortune, most of the Delvalle uncles and aunts came to be a charge on Ricardo, as is shown by the provision of life annuities for five of them in his will.4
It remains to mention the other children of Abraham Delvalle. There was a third son, also called Abraham, who seems to have been quite young at the time of his father’s death in 1785, since in the latter’s will provision is only made for his maintenance. He was first for some years a coal merchant in Lambeth,1 and then from 1815 a wine merchant at Covent Garden, in which capacity he was involved in a curious epistolary incident with Ricardo which is recorded below, p. 141. Of the other daughters, while Leah remained unmarried, Sarah married Abraham Nunes, and Esther married Isaac Lindo. The most gifted of them, Rebecca (1761–1848), left the Jewish community in 1796 (three years after Ricardo had done so) on marrying Wilson Lowry (1762–1824), F.R.S., a distinguished engraver and one of the earliest members of the Geological Society;2 she herself, in the words of the obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine,3 was ‘celebrated for her acquirements in the sciences, but more especially mineralogy.’
Ricardo’s Childhood and Education
David Ricardo was born in the City of London, the third child of Abraham Ricardo’s large family, on 18 April 1772 (and not on the 19th, as all his biographers from McCulloch to Hollander have followed the Memoir in saying).4 At the time of his birth the family home was at 36 Broad Street Buildings,5 in the parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate; from there they moved a few months later (sometime between 15 July and October) to No. 1 Bury Street, St Mary Axe,1 where he spent his childhood and youth. Of his early education in London all we know is what the Memoir says of his having received a ‘common school-education’ and altogether to have had such advantages as were the usual lot of boys ‘destined for a mercantile line of life’.
When in 1783 peace with Holland was restored, he was sent there to stay with his father’s relatives for two years to continue his education. As he wrote from Holland in 1822, when he visited his cousin Mrs Rebecca Da Costa: ‘From the age of 11 to 13 I resided in Amsterdam in the house of my uncle and this cousin was then an inmate of his home’.2 There were two of his father’s brothers living in Amsterdam in 1783—Samuel and Moses. Since the former was married and had children, while the latter was unmarried, they may well have formed a single household. However that may be, only Moses Israel Ricardo appears in the Amsterdam directories of the time; his profession being given as a stockbroker (‘in publicque Fondsen’) and his address ‘in de Rapenburgerstr.’ up to 1783, and, from 1784, ‘op de Keizersgraft bij Brands Hofje’.3 A third brother, the eldest of them, David Israel Ricardo, was the father of the cousin Rebecca; he had died in 1778, whereupon his daughter had become a member of the uncle’s household in which Ricardo was placed.
Some light on the purpose of the visit is thrown by the Memoir when it says that his father, ‘who had designed him to follow the same business in which he was engaged’ and which was chiefly connected with Holland, ‘sent him thither not only with a view to his becoming acquainted with it, but also that he might be placed at a school of which he entertained a very high opinion.’1 There may have been some commercial object in arranging for Ricardo to become acquainted with the language and the customs of the country; but if we consider the age at which he was sent there (eleven to thirteen) and the fact that his father was an orthodox Jew, there can be little doubt that the school in Amsterdam to which old Ricardo was so keen to send his son was the Talmud Tora, a school of great reputation which had been founded in 1616 and was attached to the Portuguese Synagogue there. To it boys were sent, from the age of five upwards, in preparation for their ‘initiation’ at the age of thirteen. The teachers were Rabbis and the curriculum included, besides the Bible and the Talmud, Hebrew literature and rhetoric. This was a seven-class school and pupils could continue their studies in the higher school, Ets Haim, which was linked with it.2 While the latter school is said to have been ‘the pride of the community’, it has a greater claim to fame in that it is regarded as certain by its historians that Spinoza was a pupil there, although there is no direct evidence of this in the archives: his father, Michael d’Espinoza, however, was one of the Managers of the Talmud Tora in 1635, and the family was otherwise connected with these schools. As to the family of Ricardo, his cousin Joseph, who was only two years junior to him and possibly a schoolmate, became one of the Managers in 1798;1 while his uncle Moses had been appointed to that office in 1789, but declined to serve. When Ricardo was there in 1784 one of the Managers was Dr Immanuel Capadose, ‘a very friendly man’ whom he knew at the time, as he writes on meeting him again in 1822.2
His two years in Amsterdam left a deep impression on Ricardo. And when he returned there in 1822, he wrote to Mrs Thomas Smith that despite the lapse of years ‘he remembered his way through the town as if it had been yesterday.’3 Of his schooldays in Holland Ricardo told Maria Edgeworth in 1822 an anecdote which she relates in a letter as follows:4 ‘Speaking of the little incidents which make an impression in childhood and through life he told me that he could never forget a circumstance that happened to him when he was nine years old1 about a pair of shoes. He was in Holland at the time at the Hague. He saw in a shop window a pair of shoes with an edging of fur to which he took a fancy and he entreated that they might be bought for him. It was represented to him that he did not see exactly what sort of shoes they were and that they would not suit him. He persisted—and they were bought upon condition that he should wear them. He found that they had wooden soles and these made such a clatter upon the pavement that every body turned to look at him as he walked—and instead of the fur shoes proving a gratification to his vanity they became a daily mortification. He would have given anything to have got rid of them but he had no others—and he says none but himself can conceive the pains he took to slide in walking so as to prevent the noise of his wooden soles from making the disgraceful clatter.’2
He visited Holland again in 1788 at the age of 16, when ‘he was entrusted with the care of two of his younger brothers’, to convey them to that country. One of these brothers was probably Moses himself who records the event,3 and who was then eleven years old and may well have been going to the same school as Ricardo had gone to at that age. There may have been a third visit in 1792, since Ricardo in 1822 speaks of ‘one or two visits’ there since his schooldays, the last having been 30 years before.4
His education, however, did not end when he went into business. The Memoir tells us1 that when young he showed a ‘taste for abstract and general reasoning’, a taste which influenced his reading. About the age of twenty-five, after marriage, he turned his attention to scientific subjects, particularly to mathematics, chemistry, geology and mineralogy. His interest in the last two subjects continued into later life, and led him, as we shall see below, to take an active part in the management of the Geological Society of London. His study of science at this time (about 1797) arose, we are told, from ‘the example and instigation of a friend with whom he was then very intimate’. The identity of this interesting character is unknown. It would be tempting to suppose that it was William Frend, the expelled Cambridge tutor who had been in trouble at the University first as a Unitarian and later as a radical and at this time was giving private lessons in London.2 He was a mathematician and the author of pamphlets on taxation and on the quantity theory of money. That he knew Ricardo is shown by a rather didactic letter from him, which is in the Ricardo Papers, on a logical point concerning a game of chance.3 However, its tone is too formal and Frend (who was born in 1757) was too much senior to Ricardo quite to fit the character. If we reject Frend, of all Ricardo’s early companions known to us the least improbable as prompter of his early studies seems to be George (or Joshua) Basevi, who was only one year senior to him and of whom Ricardo speaks in a letter to Mill as his oldest friend.1 It is a sign of Ricardo’s attachment to him that he shares with Mill and Malthus the distinction of being the only persons outside the family who are remembered in Ricardo’s will. Basevi was a member of the Geological Society,2 and appears to have been a member of the Political Economy Club,3 and like Ricardo seceded from Judaism (though at a much later date). It must be confessed, however, that there is no positive evidence to support the conjecture.
In any case, these early mathematical and scientific studies (whoever may have inspired them) must have been a more decisive influence on Ricardo’s characteristic cast of mind than the teachings of his later mentors, James Mill and Bentham, whose approach was essentially that of jurisprudence and moral philosophy.
The well-known story that Ricardo’s interest in political economy was first awakened by his taking up a copy of the Wealth of Nations by chance while on a visit to Bath in 17994 gains additional credibility from its being reported independently by two persons who heard it directly from Ricardo: one the statement of his brother Moses in the Memoir5 and the other an entry in the Diary of John Cam Hobhouse. After a dinner at the house of J. G. Lambton, the Member for Durham, Hobhouse writes (2 March 1822): ‘I sat next to Ricardo, who told me he never thought of political economy till happening one day, during an illness of his wife, to be at Bath, he saw an Adam Smith in a circulating library, and turning over a page or two ordered it to be sent to his house. He liked it so much as to acquire a taste for the study.’1 Of his interest in the subject in the early years of the century we find Ricardo writing to Trower some fifteen years later: ‘I remember well the pleasure I felt, when I first discovered that you, as well as myself, was a great admirer of the work of Adam Smith, and of the early articles on Political Economy which had appeared in the Edinburgh Review. Meeting as we did every day, these afforded us often an agreeable subject for half an hour’s chat, when business did not engage us.’2
Independence and Marriage
When Ricardo was twenty the family moved from the home in Bury Street in the City where he had been since early childhood and went to live at Bow. Their house in Bow was ‘not far from that of an eminent surgeon of the name of Wilkinson’, as we are told by the author of a forgotten obituary of Ricardo.3 This writer goes on to say that ‘Ricardo formed an honourable attachment to one of the daughters of this gentleman; she was beautiful, accomplished, and amiable’. Edward Wilkinson, the father, was a Quaker, and Ricardo’s marriage to his eldest daughter, Priscilla Ann,4 on 20 December 1793 resulted in a breach with his own family and his departure from the Jewish community.1
On the actual steps by which this estrangement occurred there is little evidence: the Memoir, as will have been noticed, is singularly reticent, while the biographers who have followed it have added little. The usual story is that ‘the old man forbade his son’s union with a Christian; and upon his persevering, deprived him of his share of the business.’2 A glimmer of light, however, is shed upon the event by a work compiled during Ricardo’s lifetime, the Public Characters of All Nations. After stating that his father had given him ‘an excellent education’, it adds: ‘Young Ricardo was thus enabled to think for himself, and he was not long before he shewed no great attachment to the Jewish faith. To complete his separation, he married a Christian lady, which gave so much offence to his mother, that she compelled the father to drive him from his home’.3 This story of maternal sternness has no direct confirmation from any other source; but while we know from a reliable witness that the ‘breach between father and son...was afterwards entirely healed’,4 the earliest sign of this reconciliation that we have is shortly after the death of Ricardo’s mother, which took place in October 1801, in the form of a token bequest in Abraham Ricardo’s will of February 1802 to his son David of £50 ‘as he is well established and does not need more’. The reconciliation was carried a stage further in 1807, when by a codicil to his will he added David as one of his executors.
