Front Page Titles (by Subject) (D) Ricardo's Library - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany
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(D) Ricardo’s Library - 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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(D) Ricardo’s Library
As Ricardo had no book-plate, it is not possible even to attempt to reconstruct a complete catalogue of his library, as Dr Bonar did with Adam Smith’s. Nor probably would the result be as interesting, since Ricardo had so much less of a literary background.
When Col. Ricardo was living at Gatcombe in the 1930’s, the library was still in the room with the great bow-window in which it was said to have been in Ricardo’s time, and which can be seen at the far end of the house in the engraving reproduced in Volume VII. Only a small part of the books, perhaps 30 or 40 volumes, were of economic interest, a few of them being of a date subsequent to his death. Some had an inscription to Ricardo: these were Torrens’s Essay on Money, 1812, McCulloch’s Essay on the Question of Reducing the Interest of the National Debt, 1816, and Say’s Traité, 4th ed. 1819. Others bore evidence in the shape of pencilled numbers of having been used by him: Hume’s Essays and Treatises, 2 vols. 1804, Buchanan’s edition of the Wealth of Nations, 1814, Simonde’s De la richesse commerciale, 1803, the Bullion Report, 1810, Torrens’s External Corn Trade, 1815, Say’s Traité, 3rd ed. 1817, and Malthus’s Essay on Population, 5th ed. 1817. There is also little doubt that the following had belonged to him: Millar’s Origin of the Distinction of Ranks, 3rd ed. 1781, Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments, 8th ed. 1797, Condorcet’s Life of Turgot, 1787, Œuvres de Turgot, 9 vols. 1809–11, Canard, Principes d’économie politique, 1801, Ganilh, Inquiry into the Various Systems of Political Economy, 1812, Sismondi’s Nouveaux Principes, 1819, The Trial of Lord Cochrane, ‘taken in short-hand by W. B. Gurney’, 1814, and three of Dumont’s compilations of works by Bentham, Traités de législation, Tactique des assemblées législatives and Théorie des peines et des récompenses.
There were also some pamphlets, notable for being annotated in Ricardo’s hand, which were bound with others in three volumes in calf. One of these contained Malthus’s Grounds of an Opinion, 1815, inscribed ‘From the Author’, and his Inquiry into...Rent, 1815, Ricardo’s Essay on Profits, 1815, with a few corrections (adopted in vol. IV above), and West’s Essay, 1815, with the inscription by Ricardo reproduced above, IV, 6. Another volume contained Ricardo’s High Price of Bullion, 4th ed. 1811; Huskisson’s The Question Concerning the Depreciation of our Currency Stated and Examined (1st ed.) 1810, with the following note pencilled by Ricardo on page 5: ‘The passages marked are those upon [which] I see reason to differ with the author;’1 Bosanquet’s Practical Observations on the Report of the Bullion-Committee, 1810, with pencilled notes in the margin which have been almost entirely cut off by the binder; Bosanquet’s Supplement, 1810; and Ricardo’s Reply to Bosanquet, 1811. The third volume contained The Theory of Money [Anon.], 1811, P. R. Hoare’s Reflections on the Possible Existence and Supposed Expedience of National Bankruptcy, 1811, and The Speech of Mr. Johnstone, on...Lord Stanhope’s Bill, 1811.2
There remains to mention some pamphlets which once belonged to Ricardo and which have been for some time past in public libraries. The bulk of these, bound in 14 volumes with the bookplate of Osman Ricardo, form the collection known as the Ricardo Tracts in the Goldsmiths’ Library of the University of London.3 From a catalogue-cutting loosely inserted in one of the volumes, it would appear that they were bought by Professor Foxwell in 1881, the year of Osman Ricardo’s death, from the ‘Bibliopole Frederick’ in the Brompton Road. Three of these volumes in calf bindings similar to those just described as being in the library at Gatcombe contain, two of them Bullion tracts and the other a second copy of the Bullion Report of 1810.
Of the bullion tracts one volume consists of the following:A. W. Rutherford, Hints from Holland; or, Gold Bullion as dear in Dutch Currency as in Bank-notes, in a Letter to two Merchants, London, 1811 (with marginal notes by Ricardo, mostly cut-off by the binder, but a few legible: p. 12, lines 6–8 from bottom, ‘[Who a]sserts [that] it is?’; p. 13, l. 3 from bottom, ‘but also from the same cause namely excess’; p. 14, l. 10 from bottom, ‘not [ch]ecking’; p. 47 bottom, ‘Why should any alteration in the value of g[old] in Holland estimated in silver have any eff[ect] on the price of gold in England estimated [in bank-notes]’1 ); J. L. Towers, The Expediency and Practicability of the Resumption of Cash-Payments, London, 1811, ‘From the Author’; Jasper Atkinson, A Letter to a Member of Parliament (on the Bullion Report), London, 1810; Charles Lyne, A Letter to the Right Hon. George Rose (on the high price of gold), London, 1810; I. M. Siordet, A Letter to Sir John Sinclair...on the Supposed Depreciation of our Currency, 1811, ‘From the Author’; The Principles of Currency and Exchanges, London, Dec. i, 1810, ‘by Coutts Trotter’ added in Ricardo’s handwriting.
