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Sir Josiah Child, Merchant Economist
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According to the Oxford DNB, Child (1631-1699) initially made his fortune in the 1650s as a brewer and victualler to the Navy. He demonstrated his administrative gifts in 1655 by insisting that sailors' wages not be paid until their ship put to sea again, therefore assuring that those who had disembarked would return for the next voyage. He was suspect among the royal crowd for having done so well under the Commonwealth.
Child contributed to the literature of economics; especially Brief Observations concerning Trade and the Interest of Money (1668), and A New Discourse of Trade (1668 and 1690). He was a moderate in those days of the mercantile system, and has sometimes been regarded as a sort of pioneer in the development of the free-trade doctrines of the 18th century:
Brief Observations Concerning Trade and Interest of Money
by J.C. , London, Printed for Elizabeth Calvert at the Black-spread Eagle in Barbican, and Henry Mortlock at the Sign of the White-Heart in Westminster Hall. 1668. Josiah Child
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.