Smith, Sir Thomas: Economic treatise

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume entitled 'Polices to reduce this Realme of Englande unto a prosperus wealthe and Estate', with a dedicatory epistle to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, possibly written by Sir Thomas Smith in 1549 (as suggested by John Strype in his Life of Sir Thomas Smith , 1698). Catalogued by Reginald Rye, Goldsmith's Librarian of the University of London, as the original manuscript.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Smith was born in 1513. He studied at Queen's College, Cambridge University, gaining an MA in 1533. He was created Regius Professor of Civil law and Vice-Chancellor at Cambridge University in 1544. Created Secretary of State in 1548, Smith was knighted the same year. He was Ambassador to France, 1562-1566, and was later readmitted to the Privy Council, 1571, and reappointed Secretary of State, 1572. Smith died in 1577. Publications: An Old Mould to cast New Lawes (1643); De Republica Anglorum (1583); De recta & emendata Linguae Graecae pronuntiatione (1568); De recta & emendata Linguae Anglicae Scriptione (1568); The Authority, form, and manner of holding Parliaments; Sir Thomas Smithes Voiage and Entertainment in Rushia (N. Butter: London, 1605).


Single item.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

Papers relating to Sir Thomas Smith include: Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, holds records relating to the attempted colonisation of the Ards in Ulster, 1572-1577; the British Library, London, has miscellaneous papers and correspondence (Ref: Harleian MSS, Cotton MSS), an autobiography, 1513-1560 (Ref: Sloane MS Lat 235), and a journal of occurrences in France, 1564-1566 (Ref: Add MS 35831); the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, contains copies of correspondence and papers, 1551-1572 (Ref: Adv MS 33 3 11).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

The manuscript was written and presented to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, in 1549, possibly by Sir Thomas Smith. It was sold by Baker and Leigh in 1776 as part of the collection of Richard Blyke, Deputy Auditor of the Imprest, by whom it may possibly have been found in the Exchequer (cf Reginald Rye Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Autograph Letters in the University Library , 1921). Purchased in 1841 by George Chalmers at the sale of Gustavus Brander's Library, it was later sold to Herbert Somerton Foxwell at the Sotheby's sale of the library of William Horatio Crawford of Lakelands, 16 March 1891.


Tudor Economic Documents (ed) Richard Henry Tawney and Eileen Power (Longmans and Co, London, 1924).


Geographical Names