The other volume consists of: F. P. Eliot, Observations on the Fallacy of the Supposed Depreciation of the Paper Currency, London, 1811; T. Hopkins, Bank Notes the Cause of the Dis-appearance of Guineas, London  (only a few of Ricardo’s notes have escaped being cut off in binding: p. 31, l. 19, ‘Is trade disadvantageous because the balance is against us? Is money exported without an adequate return’; p. 48, l. 9–12, ‘[I de]ny [this]’, and at the bottom of the page, ‘[No] modifications of Banks can permanently [raise] or depress the value of the coin’;p. 55, l. 20, ‘There was no scarcity of gold in the coun[try] in 1797, the suspension act was not fram[ed] with the view here stated’; p. 63, l. 2–3, ‘Grea[tly] exagg[erated]’); P. R. Hoare, An Examination of Sir John Sinclair’s Observations, London, 1811; An attempt to Estimate the Increase of the Number of Poor during the Interval of 1785 and 1803...including Some Observations on the Depreciation of the Currency [by Thomas Pemberton], London, 1811, ‘With the Author’s best Respects’ (only part of one of Ricardo’s notes has survived: p. 44, l. 2, ‘the difference [is that the labourer who goes] into the service of government is an idle [consu]mer who does not reproduce what he [cons]umes, —whilst employed by the farmer he [not] only reproduced what he himself consumed [but] contributed to the support of another’).
The other eleven volumes in the Goldsmiths’ Library contain 122 miscellaneous pamphlets, many of them presentation copies to Ricardo; the majority belong to the years 1819 to 1823 and form a motley collection probably representative of what Ricardo received as a member of Parliament. Unlike the others, they were originally bound for Osman Ricardo (they include Ricardo’s posthumous Plan for a National Bank), although unfortunately recent rebinding (1939) has eliminated his book-plates. These volumes contain the annotated copy of Western’s Second Address to the Landowners, 1822, described above, V, 522 ff., and Mushet’s Enquiry into the Effects produced on the National Currency, and Rates of Exchange by the Bank Restriction Bill (1st ed.) 1810, with some MS corrections by Ricardo of the Table of exchange-rates, pp. 91, 92, 94. Among the oddments are A Digest of the Law relating to Volunteer Corps, 1803, two Unitarian sermons of 1813 and 1814, several pamphlets on the Lancaster system of education, and Observations on the Automaton Chess Player, now exhibited in London, at 4 Spring Gardens, 1819.
[1 ]The passages in question are: p. 5, lines 14–16; p. 27, l. 15–17 and 25–27; p. 28, l. 1–3; p. 93, l. 19–21 and 25–32; p. 95, last 6 lines of footnote; p. 110, l. 1–2; p. 131, the whole footnote; p. 148, l. 1–6. In three places (p. 26, l. 2 from bottom and p. 27, l. 1 and 6) Ricardo substitutes the word ‘value’ for ‘price’. (It may be added that there is in R.P. a small wrapper inscribed by Ricardo ‘Remarks on Mr. Huskisson’s pamphlet’, but unfortunately it is empty.)
[2 ]These three volumes of pamphlets with about 30 other volumes from the library at Gatcombe are now in the possession of Mr. Peter W. Ricardo. The remainder of the library was dispersed when the contents of Gatcombe were sold by auction, on the instructions of Col. Ricardo, by Messrs Davis, Champion & Payne of Stroud on 3 and 4 April 1940.
[3 ]In other libraries there are the following: a volume of pamphlets, including the annotated copy of Blake’s Observations on Expenditure, 1823, and Whitmore’s Letter on Agriculture, 1823, in the Library of Somerville College, Oxford (above, IV, 326, n.2), Bassett’s Elementary Thoughts on the Bullion Question, 1820, in the Overstone Library of the University of Reading (above, VIII, 337, n. 2) and the Reply to Mr. Say’s Letters to Mr. Malthus in Edinburgh University Library, described below, p. 405.
[1 ]Cp. a note by Ricardo on a loose sheet which refers to a table on p. 27 of the same pamphlet: ‘It appears by this table that in 1797 the price of gold was in England £3. 17. 6—in 1810 it was £4. 8.— a rise of 16 pct. —What was the rise during the same period in Holland? Mr. Rutherford tells us that a marc of gold in 1797 sold in Holland for f 399.7. 8 and in 1810 for f 406. 9. 8 a rise of 1¾ pct.. How then can it be asserted that the rise in Holland in dutch currency has been equal to the rise in England in English currency. During this whole interval the price of gold in Holland was never more than 6⅝ pc higher than in 1797’ (MS in R.P.; Minor Papers, p. 229).