Papers on money, interest,
and trade (1692-1696)

Locke returned to England in 1689, a man aged 56 and in indifferent health. Because of his connection with Shaftesbury and his contacts with Whig exiles in Holland, he was acquainted with a number of figures in the government of William III. He was offered several diplomatic posts, which he declined; he did accept a modest post as Commissioner of Appeals. His health would not allow him to remain in London during the winter, and in 1690 he found a comfortable retreat at Oates, the Essex estate of Sir Francis Masham and his lady, Damaris Cudworth Masham, daughter of the Cambridge Platonist, Ralph Cudworth. From Oates, Locke carried on a correspondence with Members of Parliament and government officials. He built up a small “connection” in Parliament, called “The College,” consisting of his friends Edward Clarke and John Freke. Sir John Somers, a rising Whig lawyer and later Lord Keeper, had connections with this group and sought Locke’s advice on a number of issues.

Two issues were of particular interest to Locke. One involved government censorship. In 1695, the Licensing Act expired; Locke and the College were active (and successful) in preventing its renewal.1 The other area in which Locke was active was trade and financial policy. Two somewhat related issues were being raised: the legal rate of interest and the sorry state of the English coinage. On the first Locke had already formulated his views in 1668, in a memorandum to Shaftesbury arguing against Sir Josiah Child’s suggestion that the legal rate of interest be lowered (published in 1963; see Locke #965). In the early 1690’s, Child was still urging his case and the London merchants were supporting him. At the same time, there was concern about the value of English coins. In the seventeenth century, this was a matter of private enterprise, for anyone with the proper tools could “clip” gold or silver from coins. English coins were is such a poor state that they were no longer accepted at face value, but only by weight. The government desired to replace these old coins with new, milled ones and needed to determine standard values (how much precious metal should be used).

Locke had strong feelings on both issues. He felt that interest rates could not effectively be fixed by law, but must be determined by the market. Likewise, the value of money could not be set at a value above the market value of their metal content. When bills to alter the rate of interest and the standard value of the coinage were introduced in 1691, Locke revised his 1668 memorandum and published it as Some consideration of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money. In a letter to a Member of Parliament [Somers]. The monetary crisis continued. A lively pamphlet debate took place,2 and there were more proposals for revaluation. Locke wrote his “Short observations on a printed paper” (1695) in response to one of them. In November 1695, a particularly influential proposal appeared, written by William Lowndes, Secretary to the Treasury, and published by order of the Treasury Commission. Somers urged Locke to reply in haste, before Lowndes’ recommendations could be accepted by the government. Locke’s Further considerations concerning raising the value of money appeared before the end of the year, with a signed dedication to Somers. The book shows the effects of haste; no less than eight variant states embodying numerous corrections have been identified.3 The debate continued. Locke’s views were attacked in print but he did not reply. In the end, his views prevailed; in 1696 the coinage was recalled and new coins were issued at the old standard value. As a member of the new Board of Trade, Locke played a major role in the decision.4

_________________________

1 Locke’s memoranda on the subject have been published as an appendix to vol. 5 of his correspondence [Locke #847]; the events are described by R. Asbury, “The renewal of the Licensing Act in 1693 and its lapse in 1695” (1978)

2 Described by K. Horsefield, British monetary experiments 1650-1710 (1960). – Includes a bibliography of contemporary works.

3 For a description of these variants, see P. Kelly, “A note on Locke’s pamphlets on money” (1969)

4 P. Laslett, “John Locke, the Great Recoinage, and the origins of the Board of Trade, 1695-1698” (1957). – For Locke’s work on the Board of Trade, see below.

[490]

[Child, J.] Brief observations concerning trade, and interest of money (1668)

[491]

[Child, J.] A discourse about trade, wherein the reduction of interest of money to 4 l. per centum, is recommended … (1690)

Reprinted in 1693 as A new discourse of trade …

[492]

C., R. A letter to a friend concerning usury (1690)

[493]

[North, D.] Discourses upon trade (1691)

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.

 494

Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest, and raising the value of money. In a letter to a Member of Parliament [i.e. Sir John Somers]. London, printed for Awnsham and John Churchill, … 1692. [8], 192 p. 8o.

Prefatory letter dated Nov. 7. 1691.

Three variant states: one without an errata leaf; one with an errata leaf with 11+ lines; one with an errata leaf with 19+ lines.

Y 155; C 23; Wing L2760; H&L 1797, 1790

Facsimile published as vol. 1 of Locke #496+.

 495

Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest, and raising the value of money. In a letter sent to a Member of Parliament, 1691. The second edition corrected. London, printed for Awnsham and John Churchil, … 1696. [8], 192 p. 8o.

Includes a postscript signed “John Lock.”

