William Newmarch

(1820—1882) economic statistician

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Newmarch was born in Thirsk, Yorkshire on 28 January 1820 and died in Torquay, Devon on 23 March 1882. Although he had little formal education and was mainly self-educated, he eventually became Thomas tooke’s disciple and collaborator, as well as a prominent figure in the City (being manager from 1862 onwards in the banking house of Glyn, Mills, Currie & Co.) and in the Royal Statistical Society (of which he became president in 1869). Newmarch was the inventor of the Economist index number and the compiler of the Annual Commercial History, which the Economist began to publish in 1863. He married in his mid-twenties, while he was second cashier in the banking house of Leatham, Tew & Co. of Wakefield and on the verge of becoming a journalist on the staff of the Morning Chronicle. Newmarch was duly elected (1852) to the Political Economy Club (of which he was for several years treasurer), and, as a propounder of the ideas of Tooke and fullarton, was very active in the debate on the Bank Act of 1844. He ‘was voluble and often excited in discussion and it was curious to watch the blood colouring his temples and forehead as his vehemence developed’ (Political Economy Club 1921: 327). After his death, a sum of £1,420 14s was devoted to the foundation of the Newmarch professorship of economic science and statistics at University College, London.


From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.

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