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Editor’s Intro to Ricardo’s Correspondence

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Source: Editors' Introduction to The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815.

INTRODUCTORY NOTES TO THE CORRESPONDENCE

Summary. I. Ricardo’s Correspondence, p. xiii. II. The Main Correspondents: James Mill, p. xv; Malthus, p. xviii; McCulloch, p. xxi; Trower, p. xxiii; Say, p. xxv. III. Other Correspondents: Bentham, p. xxviii; Maria Edgeworth, p. xxxii; Grenfell, p. xxxiii; Grote, p. xxxiii; Horner, p. xxxiv; Murray, p. xxxv; Place, p. xxxv; Sharp, p. xxxvi; Sinclair, p. xxxvii; Tooke, p. xxxvii; Wakefield, p. xxxviii. IV. The Letters in the Present Edition, p. xxxviii.

I. Ricardo’s Correspondence

The economic correspondence of Ricardo opens in 1810 when he is in his thirty-eighth year and covers the whole of his productive life as a political economist. Ricardo had four main correspondents with whom he was in constant communication over a period of years—James Mill, Malthus, McCulloch and Trower; while he maintained a less frequent exchange with Jean-Baptiste Say. By an extraordinary piece of good fortune both sides of each of the five series of letters have come down to us substantially complete.1

The Mill correspondence is of special interest as being entirely new and as throwing a vivid light on Ricardo’s apprenticeship as a writer and on the development of his thought. The correspondence with Malthus however, Ricardo’s side of which has long been known, and which is now completed, is of greater economic importance. It has the character of a sustained discussion, with a constant clash of two opposite viewpoints; and it is with reference to these letters that Keynes has written: ‘This friendship will live in history on account of its having given rise to the most important literary correspondence in the whole development of Political Economy.’2 The McCulloch letters, which cover a shorter period of years, reflect a relation almost of disciple to master, within which differences of opinion only occasionally arise on particular points; being mostly written previous to personal acquaintance, they are more exclusively devoted to economic matters. Finally, the correspondence with Trower has a peculiar interest as exhibiting an attempt to explain to a comparative layman the economic discussions in which Ricardo was engaged. All these, together with the letters exchanged with other persons with whom Ricardo discussed mainly subjects of an economic or political character, are given in these volumes in full.

In contrast with previously published collections, the letters to and from the various correspondents have been arranged in a single chronological series. The reader is thus placed as it were behind Ricardo’s desk at Gatcomb Park and reads the letters as Ricardo writes them or receives them. On the other hand those who wish to follow through one individual series of letters can do so with the help of the Index of Correspondents appended to each volume. (In Vol. IX the Index of Correspondents is cumulative and covers the four volumes.)

LETTERS
ToFromToFromToFromToFromToFromToFromToFrom
YearMillMalthusTrowerMcCullochSayOther CorrespondentsAll Correspondents
1810 1 3 3 1
1811 2 3 7 10 4 2 13 15
1812 3 2 1 4 2
1813 6 1 7
1814 4 8 7 1 1 1 2 3 12 15
1815 5 5 19 23 2 4 2 2 1 14 29 48
1816 7 7 10 7 3 6 2 1 2 2 24 23
1817 6 4 14 5 7 7 1 2 2 2 30 20
1818 10 7 4 4 6 5 2 5 5 5 27 26
1819 5 7 2 2 7 5 6 5 1 7 5 27 25
1820 6 6 5 6 7 6 10 7 1 2 3 3 32 30
1821 7 4 7 6 7 6 8 7 1 1 4 5 34 29
1822 5 1 7 1 7 6 1 2 6 3 27 12
1823 5 1 6 3 6 4 6 4 4 1 27 13
Totals 58 49 92 75 54 45 41 35 7 10 44 45 296 259
107 167 99 76 17 89 555

The distribution of the letters between the main correspondents and their frequency at various periods can be seen at a glance from the table above. It will be noticed from the table that in each of the four main series the letters from Ricardo are more numerous than those written to him. To some extent this is probably explained by Ricardo having been less methodical in keeping letters than his correspondents were. But it may also have been due to his greater activity as a letter writer. For example, the initiative in resuming a correspondence when it had been interrupted mostly came from Ricardo’s side (notably in the case of Mill).

More detailed information about the arrangement and annotation of the letters is provided at the end of this Introduction, after some account has been given of the individual correspondents.

II.

The Main Correspondents

James Mill (1773–1836). Ricardo and James Mill were first brought together as a result of the publication of Mill’s early pamphlet Commerce Defended in 1808: ‘the first of his writings which attained any celebrity’ (as John Stuart Mill writes) ‘and which he prized more as having been his first introduction to the friendship of David Ricardo, the most valued and most intimate friendship of his life.’1 Their intimacy, Ricardo tells us, however, was the consequence of the part which Ricardo took in the Bullion controversy of 1810;2 and when their correspondence begins, at the end of 1810, we find them already on terms of close friendship. Mill characteristically came to adopt the role of educator, and Ricardo always acknowledged a large debt to him for urging him on and encouraging him to write.

Mill, who had come to London from Scotland in 1802, lived at Newington Green and later, in 1814, moved to Queen Square in Westminster (where he rented a house from Bentham). In London they met regularly, at one time taking ‘almost daily’ walks together in the park,1 so that there was little occasion for letter writing. From 1814 onwards, however, both Ricardo and Mill used to be away from London during half of each year, between July and January; Ricardo going to Gatcomb Park, while Mill, together with his family, was the guest of Bentham at Ford Abbey in Devonshire, on the border of Somerset near Chard. Their correspondence has accordingly a highly seasonal character and is confined almost entirely to that period of each year.

Mill up to 1817 was engaged in writing his History of British India, and made a living by contributing to the reviews. His friends, however, were anxious to find him a regular position which would secure him a steady income and independence. It was at one time intended that he should be head of the projected ‘Chrestomatic School’, which however never materialized.2 In 1819, as a result of the appearance of his History and with the assistance of Ricardo and other friends, he secured an appointment with the East India Company as assistant examiner of correspondence.3 From that time he was so occupied at the office that his meetings with Ricardo were usually confined to Sundays.4 For the period of his vacation in the summer he went first to Marlow and from 1822 to Dorking. On several occasions he visited Ricardo at Gatcomb; in October 1814 going there (as he wrote) with ‘all my incumbrances, consisting of a wife, and five brats, and a maid’;5 in August 1818 he was there alone for ten days;6 in August and September 1820 ‘for more than three weeks’;7 and he was expecting to spend at Gatcomb the second half of September 1823, the month of Ricardo’s death.8

Much of the discussion in Ricardo’s correspondence with Mill arises from their reading one another’s manuscripts. We find Ricardo reporting on his work and on his reading to Mill, and Mill in return giving him advice on his writing and suggestions for reading. While the sterner side of James Mill’s character is well-known from the description in John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, these letters show another and more genial aspect of him.

