Science and Policy in the Restoration

Ted McCormick

in William Petty

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547890
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720529 | DOI:
Science and Policy in the Restoration

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This chapter looks at Petty's continuing scientific work and growing interest in economic and social questions between the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy and his invention of political arithmetic roughly a decade later. Discussing two new influences — the political theorist James Harrington and the pioneer of statistical demography, John Graunt — it traces Petty's application to political economy of a language of ‘natural policy’ rooted in a Baconian understanding of the art–‐nature relationship but congruent with contemporary economic writing about the relationship between policy and natural situation. It also examines his role in the early Royal Society, especially through the ‘History of Trades' program and his ‘Double Bottom’ (twin‐hulled) ship, and his attempts to secure either Society support or royal patronage for his work.

Keywords: restoration; Royal Society; political economy; demography; statistics; James Harrington; John Graunt; Double Bottom; history of Trades

Chapter.  19828 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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