Hamish Riley-Smith

Rare Books And Manuscripts

David Ricardo

Autograph Letter to Hutches Trower 1823

A lost letter from David Ricardo to his frequent correspondent Hutches Trower

David Ricardo
Autograph letter in ink, signed to Hutches Trower. London 24 April 1823
Quarto, 20 x 25cm, 3 pages in ink + integral address leaf.

Unpublished. A lost letter from David Ricardo to his frequent correspondent Hutches Trower. The Ricardo/Trower Letters are in University College Library, London passed to them in the 19th century. This ‘lost’ letter is known as Trower responded to it on May 25th 1823 and from the opening of Trower’s letter to Ricardo of July 20th 1823 “...But alas! A whole season has passed since I had the pleasure of hearing from You; for your last letter is dated 24 April!!!” The letter is addressed to Trower’s home in Godalming and re-addressed in another hand to his mother’s home Clapton.

“Unlike the other main correspondents of Ricardo, Trower has no claim to literary fame in his own right; he is only remembered because of this correspondence. He was, like Ricardo, a stockbroker and their friendship had been formed in the early years of the century, when they were accustomed to meet daily and to pursue their discussions amid ‘the tumultuous scenes’ of the Stock Exchange. They found common ground as admirers of the work of Adam Smith and of the articles on political economy which had appeared in the early numbers of the Edinburgh Review from 1802. They found themselves on opposite sides in the early stages of the Bullion controversy in 1809, when both contributed anonymously to the Morning Chronicle; and it was only after publication that Ricardo discovered the identity of his critic.” Sraffa

In this three page ‘tour de force’ letter to his friend Hutches Trower, David Ricardo writes and mentions the first operational gas works in the country, Irish affairs the ministry are not cohering very firmly to each other, Robert Peel and Charles Williams Wynn, the intemperate behaviour of George Canning towards Henry Brougham, he is deficient in one of the most essential requisites of first minister....temper, Trower’s brothers views on the directors of the Bank of England, his own paper on the Bank Charter, and my radical doctrines on Parliamentary Reform and the fallacies of Canning’s arguments..

Bonar & Hollander (editors): Letters of David Ricardo to Hutches Trower and others 1811-1823. Oxford Clarendon Press 1899. Piero Sraffa (editor) The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, 11 vols Cambridge University Press 1951


David Ricardo - Autograph Letter to Hutches Trower 1823

Click image(s) to view full size