There are in these letters several indications of Ricardo’s friendly interest in Mill’s eldest son, John Stuart Mill, such as Ricardo’s invitation that he should come by himself to stay at Gatcomb in the summer of 1821, when he was fifteen years old.1 These are borne out by the passage in J. S. Mill’s Autobiography, in which he speaks of his connection with Ricardo: ‘My being an habitual inmate of my father’s study made me acquainted with the dearest of his friends, David Ricardo, who by his benevolent countenance, and kindliness of manner, was very attractive to young persons, and who after I became a student of political economy, invited me to his house and to walk with him in order to converse on the subject.’2 There are, however, no letters between them,3 although Ricardo’s last letter to James Mill of 5 September 1823 can be regarded as virtually directed to John, since it is entirely devoted to the discussion of a paper written by him on the measure of value.

The letters of James Mill to Ricardo are in the Ricardo Papers.4 The letters which he received from Ricardo were carefully filed and docketed by James Mill. Together with the papers which were sent to him at Ricardo’s death (among them unpublished manuscripts and two letters from Malthus and one from McCulloch received by Ricardo a short time before) they form what we have called the Mill-Ricardo papers.5 These were inherited by John Stuart Mill, and from him (it is not clear whether before or after his death) they passed to his friend John Elliot Cairnes, the economist;1 it was among the Cairnes family possessions that they were found by Mr C. K. Mill in 1943 and made available for the present edition (as has been described in the General Preface in Volume I).

By the time these letters to Mill were found, however, the rest of the correspondence had been annotated and made up into page. The newly-found letters were inserted in their proper chronological order, efforts being made to disturb as little as possible the work already done; in particular avoiding the transfer of notes from the old to the new letters unless essential. As a result the letters of Ricardo to Mill are less fully annotated than the others: for example, in the case of letters 506 to 509, written from abroad in 1822, no biographical notes are given about the persons whom Ricardo met, since notes had already been attached to the Journal of a Tour on the Continent (to be included in Vol. X), where the same persons recur.

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834). The correspondence between Malthus and Ricardo began in June 1811, when, immediately following their first meeting, both of them, independently, started to write to one another. Malthus’s letter, however, reached Ricardo before Ricardo had sent his own, which he had to adapt accordingly. Malthus’s letter and the first draft of Ricardo’s opened with curiously similar words, to the effect that, ‘as we are mainly on the same side of the question’, as Malthus wrote, or ‘as we are so nearly agreed on the principles’, as Ricardo put it, they should endeavour to remove the few points of difference between them by ‘amicable discussion in private’, as they both said in identical words.2

This first meeting had taken place on Malthus’s initiative and perhaps through the intermediary of their mutual friend Richard Sharp, who is frequently mentioned in these early letters as a participant in joint breakfast parties at which Ricardo and Malthus met.

At the time of their first meeting, while Ricardo had only just appeared in print, Malthus had long been known to the public as the author of the Essay on Population, which, having been first published in 1798, was now in its fourth edition. Malthus had been educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he succeeded to a Fellowship in 1793. His College tutor had been William Frend, who in the same year became the centre of a storm in the University, being attacked for Jacobinism and irreverence to religion.1 Later Malthus took orders and in 1798 obtained a curacy at Albury in his native county of Surrey. From 1806, and throughout the period of his correspondence with Ricardo, he was Professor of History and Political Economy at the East India College at Haileybury, Hertfordshire, which was a residential establishment for the training of cadets for the Company’s service. The College was well-known for the unruliness of its students: a matter which is often referred to in the letters. The Professors lived in with their families and Malthus occupied the house under the college clock-turret.2

Ricardo from time to time paid week-end visits to Haileybury to stay with Malthus, and Malthus made frequent visits to London where he invariably had meetings with Ricardo, sometimes staying at his house, first at Mile End and then in Upper Brook Street. Later, on several occasions Malthus, who regularly spent his vacations at Bath with the Eckersalls, his wife’s relatives, on his way visited Ricardo at Gatcomb Park in Gloucestershire.

While the Malthus-Ricardo letters are less influenced than the other series by the passing events of the day, and approach more nearly to a systematic discussion, yet they range over the whole wide field of their disagreement and do not lend themselves to a classification by subjects. However, at some periods one topic becomes dominant. Thus in the early period of 1811–12 the correspondence is exclusively devoted to currency and foreign exchange; the crowded letters of the spring of 1815 are concerned with rent, profits and the price of corn; those of 1820 and the early summer of 1821, with the causes of stagnation and the possibility of a general glut; and the final group of 1823, with the revived controversy upon the measure of value.

Although Malthus had a son and two daughters, none of these left any children; so that Ricardo’s letters passed to the descendants of Malthus’s elder brother, Sydenham.1 It was the latter’s grandson, Col. Sydenham Malthus, who placed them at the disposal of Dr Bonar for his original publication. Col. Malthus’s son, Mr Robert Malthus, formerly of Albury, Surrey, has made the MSS available for the present edition.

Ricardo’s letters were known to William Empson, who as Professor of Law had been for many years Malthus’s colleague at Haileybury, and he quoted a number of passages in his biographical article on Malthus in the Edinburgh Review of January 1837. The letters were published under the title of Letters of David Ricardo to Thomas Robert Malthus 1810–1823, edited by James Bonar, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1887.2

The letters of Malthus, on the other hand, remained for a long time undiscovered. Dr Bonar caused the representatives of Ricardo, as he says in his preface, ‘to make search for the corresponding letters of Malthus, but without success’. These finally came to light with the Ricardo Papers, which Mr Frank Ricardo made available for the present edition.3

There are in Bonar’s edition a number of mistakes in the dating of letters; these have had the effect of muddling the sequence of development of Ricardo’s thought and have stood in the way of a proper study of that development. The first instance is that of the letters attributed to 1810, which turn out to belong to 1813.1 This has had the consequence (apart from antedating the beginning of the friendship between Ricardo and Malthus) of advancing by three years the formation of Ricardo’s theory of profits, which is first outlined in those letters, and of concealing the fact that up to 1813 Ricardo’s concern was almost exclusively with monetary questions.2 No less serious has been the misdating of Ricardo’s letter to Malthus of 5 March 1817, which in that edition is given as of 1816.3 Since this letter mentions the last chapter of Ricardo’s Principles as being ready to go to the printers, this error has made it seem that that work had already been completed at a time when the writing of it was in fact in the initial phase, and it has accordingly made it difficult to reconstruct the stages in which the book was put together. Two other errors are of minor importance: the letter of 8 May 1815 is there misdated Oct. 1815, and that of 3 April 1817 is misdated 3 June 1817.4

Numerous short passages of a personal nature were omitted in Bonar’s edition; these have been restored in the present edition without specific mention.

John Ramsay McCulloch (1789–1864). Ricardo’s connection with McCulloch had its beginning in 1816 when McCulloch sent him from Edinburgh successively two pamphlets on the National Debt. But the real start of their correspondence was when McCulloch reviewed the Principles of Political Economy in the Edinburgh Review for June 1818. In this review, which was decisive in establishing Ricardo’s fame and popularizing his doctrines, he showed himself the most complete convert and disciple of Ricardo’s theories, as he was to become the main defender of his doctrines against criticism. Over the next five years they corresponded regularly; but it was not until 1823 that they met, when McCulloch came to London for a visit of six weeks in May and June and a number of discussions took place between them during these weeks.