It was not only Ricardo’s family who were offended by the marriage; Priscilla Wilkinson’s relations ‘were equally displeased at the temerity of the young couple, who were thus...left unsupported on all sides.’1
The marriage took place at the parish church of St Mary Lambeth. This did not imply that they belonged to the Church of England, for under Lord Hardwicke’s Act of 1753 all marriages had to be performed according to the rites of the established church, with exceptions only for Jews and Quakers, who might be married according to their own forms: but neither of these would be open to a mixed marriage. The marriage was by ‘licence’, which required that one of the parties should have resided in the parish for fifteen days previously. Ricardo is, in fact, described in the marriage register as ‘of this Parish’.
As we have seen, the Public Characters represents Ricardo’s marriage as having merely ‘completed’ a process of waning attachment to Judaism. This is confirmed by McCulloch, who for the early period of Ricardo’s life gives in other respects little more than a paraphrase of the Memoir, but in this connection says that Ricardo’s ‘freedom and independence of mind’ led him to differ from his father on many important points, ‘and to become a convert to the Christian faith’. He goes on to speak of Ricardo’s marriage as having taken place ‘not long after this event’. We may therefore conclude that although the marriage was the immediate occasion of the breach, this represented the culmination of a gradual estrangement which had been in progress for some time before.
There is another point of interest in McCulloch’s statement. The words quoted are from the earliest versions (1824 to 1842) of his ‘Life and Writings of Mr Ricardo’.1 But in the next revision of it (1846)2 the phrase ‘and to become a convert to the Christian faith’ is significantly toned down to ‘and even to secede from the Hebrew faith’. It may well be that this cautious formulation was due to McCulloch having in the meantime learnt, what quite likely he had not known before, that Ricardo in abandoning Judaism had gone no further than Unitarianism; a fact which all his biographers, with the exception of a few obscure contemporaries presently to be quoted, have ignored.
The Unitarians at this time formed the most liberal section of that ‘Wide Dissent’, as it was called, which was accused of ‘paving the way to irreligion pure and simple’; and during the French Revolution they came to be regarded as a centre of rationalism and republicanism.3 According to one account, ‘Mr Ricardo, in relinquishing the religious sentiments of his ancestors, is said to have adopted the principles of Unitarianism’.4 A second writer adds that he attached himself ‘to the Unitarian Chapel, in Essex-street, where he and his family have regularly attended the instructions of Mr Belsham.’1 Another Unitarian meeting with which Ricardo was connected at a later time was the New Gravel Pit Chapel in Hackney; the minister of which, Robert Aspland, mentions him twice in his diary. The first is an entry for 29 December 1809: ‘I was introduced at Mr Foster’s, Bromley Hall, to my new hearer, Mr David Ricardo, and his lady. He is sensible and she is pleasant.’ The second is dated 4 January 1810: ‘Walked to Mile-end Road to dine, for the first time, with my new hearer, Mr David Ricardo. Dr Lindsay and Mr T. Foster of the party. After tea, we had a long debate on the natural evidences of a future state.’2 Ricardo was a regular contributor to the New Gravel Pit Chapel, subscribing five guineas in 1809, ten in 1810, eleven in 1811 and ten in 1812. Then, when he went to live in the West End, his subscription lapsed; but he sent donations of eight guineas in 1820 and four guineas in 1821.3
The characters who have just been mentioned as acquaintances of Ricardo were important figures in the Unitarian world. Thomas Belsham (1750–1829) had adopted Unitarianism in 1789 when he was Professor of Divinity at the Dissenting Academy at Daventry, and became minister of the Gravel Pit Chapel in Hackney in 1794 and of Essex Street Chapel in 1805. In later years Ricardo met him again when, in 1817 and 1819, they were both guests of Ricardo’s friends the Thomas Smiths of Easton Grey, who were also Unitarians.4 Robert Aspland (1782–1845) had been minister of the Gravel Pit Chapel since 1805, and as the editor for many years of the Monthly Repository was an active political reformer, being the prime mover of the ‘Christians’ Petition against the Prosecution of Unbelievers’, which was the occasion of Ricardo’s last speech in the House of Commons.1 Thomas Foster, who had been born and educated a Quaker, later embraced Unitarianism, after which proceedings were taken against him at the quarterly meeting of the Society of Friends in 1813, as a result of which he was formally disowned. He died in 1834 in his seventy-fifth year.2 Dr James Lindsay (1753–1821), minister of the Chapel in Monkwell Street, belonged to the Unitarian branch of the Presbyterian body. He was a friend of James Mill,3 and an advocate of Parliamentary Reform. There is in Ricardo’s Papers a letter from him, dated from Grovehall, Bow, 29 Jan. 1815, in which he solicits Ricardo’s support for a new institution:4 ‘I do not ask, or indeed wish, that you should give your money. For I have already been the cause of your giving so much, that I am ashamed to think of it. But I understand that you are very soon to divide among several charities, the sum arising from the Cochrane hoax,5 and you must have a strong voice in the allotment.’6
Mrs Ricardo, on her part, maintained some connection with the Quakers. As we shall see below, she continued for many years to attend the Friends’ meetings. It is also notable that the birth of their children was registered with the Society of Friends; although the Quaker birth-certificates, which are preserved in Ricardo’s Papers, contain a note stating, ‘The Parents not Members of our Society’.1
Ricardo’s position in matters of religion is illustrated by the attitude which he took when in November 1817 he was nominated as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for the following year, an office which involved taking the Sacrament according to the rites of the established church. This Ricardo was unwilling to do. There was some doubt, however, as to the best course in the circumstances: whether to apply under the Toleration Act for exemption as a dissenter from serving as High Sheriff; or to accept the office but decline the Sacrament, relying for protection on the Indemnity Bill which was annually passed by Parliament for offences against the Test Act. The first course, in the opinion of his solicitors, was the safer,2 but Ricardo was unwilling to adopt it: as he wrote to Malthus at the start of his term of office, ‘Under all circumstances I think it best not to offer an objection to it.’3 He, accordingly, instructed his solicitors to take Counsel’s opinion on the question, at the same time ascertaining the position with regard to the Sacrament in the event of his entering Parliament. The solicitors, Bleasdale, Lowless and Crosse, replied as follows on 10 December 1817: ‘On the receipt of your Letter we immediately prepared a Case in a fictitious name, and endeavoured to procure the opinion of Sir Samuel Romilly thereon, but he having declined to answer it, we have since laid it before Sir Arthur Piggott; with whom we had a Consultation last Evening. Sir Arthur appeared to think that the acts of Indemnity which are very full, will be a sufficient protection for you; and with respect to Members [of Parliament] he is of opinion that they are not under any legal obligation to take the Sacrament’.1
Most of Ricardo’s own brothers and sisters, who had come to look to him as to an elder brother for advice or support, eventually followed him in leaving the Jewish community, usually through marriage, as will be seen from the biographical notes of each of them which are given below.
Something must be said of the Wilkinson family, with whom after his marriage Ricardo came to be linked in so many ways.
Edward Wilkinson, the father of Ricardo’s wife, was born at Sandwich in Kent in 1728. His obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine describes him as ‘a very respectable surgeon and apothecary at Bow, in Middlesex’. It also says that ‘from early life he had a strong propensity to poetical composition; and displayed no mean ability as a satyrist’.2 One of his poems, entitled Wisdom, which was first published in 1751, went through nine editions.3 There is a tradition in the family that ‘the old man at Bow’, or ‘curmudgeon Wilkinson’, as they called him, was not an easy person to live with;4 and Ricardo, generally so mild in his judgements, went so far as to speak of ‘that detestable disposition of his, which makes him unwilling to give pleasure to any human creature unless he is a partaker of it’.5 He married Elizabeth Patteson, who came of a Canterbury family of Quakers, and by her had five children. Of these, two sons, Edward who was a surgeon at Long Sutton in Lincolnshire, and Alfred, died before their father. Of the other three children one was Priscilla Ann, who married Ricardo, the other was Fanny who married Ricardo’s brother Moses; and the third son Josiah Henry married his own cousin Sarah Patteson. These formed Ricardo’s intimate family circle up to the time when his own children grew up. Josiah Henry had seven children, five sons and two daughters. His eldest son, William Arthur, who was Ricardo’s clerk on the Stock Exchange and later himself a stockbroker and railway director, married Ricardo’s sister Esther, and after her death another of his sisters, Rachel.
Both Moses Ricardo and J. H. Wilkinson were surgeons, and at one time seem to have been in partnership (being listed in Holden’s Triennial Directory for 1808 as ‘Wilkinson and Ricardo, surgeons, Bow’); but neither of them prospered very much and both were at various times in receipt of some financial help from Ricardo. The economic difficulties in which he constantly found himself, coloured J. H. Wilkinson’s outlook on life and even his relations with Ricardo, as is reflected in their letters (see below, p. 109 ff.).
Edward Wilkinson died on 4 November 1809, in his eighty-second year, and was buried on 12 November. His son Josiah Henry, who felt he had been ill-used by him, wrote a bitter poem the day before the funeral, which is a revealing document of family discord.1 When the will was read, it was found that old Wilkinson had completely disinherited his son, leaving the bulk of his property to be divided equally between his own two daughters. Each of the daughters was to receive £1100; but Ricardo and his wife immediately decided that they did not wish to benefit from it, and that of Priscilla’s share £700 should be settled on J. H. Wilkinson’s children, £100 should be sent to Robert, son of Edward Wilkinson’s eldest son,1 while the rest would go in discharging expenses. In communicating this decision to her brother in a letter written on 12 November 1809 on returning home from the funeral, Priscilla Ricardo added: ‘I know not my dear H. if this plan will meet with yours and Sally’s approbation, but it appears to David and me as the best which has offer’d to our minds, of making it easy to all our feelings.’2
(More light on the relations between Edward Wilkinson and his children is thrown by the new letter of Ricardo to his father-in-law which has been discovered since the above was written and is given on p. 119.)
