Postlethwayt was born around 1707, probably the son of Matthew Postlethwayt, vicar of Shottesham, rector of Denham and later archdeacon of Norfolk, and died in London on 13 September 1767. It is generally accepted that he is the older brother of James postlethwayt, the collector of statistics and historian of taxation. Other details of his life are obscure, but it is known that he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1734. Postlethwayt spent more than twenty years compiling The Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, first published in 1751, the most famous of the numerous compendia of information on trade that appeared in the eighteenth century. However, he also produced a number of other works on economics subjects.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.