McCulloch’s chief occupation at this time was on the staff of the Scotsman newspaper. This had been founded by a group of Reformers as a weekly in 1817 (becoming bi-weekly in 1823) in order to oppose the dominance of the Scottish Tories. McCulloch became at first a contributor and later for a time the editor. He wrote all the political economy in the paper, often devoting to it the leading article, or ‘disquisition’, which occupied the whole front page. As the Edinburgh Review said: ‘Scotland boasts but one original newspaper, the Scotsman, and that newspaper but one subject—Political Economy.—The Editor, however, may be said to be king of it.’1 At the end of 1819 Ricardo was induced to become a regular subscriber, and thereafter comment on these articles was a frequent subject of their correspondence.

After Ricardo’s death McCulloch came to be regarded as the main representative of the Ricardian tradition. At the end of 1823 a committee of Ricardo’s friends was formed to institute a series of lectures on Political Economy in London in his memory; and McCulloch was chosen as lecturer in 1824. He was author of the most widely known biography of Ricardo; and in 1846 the editor of his Works.

Passages from Ricardo’s letters were quoted by McCulloch in his Literature of Political Economy, 1845 (p. 177–8), in the ‘Life’ prefixed to his edition of Ricardo’s Works, 1846 (p. xxvi), with some additional quotations in the reprint of the ‘Life’ in McCulloch’s Treatises and Essays (2nd ed. 1859, pp. 559 and 562), and later by Hugh G. Reid in the Biographical Notice of McCulloch in the 1869 edition of the latter’s Dictionary of Commerce.

After McCulloch’s death the letters passed into the possession of his executors, and the last survivor of them, his biographer and son-in-law Reid, presented them to the British Museum in 1894, where they are entered under the class-mark Add. MSS. 34,545. They were published under the title of Letters of David Ricardo to John Ramsay McCulloch 1816–1823, edited by J. H. Hollander, in the ‘Publications of the American Economic Association’, vol. x, Nos. 5–6, Sept. and Nov. 1895.

The letters of McCulloch to Ricardo were found among the Ricardo Papers.1 Some of McCulloch’s letters however (17 out of35) were in the bundle found earlier (1919) by Mr Frank Ricardo and these were published as a pamphlet in the series ‘A Reprint of Economic Tracts’, edited by J. H. Hollander, under the title Letters of John Ramsay McCulloch to David Ricardo 1818–1823, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1931. The others were found in 1930 and are published here for the first time.

Hutches Trower (1777–1833). Unlike the other main correspondents of Ricardo, Trower has no claim to literary fame in his own right; he is only remembered because of this correspondence. He was, like Ricardo, a stockbroker and their friendship had been formed in the early years of the century, when they were accustomed to meet daily and to pursue their discussions amid ‘the tumultuous scenes’ of the Stock Exchange. They found common ground as admirers of the work of Adam Smith and of the articles on political economy which had appeared in the early numbers of the Edinburgh Review from 1802.2 As we have seen,3 they found themselves on opposite sides in the early stages of the Bullion controversy in 1809, when both contributed anonymously to the Morning Chronicle; and it was only after publication that Ricardo discovered the identity of his critic.

Trower’s mother was a Miss Smith, aunt of Sydney Smith, the essayist; he was born at Clapton on 2 July 1777 and was adopted by a Mr Palmer who made him his heir. He became a member of the new Stock Exchange on its foundation in 1802, and retired in 1812, when his partnership with his brother, John Trower, was dissolved; the business being thereafter carried on by the latter until his own retirement in 1822.1 In 1813 he married Penelope Frances, daughter of Gilbert Slater or Sclater. The following year he purchased as a country residence Unsted Wood, at Godalming, Surrey. This was the same year as Ricardo acquired Gatcomb Park; and thereafter the correspondence between them settled down to a fairly regular exchange at roughly monthly intervals.2 Trower never visited Gatcomb, despite repeated invitations; and when at last he agreed to come, Ricardo’s death intervened before the date arranged for the visit. Trower himself died on 5 June 1833 from an injury to the spine. He left four daughters, and his widow lived until 1875.

(The information in the preceding paragraph, except that relating to the Stock Exchange, was supplied by his daughter, Miss Frances Trower, in 1895, a year before her death, to Bonar and Hollander, and it is here taken from the Introduction to their edition of Ricardo’s Letters to Trower.)

After Trower’s death Ricardo’s letters appear to have become divided into two groups. The first group was composed of the last 24 letters addressed by Ricardo to Trower (together with the two letters of Anthony Austin), and was donated by Mrs Trower ‘through Mr Greenough’3 to the Library of University College, London (according to an entry dated 22 Feb. 1844 in ‘Additions to the Library’). The second group, consisting of the 30 earliest letters to Trower, remained undiscovered among Trower’s papers until in 1895 they were found by Miss Trower. Eventually this second group of letters also was presented to the Library of University College by the executors of Miss Trower; and the whole was published in Letters of David Ricardo to HutchesTrower and Others 1811–1823, edited by James Bonar and J. H. Hollander, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1899.

Trower’s letters to Ricardo came to light with the Ricardo Papers.1

Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832) was given a commercial education in France and England, but his prospects of a business career were brought to an end by his father’s ruin in the collapse of the Assignats. He turned to literary activities, and in 1803 published his Traité d’ Économie politique. This work, however, found no favour with the authorities, and Say went into industry, establishing a spinning mill of 400 workers in the country near Paris. Shortly before the fall of Napoleon he sold his interest to his partner, and returned to Paris. In 1814, following the change of government, he was enabled to publish a second edition of his Traité. In the autumn of the same year he was sent to England on a government mission to report upon the progress of industry. Here he was introduced by William Godwin to Francis Place, and through Mill to Ricardo, whom he visited at Gatcomb Park. From Gatcomb Ricardo and Say went together to visit Bentham at Ford Abbey.2 This was the beginning of Say’s correspondence with Ricardo, which was from time to time revived by the publication of their respective works which they sent to one another. They met again on the occasion of Ricardo’s visits to Paris in 1817 and 1822, but Ricardo did not find him a ready talker on economic subjects.3 In 1821 Say was appointed to the Chair of Industrial Economy newly established at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris. While from this time he devoted himself mainly to academic and literary pursuits, he was also occasionally concerned with projects of commercial speculation, in which in his letters he tried to interest Ricardo without success.4

Of Ricardo’s regular correspondents, Say is the one who more nearly seems to be writing with an eye to eventual publication (on one occasion he suggested that his letter should be communicated to the Political Economy Club by Ricardo).1 It is therefore not surprising to find him soon after Ricardo’s death making tentative arrangements for publication, although these came to nothing. The first hint was in his ‘Examen critique du discours de M. MacCulloch sur l’économie politique’ which appeared in the Revue Encyclopédique for September 1825. This was a general attack on Ricardo’s theories and in order, as he says, to forestall the reproach of not having before made known his opinion of the doctrines of Ricardo, he writes: ‘on verra peutétre quelque jour, par notre correspondance, que, si j’ai evité de le combattre sous les yeux du public, je soutenais néanmoins à huis clos contre lui, quelques combats dans l’interét de la vérité.’2 It would seem that Say had intended actually to publish his own letters as an appendix to the article (and possibly also a translation of Ricardo’s letters), since the following MS notice is appended to his own copy of it: ‘Les lettres originales de David Ricardo qui font partie de cette correspondance sont déposées au bureau de la Revue Encyclopédique, rue D’Enfer-St-Michel Numéro 18 a Paris, ou l’on peut en prendre connaissance.’3