This edition also issued in Several papers … (1696) [Locke #504]

Y 156; C 23; Wing L2761

 496

“Essay on interest and value of money.” // IN: The principles of political economy : with sketch of the rise and progress of the science / by J.R. McCulloch. Essay on interest and value of money / by John Locke. – London : A. Murray, 1870. – p. 220-360.

Reprinted in 1872 and in [1878?] by Ward, Lock.

C 24, 120

  —

Included in Ward, Lock’s Essays (1883?) [Locke #865] and Works (1899?) [Locke #866].

New

*496+

Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money : in a letter to a member of Parliament. – Düsseldorf : Wirtschaft und Finanzen, 1993. – 2 vol. (192, 191 p.) – (Klassiker der Nationalökonomie)

Contents: Vol. 1. Facsimile of the 1692 edition – Vol. 2. Kommentarband herausgegeben von Wolfram Engels, Karl D. Grüske, Herbert Hax, Bertram Schefold mit Beiträgen von Hans Christoph Binswanger, Walter Eltis, Bertram Schefold und Karen I. Vaughn.

ISBN 3-8788-1078-4.

Unverified.

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Selections.

 497

A treatise of raising our coin, taken out of a book written by Mr. J. Lock, entituled, Some considerations of the consequences of lowering of interest, and raising the value of money. Printed in the second volume of his Works, in folio. London: printed for William Churchill … 1718. 47, [1] p. 8o.

Y 157; C 23

 498

Defence of the standard” / John Locke. // IN: Money and banking in England : the development of the banking system, 1694-1914 / [compiled by] B.L. Anderson and P.L. Cottrell. – Newton Abbot : David & Charles, ©1974. – (David & Charles sources for social & economic history). – p. 110-116.

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Chinese.

*498A

论降低利息和提高货币价值的后果 / 约翰・洛克著 ; 徐式谷译. – 第1版. – 北京 : 商務印书馆, 2009. – (汉译世界学术名著丛书珍藏本)

Lun xiang di li xi he ti gao huo bi jia zhi de hou guo / Yuehan Luoke zhu ; Xu Shigu yi. – Di 1 ban. – Beijing : Shang wu yin shu guan, 2009. – 2, 5, 144 p. – (Han yi shi jie xue shu ming zhu cong shu zhen cang ben)

ISBN 978-7-100-06367-8.

Unverified.

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Italian.

 499

Considerazioni sulle conseguenze della riduzione dell’interesse / John Locke ; a cura di Francesco Fagiani. – Bologna : Cappelli, 1978. – 160 p.

For Fagiani’s introduction, see entry in Chapter 8.

LNL 10:7

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Japanese.

  —

A Japanese translation of Some considerations … was included in Locke #508.

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Spanish.

  —

A Spanish translation of Some considerations … was included in Locke #508+.

Locke, J.   Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest and raising the value of money.   Portuguese.

New

*499A

Considerações sobre as consequências da redução do juro / John Locke ; Walter R. P. Paixão (tradução, introdução e notas). – São Paulo : Humanitas, 2005. – 186 p. – (Filosofia e economia)

ISBN 8598292362.

Unverified.

[500]

[Anonymous]. For encouraging the coining of silver money in England, and after for keeping it here (1692/93)

Possibly written by Sir Thomas Neale, Master of the Mint.

Locke, J.   Short observations on a printed paper ….

 501

Short observations on a printed paper, intituled, For encouraging the coining silver money in England, and after for keeping it here. London, printed for A. and J. Churchill, … 1695. 24 p. 8o.

Y 158; C 24; Wing L2758

New

501A

Short observations on a printed paper, intituled, For encouraging the coining silver money in England, and after for keeping it here. London, printed for A. and J. Churchill, … 1696. 24 p. 8o.

Included in Several papers … (1696) [Locke #504]

Y 159; Wing L2759; H&L 1789

[501B]

[Lowndes, W.] A report containing An essay for the amendment of the silver coins. (1695)

Locke, J.   Further considerations concerning the raising the value of money.

 502

Further considerations concerning raising the value of money. Wherein Mr. Lowndes’s arguments for it in his late Report concerning An essay for the amendment of the silver coins, are particularly examined. London, printed for A. and J. Churchil …, MDCXCV [1695]. [16], 111, [1] p. 8o.

Dedication to Somers signed “John Locke.”

This edition exists in two states: one with 6+ lines of errata on the final page; the other with 8 lines of errata.

Y 160; C 23; Wing L2745; H&L 1788

 503

Further considerations concerning raising the value of money. Wherein Mr. Lowndes’s arguments for it in his late Report concerning An essay for the amendment of the silver coins, are particularly examined. The second edition corrected. London, printed for A. and J. Churchil …, MDCXCV [1695]. [16], 111, [3] p. 8o.

This edition exists in two issues; both use sheets of gatherings A and H from the first edition; one issue has a new setting of gatherings B-G; the other uses sheets of gathering F from the first issue, but has a new setting of gatherings B-E and G; in the second issue a number of leaves are usually cancels.

