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The Principles of Money applied to the present state of the Coin of Bengal. Being an Inquiry Into the Methods to be Used for Correcting the Defects of the Present Currency; for Stopping the Drains which Carry Off the Coin; and for Extending Circulation by the Means of Paper Credit. Composed for the Use of the Honourable the East India Company.
London: No publisher, 1772 - Quarto (221 × 170 mm). Rebound in quarter calf with black morocco label, marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt, top edge stained blue. A fine copy. An interleaved copy, with occasional notes written in pencil. Small library stamp partly erased at foot of title. First edition. This tripartite essay was written on behalf of the East India Company by the Edinburgh-born and educated economist Sir James Steuart of Coltness and Westshield (1713-1780). Steuart spent his middle years on the continent where he became acquainted with Mercier de la Rivière, Montesquieu and Mirabeau, and observed at first hand the economic policies of France, Italy, Germany and Spain. His best-known work, An Enquiry into the Principles of Political Economy, was published in London in 1767. After receiving a royal pardon for treason in 1771, Steuart's name was brought to the attention of the East India Company, as a result of which he "was invited to comment upon the currency problems in Bengal. He stayed in London for the three months (May to July) it needed to prepare the report, which falls into three parts: on coinage, the causes of the scarcity of coin, and methods for expanding paper credit. The essay was published in 1772 as the Principles of Money Applied to the State of the Coin in Bengal"(ODNB). The directors called for Steuart's report at a time when "there was a feeling that Bengal was too much for the Company to handle in 1772 the Company was on the verge of bankruptcy. The millionaire 'Nabobs', grown fat in its service, would not come to its aid. The Company was obliged to seek a loan from the Government" (Gardner, The East India Company, p. 105). Goldsmiths' 10919; Higgs 5522; Kress 6904. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2015-06-17           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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