It is unlikely that this publication by ‘deposit’ did in fact take place. But a few weeks later (in November 1825) we find Say writing to Francis Place4 with a view to the translation and publication in English of a small volume containing his correspondence with Ricardo and a few other pieces. However, in January 1826, after receiving a specimen of Place’s translation, Say seems to have changed his mind; and in a letter of 18 January, written partly in English and partly in French, he writes that while comparing Place’s English with his own French ‘some scruples got into my head’, among them the question, ‘What will Ricardo’s family think of the publication?’ He announces his intention of abandoning the project, and expresses regret for the wasted work of Place and himself—as regards the latter, adding a significant phrase on the trouble he has taken about his correspondence with Ricardo: ‘Je regrette d’avoir pris la peine de mettre au net ma correspondance avec Ricardo’;1 which perhaps explains some of the discrepancies that are noticeable between the version of Say’s letters which was subsequently published and the original MSS in the Ricardo Papers.2

Besides his scruples, a more decisive reason may have been Say’s dissatisfaction with what he had seen of Place’s translation; for on the folder containing the sample MS which he had received, and which is among his papers, he noted: ‘Il s’y trouve la traduction anglaise que Francis Place avait essayé d’en faire, et qui ne vaut rien.’

Despite these contretemps, Ricardo’s letters to Say were among his first to be published: they appeared (in French translation), with some of Say’s replies, in Say’s Mélanges et Correspondance d’économie politique, a posthumous collection edited by his sonin-law, Charles Comte (Paris, Chamerot, 1833), and were reprinted in Say’s Œuvres diverses (Paris, Guillaumin, 1848), a volume in the ‘Collection des principaux économistes’.

In the present edition Ricardo’s letters to Say are published in the original English from the MSS. These letters are among J.-B. Say’s papers, and were placed at the disposal of the editor before the war by their owner, M. Edgar Raoul-Duval, of le Havre, a great-grandson of J.-B. Say.

The MSS of Say’s letters to Ricardo are among the Ricardo Papers. A number of them are here published for the first time in the original version3 as they were received by Ricardo.4

III.

Other Correspondents

Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832). At the time of this correspondence Bentham had ceased for some years to be occupied with economic questions and had become absorbed in projects of law reform. When exactly he first met Ricardo is uncertain; but it is clear that it was Mill, with whom both had been acquainted for some time, who introduced them to one another not long after the summer of 1811.1 The letters between them are in the nature of occasional notes and are clearly not part of a continuous correspondence. These, together with other pieces of evidence, give a picture, however, of fairly close personal contact between them over the years, this contact being maintained mainly through Mill. Once, in 1814, Ricardo visited Bentham at Ford Abbey with Say; on occasions, in London he dined with Bentham at his house in Queen Square Place, and they went for walks together, as is shown, for instance, by the allusion in a letter of 1820 to meeting in the Green Park ‘at the usual hour’.2 Bowring records that Bentham used to boast: ‘I was the spiritual father of Mill, and Mill was the spiritual father of Ricardo: so that Ricardo was my spiritual grandson.’3

A few letters exchanged between Ricardo and Bentham have been omitted in these volumes as being of insufficient interest: they concern details of the abortive business of setting up the Chrestomathic School planned by Bentham. This was intended to be an extension to higher (i.e. secondary) education of the Lancaster System, which was a method of instruction based on the teaching of lessons by a master to ‘monitors’, who in turn taught the other pupils. A nation-wide association had been started in 1810, the Royal Lancastrian Association, to which ‘the existing system of popular education in England can be traced directly back’.1 Bentham wrote a plan for a Chrestomathic School and sent it to Ricardo in 1814 to elicit his support, which Ricardo promised to give in the form of a subscription. In 1816 a committee was formed to further the project, with Francis Place as secretary and Ricardo and Mill among its members. In 1817 it was proposed that Ricardo should buy the ground in the centre of Leicester Square and make it available for building the school. Ricardo had almost completed the purchase at a price of £3300,2 when, on hearing that the shopkeepers in the square had threatened legal action to stop any building on this site, he refused to proceed with the purchase rather than become involved in litigation, and the proposal was abandoned. An alternative project was to build the School in Bentham’s garden in Queen Square Place. Prolonged negotiations ensued on the clauses of the lease which Bentham was to grant to the School, negotiations in which Ricardo took part. Bentham, however, became increasingly difficult to satisfy, and no agreement could be reached. This was soon followed by the abandonment of the whole scheme. The committee was wound up in 1821, and the sums contributed were returned to the subscribers.

These fruitless negotiations over a period of six or seven years have left their trace in a number of letters and papers in which Ricardo is concerned. The MSS of these letters are in various places: (i) The British Museum Newspaper Library, Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, ‘Chrestomathic School’ (which includes inter alia the Minutes Book of the Committee of the School); (ii) University College, London, Bentham MSS, case 165; (iii) the Ricardo Papers. Of these letters only those which contain passages referring to other matters have been included in the present volumes (although every letter, if included, has been given in full). All the others are unpublished. It may be convenient to list the letters in which Ricardo is involved, with their location:

Ricardo to Bentham and Mill, 15 July 1814. MS at University College, London. Letter 52 in the present edition. (Promises subscription.)

Ricardo to Place, from Upper Brook St., 5 April 1816. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 11, fol. 2. (Accepts office as a manager of the School.)

Ricardo to Place, from Upper Brook St., 10 July 1816. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 13, fol. 8. (Apologises for being unable to attend a meeting of the committee and announces collection of £1000 for the fund.)

Ricardo to Place, from Gatcomb Park, 7 Aug. 1817. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 14, fol. 4. (Intimates his willingness to buy a piece of ground in the centre of Leicester Square and to lease it to the School.)

Ricardo to Place, from Gatcomb Park, 17 Aug. 1817. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 14, fol. 6. (Announces that he is proceeding with the purchase of the ground in Leicester Square.)

Ricardo to Place, from Gatcomb Park, 18 Sept. 1817. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 14, fol. 8. (Informs him that he has received news from his solicitors ‘that the shopkeepers of the Square are resolved by every means in their power to prevent the Ground being built on’, and that he has replied that unless the right to build was guaranteed he would decline the purchase.)

Bentham to Ricardo, from Queen Square Place, 16 May 1820. MS in R.P. (Asks him for details of a lease of land for a building for the Geological Society, as a precedent for the Chrestomathic School.)

Ricardo to Bentham, from Upper Brook St., 17 May 1820. MS at University College, London. (Replies that the lease to the Geological Society, of which he is one of the trustees, was not of land but of a house.)

Ricardo to Bentham, 18 May 1820. MS at University College, London. Letter 367 in the present edition. (Postpones a meeting.)

Bentham to Ricardo, 17 June 1820. MS in R.P. Letter 369 in the present edition. (Wishes the School to be in his garden so as to be under the inspection of James Mill; refers to the education of J. S. Mill.)

Bentham to Ricardo, from Queen Square Place, 2 July 1820. MS in R.P.; copy at University College, London. (Discusses details of the draft agreement for the lease of his garden for building the School [A letter from Mill to Ricardo which was enclosed is not extant].)

Ricardo to Mill, 3 July 1820. MS at University College, London; a partial copy in Bentham’s handwriting in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 25. Letter 370 in the present edition. (On the draft agreement for the lease, in reply to the missing letter from Mill mentioned under the preceding item.)

