Three Tracts on the Corn-Trade and Corn-Laws . . . To Which is Added, A Supplement, Containing Several Papers and Calculations which Tend to Explain and Confirm what is Advanced in the Foregoing Tracts. [Bound with:] Observations and Examples to Assist Magistrates in Setting the Assize of Bread made of Wheat . . .
Place and Imprint: London: Printed for the Author, and Sold by J. Brotherton, 1766 [&] London: Printed for J. Brotherton, 1766.
Edition: First combined edition, printing two previously published works (of 1758 and 1759), bound with a third that was also first published in 1759.
Bibliographical References: Cf. Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature 10183 and ESTC T50306 & T50307 for Three Tracts; cf. Goldsmiths' 10197 & ESTC T41717 for Observations and Examples.
Condition: Some light foxing; edges a little rubbed; very good copy.
Book ID: 28046
Physical Description8vo, 2 vols in 1, later straight-grain black morocco, marbled endpapers, gilt rules and lettering, a.e.g.
Comments¶ A famous treatise by mill owner Charles Smith (1713-1777) of Croydon, Surrey, on the corn trade. Smith's Tracts were the first attempt to accurately describe the causes of the dearth of corn in the marketplace in 1756-57, for which farmers, millers, bakers, middlemen and speculators were blamed. "Smith's response was to write A Short Essay on the Corn Trade and Corn Laws (1758), which argued that the scarcity had been in the main a real one, occasioned by deficient harvests in the west and north-west parts of England over the preceding three or four years and a general shortfall in the harvest of 1756, and defended as legitimate the actions of the middlemen. This work attracted much attention and praise—David Hume wrote an admiring preface for the Edinburgh edition—and was followed by a second work of 'considerations on the corn laws' (1759), which was privately circulated. In 1766 both these works were reprinted with additional material as Three Tracts on the Corn-Trade and Corn-Laws" - DNB online. The second treatise bound with Three Tracts is anonymous, but has been attributed to Sir James Sanderson and Alderman Dickinson. This copy is from the library of Charles Smith's descendants and possibly sheds light on that attribution: on the front paste-down are two bookplates of the Smith family (one, alas, over the other one) and on the verso of the second blank is the inscription "This Book was written by my great-grandfather, Charles Smith . . . S.C. Spencer-Smith."
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