The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Cantillon, Philip (fl. 1725–1759)

  • Henry Higgs
Reference work entry


Author of ‘The Analysis of Trade, Commerce, Coin, Bullion, Banks, and Foreign Exchanges: … Taken chiefly from a Manuscript of a very ingenious Gentleman deceas’d, and adapted to the present situation of our Trade and Commerce. By Philip Cantillon, late of the City of London, Merchant, London, 1759’. This Philip was the eldest son of James Cantillon of the city of Limerick, who was first cousin of Richard Cantillon, author of the Essai sur la Nature du Commerce. Philip carried on a banking business with David Cantillon at Warnford Court, Throgmorton Street, London, at least as early as 1725. In 1738 he was a director of the Royal Exchange Assurance: in 1742 became bankrupt: in 1747 was trading alone as insurance agent and policy broker: in 1753 was partner with one Thomas Mannock in the same business: and in 1759 had retired. He married, 14 July 1733, Rebecca, daughter of William Newland of Gatton, Surrey, by whom he had two daughters. There is reason to think that he was engaged for a short time at Richard Cantillon’s bank in Paris, but that his litigious character made him unamiable and brought about his speedy return. On the death of Richard, Philip intervened in the management of his estate, and thus obtained possession of several papers, including probably the English manuscript of the Essay, which professedly served as the groundwork of the Analysis of Trade. He must, however, have mutilated the manuscript almost beyond recognition. Much of the closely packed original is omitted, and much is replaced by vague and general summaries, most unskilfully made, with the result that little indeed of the Analysis fairly represents the views of Richard Cantillon. Philip added a preface on the history and importance of commerce, some strictures upon close corporations, new matter on inland and foreign trade, bankers and banks, and exchanges, interspersed with quotations from Hume’s Essays, and from The Universal Merchant, etc., concluding with a criticism of the law relating to bills of exchange.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Higgs
    • 1
  1. 1.