Bentham to Ricardo, from Queen Square Place, 6 July 1820. MS in R.P. (Arranging for a meeting of the committee.) Bentham to Ricardo, from Queen Square Place, 7 July 1820. MS in R.P. (Continues discussion of the details of the agreement.)

Ricardo to Place, from Gatcomb Park, 4 Aug. 1821. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 26, fol. 8. (Concerns the winding-up of the committee; expresses anxiety ‘that the money should be divided amongst the subscribers according to their respective claims with as little delay as possible’.)

Place to Ricardo, from London, 21 Sept. 1821. MS in R.P. A postscript concerning Place’s book is quoted below, IX, 58, n. (Sends the final accounts of the School.)

Ricardo to Place, from Gatcomb Park, 23 Sept. 1821. MS in Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 26, fol. 11. (Deals with the winding-up of the fund and repayment to the subscribers.)

In addition to the letters, there is in the Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings, vol. 60, No. 25, a series of observations, in Ricardo’s handwriting, on Bentham’s draft agreement for the lease of his garden for the building of the school; each observation is followed by a reply in Bentham’s handwriting. This paper is undated, but is referred to in Ricardo’s letter to Mill of 3 July 1820 and is clearly contemporary with it.

Maria Edgeworth (1767–1849). At the time of these letters Miss Edgeworth was at the height of her fame as a novelist. When her correspondence with Ricardo begins, we find them on terms of established friendship; and in writing they are accustomed to refer to one another as ‘cousins’.1 In fact, the first letter between her and Ricardo is some weeks after she had been staying, with her two sisters, Fanny and Harriet, at Gatcomb Park in November 1821 as the guests of the Ricardos.2 Yet there is no earlier evidence of their acquaintance than a reference in a letter of Maria Edgeworth to her half-sister Honora of 26 Dec. 1820 (when she was staying with the Smiths3 at Easton Grey), which is franked by Ricardo. ‘Why I asked for a frank at all I cannot tell’ (she writes) ‘except for the honour and glory of having one from David Ricardo. He has been here one whole day and is exceedingly agreeable’.4 In 1822 she was again in London with her sisters; and in her letters home she refers repeatedly to ‘our delightful breakfasts at Mr Ricardos’.5

Both sides of the correspondence with Maria Edgeworth (with the exception of one letter) are among the few letters which had long been known to be in the possession of the Ricardo family at Bromesberrow Place, Ledbury. Ricardo’s side of the correspondence must have been returned to his family after his death by Maria Edgeworth or her heirs. In 1907 the Economic Journal, to which they had been made available, published in its issue of September 1907 extensive extracts from Ricardo’s letters and from two (out of five) of Maria Edgeworth’s. The MSS of these letters are referred to in these volumes as part of the Ricardo Papers.

One letter from Ricardo (letter 502), however, remained among Maria Edgeworth’s papers which are in the possession of her niece, Mrs Harriet J. Butler. This was made available through the kindness of Mrs Butler’s son, Professor H. E. Butler.

Pascoe Grenfell (1761–1838) was one of the leading speakers on financial subjects in the House of Commons. After Ricardo’s entry into Parliament Grenfell often sided with him on economic questions, although he strongly disagreed with the radicalism of Ricardo’s political views. He had a large business in the City as a metal merchant, and his country seat was Taplow House in Buckinghamshire. It was at his suggestion that Ricardo undertook in 1815 to write a pamphlet attacking the policy of the Bank of England, which took shape in Proposals for an Economical and Secure Currency. Most of Grenfell’s letters belong to that period and consist of promptings and information for the proposed pamphlet.1

The letters of Ricardo to Grenfell have not been found, although in 1933 searches were made, at the request of Lord Keynes, by the representatives of the two branches of the Grenfell family (both descended from the eldest son of Pascoe Grenfell): Lord Desborough, of Taplow Court, and Mr E. C. Grenfell, M.P. for the City of London.

George Grote (1794–1871), the historian of Greece, was partner in the banking house of Grote and Prescott. He became acquainted with Ricardo in 1817,2 and through him was introduced to the Benthamite circle.3 We have only a fragment of a letter of Ricardo to him; but he was one of the young students of political economy to whom what John Stuart Mill says of himself (in the passage quoted above, p. xvii) with reference to Ricardo’s kindliness to young persons could well be applied. Like John Mill, Grote used to be invited to Ricardo’s house and to walk and converse on the subject, as it appears from his diary for 1819, of which the following are extracts:1

Tuesday, March 23rd. Rose at 6. Read Kant, and ate a little bread and butter, till ½ past 8, when I went up to Brook Street to breakfast with Mr Ricardo; was very politely received by him; walked with him and Mr Mill in St. James’s Park until near 12, when I went into the City; my mother in town this day. Between 4 and 5 read some more Kant; dined at ½ past 5; wrote out again in the evening some of my remarks upon Foreign trade, and arranged them in a different manner. Bed at 11.

Saturday, March 27th. Rose at 6. Finished my remarks on Foreign trade, and enclosed them to Ricardo. Studied some more of Kant...I read a chapter in Ricardo’s “Pol. Econ.” Bed at 11.

Sunday, March 28th. Rose at ½ past 5. Studied Kant until ½ past 8, when I set off to breakfast with Mr. Ricardo. Met Mr. Mill there, and enjoyed some most interesting and instructive discourse with them, indoors and out (walking in Kensington Gardens), until ½ past 3, when I mounted my horse and set off to Beckenham. Was extremely exhausted with fatigue and hunger when I arrived there, and ate and drank plentifully, which quenched my intellectual vigour for the night. Bed at ½ past 10.’

Grote’s ‘remarks upon Foreign trade’ referred to in the diary can be identified with an unsigned MS essay on the theory of comparative costs which is among the Ricardo Papers. This consists of twelve pages under the title ‘Foreign Trade’: it is in the same handwriting and has the same general appearance as Grote’s papers on political economy in the British Museum,2 which belong to this period.

Francis Horner (1778–1817) had been one of the founders of the Edinburgh Review, and was the chairman of the Bullion Committee in 1810. Ricardo’s first letter to him, which opens this collection, is in the nature of a supplement to his own HighPrice of Bullion.1 It was written a few days after Horner’s motion in the House of Commons which led to the appointment of the Bullion Committee. From the formal style of this letter, it would seem that they were not well acquainted. Subsequently, they must have come into closer contact as active protagonists on the same side of the bullion controversy and owing to the many friends they had in common.

Ricardo’s letters to Horner are in the possession of Lady Langman, a great-granddaughter of Francis Horner’s brother Leonard.

John Murray (1778–1843), the founder of the firm, was Ricardo’s publisher, or ‘bookseller’ as it was then called, first in Fleet Street and after 1812 in Albemarle Street. Of his relations with Ricardo a contemporary says that, as an author, ‘Mr Ricardo never made anything. He gives his works to Murray’.2 That Ricardo claimed no royalties is confirmed by another contemporary, who says that he surrendered the Principles ‘into the hands of his bookseller, without thinking of that remuneration which, in this day, the highest have not been found to despise’.3 In the case of one of his pamphlets, on which he feared that Murray might make a loss, he even insisted on himself bearing any deficiency.4

The MSS of Ricardo’s letters are in the possession of Sir John Murray, the great-grandson of Ricardo’s publisher.

