Correspondence relating to Ricardo's investments and estates.
RICARDO, David, 1772-1823, economist
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Administrative / Biographical History
David Ricardo, 1772-1823, was born in London, the third son of a Portuguese Jewish family that had moved to London from Amsterdam. After attending school in London, Ricardo was sent to Amsterdam for two years, probably to continue his education at the Talmud Tora. On his return to London he was educated under private instruction until his father took him into his business on the Stock Exchange. He showed great talent on the Stock Exchange and when his marriage to Priscilla Wilkinson caused a rift with his family and a severance from the family business, many members of the Stock Exchange promised him their support. Ricardo became a very successful contractor, bidding on behalf of the Stock Exchange for the successive government loans issued to finance the Napoleonic War. This culminated in a final loan of 36 million four days before the battle of Waterloo. From 1814, Ricardo progressively retired from his business, and in 1819 he entered the House of Commons as a member for Portarlington. His first published writing on economics appeared in 1809, and consists of three letters to the Morning Chronicle on the price of gold. His first pamphlet, 'The High Price of Bullion', was published in 1810, and it was at this time that his correspondence with James Mill commenced. His correspondence with Malthus starts in 1811. Ricardo published a number of pamphlets between 1811 and 1816, and 'Principles of Political Economy' in 1817. He continued to write and publish pamphlets to the end of his life.
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This appears to have come from the section of the Ricardo papers labelled 'Crosse-Wakefield' described in volume 10, page 390 of 'The works and Correspondence of David Ricardo', edited by Piero Sraffa, and published by the Royal Economic Society, Cambridge 1955.
Described in volume 10, page 390 of 'The works and Correspondence of David Ricardo', edited by Piero Sraffa, and published by the Royal Economic Society, Cambridge 1955.