This edition frequently found as part of Several papers … (1696) [Locke #504]

Y 161; C 23; Wing L2746

New

503A

Further considerations concerning raising the value of money. Wherein Mr. Lowndes’s arguments for it in his late Report concerning An essay for the amendment of the silver coins, are particularly examined. The second edition corrected. London, printed for A. and J. Churchil … 1696. [16], 112 p. 8o.

The edition statement is in black-letter type; consists of new settings of gatherings A, F and H, with the remaining gatherings consisting of sheets of the previous edition.

This edition usually found as part of Several papers … (1696) [Locke #504]

Y 162; Wing L2746A

Locke, J.   Further considerations concerning raising the value of money.  Japanese.

  —

A Japanese translation of Further considerations … was included in Locke #508.

Locke, J.   Further considerations concerning raising the value of money.  Spanish.

  —

A Spanish translation of Further considerations … was included in Locke #508+.

Locke, J.   Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c.

Rev.

 504

Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c. Writ upon several occasions, and published at different times. By John Locke Esq; London: printed for A. & J. Churchill, …, 1696. [2], [4], 192, 11, [1], 112, 24 p. 8o.

Made up of a title page plus sheets of Some considerations … (1696) [Locke #495], Short observations … (1695) [Locke #501 or #501A] and Further considerations … (1696) [Locke #503 or #503A]; these same works are also found bound together without the Several papers title page.

Another issue: … By Mr. John Locke, …

Y 163; C 24; Wing L2757; H&L 1792

  —

Locke’s papers on money were included in the collected edition of his Works (1714) [Locke #848] and in all subsequent editions.

 505

Locke on money : an edition of John Locke's three pamphlets on money published in the 1690’s … / by Patrick Hyde Kelly. – Thesis (Ph.D.)–Cambridge University (Peterhouse College), 1973. – vii, 394, [33] leaves + 1 volume (various pagings).

The 2nd volume contains Kelly’s critical edition of Several papers …

Locke on Money

Rev.

 506

Locke on money / John Locke ; edited, together with ancillary manuscripts, an introduction, critical apparatus, and notes by Patrick Hyde Kelly. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1991. – 2 vol. (xv, 664 pages). – (The Clarendon edition of the works of John Locke)

ISBN 978-0-19-824546-9 (vol. 1); 978-0-824837-8 (vol. 2)

Includes “General introduction”; “Textual introduction” (pages 122-158) and “Checklist of printings” (pages 159-162); critical editions of Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest (pages 203-342), Short observations on a printed paper (pages 343-359), and Further considerations concerning raising the value of money (pages 399-481); the early writings on interest: “Some of the consequences that are like to follow upon lessening of interest to 4 per cent.” (pages 167-202); four papers relating to the currency crisis, 1695: “Guineas” (pages 363-364), “A paper given to Sir William Trumbull” (pages 365-373), “Propositions sent to the Lords Justices” (pages 374-380) and “Answer to my Lord Keepers queries” (pages 381-397); four unpublished papers: “Trade” (pages 485-486), “For a generall naturalization” (pages 487-492), “Labor” (pages 498-495) and “Venditio” (pages 496-500); a transcript of the final manuscript draft of Some considerations (pages 503-612); and Thomas Neale’s For encouraging the coining of silver money in England (pages 613-616)

LNL 22:9

Locke, J.   Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c.  French.

New

*506+

Écrits monétaires / John Locke ; traduction de Florence Briozzo ; direction scientifique d’André Tiran. — Paris : Classiques Garmier, 2011. — lxxix, 379 p. — (Écrits sur l’économie. Série 1 ; 1)

English and French text on facing pages.

ISBN 978-2-812-40272-2.

Unverified.

Locke, J.   Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c.  Italian.

 507

Ragionamenti sopra la moneta[,] l’interesse del danaro[,] la finanze e il commercio Scritti e pubblicati in diverse occasioni dal signor Giovanni Locke[.] Tradotti la prima volta dall’inglese con varie annotazioni. In Firenze MDCCLI [1751]. Appresso Andrea Bonducci. 2 vol. (XXXIII, [1], 189, [1] p.; XXIII, [1], 316, [2], 116 p., fold. plate) 4o.

Dedicatory epistle signed: Gio. Francesco Pagnini, Angelo Tavanti; vol. 2 contains “Saggio sopra il giusto pregio delle cose[,] la giusta valuta della moneta e sopra il commercio dei romani ”; by Pagnani; the plate is “Tavola della bontà peso e valuta” attributed to Newton.

Y 164

Locke, J.   Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c.  Japanese.

*508

[Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest, and raising the value of money, 1692 ; and, Further considerations … 1695 / John Locke ; translated by Shoji Tanaka and Hiroshi Takemoto. – Tokyo, 1978. – xii, 386 p.]