Francis Place (1771–1854), the radical tailor of Charing Cross, organiser of the Westminster Reformers, was a disciple of Bentham and a friend of James Mill; and it was presumably through the latter that he became acquainted with Ricardo. His correspondence with Ricardo turned on two subjects upon which Place had concentrated his efforts, the Sinking Fund and population. When Ricardo was commissioned to write an article on the Funding System in 1819, Mill asked Place to comment on the manuscript, which led to some correspondence between them. Ricardo’s letters on that occasion were first published in the Economic Journal for June 1893.1 In 1821 Place wrote a book in defence of Malthus against Godwin, which Ricardo read in manuscript. On this Ricardo wrote an extensive commentary (letter 451)2 and recommended it to Murray for publication. Some letters between Ricardo and Place on the business of the committee of the proposed Chrestomathic School, which are not included in the present collection, have been described above in the section on Bentham.3

Richard Sharp (1759–1835) was known as ‘Conversation Sharp’ and enjoyed a great reputation in Whig society and in literary circles.4 He was a considerable person in the City, where ‘his interests were divided between the wholesale trade in hats, carried on in Fish St., and a connection with the West Indies— also a family one—which he developed into an extensive and successful business, with its headquarters in Mark Lane.’5 His partners in Mark Lane were Samuel Boddington and George Philips, who were also his intimate friends and are occasionally mentioned in these volumes. He was at various times a member of Parliament, and was Ricardo’s immediate predecessor as member for Portarlington. In 1810 he was a member of the Bullion Committee. Although we have only two of their letters, Sharp appears to have been among Ricardo’s friends since the early years of this correspondence, in which his name constantly recurs.

The papers of Richard Sharp are in the possession of the Hon. Mrs Eustace Hills (Nina L. Kay-Shuttleworth), who in 1933 on the basis of them wrote a biography of Richard Sharp, which has remained unpublished. She has made available Ricardo’s letter and has also kindly lent the MS of her book.

Sir John Sinclair (1754–1835), the first President of the Board of Agriculture on its foundation, was responsible for the Statistical Account of Scotland and wrote a large number of books and pamphlets on finance and many other subjects. In his letters to him Ricardo accedes to requests for his opinion on proposals or publications by Sinclair, but is evidently unwilling to be drawn into prolonged discussion.

The five letters from Ricardo were included in The Correspondence of the Rt. Hon. Sir John Sinclair, Bart., 2 vols., London, Coburn and Bentley, 1831, published in Sinclair’s lifetime. There must have been some further letters; one of them evidently comes between Sinclair’s letters to Ricardo of 19 and 29 Oct. 1814, and a sentence from a later one is quoted by Sinclair’s biographer: ‘“I am favourable to a system of banking in this country similar to that which prevails in Scotland”—Letter from David Ricardo, Esq., 25th March, 1823.’1 The papers of Sir John Sinclair, however, have not been found. His great-grandson, Sir Archibald Sinclair, M.P., has caused a search to be made at Thurso Castle, Caithness, the family seat, without result. John Rae, when he was preparing his Life of Adam Smith, 1895, presumably attempted to trace these papers, in connection with a letter to Sinclair from Adam Smith of which he says that it ‘is no longer extant’ (p. 344).

Thomas Tooke (1774–1858), the economist, was a Russia merchant, being partner of Stephen Thornton, Brothers and Co. He gave evidence to the Committees of 1819 on the Resumption of Cash Payments, and was called by Ricardo as a witness before the Agricultural Committee of 1821, in which connection two of his letters to Ricardo arose. He was, with Ricardo, one of the founders of the Political Economy Club in 1821. Although he is famous as the author of the History of Prices, in Ricardo’s lifetime he only published a first essay, the Thoughts and Details on the High and Low Prices of the Last Thirty Years, 1823.

Tooke’s letters are in the Ricardo Papers. Enquiries were made in 1932 of Tooke’s great-grandsons, Mr F. G. Padwick and Mr J. C. Padwick; but no letters of Ricardo could be found.

Edward Wakefield (1774–1854), father of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and author of An Account of Ireland, Statistical and Political (1812), was a long-standing friend of Mill and Place, and was employed by Ricardo as his land agent. There is a considerable number of his letters from 1815 to 1823 in the Ricardo Papers concerning exclusively the purchase and management of Ricardo’s estates. Of these, four letters have been included in the present correspondence because they deal with the acquisition of a seat in Parliament.

In the case of other correspondents whose interchange with Ricardo was limited to one letter, a brief biographical note is given with the letter or (as in the case of Étienne Dumont, below, p. 18, of John Whishaw, p. 66 and of Lord Grenville, VII, 220) where the name is first mentioned.

IV.

The Letters in the Present Edition

As has been said in section I, these four volumes comprise the letters to and from those persons with whom Ricardo corresponded on subjects of economic or political interest. But once a correspondent has been included, all the extant letters are given, even though some of them may be only of a personal or business character.1

The order in which the letters are arranged is that in which they were written or received by Ricardo. This occasionally diverges from the order of the dates written at the head of each letter, such anomalies arising whenever letters cross in the post or are received after delay. An extreme example is letter 510 from Maria Edgeworth, which, having been written on 9 July 1822, just before Ricardo left for his continental tour, was received by him only on his return in December, and is therefore placed after a letter of November of the same year.

To the heading of each letter there is attached a footnote which gives:

  • (a) the address on the cover whenever this is extant,
  • (b) the location of the original MS, if available,
  • (c) a reference to any previous publication of the letter.

It will be noticed, with regard to (a), that the address is more often given in the case of letters previous to Ricardo’s entry into Parliament in 1819 than in subsequent ones. The reason for this disparity is that, since a lower postage was charged on letters of a single sheet,1 there was a general tendency to write the address on the back of the letter itself, instead of using a separate sheet as cover. In the later period, however, as a member of Parliament, Ricardo had the privilege of ‘franking’ letters and also of receiving them free of postage; there was accordingly no longer any objection to separate covers for the address, and these were liable to be destroyed.

(A person entitled to frank letters had to write the address in his own handwriting, adding the date, with the day and the month spelt out in full, and his signature. A facsimile of this type of letter, franked by Ricardo, will be found at the end of Volume IX. This can be compared with the earlier specimen, before he was in Parliament, which is given at the end of Volume VII.)

Letters here published for the first time are recognizable by the absence of reference to previous publication. Besides, in the Contents and in the Index of Correspondents in each volume such new letters are denoted by an asterisk. In the case of letters which are only partly new, however, the sole indication of this is in the note to the heading of each letter: this applies to letters to Say which appear for the first time in the original English; to letters from Say given for the first time in their original version; to letters to Maria Edgeworth of which only extracts have previously been published; and to variants in drafts hitherto unpublished which are appended in notes to the letters to which they refer.

The heading of each letter gives references to the letter to which it is a ‘reply’ and to the one by which it is ‘answered’, where these exist. The link thus described may cover anything from mere acknowledgement to full discussion of the earlier letter. When a letter is labelled as being the reply to another one, no attempt is made to explain, in footnotes, allusions to events, persons or books which can be clarified by reference to the other letter.

