A Letter to the Right Hon. Robert Peel; [bound with:] A Second Letter to the Right Hon. Robert Peel.

On the pernicious effects of a variable standard of value, especially as it regards the condition of the lower orders and the poor laws; On the causes of the increase of pauperism, and on the poor laws.

Oxford: Printed for John Murray, 1819 Stock Code: 127336
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First editions of Copleston's economic treatises on the gold standard and the poor laws. "In his First Letter he attributed the economic dislocation of post-Napoleonic war England to the depreciation of the currency, and urged the government to remove such obstacles as it was able to the self-correcting mechanism of nature. In his Second Letter, although he agreed with the evangelical John Bird Sumner (1780-1862) that economic life was one of the trials of man, and thus that governments should not effect by human laws what God had provided by the laws of nature, he did not concede that misery was the necessary consequence. He argued that it was possible to provide by law for the preservation, but not the propagation, of life. He thus tempered the apparent 'evil' of Malthus's natural check to population growth... However, Copleston's liberality in the face of demands for the abolition of poor-law relief should not be exaggerated: he opposed public works programmes and the purchase of land for cultivation by the poor, and approved of checks being imposed on the administration of relief by justices of the peace. The purpose of his support for relief was better to punish vagrancy and mendicity" (ODNB). The works proved popular, with the first undergoing three editions before the end of the year, and the second two editions.

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2 works bound in 1 volume, octavo (215 x 135 mm). Recent red cloth, spine lettered in gilt.


Contemporary ownership signature to first half-title. Half-titles a little soiled and a few other minor interior blemishes, else very nice copies.


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