Political Arithmetic in Circulation

Ted McCormick

in William Petty

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547890
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720529 | DOI:
Political Arithmetic in Circulation

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter offers a detailed reconstruction of Petty's manuscript circulation network, based on the evidence of his manuscripts and his own and others' correspondence. Manuscript circulation was essential to political arithmetic's ambitions, and over the course of his career Petty constructed a network of friends, contacts, and political patrons in England and Ireland who might either implement his ideas or give him an office from which to implement them himself. These ranged from friends like Robert Southwell, Robert Wood, and Samuel Pepys to patrons such as the Earls of Essex and Tyrconnell, the Duke of Ormond, and Kings Charles II and James II. At the heart of the book's argument for shifting our attention from Petty's printed works to his manuscripts, this chapter reinforces the foregoing revision of political arithmetic's significance and reception, and affords a unique view of how ‘scribal publication’ could work.

Keywords: manuscript circulation; reception; network; patronage; politics; Ireland; England

Chapter.  12198 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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