We get a glimpse of Ricardo’s wife from the recollections of Mrs Charlotte Sturge, herself a Quaker and a descendant of the Pattesons:3 ‘Priscilla Ricardo was a handsome, but very proud woman. I have heard my Mother say that for many years she continued to attend the Friends’ Meeting at Ratcliff, and how much she was admired as she swept grandly and proudly up the meeting, followed by her fine, elegant daughters. At the death of her husband Mrs Ricardo was left with a handsome income, £30001 per annum, but to her, who had lived in a princely style, beyond what this jointure would afford or permit her to continue, it seemed a great change, and she angrily declared that she should not have money enough to keep her from the workhouse!’
WHERE RICARDO LIVED IN LONDON
Shortly before Ricardo was married in December 1793 in Lambeth he had become, as we have seen, a resident of that parish. In the Lambeth Rate Books he appears as of 2 Brookes’s Place in December 1793 and again in March 1794. By May 1795 he is shown as having moved to 7 New Buildings, Kennington Place, where he was still entered as a ratepayer in March 1796.2 His name has not been traced for later periods in the Lambeth Rate Books; but it is certain that he continued to reside there, since the birth certificate of his third child, Priscilla, in October 1797, gives the same address as her place of birth; and the certificate of his fourth child, Fanny, in October 1800, gives her as born in the parish of St Mary Lambeth without recording the precise address. Brookes’s Place was a terrace on the east side of the present Kennington Road, and Kennington Place was close by, where is now the junction of Kennington Road and Kennington Park Road.
In 1798, when fears of invasion were at their height, Volunteer Associations were formed in various parts of the country. Ricardo joined the Loyal Lambeth Infantry Association and was commissioned as 1st Lieutenant on 10 July 1798.3 He no doubt took part in the ceremony of the presentation of the Lambeth colours on Sunday 22 September of the same year, when the local Volunteers, cavalry and infantry, ‘were mustered in their field of exercise near Vauxhall’.1 He continued to hold that rank in the Lambeth Volunteers in 1800 and 1801.2
In 1803, having gone to live in the east of London, he joined on the resumption of war the Bromley and St Leonards Corps of the Tower Hamlets Volunteers, being commissioned as Captain on 17 August of that year.3 His brother Moses was Surgeon in the same Corps; and it may be noted that his future friend James Mill was also a volunteer at this time.4
The earliest evidence of this move to Mile End is in letters of Ricardo of 1 December 1802 and 10 January 1803.5 But the full address, New Grove, Mile End, appears first in the birth certificate of Ricardo’s fifth child, David, of 18 May 1803. New Grove was a house on the north side of the Mile End Road (or Mile End Old Town as a part of it was named), well within the sound of Bow Bells. It stood at the corner of the road to Old Ford, which at this point was called Cut Throat Lane. Small wonder, with such a name, that Ricardo’s brother-in-law who went to the house one night after there had been a robbery in the neighbourhood found it ‘as dismal as the Castle of Otranto’.6 It seems, however, to have been pleasantly situated in rural surroundings, with nursery gardens on one side and cattle pens on the other. It was just within the boundary of the parish of Bromley, which the birth certificates of Ricardo’s last four children refer to as ‘Bromley St Leonard (so-called)’ or simply ‘Bromley’.7 Here he lived until his move to the West End of London in 1812.
The initiative in the move to the West End came from Mrs Ricardo, who, now that her daughters were growing up, was anxious to live in town. An eligible house was soon found at 56 Upper Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, capable of conveniently accommodating their large family; and at the insistence of his wife and children Ricardo bought the lease of it, despite the ‘enormous’ price.1 In the face of a homily from Mill as to the evils of a ‘career of fashionable life’,2 they went to live there in the spring of 1812.3 The house had been built in 1729 as part of the development of the Grosvenor estate.4 It was a handsome building at the eastern end of Upper Brook Street, next to the corner-house of Grosvenor Square, with stable and coach-houses in the neighbouring Lees Mews. The well-known architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell was employed by Ricardo to renovate the house, among the features of which were an oval staircase and three Adam mantelpieces.5 Three years later, however, structural defects were discovered in the building which made it dangerous to live in and extensive repairs had to be carried out, to Ricardo’s great annoyance.6
For the rest of his life this remained Ricardo’s London home; and from 1814 he divided his time about equally between it and Gatcomb Park.7
A NOTE ON CLUBS AND SOCIETIES
The Clubs and Societies to which Ricardo belonged at various times, and through which many of his friendships and acquaintances were formed, are often mentioned in his letters, and it may be convenient to list them here with some information about each.
In 1805 the London Institution was established in Old Jewry, whence it moved to Moorfields, and Ricardo was a member since its foundation. Among the members of the original committee were Richard Sharp and Henry Thornton. It had a large reference library of books and newspapers, which Ricardo seems to have occasionally consulted.1
The Geological Society of London was founded in November 1807, and Ricardo was one of its early members, having joined in 1808.2 At first it was mainly a geological dining club; the Society dining together on the first Friday of every month, ‘at five o’clock precisely’, from November to June inclusive at the Freemasons’ Tavern.3 Subsequently, having acquired a collection of specimens and a library, they decided to take as headquarters a house at 3 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In this connection on 6 April 1810 seven permanent trustees were appointed and among them were Ricardo and Francis Horner.4 In June of the same year a Council was formed, with George Bellas Greenough, M.P., F.R.S., as President, and among the members of it were Ricardo and his relative Wilson Lowry.5 A number of Ricardo’s friends belonged to the Geological Society: Dr Alexander Marcet, husband of the author of Conversations on Political Economy, and Henry Warburton (1808), William Blake, F.R.S. (1812; President 1815–16), Thomas Smith, John Whishaw, Hutches Trower (1813), and George Basevi (1815). Ricardo himself, as the Memoir says, formed a collection of minerals which was continued by his son David who succeeded him at Gatcomb Park. This collection was presented in the late nineteen-twenties by Lt.-Col. H. G. Ricardo to the Museum at Stroud.
The ‘King of Clubs’ appears in the correspondence between Ricardo and Malthus from an early date; its meetings providing the occasion for Malthus’s visits to London. This select Whig dining club had been founded in 1798. Its dinners were held on the first Saturday of the month,1 and among its early members were Richard Sharp, Sir James Mackintosh, John Whishaw and Lord Holland. Later it was joined by Sir Samuel Romilly, Francis Horner, Sydney Smith, Henry Brougham, Francis Jeffrey and William Blake the economist. Malthus was elected a member in 1812, and Ricardo on 7 June 1817.2
On 13 March 1818 Ricardo was elected a member of Brooks’s, having been nominated by two leading Whig peers, Lord Essex as proposer and Lord Holland as seconder.3 This famous club in St James’s Street was at the time notable both as a gambling resort and as a centre for the Parliamentary opposition. For Ricardo this was a preliminary to entering Parliament; and on the occasion of his admission to the Club his friend Thomas Smith, himself an enthusiastic Whig, wrote to him: ‘I am very glad to hear of your election to Brooks’s and of the prospect you now have of getting a seat in Parliament: we feel great pleasure, in observing your acquaintance enlarge and your intimacy encrease, with men themselves distinguish’d for talent’.4 Ricardo seems to have used Brooks’s regularly for reading the newspapers and hearing the day’s political gossip.5
In the last years of his life the dining club most regularly attended by Ricardo was the Political Economy Club, as has been seen from the frequent mention of its meetings in the Correspondence. This was founded in April 1821,1 and met for dinner and discussion on the first Monday of each month from December to June inclusive. These discussions were on questions proposed in advance by members. Ricardo never missed a meeting when he was in London except when detained by important business in the House. On Ricardo’s death his brother Moses was elected a member in his place, and when Moses resigned in 1840 another brother, Samson, was elected and remained a member until his death in 1863.2
A NOTE ON PORTRAITS
Of Ricardo’s physical appearance J. L. Mallet writes: ‘His stature was somewhat under the common size, but well proportioned and active; his countenance open; and his features good, although with a light Jewish cast; his eye had a soft, beaming, intelligent and, at the same time, thoughtful expression, which is very successfully portrayed in Phillips’ picture.’ ‘It is said that his voice, although sweet and pleasing, was pitched extremely high, and his distinct articulation gave him an advantage in the House of Commons by fixing attention, which is not the case with monotonous tones.’3
Another contemporary describes him in terms which, although very similar, are reminiscent rather of the Heaphy miniature: ‘In his person Ricardo was under the middle size; slender, but active; the air of his head was very acute, but at the same time very benevolent; and the expression of his face was candour itself.’ ‘In St. Stephens, we shall miss the little plain man with the acute features and the keen eye, who sat by the pillar.’4
Ricardo’s sudden death took his acquaintances by surprise, who judged his health from his appearance. Thus Mallet remarks: ‘He was not a robust man, but of a sound constitution; and his habits were so temperate, that he would probably have lived to an advanced age if he had not been prematurely cut off by an inflammatory complaint in the head in his 51st year.’1 Ricardo, however, had no confident expectations. In 1820 he wrote to Mill: ‘You are mistaken in supposing that because I consider life on the whole as not a very desirable thing to retain after 60, that therefore I am discontented with my situation...The contrary is the case...I am led to set a light value on life when I consider the many accidents and privations to which we are liable.—In my own case, I have already lost the use of one ear, completely—and am daily losing my teeth, that I have scarcely one that is useful to me. No one bears these serious deprivations with a better temper than myself, yet I cannot help anticipating from certain notices which I sometimes think I have that many more await me.’2
The likeness of Ricardo which is familiar to generations of readers of his works is that of the more or less satisfactory reproductions of the Phillips portrait. A direct photograph of the original has been published for the first time in volume IX of the present edition. The portrait was painted in the spring of 18203 by Thomas Phillips, R.A., and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821.4 A mezzotint was engraved from it by T. Hodgetts and proof copies were given by Ricardo to his family; the imprint, ‘London, Published by Messrs Colnaghi’s, Cockspur St. May 6th, 1822’ seems to imply that copies were on sale to the public.5 Hodgetts kept the original portrait for such a long time that Ricardo had to write to him on 2 February 1822 to request its return, with the remark: ‘It is nearly 2 years since it was painted and I have never yet seen it at my own house.’6
However, the form in which the Phillips portrait has usually been reproduced is an engraving by William Holl, showing only the bust, itself copied from Hodgetts’ mezzotint. The first appearance of this version is in Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s edition of the Wealth of Nations, published by Charles Knight in 1835, where it forms the frontispiece to volume ii.1 It was reproduced in the Second Series of Lord Brougham’s Historical Sketches of Statesmen who flourished in the Time of George III, 1839, also published by Charles Knight. Best known is McCulloch’s edition of Ricardo’s Works in which the portrait was inserted as a frontispiece in most of the reprints from 1852 onwards.
