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Book description

The Glorious Revolution of 1688–9 transformed the role of parliament in Britain and its empire. Large numbers of statutes resulted, with most concerning economic activity. Julian Hoppit here provides the first comprehensive account of these acts, revealing how government affected economic life in this critical period prior to the Industrial Revolution, and how economic interests across Britain used legislative authority for their own benefit. Through a series of case studies, he shows how ideas, interests, and information influenced statutory action in practice. Existing frameworks such as 'mercantilism' and the 'fiscal-military state' fail to capture the full richness and structural limitations of how political power influenced Britain's precocious economic development in the period. Instead, finely grained statutory action was the norm, guided more by present needs than any grand plan, with regulatory ambitions constrained by administrative limitations, and some parts of Britain benefiting much more than others.


'Britain’s Political Economies will fundamentally alter the way we think about the nature of Britain’s state-regulated economy before the Industrial Revolution.'

Tim Harris Source: Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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Bedfordshire Archives and Record Services

  • Franklin Papers, FN1255, FN1265/1275, 1319–22, 1327–9.

  • Duke of Bedford Thorney Abbey estate papers, R/4508/13 and R Fens (uncatalogued), Boxes 1–2.

British Library, London

  • Add Mss, 4761, Milles collection.

  • Add Mss, 4880, Strahan papers.

  • Add Mss, 8133, Musgrave papers.

  • Add Mss, 88,906/1/11, Bowood papers.

  • Add Mss, 33,050, Newcastle papers.

  • Add Mss, 35,906, 35,910, Hardwicke papers.

  • Add Mss, 38,217, 38,339, Liverpool papers.

  • Egerton Mss, 2985.

  • Harleian Mss, 5120, 7021.

  • Lansdowne Mss, 1049, 1215

  • Stowe Mss, 354.

Cambridge University Library

  • Walpole papers, Ch(H) 40/16, 18, 41/1/1–64, 80/486.

Cambridgeshire Archives

  • Accounts of Conservators of the River Cam, Q/S9/1 (1751–92), 2 (1793–1824).

  • Order book 1722–7, Bedford Level Corporation, R59/31/11/20.

  • Petitions to the Bedford Level Corporation, S/B/SP/1–790.

Edinburgh City Archives

  • Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce minute book, ED005/1.

Huntington Library, San Marino, California

  • Ellesmere papers, EL9609, 9855.

Lincolnshire Archives Office

  • Quarter sessions, LQS B/7/2–8.

  • Spalding Sewers 488/A-E, 493–6, 500/77–8, 500/101.

The National Archives, Kew

  • Board of Trade, BT6/99, BT6/230.

  • Colonial Office, CO389/14/9, CO390/4.

  • Customs, CUST17/21, CUST24/19, CUST37/62 CUST145/4–14.

  • Privy Council, PC1/1/171PC/1/16/11, 25.

  • Pitt papers, PRO 30/8/288.

  • State papers, SP34/2/23.

  • Treasury, T1/332/41–2, T1/351/47, 49, 59, T1/361/21 and 38, T1/425/286–7, T1/462/43–4, T1/487, T1/506/52, T36/13, T45/1, T45/4/9B, T64/274/67, T64/278, 281, T64/282/1–2.

The National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh

  • CE8/1–3, Scottish Excise to Treasury.

  • E554/3, Excise accounts, 1707–1807.

  • E561/3, Excise officials, 1707–c. 1800.

National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

  • Melville papers, Mss 640.

  • MS 1918, ‘Copys of original papers delivered to the Lord Justice Clerk’.

Northamptonshire Record Office

  • W(A) Box 4/parcel XIII, no. 9, ‘A survey of the river Nine’.

Parliamentary Archives, London

  • House of Lords main papers, HL/PO/JO/10/3/213/37; HL/PO/JO/10/3/218/8; HL/PO/JO/10/7/681, 703, 740, 760, 849, 867, 894, 921, 945, 974, 1006.

Sutro Library, San Francisco, California

  • Sir Joseph Banks collection, Fens, F5, 6, 8, and 9.

West Yorkshire Archives Service, Bradford

  • Worsted Committee minute book, 56D88/1/1.

William L. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Shelburne Papers, vols. 109, 114, 119, 135i.

  • Townshend Papers, 8/17/3–11, 16–17, 22, 8/21/8, 297/2/10.

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