Since the letters are dated by the day of the month, while references in the text of the letters are usually to the day of the week, calendars have been provided in each volume for the respective years (except for 1810, 1812 and 1813 where the number of letters is small).

In nearly every case it has been possible to establish the text on the original MS.1 Letters previously published have been printed from a copy of the earlier edition, corrected by collation with the MS; but no specific mention has been made of any errors in those editions (except in dates) that have been rectified.

In a number of cases it has been necessary to correct or to complete the date as written on the letter (the most common mistakes being in the year, which are apt to occur soon after its beginning). In such instances what seemed to be the correct date has been supplied in square brackets and the grounds for the inference, unless obvious, have been given in footnotes. Where the date at the head of a letter is given in square brackets without any explanation this invariably means that the date was omitted in the MS.

Most alterations in the MS have been described in the editor’s footnotes, and this has been done more fully in the case of Ricardo’s own letters. As in previous volumes, the spelling (even when eccentric), punctuation and abbreviations of the original MS have been retained, except for ‘&’, Mr., Mrs. and Dr. which have been printed as ‘and’, Mr., Mrs. and Dr.

Ricardo’s letters are usually written on quarto-size note-paper and in the later years this is often gilt-edged. After 1814, when he acquired a coat-of-arms, they are fastened with wax impressed

lf0687-06_figure_001.jpg

with one or other of his two seals (here redrawn in the size of the originals from wax impressions on his letters), more frequently the small one with his initials surmounted by the bird crest, and only occasionally the larger one with his full coat-of-arms.

CALENDARS for 1810, 1811, and 18121
1 Calendars for 1810, 1812, and 1813 have been added to the Liberty Fund Edition.]
1810
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 4 11 18 25 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24
M 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 5 12 19 26 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25
Tu 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 6 13 20 27 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26
W 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 7 14 21 28 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27
Th 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 - 1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28
F 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 - 2 9 16 23 30 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29
S 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 3 10 17 24 31 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30
M 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31
Tu 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 -
W 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 -
Th 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 -
F 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 -
S 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 -
1811
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
M - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 -
Tu 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 -
W 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 -
Th 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 -
F 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 -
S 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 -
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
M 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tu 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
W 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25 -
Th 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26 -
F 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27 -
S 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 31 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28 -
1812
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28
M - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29
Tu - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
W 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 -
Th 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 -
F 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 -
S 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 -
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27
M - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28
Tu - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29
W 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30
Th 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31
F 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 -
S 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 -

CALENDARS for 1813, 1814, and 1815
1813
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27
M - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28
Tu - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29
W - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
Th - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 -
F 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 -
S 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 -
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S - 4 11 18 25 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26
M - 5 12 19 26 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27
Tu - 6 13 20 27 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28
W - 7 14 21 28 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29
Th 1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30
F 2 9 16 23 30 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31
S 3 10 17 24 31 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 -
1814
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26
M - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27
Tu - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28
W - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29
Th - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
F - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 -
S 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 -
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25
M - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26
Tu - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27
W - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28
Th - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29
F 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30
S 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31
1815
JAN. FEB. MAR. APRIL MAY JUNE
S 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25
M 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26
Tu 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27
W 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28
Th 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29
F 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30
S 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 -
JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC.
S - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 3 10 17 24 31
M - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 - 4 11 18 25 -
Tu - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 - 5 12 19 26 -
W - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 - 6 13 20 27 -
Th - 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 31 - 7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 - 7 14 21 28 -
F - 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27 - 3 10 17 24 - 1 8 15 22 29 -
S 1 8 15 22 29 - 5 12 19 26 - 2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28 - 4 11 18 25 - 2 9 16 23 30 -

ABBREVIATIONS

R.P. Ricardo Papers (consisting of letters received by Ricardo, and other of his papers, in the possession of Mr Frank Ricardo).
Mill-Ricardo papers The letters and papers of Ricardo that belonged to James Mill, and which passed into the possession of the Cairnes family and Mr C. K. Mill.
‘at Albury’ Papers in the possession of Mr Robert Malthus, of The Cottage, Albury, Surrey.

The following abbreviations are used by Malthus, Mill and Bentham, respectively, in their letters:

  • E.I. Coll., for East India College, Haileybury.
  • E.I. House, for East India House, London.
  • Q.S.P., for Queen Square Place, Westminster.

lf0687-06_figure_002.jpg

Photograph of 56 Upper Brook Street, Grosvenor Square. Ricardo’s London House, 1812-1823.

[1 ]The letters which, from the internal evidence of those extant, can be inferred to be missing do not exceed one-tenth of the total number.

[2 ]‘Robert Malthus’, in Essays in Biography, 1933, p. 137.

[1 ]J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Bk. iii, Chap. xiv, §4; Ashley’s ed., 1909, p. 563.

[2 ]Letter to Trower, 26 Jan. 1818, below, VII, 246.

[1 ]Letter to Malthus, 25 May 1818, below, VII, 263.

[2 ]See below, VII, 182, n. 1.

[3 ]For details on Mill’s post, see below, VIII, 40, n.

[4 ]See letter to Trower, 13 March 1820, below, VIII, 162.

[5 ]Below, p. 137. Four more children were born subsequently; in all four sons and five daughters.

[6 ]Below, VII, 285, 292, 293, n.

[7 ]Below, VIII, 231, and cp. 241, n.

[8 ]Below, IX, 329, 333.

[1 ]Below, IX, 44 and 104, and cp. 48 and 115.

[2 ]Autobiography, 1873, p. 54.

[3 ]What was believed to be ‘a juvenile note by John Stuart Mill’ addressed to Ricardo (Minor Papers, ed. by J. H. Hollander, 1932, p. 229) turns out to be a postscript by James Mill to one of his own letters (see below, IX, 331, n. 3).

[4 ]Two of these (letters 413 and 539), found earlier, were printed in Ricardo’s Minor Papers, ed. by J. H. Hollander, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1932.

[5 ]With the exception of letter 370, which is among the Bentham MSS at University College, London.

[1 ]A parallel is found in the fate of the copy of the first edition of the Principles (1817) which Ricardo presented to James Mill and which is now in the Library of the London School of Economics. It is inscribed (not in Ricardo’s hand) ‘From the Author’, and contains the following note written by Lord Courtney on the inside of the cover: ‘This volume was presented by the author to James Mill, from whom it passed to John Stuart Mill, by whom it was given to John Elliot Cairnes, on whose death I selected it from his books in accordance with his death bed request July 1875 Leonard H. Courtney’.

[2 ]Below, pp. 21 and 24, n. 1. The subject of discussion was Bullion, on which they had been having a ‘controversy in print’, as Malthus calls it in his first letter. On that stage, see above, III, 10–12.

[1 ]Frend will be noticed again, in Volume X, as an early acquaintance of Ricardo.

[2 ]Memorials of Old Haileybury College, by F. C. Danvers and others, Westminster, 1894, p. 199.

[1 ]On the other hand his library (after passing into the possession of his son, the Rev. Henry Malthus) went to the descendants of his sister, Mrs Bray, and in 1949 was presented by Mr R. A. Bray to Jesus College, Cambridge.

[2 ]Letter 454 from Ricardo came only recently to light and was published by Professor Viner in 1933. Letters 12 and 14 have not been previously published.