In the Note-book of Thomas Phillips2 the portrait is entered under the number 474, kit-cat size, as having been exhibited in 1821. Another entry, however, is found in the Note-book under No. 59 of a portrait of ‘Mr Ricardo’, three-quarter size, painted on 24 June 1797 for a fee of 6 guineas. No further information has been discovered of this portrait, which may, of course, have been of Ricardo’s father.
Two miniatures by Thomas Heaphy of Ricardo and of his wife, which have been reproduced in the original size, one in volume VIII and the other in the present volume, were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822.3 The miniature of Ricardo is dated at the back 1820, and Mrs Ricardo’s, though undated, seems to be of the same time.4
When Ricardo was in Florence in 1822 he visited the studio of Vincenzo Bonelli and sat for a portrait bust in marble. This was in the hall at Gatcombe and a photograph has been given in volume V.5
Neither the miniatures nor the bust have previously been reproduced. All these, as well as the Phillips portrait, are now in the possession of Mr Peter W. Ricardo.
A FAMILY WHO’S WHO
DAVID RICARDO’S BROTHERS AND SISTERS
The children of Abraham Ricardo and Abigail Delvalle are listed here in the order of their birth. The list is derived from two main sources. One is the birth registers of Bevis Marks Synagogue, in which fourteen of the children are recorded: for the years 1777–1782, however, the registers are incomplete. The other is a genealogical table giving a list of the children of Abraham and Abigail Ricardo prepared in 1814, when Armorial Ensigns were granted to David Ricardo and to his own and his father’s descendants. This genealogy is endorsed as follows: ‘Extracted from the Records of the College of Arms London and Examined therewith this 10th day of May 1814 sd. James Cathrow, Somerset Herald’.1 It comprises seventeen children, of whom three belong to the period of the gap in the Synagogue records.
The list below includes seventeen children. It is not impossible, however, that this is incomplete. Thus Mr Percy Ricardo, a grandson of Abraham Ricardo, who was supposed to know more about the family than anyone else, says in a letter of 14 Jan. 1890: ‘I have heard he had over 20’, adding that he had himself known fifteen of them personally.2 And Mr William Austin, son of Ricardo’s daughter Fanny, in a letter of 18 July 1899,3 states that in addition to the seventeen in a list in the possession of the family ‘there were six others who died early’.4
1. Joseph, b. 26 June 1770. As a young man he went to America where he was in business in Philadelphia. For the purpose of his business at this time he received a loan from his father, who in his will in 1802 relinquished all claims upon him personally or upon his partnership with Henry Capper ‘under the firm of Capper and Ricardo at Philadelphia’. When he was in America he seems to have borrowed money from his brother David,1 who in his will of 1820 stipulated that Joseph should not be called upon for the payment of the £1060 ‘which he has owed me for some time’, but that whether he paid or not should be ‘left to his own free will and option’. From America he returned to London, and in 1807 in a codicil to his father’s will he was made an executor. Subsequently he was in business as hatter at 24 Finch Lane, Cornhill, under the firm of Ricardo, Teulon and Co.2 He died unmarried at East Dulwich on 24 April 1847, and was buried at Nunhead Cemetery.
2. Abraham, b. 18 May 1771. Nothing is known of him. In the College of Arms genealogy of 1814 he is described as ‘of the City of London, unmarried, gentleman’; he died in 1839, and was buried on 1 August at the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Cemetery at Mile End. That he was not quite normal is suggested by the fact that in his father’s will in 1802 he is the only son the legacy to whom is left to trustees, with instructions to pay him the annual income and powers to prevent his selling, assigning or otherwise alienating that income. Moreover, on 29 April 1812 (a few weeks after his father’s death) he made over to three trustees (these being his brothers Joseph and David and himself) the principal of £1800 of Three per cent Reduced Stock, the dividends being payable to himself. This was probably his share of the residue of his father’s estate, which was bequeathed unconditionally and which he was presumably persuaded to safeguard in this way.3 It is also noteworthy that he is the only brother to whom Ricardo failed to make the bequest of £100; and at Ricardo’s funeral, which was attended by seven of his eight brothers, Abraham was no doubt the one who was not present.
3. David, b. 18 April 1772, d. 11 September 1823.
4. Hannah, usually called Henrietta, b. 2 July 1773. She married about 1797 David Samuda, merchant, and there were eleven children of the marriage, of whom three died young. The family stayed with Ricardo at Gatcomb in the summer of 1823; a visit which is memorable for a fishing anecdote that is told in a letter to Mill.1 Her husband died on 30 Jan. 1824, aged 58, and was buried at the Jewish Cemetery at Mile End. She died on 18 Feb. 1850 at Dulwich, and was buried at Nunhead Cemetery.
5. Isaac, b. 3 July 1774, died in infancy and was buried on 11 Nov. 1774 at Mile End.
6. Moses, b. 13 Nov. 1776. He married about 1806 Fanny Wilkinson, sister of Ricardo’s wife. There were no children of their marriage. A surgeon by profession, he became in effect Ricardo’s family doctor, being also at times consulted by Mill. His home was at Bow and Ricardo often stayed with him on coming to London on short visits from Gatcomb. He was a director of an oil-gas company at Bow and in 1821–1823 took part in the controversy on the relative merits of coal-gas and oilgas for lighting, contributing several papers to the Annals of Philosophy.2 His ill-health, which is often referred to in Ricardo’s correspondence, was the cause of his early retirement from practice, after which he went to live at Brighton. He was on a visit to Gatcomb in September 1823 and attended Ricardo at his last illness. He was doubtless the author of the Memoir of Ricardo which opens this volume. His wife Fanny died on 28 July 1827,3 while he, living into his ninetieth year, died at Brighton on 7 March 1866.4
7. Rebecca, b. 1778.5 She married on 15 May 1808 Isaac Keyser, who held from the year 1800 one of the twelve ‘Jew brokerships’ in the City.1 There were four sons and one daughter of the marriage. Her husband’s sudden death on 27 Dec. 1817 after a brief period of insanity is referred to by Ricardo in a letter to Mill, above, VII, 240. She died on 28 July 1838 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.
8. Jacob, b. 1780,2 was clerk to his father on the Stock Exchange from 1802 to 1806, and an executor of his will. His career on the London Stock Exchange, of which he was a member from 1806 to 1833, and its Chairman in 1820, is mentioned below, p. 129. In partnership with his brother Samson he was engaged in extensive financial operations in France, some reference to which is made below in connection with Ricardo’s investments there. It is as a loan-contractor in France that Jacob is alluded to by J. B. Say when he writes of David Ricardo: ‘Frère d’un autre Ricardo, banquier, qui a soumissionné quelques emprunts, il ne nous est point prouvé que David Ricardo se soit interessé dans aucun de ceux qui ont eu pour objet la consommation de quelque grand crime politique’.3 There is no doubt that Say’s allusion is to the Loan raised by the French Government on 10 July 1823, when the French army, with the blessing of the Holy Alliance, had invaded Spain in order to overthrow the constitutional government and restore the absolute power of the King. There were two bids for the Loan from English competitors, one from Jacob and Samson Ricardo (referred to as ‘Messrs Ricardo and Brothers’), the other from Rothschild who was successful.4 Meanwhile David Ricardo’s sympathies were on the other side and on 12 June 1823 he was attending a meeting in support of the Spaniards at the London Tavern.5
Two years later Jacob and Samson Ricardo are found involved in a financial operation which, though of a very different political complexion, yet gave rise to much criticism on account of its mismanagement. This was the loan of £2 millions for the Greek insurgents issued in London by the Ricardos at 56½ in 1825, very little of the proceeds of which ever reached the Greeks; and in the course of the speculations which attended it a number of English Radicals and Philhellenes, including Joseph Hume and John Bowring, emerged with little credit to themselves.1 J. B. Say in a curiously similar tone to his earlier remarks on the French Loan wrote of this business: ‘David Ricardo, l’économiste, était frère du banquier Ricardo, qui a traité dernièrement à Londres pour l’emprunt grec, et dont les amis de cette héroïque nation croient avoir à se plaindre.’2
He married about 1810 Harriet Levy of whom he had five sons and four daughters. His eldest son was John Lewis Ricardo (1812–1862), author of The Anatomy of the Navigation Laws, 1847, member of the Stock Exchange, 1834–1848, Liberal M.P. for Stoke-on-Trent from 1841 to 1862, member of the Political Economy Club, 1847–1862. Jacob Ricardo died in Paris on 17 Feb. 1834; his wife died in 1844 aged fifty-eight.
