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Ricardo, David, 1772-1823 (MP and economist)



  • Existence: 1772 - 1823


David Ricardo (1772-1823), MP and economist, was educated partly in England, and during his twelfth and thirteenth years at an uncle's in Holland, the land of his father. He had no classical training, and was employed in his father's business at the age of 14. He married in 1793, and proceeded to set up in business for himself, making a fortune and acquiring a high reputation. Ricardo was interested in scientific movements, and was one of the original members of the Geological Society, founded in 1807. His writing on the state of currency in 1809 helped his growing reputation as an authority on economics, and led to warm friendships with Thomas Malthus and James Mill. Later pamphlets established Ricardo as a leading figure on economical questions. He published his main work, 'Principles of Political Economy and Taxation' in 1817. He bought the estate of Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire in 1813, and retired from business in the following year. In 1819 he became the Member of Parliament for the Irish borough of Portarlington, and held the seat until his death.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


David Ricardo: Correspondence and Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7510
Scope and Contents

The collection includes manuscripts of several of Ricardo's works, correspondence between Ricardo and James Mill, letters to Thomas Malthus ans letters to Ricardo's brother in law, J.H. Wilkinson. Also included is correspondence and papers from the twentieth-century concerning the Ricardo Papers.

Dates: 1794-1976 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (