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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitlePolitical Economy Club
Extent15 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Political Economy Club was founded in 1821 to support the principles of free trade. The prime mover for the formation of the society appears to have been Thomas Tooke (1774-1858), economist, perhaps at the instigation of David Ricardo. The first meeting, on 18 April 1821, took place at the house of Swinton Holand, a partner in Baring and Co, and James Mill was given the task of preparing a draft set of rules for consideration. The first full meeting of the club took place on 30 April at the Freemason's Tavern.
From the beginning the club was composed mainly of businessmen, followed by politicians, civil servants and professional economists. Each meeting was to discuss 'some doubt or question on some topic of political economy' and no official record was kept of the discussion. At first the rules of the Club stated that the remarks of the opening and subsequent speakers should not be written down, although later on opening speakers were allowed to circulate a printed synopsis of their argument. Eventually the practise of reading a written paper became the norm.
The Political Economy Club continues to meet to the present day.
DescriptionPapers of the Political Economy Club, including minute book, 1821-1824, with loose handwritten minutes by James Mill, 1821; minute book 1911-1919; membership records, c1920s-1960s; nominations book, 1917-1927; Sydney Caine's files as secretary, 1958-1968; secretary's files, 1927-1929, 1966, 1969 and 1973-1976; typescript copies of speeches, correspondence and other documents relating to the Political Economy Club, 1883-1897; treasurer's files, 1959-1965, 1967-1984 and 1985-1989; bank correspondence, 1975-1988; accounts and balance sheets, 1927-1949; correspondence re printing, 1977-1979; correspondence files, 1914-1951; lists of members, 1977-1985; bank book, 1924-1932; membership subscription papers, 1966-1967; minutes of centenary meeting, 1921; rules, 1917-1976, with printed membership lists, notices of membership nominations and ephemera; correspondence, c1830s; printed volumes relating to the Club's history.
Publication Note'Political Economy Club: minutes of proceedings, 1821-1955' in several volumes.
Access StatusOpen
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the depositor
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