9. Abigail, b. 1782.3 As the eldest unmarried daughter during the last years of her father’s life, she seems to have been in charge of his household. She died unmarried at Croydon Lodge, Beckenham, the residence of W. A. Wilkinson, her brother-in-law, on 24 June 1847, and was buried at Nunhead Cemetery.
10. Daniel, usually called Francis, b. 2 May 1783, was Ricardo’s clerk on the Stock Exchange from 1802 to 1806 (being followed in this capacity by another brother, Ralph), and from 1810 to 1857 a member of the Stock Exchange in his own right. He was in partnership with his brother Ralph4 and the two of them together made a bid for the Loan of 1820.1 He was an executor of David Ricardo’s will. He married on 25 April 1821 Elizabeth Lucy Alexander, and died in Upper Harley Street on 17 June 1865, leaving no children.
11. Rachel, b. 30 July 1784. She married in 1826 William Arthur Wilkinson, the widower of her younger sister Esther (on him see below). They had a daughter who died in infancy, and a son, David, who was a member of the Stock Exchange from 1851 to 1905. She died at Shortlands, Beckenham, on 27 June 1851, and was buried at Nunhead Cemetery.
12. Raphael or Ralph, b. 6 Dec. 1785, was Ricardo’s clerk on the Stock Exchange from 1807 to 1810, and a member from 1811 to 1874. His partnership with his brother Francis has been mentioned above. In the summer of 1817 he accompanied Ricardo on a tour up the Rhine and to Paris. His marriage on 30 March 1819 to Charlotte Lobb is referred to by Ricardo in a letter to McCulloch, above, VIII, 22. They had three sons and one daughter; the eldest son, Percy, who was a member of the Stock Exchange from 1842 to 1892, has been mentioned on p. 54. Ralph’s descendants are the Ricardos of Bramley Park, Guildford, Surrey, on whom see Burke’s Landed Gentry, 1921. Later in life he wrote a pamphlet, Juvenile Vagrancy, Suggestions for its Diminution (16 pp., ca. 1848). He died at Park Square, Regent’s Park, on 4 Nov. 1875, leaving effects valued at £70,000.
13. Benjamin, b. 11 Dec. 1787, was a member of the Stock Exchange, 1817–1834. He married, first Anne Barnes, by whom he had a son and a daughter; and secondly Miriam Lindo, at Bevis Marks Synagogue on 31 May 1818, and by her had one son. He died at Cape Town on 18 Feb. 1841.
14. Esther, b. 17 Feb. 1789. She married in 1818 William Arthur Wilkinson (1796–1865), nephew of David Ricardo’s wife. Ricardo, writing to Mill, deplored the disparity of age between them, but spoke of him as ‘a great favorite with all our family’.2 Wilkinson was on the Stock Exchange as Ricardo’s clerk from 1811 to 1816 and as a member from 1817 to 1865. He was a railway director, M.P. for Lambeth, 1852–1857, and a member of the Political Economy Club, 1857–1865. At his death he left effects valued at £35,000. Esther died in childbirth on 10 April 1823 at Hackney, leaving four children, the eldest of whom was only three years old. Two of her sons became members of the Stock Exchange: William Ernest from 1845 to 1859 and Conrad from 1847 to 1914. The eldest son, Horace, was father of Canon Horace Ricardo Wilkinson, the present owner of the Ricardo letters described below, p. 109 ff. (For W. A. Wilkinson’s second marriage see above, sub Rachel).
15. Sarah, b. 22 Dec. 1790. She is best known under her married name of Mrs. Porter as a writer on educational subjects. (Her works are listed in the brief article on her in the Dictionary of National Biography.) She married in 1814 or earlier1 George Richardson Porter (1792–1852), F.R.S., author of The Progress of the Nation, 1834 and frequently reprinted; he became Joint Secretary of the Board of Trade, having established its statistical department in 1834, and was one of the founders of the Statistical Society and a member of the Political Economy Club, 1841–1852. Of their marriage there were two sons and two daughters. She died at West Hill, Wandsworth, on 13 Sept. 1862.
16. Samson, b. 19 Nov. 1792, was a member of the Stock Exchange from 1821 to 1859, and was associated in business with his brother Jacob (see above, p. 57–8). He was also an underwriting member of Lloyd’s from 1817.2 He took part in the currency controversy which followed the crisis of 1837, contributing two pamphlets, Observations on the Recent Pamphlet of J. Horsley Palmer, Esq. on the Causes and Consequences of the Pressure on the Money Market, &c., London, Charles Knight, 1837, pp. 43, and A National Bank the Remedy for the Evils Attendant upon our Present System of Paper Currency, London, Pelham Richardson, 1838, pp. 65. In both of these he advocated his brother’s Plan for a National Bank, which he reprinted in full as an appendix to the second of his own publications. He was M.P. for New Windsor from 1855 to 1857, and member of the Political Economy Club, 1840–1862. He died unmarried at Grosvenor Place on 14 Nov. 1862, leaving property worth £140,000.
17. Solomon, b. 2 June 1795, died in infancy and was buried on 28 August 1795 at Mile End Cemetery.
The list of Ricardo’s children is inscribed on the fly-leaf of his Family Bible at Gatcombe, where, following an entry for his marriage to Priscilla Ann Wilkinson (20 Dec. 1793), the birthday of each child is noted. There are also the birth-certificates of the children as described above, p. 41–2; and a few further details are contained in the College of Arms genealogy, mentioned on p. 54.
1. Osman, b. 25 May 1795 at Kennington. He was educated at Charterhouse (1805) and at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1812, B.A. 1816). He married on 22 May 1817 Harriett, youngest daughter of Robert Harvey Mallory, of Woodcote, Warwickshire. On marriage they lived first at Hyde near Gatcomb Park and then from 1819 at Bromesberrow Place, Ledbury, where they were often visited by Ricardo. A daughter was born to them in February 1818, but died in une of the same year;1 whereafter they remained childless. He was Liberal M.P. for Worcester from 1847 to 1865, and ‘a magistrate and deputylieutenant for Worcestershire, and also a magistrate for the counties of Gloucester and Hereford’.2 He died at Bromesberrow on 2 Jan. 1881, leaving his estate to his nephew Frank Ricardo.
His wife Harriett (1799–1875) was a great favourite with Ricardo. Compliments and messages for her abound in the letters of Mill, who used to send her books to read, from the Nouvelle Héloïse to his own Political Economy. Tom Moore, after meeting her at a dinner-party in July 1823, wrote in his diary: ‘Mrs. R. is more than pretty, and may be called lovely; her manners, too, very agreeable’.3
2. Henrietta (or Netty), b. 10 May 1796 at Kennington. She married at St George’s, Hanover Square, on 17 Feb. 1814 Thomas Clutterbuck (1779–1852). It was through the mediation of his father Daniel Clutterbuck, a banker, of Bath and of Bradford Leigh in Wiltshire, that Ricardo bought Gatcomb Park from the Sheppards (with whom the Clutterbucks were related by marriage). Thomas Clutterbuck was Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1826 and in 1852. After their marriage they lived at Widcomb House, Bath, until 1822, when he bought Hardenhuish Park (or Harnish), Wiltshire, which became his family seat and in the grounds of which Ricardo was buried. They had two sons and five daughters. Henrietta died on 9 March 1839 and was buried at Hardenhuish.1
3. Priscilla (usually called Sylla), b. 4 Oct. 1797 at Kennington. She married on 11 April 1816 Anthony Austin who came of a family of merchants and manufacturers. Their residence was at Bradley, Wotton-under-Edge. A contemporary who met them at Easton Grey in 1822 gives this picture of her: ‘She (who was a Ricardo) very lively and high spirited, amusing clever, rather too boisterous to pass for very refined but exactly the sort of woman for her invalid husband’.2 There were three sons and a daughter of the marriage. She died in London on 16 Nov. 1839.
4. Fanny, b. 6 Oct. 1800 at Kennington. She married in January 1819 Edward Austin, who was brother of her sister Priscilla’s husband. The marriage took place in spite of Ricardo’s disapproval, a subject which is amply dealt with below, p. 161 ff., and above, VII, 325, 335. They lived at Wotton-under-Edge. She had one son, and died shortly after, on 17 April 1820.
5. David, b. 18 May 1803 at Mile End. He was at Charterhouse, 1812–1815; had a tutor at home, James Hitchings, 1815–1818; went in 1818 to the private school at Sunninghill, near Windsor, kept by Hitchings after leaving Gatcomb Park. At the age of seventeen he went up to Cambridge as a pensioner of Trinity College, matriculating in 1820, graduating as B.A. in 1824 and taking his M.A. in 1829. He was married at Sunbury on 1 June 1824 to Catherine (1802–1871), youngest daughter of William Thomas St Quintin, of Scampston Hall, Yorkshire. He inherited from his father Gatcomb Park which became his seat. There were two sons and a daughter of the marriage.
He was returned as one of the two members for the newly enfranchised borough of Stroud in the first Reformed Parliament on 13 Dec. 1832, defeating by a narrow majority George Poulett Scrope, the political economist. The election gave rise to a spate of abusive pamphlets, some of which are listed in F. A. Hyett and W. Bazeley’s Bibliographer’s Manual to Gloucestershire Literature, 1896, vol. ii, p. 312. Soon after, he took the Chiltern Hundreds, and Scrope was elected in his place on 27 May 1833. For many years, until 1856, he was chairman of the Stroud Board of Guardians. He wrote several pamphlets, chiefly on social topics, which are listed as follows by Hyett and Bazeley: Emigration considered as a means of Relief in the present distressed Condition of the Poor in this Neighbourhood, Stroud, 1833, pp. 12; Rebecca at Stroud; or, a few Words about Turnpike Trusts, London, 1847, 15 pp.; Medical Relief; A Plan of Medical Relief, laid before the Board of Guardians of the Stroud Union, on Friday, 1st of June, 1849, with some observations thereon, ‘By David Ricardo, Esq., Chairman’, Stroud, 1849, 22 pp.