LNL 10:7

Locke, J.   Several papers relating to money, interest and trade, &c.  Spanish.

New

*508+

Escritos monetarios / John Locke ; estudio preliminar, Victoriano Martín ; traducción, María Olaechea. – Madrid : Ediciones Pirámide, ©1999. – 262 p. – (Colección Clásicos de la economía)

Includes translations of: Some considerations of the consequences of the lowering of interest … and Further considerations …

ISBN 84-368-1295-6.

Unverified.

[509]

[Anonymous]. A letter humbly offer’d to the consideration of all gentlemen, yoemen, citizens, freeholders, &c. that have right to elect members to serve in Parliament (1696)

[510]

[Anonymous]. A review of the universal remedy for all diseases incident to coin (1696)

[511]

[Anonymous]. Some considerations about the raising of coin (1696)

[512]

Barbon, N. A discourse concerning coining the new money lighter (1696)

[513]

Temple, R. Some short remarks upon Mr. Lock’s book, in answer to Mr. Lounds, and several other books and pamphlets concerning coin (1696)

[514]

[Harris, E.] Decus & tutamen: or, Our new money as now coined, in full weight and fineness; proved to be for the honour, safety, and advantage of England. Written by way of answer to Sir Richard Temple and Dr. Barbon. … (1696)

Defends Locke against the criticisms of Temple and Barbon.

[515]

S., J. “Some additional remarks and observations relating to coin and trade.” // IN: Select observations of the incomparable Sir Walter Raleigh, relating to trade, commerce, and coin … (1696)

[516]

H., P. The Bank of England, and their present method of paying, defended from the aspersions cast on them in a late book, entituled, A review of the universal remedy for all diseases incident to coin … (1697)

[517]

[Layton, H.] Observations concerning money and coin, and especially those of England. (1697)

[518]

[Law, J.] Money and trade considered, with a proposal for supplying the nation with money. (1705)

[519]

[Anonymous]. Sir Thomas Colepeper’s tracts concerning usury reprinted. Shewing its biting quality on the private and publick. With some animadversions on the writings of Dr. Lock, on that subject. (1708)

[520]

[Anonymous]. An attempt to show how far the land and trade of England are affected by usury, and might be inprov’d by reducing the legal interest of our money from 6 to 4 per cent. [1712?]

Against Locke.

Editions of Boyle (1692-1693)

Locke’s longtime friend and colleague Robert Boyle died on December 31, 1691. At that time, Locke had been involved in editing the manuscript of Boyle’s General history of the air, a pioneer work in meteorology, which included observations from several contributors. Locke included his own weather registers. The book was sent to the printers in June 1692 and appeared the following January. Boyle had left instructions that Locke and two other physicians were to examine his papers and publish anything appropriate. The only definite result was a second volume of Medicinal experiments, which was published in 1693. Locke’s involvement with Boyle is described in: M. A. Stewart, “Locke’s professional contacts with Robert Boyle” (1981).

 521

The general history of the air, designed and begun by the Honble Robert Boyle Esq; Imprimatur. Robert Southwell, June 29. 1692. … London, printed for Awnsham and John Churchill, … MDCXCII [1692]. xii, 259, [1] p. 4o.

Edited by Locke. Includes several letters from Locke and “A register [of the weather] kept by Mr. Locke in Oxford,” 24 June 1666-30 June 1683 (p. 104-132); for Locke’s register for 1692, see Locke #23. Much of the manuscript material is in MS. Locke c. 37; the original manuscript of the weather register is in MS. Locke d. 9, pp. 531-471 rev.

Later included in The works of the honourable Robert Boyle (1744); and in The works of Robert Boyle / edited by Michael Hunter and Edward B. Davis. Volume 12, Posthumous publications, 1692-1744. – London : Pickering & Chatto, 2000. – p. 3-159. – Locke’s weather register is on p. 70-89.

For Locke’s role in Boyle’s meteorological research, see Dewhurst, “Locke’s contribution to Boyle’s researches on the air and on human blood” (1962)

Y 276; C 13; Wing B3981; H&L 460

  —

In the Clarendon edition [Locke #861], the “Advertisement” and the weather register will be included with Locke’s Writings on medicine and natural philosophy [Locke #931].

 522

Medicinal experiments: or, A collection of choice and safe remedies, for the most part simple, and easily prepared: useful in families, and very seviceble [sic] to country people. By the Honourable R. Boyle, Esq; … The second volume. Containing about three hundred receipts, published from the author's original manuscripts, and by him recommended to the care of his executors, and to be perused by some of his learned friends. Together with a large preface, written by the author’s own hand. London: printed for S. Smith, and B. Walford. 1693. [24], 192 p. 12o.

Selected and arranged by Locke.

H&L 459; Wing B3990