PETTY, Sir William.

Observations upon the Dublin-Bills of Mortality, MDCLXXXI. And the State of that City.

London: printed for Mark Pardoe, 1683 Stock Code: 134806

"The A, B, C, of Publick Oeconomy"

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Rare first edition. Referring to John Graunt's work of 1662, Petty opens with: "The Observations upon the London-Bills of Mortality have been a new Light to the World; and the like Observation upon those of Dublin, may serve as Snuffers to make the same Candle burn clearer. The London-Observations flowed from Bills regularly kept for near One hundred years; but these are squeezed out of Six stragling sic London-Bills, out of Fifteen Dublin Bills, and from a Note of the Families and Hearths in each Parish of Dublin; which are all digested into the one Table or Sheet annexed, consisting of Three Parts, markt A, B, C; being indeed the A, B, C, of Publick Oeconomy, and even of that Policy which tends to Peace and Plenty" (p. 1).

"According to a letter written to Lord Brouncker on 4 February 1662/3 Petty made these Observations soon after his arrival in Dublin. They were, he wrote, 'not unlike those which Mr Graunt made upon the London Bills of Mortality. I have done so much upon it, as hath cost me some pounds, but not so much as is worth more than a bare mention.' Petty did not proceed to print his Observations until eight years after Graunt's death." (Keynes).

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Octavo (174 x 112 mm), pp. [2], 8, 4 folding plates, [4]. 20th-century marbled paper boards, red spine label lettered in gilt.


Woodcut vignette of four thistle-and-crown ornaments to title page; 4 folding tables.


Extremities rubbed, contents lightly browned, neat paper repair to fore edge of title leaf, a little chipped along fore-edge, small (10mm.) closed tear to top edge of same, single ink annotation "2" to top margin of title page, presumably previously bound in a pamphlet volume; a very good copy.


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