He died on 17 May 1864. His first son having died in infancy, he was succeeded at Gatcombe by his second son, Henry David (1833–1873). The latter had five sons and six daughters, the eldest son being Lt.-Col. Henry George Ricardo, R.A., D.S.O. (1860–1940), the last proprietor of Gatcombe.
6. Mary, b. 6 April 1805 at Mile End. She was one of the family party who went on the continental tour in 1822. She died unmarried on 4 March 1839 and was buried at Hardenhuish.
7. Mortimer, b. 10 Aug. 1807 at Mile End. Went first to Charterhouse, 1815; then had James Hitchings as tutor, first at home and afterwards at Sunninghill; went to Eton, 1823; entered Trinity College, Cambridge, matriculating in 1825, but did not graduate. His Tutor at Trinity was William Whewell (afterwards Master of the College for many years). He was Captain in the 2nd Life Guards and married on 18 July 1836 Catherine, daughter of General the Hon. Robert Meade. In 1840 he bought the Manors of Upper and Nether Kiddington near Oxford, with the residence of Kiddington Hall,1 and was Deputy-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. His mother died at Kiddington in 1849 and was buried there. In 1855, soon after the death of his wife, he sold the estate and went to live at Bure Homage, Christchurch, in Hampshire, where he died on 21 April 1876.
He had seven sons and two daughters, several of his children dying before him, and was succeeded by his fifth son Frank Ricardo (1850–1897). The latter, on the death of his uncle Osman in 1881, inherited Bromesberrow Place, where the Ricardo Papers were later found by his son and heir, the present Mr Frank Ricardo.
8. Birtha, b. 15 Sept. 1810 at Mile End. As a girl of twelve she was taken by her parents on the tour on the continent in 1822. She died unmarried at Bath on 10 Aug. 1856 and was buried at Hardenhuish.
[1 ]Minutes, 1821–1882, p. 99.
[2 ]This paper does not appear to have been published. Copies of English translations were supplied to the editor by Mr Frank Ricardo and Mr J. N. Nabarro. On Isaac Da Costa, see below, p. 207.
[3 ]Cp. J. H. Hollander, David Ricardo: A Centenary Estimate, Baltimore, 1910, p. 23.
[1 ]The list is given in full by D. Henriques de Castro in 1675–1875, De Synagoge der Portugeesch-Israelietische Gemeente te Amsterdam, The Hague, 1875, pp. xlviii-lix. It is to be noted, however, that according to Hollander (David Ricardo: A Centenary Estimate, p. 25, n. 3) the municipal archives of Amsterdam record in February 1673 the birth of a child to Rehuel Cohen Lobatto and Rebecca Israel Ricardo.
[2 ]Hollander gives as his source ‘a genealogical tree, now in the possession of the main stem of the family in Amsterdam’ (op. cit. p. 23).
[3 ]The editor is indebted to Dr Umberto Nahon for researches in the archives of the Comunità israelitica of Livorno in 1932, and to Dr Elio Toaff for further researches in 1953 both in what survives of those records and in the State archive of Livorno.
[4 ]It is even possible that for a time the name Israel was substituted altogether for that of Ricardo; if so this would explain why it is so difficult to trace the family back into the seventeenth century, specially at Livorno where that name is common. (The suggestion as to the substitution of the name is made in a Dutch genealogy, now in the possession of Miss S. Ricardo, who has kindly made it available to the editor; this is probably the same genealogy that was used by Hollander and is mentioned in n. 2 above.)
[5 ]In the Synagogue records, however, he continued to be entered as Abraham Israel Ricardo. (See A. M. Hyamson, The Sephardim of England, London, 1951, p. 437 ff. and Bevis Marks Records, Part II, Abstracts of the Ketubot or Marriage-contracts from Earliest Times until 1837, ed. by L. D. Barnett, Oxford, 1949, No. 1563.)
[1 ]H. I. Bloom, The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 1937, p. 188.
[2 ]The dates have been supplied by Mr J. N. Nabarro from the registers of the Amsterdam Synagogue.
[3 ]In 1764 he was one of a committee which formulated the regulations for the Bourse settlement of time bargains, particularly in the English Funds. (Bloom, ib. p. 189 and cp. M. F. J. Smith, Tijd-affaires in effecten aan de Amsterdamsche Beurs, The Hague, 1919, pp. 142–3.) He is usually described as ‘junior’, his grandfather’s name having also been David.
[4 ]That he was the youngest son is stated by his great-nephew Isaac Da Costa, in his book Israel and the Gentiles, London, 1850, p. 456.
[5 ]Above, p. 18, n. 4.
[1 ]David Ricardo: A Centenary Estimate, p. 24.
[2 ]23 March 1812.
[3 ]April 1812, p. 395.
[4 ]Above, p. 3.
[5 ]On the basis of the reference to his coming over ‘when young’ combined with a confusion about names to be noticed below, Professor Hollander has concluded that his arrival in London must have occurred ‘while a lad of fourteen’; which, according to his own dating of Abraham’s birth, meant in 1764 (op. cit. p. 26).
[6 ]By Mr J. N. Nabarro.
[7 ]Elders’ Minute Book, 1760. This implied being not less than 21 years of age, since one could not be an assessed member before that age.
[8 ]Wardens’ Minute Book.
[9 ]In M. Gaster’s History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews...situate in Bevis Marks, London, 1901, pp. 146–8.
[1 ]A curious mistake has arisen in connection with this list of 1764 which, in accordance with ancient Jewish custom, is made out according to the first names (these being arranged in the chronological order in which they occur in the Bible) and not in the alphabetical order of the surnames. Thus, all the persons whose first name is Abraham are listed together. Within the group of Abrahams, for each person after the first, two commas (to denote ‘ditto’) are placed in the column under the name ‘Abraham’. Accordingly, Abraham Israel Ricardo appears as ‘,, Israel Ricardo’. Hollander, overlooking these commas, has been led astray and describes him as ‘Israel Ricardo, probably an uncle of the economist’; hence his supposition about the Ricardo family arriving in 1764 bringing with them the ‘lad’ Abraham (op. cit. p. 26).
[2 ]Wealth of Nations, Bk. I, ch. ix; vol. I, p. 93.
[3 ]See C. H. Wilson, Anglo-Dutch Commerce and Finance in the Eighteenth Century, Cambridge, 1941, pp. 160, 166–7.
[1 ]Wilson, ib. p. 117. The statement is based on records in the Notarial Archives of Amsterdam.
[2 ]The Stock Ledgers are at the Bank of England Record Office at Roehampton.
[3 ]In the article in the Penny Cyclopaedia, 1841, on David Ricardo, attributed to the latter’s brother-inlaw, G. R. Porter.
[4 ]Above, p. 3.
[5 ]Petitions, pp. 203 and 207, Home Office Papers S.P. Domestic, Entry Book 265; and Patent Rolls 11 Geo. III (1771), Fifth part, No. 17 (Public Record Office).
[6 ]See list in Dudley Abrahams, ‘Jew Brokers of the City of London’, Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England, Part iii, London, 1937, p. 91.
[7 ]ib. p. 87.
[1 ]‘Minutes of the Committee of the Old Stock Exchange’. (Of these, the oldest Minutes extant, there are two overlapping volumes, which together cover meetings from December 1798 to March 1802; some entries are undated, and others seem to have been added or revised later. MSS in the possession of the Stock Exchange.)
[2 ]The original application forms have been preserved and are in the possession of the Stock Exchange.
[3 ]The annual lists are given in A. M. Hyamson, The Sephardim of England, A History of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Community 1492–1951, London, 1951, pp. 437–9.
[1 ]Printed ‘electors’. But as Mr Nabarro points out it was the Elders who, e.g. on 13 Oct. 1799, passed a special vote of thanks to Abraham Israel Ricardo for his services in connection with ‘backwardations’.
[2 ]J. Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, London, 1875, p. 220.
[3 ]The story is related by his grandson Mr Percy Ricardo, who was supposed to know more about the history of the family than anyone else, in a private letter of 14 Jan. 1890, mentioned below, p. 54.
[4 ]For the authority for the higher figure, which may, however, include still-births, see below, p. 54.
[5 ]In Lowndes Directory for 1772 the address is ‘36 Broad-str. buildings’; in Kent’s Directory for 1774, ‘No. 1, Bury-street, St. Mary-ax’, where it remains till 1791.
[6 ]Details from these are given below in connection with the birth and childhood of David.
[7 ]Kent’s Directory.
[1 ]In 1796 he is listed among the subscribers to the Loyalty Loan as of ‘Old Ford, Middlesex’. Cp. below, p. 75, n. 2.
[2 ]Information kindly supplied by the Borough Librarian of Islington from the local Rate Books.
[3 ]She was buried at the Jewish cemetery at Mile End, 22 Oct. 1801.
[4 ]The will, dated 11 Feb. 1802 with codicils of 4 March 1807 and 30 May 1808, was proved on 3 April 1812. The original executors of the will were his son Jacob Ricardo, Raphael Brandon and David Samuda. By the codicil of 1807 another son, Joseph, replaced Brandon, and David was added as a fourth executor.
[5 ]Including in this figure what some of them had received during his lifetime.
[1 ]To each of his four eldest children (including David) he left the £100 share in the Irish Tontine of 1775 which stood in that child’s name.
[2 ]Bevis Marks Records, Part II, Abstracts of the Ketubot or Marriage-contracts from the Earliest Times until 1837, Nos. 327 and 329.
[3 ]Vol. 2, p. 976.
[1 ]Vol. 7, p. 514.
[2 ]M. Gaster, History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews...situate in Bevis Marks, London, 1901, pp. 128–9.
[3 ]ib. pp. 131–3.
[4 ]p. 428.
[5 ]See the reproduction in A. M. Hyamson, The Sephardim of England, 1951, p. 144.
[1 ]See above, p. 22.
[2 ]Gentleman’s Magazine, April 1789, vol. 59, p. 464.
[3 ]It appears for the last time in the Post Office Annual Directory for 1811 as of 24, Featherstone-street, City-road.
