A new discourse of trade, wherein is recommended several weighty points relating to companies of merchants. The act of navigation. Naturalization of strangers. And our woolen [sic] manufactures. The balance [sic] of trade. And the nature of plantations, and their consequences in relation to the kingdom, are seriously discussed. Methods for the employment and maintenance of the poor are proposed. The reduction of interest of money to 4 l. per Centum, is recommended. And some proposals for erecting a court of merchants for determining controversies, relating to maritime affairs, and for a law of transference of bills of debts, are humbly offered.

London, T. Sowle, 1698.

Small 8vo, pp. [xlviii], 238; a very good copy in contemporary panelled sprinkled calf, spine gilt, extremities worn with some loss, upper joint cracked, lower joint starting, all edges speckled red; blind stamps to the preliminary leaves and bookplate of the Macclesfield library to the front pastedown.


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Third edition with this title. The work first appeared as a short pamphlet in 1668 (Brief observations concerning trade, and interest of money); this was considerably expanded in the second edition of 1690 (A discourse of the nature, use, and advantages of trade) and reprinted in 1693, 1694 and 1698 with the title: A new discourse.

Child was one of the most influential mercantilist authors of the seventeenth century, and his New discourse retained the attention of economists throughout the eighteenth. His ‘main purpose was to advocate the reduction of the legal rate of interest from six per cent to four per cent. He contended that a high rate of interest hindered the growth of trade, encouraged idleness and luxury, and discouraged navigation, industry, arts and invention’ (DNB). He also urged deregulation of the cloth industry.

‘The argument in the “New Discourse”, to show that colonies do not depopulate the mother country, is as conclusive as if it had proceeded from the pen of Mr. Malthus; and the reasoning in defence of the naturalization of the Jews discovers a mind greatly superior to existing prejudices’ (McCulloch, p. 42).

Bowyer 7 (The Library, ser. 5, XI (1956), 95-102); Carpenter V(4), Goldsmiths’ 3486; Kress 2070; Wing C 3862; see Joyce O. Appleby, Economic thought and ideology in seventeenth-century England, pp. 88-95, and Eli F. Hecksher, Mercantilism (many references).

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