[3 ]Malthus’s letter 62 was published by Professor Foxwell in the Economic Journal in 1907, and letter 540 was included in Letters to McCulloch, 1895. For the location of the MSS of these separated letters (among them letters 536 and 545, in the Mill-Ricardo papers) see footnotes to the letters.

[1 ]This no doubt arose from Ricardo’s ‘3’ in those cases being written like a broken ‘O’. These are letters 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43. Similar in form, though unimportant, is the misdating of letter 76 as of 10 (instead of 13) Feb.1815.

[2 ]Cp. above, IV, 3.

[3 ]Letter 206. This arose from a slip of the pen in the original MS.

[4 ]Letters 96 and 213.

[1 ]‘The Periodical Press’ in Edinburgh Review, May 1823, p. 369. This article (which is frequently quoted in notes to these volumes) is attributed to William Hazlitt.

[1 ]Except letter 541 which came to light with the Mill-Ricardo papers.

[2 ]See the reminiscent passages in Ricardo’s letter to Trower of 26 Jan. 1818, below, VII, 246.

[3 ]Above, III, 4–5.

[1 ]‘List of the Members of the Stock Exchange from its Establishment in 1802’, compiled by George Webb, Sec., 1855, and Minutes of the Stock Exchange Committee for General Purposes, entry of 6 July 1812 (MSS in the possession of the Stock Exchange; quoted by kind permission of the Secretary).

[2 ]See Trower’s reference to ‘our ordinary course of correspondence’, below, IX, 315.

[3 ]This was George Bellas Greenough, the geologist, a friend of Ricardo and Trower.

[1 ]Of these, two (letters 534 and 547), which had become separated from the rest, were published by Hollander in Ricardo’s Minor Papers, Baltimore, 1932.

[2 ]See below, pp. 156–61.

[3 ]See below, IX, 244 and cp. below, p. 161.

[4 ]See below, VII, 166 and 224–6.

[1 ]See below, IX, 36.

[2 ]Revue Encylopédique, vol. 27, p. 719. Reprinted under the above title in Say’s Œuvres diverses, p. 279.

[3 ]MS in Say’s papers; kindly communicated (with another note quoted below, p. xxvii) by M. Raoul-Duval.

[4 ]Letters from Say to Place, 11 and 27 Nov. 1825 (unpublished MSS in British Museum, Add. 35,153, fols. 229–33).

[1 ]Say to Place, 18 Jan. 1826 (ib. fol. 235). See also letters of 7 March and 5 April 1826 (ib. fols. 236–7) and Say’s letter to Tooke, 14 May 1826 (misdated 1825) in Œuvres diverses, p. 525.

[2 ]See below, p. 273 and IX, 31, n. and 188, n.

[3 ]Say’s letter 356 however, since the MS is not extant, has had to be reprinted from the published version.

[4 ]Exceptions regarding the location of MSS are Ricardo’s letter 108, which is in the Moscow Historical Museum, and Say’s letters 347, which is in the library of Professor Hollander, and 393 which is in the Baker Library of Harvard University. The original versions of letters 446, 496 and 498 and a copy of 488, which were in the bundle of Ricardo Papers found in 1919, were published in Ricardo’s Minor Papers, ed. by J. H. Hollander, Baltimore, 1932.

[1 ]They had not yet met in the winter of 1810–11 when Ricardo at the request of Mill wrote his Notes on Bentham (which have been given in Volume III); nor in August 1811 when Bentham invited Ricardo to take a house near Barrow Green, in Surrey, where he was spending the summer together with Mill: see Ricardo’s first letter, below, p. 46.

[2 ]Below, VIII, 191. Cp. also Bentham’s reference to Ricardo: ‘We used to walk together in Hyde Park, and he reported to me what passed in the House of Commons’. (Quoted in ‘Memoirs of Bentham’, by J. Bowring, in Bentham’s Works, 1843, vol. x, p. 498.)

[3 ]ib. p. 498. Bowring, in his own memoirs written many years later, seems to have confused their relations when, after saying that it was Ricardo who introduced Mill to Bentham, gives Bentham’s dictum as: ‘I begot Ricardo and Ricardo begot Mill’. (Autobiographical Recollections of Sir John Bowring, 1877, p. 68.)

[1 ]Graham Wallas, Life of Francis Place, 1898, p. 93.

[2 ]See letter to Mill of 12 Sept. 1817, below, VII, 190.

[1 ]See below, IX, 240, 274, 295. There is no indication that they were actually related, either directly or through Mrs Ricardo.

[2 ]Her own description of this visit will be given in Volume X.

[3 ]See below, p. 135, n.

[4 ]A Memoir of Maria Edgeworth, by Mrs Edgeworth [her stepmother] ‘Not Published’, London 1867, vol. ii, p. 136. (Much of the material of the Memoir is reproduced in the published Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, ed. by A. J. C. Hare, 2 vols., London, Arnold, 1894.)

[5 ]Letter of 9 March 1822, Memoir, vol. ii, p. 180; and cp. letter dated Feb. 1822, ib. p. 175. See also below, IX, 230.

[1 ]One letter from Grenfell, dated 8 Aug. 1823, which is like the others in the Ricardo Papers, has been by exception omitted since it has no connection with the others and deals purely with the appointment of Ricardo as umpire in connection with the purchase of a process for manufacturing copper.

[2 ]Personal Life of George Grote, by Mrs Grote, London, Murray, 1873, p. 12.

[3 ]J. S. Mill, Autobiography, 1873, p. 72.

[1 ]Personal Life, p. 36–7.

[2 ]Add. MSS. 29, 530.

[1 ]Several passages of the letter were actually embodied in the third edition of the High Price of Bullion.

[2 ]J. L. Mallet, in a diary entry of 14 Jan. 1820, quoted more fully below, VIII, 152, n.

[3 ]Obituary of Ricardo in Windsor Express, Sept. 1823 (by James Hitchings, who had been tutor of Ricardo’s children).

[4 ]Below, VII, 14. On his scruples about accepting payment for his article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, see below, VIII, 242–3.

[1 ]These MSS are in the British Museum, ‘Place Papers’ (a collection which is distinct from the ‘Place Collection of Newspaper Cuttings’, where are the Chrestomathic School letters).

[2 ]The MS of this is in the Seligman Library of Columbia University.

[3 ]A draft letter from Place to Ricardo dated 8 Feb. 1818 and concerned with details of the Finance Account for the previous year has also been omitted as of too little interest in the absence of Ricardo’s side of the discussion (MS in British Museum, Add. 27,836, fol. 90).

[4 ]An appreciation of the character and influence of Sharp, as ‘much more than the diner-out and the town-wit’, is given by John Morley in ‘The Life of James Mill’, Fortnightly Review, 1 April 1882, pp. 496–8.

[5 ]Quoted by permission from Mrs Eustace Hills’ MS book mentioned below.

[1 ]Memoirs of the Life and Works of Sir John Sinclair, by his son, the Rev. John Sinclair, 1837, vol. ii, p. 307, n.

[1 ]Exceptions to this rule have been noted above under Bentham, Grenfell and Wakefield.

[1 ]The postage had to be paid by the recipient, which incidentally helps to explain the occasional tone of apology by a writer for any un-usual frequency in his letters.

[1 ]In the few cases where the original MS has not been available, this can be inferred from the relevant footnotes.

Last modified April 10, 2014