[4 ]Already in 1802 Abraham Ricardo in his will had provided for a life annuity of £20 to Rebecca Delvalle, his mother-in-law—a clear sign that her business was not prospering. She died, however, before him, in 1807.
[1 ]There are in R.P. two bills of exchange of 1794 and 1795 drawn by A. Delvalle upon his brother the tobacconist for coals delivered (the bills having presumably been paid by Ricardo); and in Holden’s Triennal Directory, 1808, he is entered as a coal merchant at 38, Oakley St., Lambeth.
[2 ]H. B. Woodward, History of the Geological Society of London, 1907, pp. 7, 36, 270.
[3 ]February 1849.
[4 ]The 18th is established as the date both by the Registers of the Bevis Marks Synagogue and by Ricardo himself in an allusion to his own fiftieth birthday (below, p. 164, n. 1).
[5 ]No. 36 was the NW. corner house at the intersection of Broad Street Buildings with Old Bethlem (now Liverpool Street). This part of Broad Street Buildings still exists under that name, but in a much reduced state, between Broad Street Station and Liverpool Street Station. Cp. Horwood’s Plan of London, 1799, which shows the street-numbers.
[1 ]Information kindly supplied by the Guildhall Librarian from the Rate Books of the period.
[2 ]Below, p. 206–7. This confirms the statement in the Memoir that he was sent to Holland ‘when very young’, returning home ‘after two years’ absence’ (above, p. 3).
[3 ]Naamregister van alle de Kooplieden...der Stad Amstelredam...als meede de Naamen en Woonplaatsen der Joodsche Kooplieden. The entries in question are respectively in the editions from 1779 to 1783 and from 1784 to 1787.
[1 ]Fonteyraud, reading more into the Memoir than is warranted, says that Abraham Ricardo ‘mit le jeune David pendant deux ans dans une école de Hollande, où les plus saines théories du change et l’art du parfait négociant lui furent enseignées.’ (‘Notice’ prefixed to the French ed. of Ricardo’s Œuvres complètes, Paris, Guillaumin, 1847, p. xvii.) No evidence, however, has been found of the existence of any commercial schools of this type in Amsterdam at the time.
[2 ]The information about these schools is derived from a volume written for their tercentenary by M. C. Paraira and J. S. da Silva Rosa: Gendenkschrift uitgegeven ter Gelegenheid van het 300-jarig Bestaan der Onderwijsinrichtingen Talmud Tora en Ets Haïm bij de Portug. Israël. Gemeente te Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1916). An appendix contains a complete list of the Managers of the Talmud Tora for each year.
[1 ]This was a brother of the cousin Rebecca, and like her presumably an inmate of the house in which Ricardo lived.
[2 ]Below, p. 210.
[3 ]This letter is not extant; but it was shown to J. L. Mallet when he visited Easton Grey after Ricardo’s death, and the quotation is from an entry in his MS Diary for 14 Oct. 1824. Cp. below, p. 205.
[4 ]Letter to her aunt Mrs Ruxton from London, 4 Jan. 1822. Miss Edgeworth introduces the passage quoted in the text with the words: ‘At breakfast this morning I was reminding Mr Ricardo of his having begun to tell me some anecdotes of his early life during a walk we took in a wood at Gatcomb park when we were interrupted by a beautiful view which burst upon us at an opening through the trees. I told him that I had always regretted this interruption and hated the prospect to which I had been obliged [to cry] “How beautiful!” He was diverted and has promised me that I shall lose nothing by that prospect for that he will tell me his whole history—some day—I wish that day were come.’
[1 ]This is incorrect: as we have just seen (p. 30), Ricardo says that he was in Holland from eleven to thirteen.
[2 ]Professor H. E. Butler, who in 1933 kindly supplied the transcript from the original MS in the possession of his mother, adds this comment on the story of the shoes: ‘It is curiously like Maria Edgeworth’s Rosamond and the Purple Jar written long before—as I believe she observed in another letter which my mother once saw.’
[3 ]Above, p. 4.
[4 ]See below, p. 207 and cp. p. 205 and above, IX, 210.
[1 ]See above, p. 4–5.
[2 ]See Dictionary of National Biography, sub nom., and cp. Wallas, Life of Francis Place, p. 33.
[3 ]Frend in his letter does not state fully the problem and refers to a paper ‘left’ by Ricardo (though, it would seem, not written by him). The nature of the problem can be gathered from Frend’s conclusion: ‘I will not proceed farther on so obvious a point but shall observe merely that in my answer I have I think laid down the true principle, and abide by my determination that the man in the given circumstances games against himself in the proportion of nineteen to ten.’ (MS in R.P. The letter is dated ‘Friday. 20. Feb. 1806’—probably a mistake for 1807.)
[1 ]Letter of 23 Nov. 1818, above, VII, 336. Basevi heads the list of those to whom Ricardo asked Murray to send a presentation copy of his pamphlet of 1816 (ib. 16). As we have seen (p. 15) he was consulted by Moses Ricardo in writing the Memoir. See VII, 10, n.
[2 ]H. B. Woodward, History of the Geological Society of London, p. 277.
[3 ]‘Mr. Basevi’ was elected in June 1821, being introduced by Ricardo, as Mallet records in his Diary (Political Economy Club, Centenary Volume, p. 226–7). The Club’s Minutes, 1821–1882, however, give him as having been formally nominated by Mushet (p. 41); and although they give his address correctly as 8 Montague Street, Russell Square (ib. p. 64 and cp. above, VII, 10) they always enter his name as ‘M. Basevi’, which, since there was no M. Basevi in the family at that time, presumably arose from the perpetuation of an initial mistake.
[4 ]The precise year is given by McCulloch, whose account of the story in his ‘Life and Writings of Mr Ricardo’ otherwise follows closely the Memoir.
[5 ]Above, p. 7.
[1 ]See Recollections of a Long Life, by Lord Broughton (i.e. J. C. Hobhouse), ed. by Lady Dorchester, 1909, vol. ii, p. 179.
[2 ]Above, VII, 246.
[3 ]Sunday Times, 14 Sept. 1823.
[4 ]She was born at Bow on 5 November 1768 and was therefore over three years older than Ricardo. She survived him for many years, dying on 16 Oct. 1849 at Kiddington near Oxford.
[1 ]As Hollander points out, when the son of a Sephardic Jew married outside the faith, the prayer for the dead was recited for him (op. cit. p. 33–4). The story that this was done in Ricardo’s case was current in his own lifetime, as Tom Moore noted in his Journal when he was staying at Bowood with Lord Lansdowne in January 1823: ‘In talking of Ricardo, at breakfast, some one mentioned that he had been buried,—which is the ceremony among the Jews towards any one who quits their faith. The friends of the convert, too, go into mourning for him.’ (Memoirs, Journal and Correspondence of Thomas Moore, ed. by Lord John Russell, 1853, vol. iv, p. 40.) There is no record, however, of anything so dramatic having taken place.
[2 ]Obituary in Sunday Times, 14 Sept. 1823.
[3 ]Public Characters of All Nations; consisting of Biographical Accounts of nearly Three Thousand Eminent Contemporaries, London, Sir R. Phillips and Co., 1823, vol. iii, p. 243.
[4 ]Article on Ricardo in the Penny Cyclopaedia, 1841, attributed to his brother-in-law, G. R. Porter.
[1 ]John Gorton, A General Biographical Dictionary, London, 1826–8, article on Ricardo, vol. ii, p. 747.
[1 ]Edinburgh Annual Register for 1823, 1824, the pamphlet of 1825 and the article Ricardo in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 7th ed., published from 1830 to 1842.
[2 ]McCulloch’s edition of Ricardo’s Works, 1846. The new version is adopted in the 8th ed. of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1853–1860.
[3 ]See Élie Halévy, History of the English People in 1815, Pelican ed., Book iii, pp. 28 and 39–40. G. M. Trevelyan, speaking of the new millowner at the end of the Napoleonic War, says that ‘as likely as not he became a Unitarian, to express his intellectual and social independence’ (British History in the Nineteenth Century, p. 155).
[4 ]John Gorton, op. cit. The passage continues: ‘but he usually attended the service of the established church’, which no doubt refers to the much later Gatcomb period.
[1 ]Obituary in Sunday Times, 14 Sept. 1823.
[2 ]Memoir of the Life, Works and Correspondence of the Rev. Robert Aspland of Hackney, by his son R. Brook Aspland, London, 1850, pp. 234, 251. The author adds in a footnote: ‘Mr. Ricardo continued to attend at the Gravel-Pit until his removal to the western side of London.’
[3 ]Information supplied by Miss Ellen H. Green from the account books of the New Gravel Pit Church at Hackney.
[4 ]See above, VII, 171 and 187, and VIII, 75.
[1 ]See above, V, 324 ff.
[2 ]See Aspland, op. cit. p. 234.
[3 ]Cp. above, VIII, 84.
[4 ]The letter does not describe the institution, except by reference to a printed paper which was enclosed but has not been preserved.
[5 ]On the Cochrane hoax see above, VI, 106–7. All those who had made profits on that occasion had been required by the Stock Exchange to surrender them into a fund to be distributed to charities.
[6 ]Lindsay concludes his letter with an invitation to dinner: ‘Brougham has promised to dine with me and give us all his Paris news. I shall give you timely notice and expect you to make one of the party.’
[1 ]This statement appears only in the three earliest certificates up to the year 1800, although the later ones also are issued by the Friends.
[2 ]Letter from Bleasdale, Lowless and Crosse, 2 Dec. 1817; MS in R.P.
[3 ]Letter of 30 Jan. 1818; above, VII, 252.
[1 ]MS in R.P. Sir Arthur Piggott was a former Attorney-General. His written opinion, dated 3 Jan. 1818, in which he confirms at greater length what he had told the solicitors, is also in R.P.
[2 ]Gentleman’s Magazine, December 1809, p. 1176.
[3 ]See Joseph Smith, Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books, 1867, vol. ii, pp. 933–4.
[4 ]This, and some of the following information on the family was kindly supplied to the editor in 1932 by the Rev. Horace Ricardo Wilkinson.
[5 ]Letter to J. H. Wilkinson of 20 Sept. 1795, below, p. iii.
[1 ]The poem of eight quatrains (a copy of which in Ricardo’s handwriting is in R.P.) is entitled: ‘Reflections—on reading the inscription on the tomb of Thos Dermody,—in the Church yard of Lewisham, on the 11th Novr 1809’ (Thomas Dermody, the Irish poet, had died in 1802). The following are some lines from it:
[1 ]Under the will he only received the surgical instruments and medical books.
[2 ]See below, p. 118. Edward Wilkinson’s will, dated 2 Aug. 1806, was proved 15 Nov. 1809.
[3 ]Family Records, by Charlotte Sturge, ‘For Private Circulation only’, London, 1882, p. 72. Her mother, who knew Mrs Ricardo, was Elizabeth Allen, née Harris (1788–1862).
[1 ]Actually £4000; see below, p. 105.
[2 ]The annual rent as entered in the Rate Books was £18 at the former address and £32 at the latter.
[3 ]List of...the Officers of the Militia, War Office, 6th ed., 1799, p. 635.
[1 ]The ceremony is described in a newspaper of 24 Sept. 1798 of which Ricardo preserved a cutting among his papers.
[2 ]The entry concerning Ricardo is repeated in the 7th ed. of the List, 1800, and in the 8th ed., 1801. In the 9th ed., 1803, neither the Lambeth Volunteers nor Ricardo any longer appear.
[3 ]A List of the Officers of the Gentlemen and Yeomanry Cavalry, and Volunteer Infantry, War Office, 1804, p. 681. The entry is repeated in the similar Lists for 1805, 11th ed. and 1807, 12th ed.
[4 ]See Bain, James Mill, p. 49.
[5 ]These letters which are addressed to his brother-in-law J. H. Wilkinson refer in their headings only to Mile End (the first letter is given below, p. 114–15; on the second, which is not published, see p. 117).
[6 ]Letter of 21 June 1810 from J. H. Wilkinson to Ricardo (who was at the seaside); see below, p. 118.
[7 ]The name and location of New Grove are shown in the Map of London published by Darton and Harvey in 1805. The site is close to where the present Mile End Road becomes the Bow Road, near the boundary between Bromley and Stepney. In the Rate Books of neither place, however, can New Grove or Ricardo’s name be traced for the period of his residence there.
[1 ]Letter to Mill of 26 Sept. 1811, above, VI, 52. According to the Westminster Rate Books for 1813 to 1823 the assessed annual rent of the house was £480.
[2 ]Letter from Mill of 15 Oct. 1811, above, VI, 59.
[3 ]See above, VI, 82.
[4 ]Information kindly supplied by the Estate Surveyor to the Grosvenor Estates. See also C. T. Gatty, Mary Davies and the Manor of Ebury, 1921, vol. ii, p. 208.
[5 ]See The Times of 10 April 1934 (when the mantelpieces were stolen by burglars).
[6 ]See above, VII, 17–18. The picture in volume VI from a photograph taken in 1932 for this work shows the house with the adjoining buildings much as they must have been in Ricardo’s time. The house was damaged by bombing on the night of 19 April 1941; it was repaired and converted into flats after the war, but is now included in the property due to be demolished to make way for a new American Embassy (this information also supplied by the Estate Surveyor to the Grosvenor Estates).
[7 ]On the purchase of Gatcomb see below, p. 95–6.
[1 ]See Plan and Bye-laws of the London Institution for the Advancement of Literature and the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, determined upon at a General Meeting of the Proprietors, Oct. 17, 1805, with a List of the Proprietors and Life Subscribers, London, 1806. Cp. above, VI, 281.
[2 ]H. B. Woodward, History of the Geological Society of London, 1907, p. 271.
[3 ]ib. p. 16. Cp. Ricardo’s reference to conversation at ‘the Geological Club’ in 1815, above, VI, 205–6.
[4 ]Woodward, ib. p. 32. Ricardo remained a trustee till the end of his life, as appears from the lists published in three successive volumes of the Transactions of the Society.
[5 ]ib. p. 33.
[1 ]Above, VIII, 18.
[2 ]See W. P. Courtney, ‘The King of Clubs’, in The ‘Pope’ of Holland House, ed. by Lady Seymour, London, 1906, pp. 333–40. The Register of the King of Clubs is now in the British Museum, Add. MS. 37,337.
[3 ]Memorials of Brooks’s from the Foundation of the Club 1764 to the Close of the Nineteenth Century, London, 1907, p. 92.
[4 ]Letter to Ricardo from Easton Grey, 23 March , unpublished MS in R.P.
[5 ]Cp. above, VIII, 28 and 163.
[1 ]See above, VIII, 367 and 381.
[2 ]See Political Economy Club, Minutes of Proceedings, 1821–1882, London, 1882.
[3 ]Diary entry on Ricardo’s death, in Political Economy Club, Centenary Volume, 1921, pp. 209 and 212.
[4 ]Obituary in Sunday Times, 14 Sept. 1823.
[1 ]Centenary Volume, p. 209–10.
[2 ]Letter of 5 Sept. 1820, above, VIII, 253.
[3 ]This date is derived from Ricardo’s letter to Hodgetts presently to be mentioned, which had not come to light when the photogravure plate in vol. IX was made, with its date ‘c. 1821’.
[4 ]No. 116 in the Catalogue of the Exhibition, 1821. The painting has been reproduced by permission of Mr Frank Ricardo to whom it formerly belonged.
[5 ]A reproduction of the Hodgetts engraving appears in the Political Economy Club, Centenary Volume, 1921.
[6 ]Unpublished MS in a collection of autographs which formed lot 1179a at Sotheby’s sale, 5 July 1948.
[1 ]The plate has the imprint: ‘London, Published by Charles Knight, Ludgate Street, Sepr. 1835.’
[2 ]A MS copy of this is in the National Portrait Gallery.
[3 ]No. 644 (Mrs Ricardo) and No. 754 (David Ricardo) in the Catalogue of the Exhibition, 1822.
[4 ]These miniatures have been reproduced by permission of the late Lt.-Col. H. G. Ricardo in whose possession they were at Gatcombe.
[5 ]There is a note in the pocketbook which Ricardo had on the Continent, ‘Bust of myself 25 L.’ The entry in Bonelli’s invoice, dated 21 Oct. 1822, reads: ‘Un busto ritratto Grande in Marmo, Luigi 25-Un do piccolo in Alabastro, 6’. Cp. below, p. 318.
[1 ]The original of this list, as well as the King of Arms’ grant dated 12 April 1814, are in the possession of Mr Frank Ricardo.
[2 ]Private letter in the possession of Lt.-Col. H. G. Ricardo.
[3 ]Letter to Major (as he then was) H. G. Ricardo.
[4 ]It seems more likely, however, that the additional three or six were stillborn: since in the case of the two (among the seventeen) who died in infancy there is a record of both birth and burial.
[1 ]There is in R.P. a bill of exchange for £60, dated Philadelphia 3 Dec. 1798, drawn by Joseph on David Ricardo, accepted by the latter and made by him payable at Forster Lubbock’s.
[2 ]Post Office Directory for 1815 and for 1816; cp. also above, VII, 15.
[3 ]The Trust deed is in R.P.
[1 ]Above, IX, 326–8; see also 306 and 335.
[2 ]For references see An Historical Sketch of the Origin, Progress, & Present State of Gas-lighting, by William Matthews, London, 1827, pp. 126–30, 160–2, 181–5.
[3 ]Gentleman’s Magazine, 1827, vol. ii, p. 189.
[4 ]ib. 1866, p. 610.
[5 ]The date is inferred from the obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1838, vol. ii, p. 338, which says she died aged 60.
[1 ]See Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England, Part iii, 1937, p. 92.
[2 ]Inferred from the announcement of his death ‘aged 54’ in Gentleman’s Magazine, April 1834, p. 455.
[3 ]Obituary of David Ricardo, signed ‘J.B.S.’, in Tablettes Universelles, 27 Sept. 1823, p. 26; reprinted in Say’s Mélanges, 1833, p. 90, and in his Œuvres diverses, 1848, p. 408.
[4 ]Scotsman, 18 June, 9 and 19 July 1823.
[5 ]Edinburgh Annual Register for 1823, p. 255.
[1 ]See L. H. Jenks, The Migration of British Capital to 1875, 1927, pp. 50-1; and John Francis, Chronicles and Characters of the Stock Exchange, 1850, pp. 284–92. Some correspondence of Jacob and Samson Ricardo with J. C. Hobhouse and others, 1825–26, referring to the affairs of Greece and in particular to the building of steam-vessels for the insurgents, is in the British Museum, Add. MSS 36,461–3.
[2 ]‘De la crise commerciale de l’Angleterre’, in Revue Encyclopédique, Oct. 1826, p. 43.
[3 ]Her death ‘aged 65’ was announced in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1847, vol. ii, p. 221.
[4 ]Cp. above, VII, 14.
[1 ]See the Table which follows p. 80 below.
[2 ]Letter of 8 Nov. 1818, above VII, 325.
[1 ]She is entered as married in the College of Arms genealogy of May 1814.
[2 ]Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England, Part V, 1948, p. 189.
[1 ]See above, VII, 268–9.
[2 ]Obituary in The Times, 8 Jan. 1881.
[3 ]Memoirs, Journal and Correspondence of Thomas Moore, 1853, vol. iv, p. 95.
[1 ]See An Account of the Principal Branches of the Family of Clutterbuck, ed. by M. E. N. Witchell and C. R. Hudleston, Gloucester, privately printed, 1924.
[2 ]Entry for ii April 1822 in the unpublished diary of the Rev. Benjamin Newton, kindly supplied from the MS by Mr E. A. Crutchley.
[1 ]See R. P. Norwood, Brief History of the Parish of Kiddington, Long Compton, Shipston-on-Stour, 1934.