Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 57.djvu/53

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Tooke
Tooke
47

of putting words together. Some of his definitions on this principle became famous; as that truth means simply what a man ‘troweth;’ and that right means simply what is ruled, whence it follows that right and wrong are as arbitrary as right and left, and may change places according to the legislator's point of view. This and other conclusions are criticised at some length by Dugald Stewart in his essays (Works, v. 149–88), who speaks respectfully of the author, though thinking that the doctrine tends to materialism; and by John Fearn [q. v.] in his ‘Anti-Tooke’ (1824). In this respect Horne Tooke had a great influence upon James Mill, who constantly accepts Tooke's philological doctrines in order to confirm his own philosophy. In the last edition of Mill's ‘Analysis,’ one of the editors, Andrew Findlater [q. v.], points out many of the misunderstandings into which Mill was thus led.

Horne Tooke had many disciples. Hazlitt in 1810 published a grammar in which the ‘discoveries’ of Horne Tooke were ‘for the first time incorporated.’ Charles Richardson [q. v.] was a warm disciple who defended him against Dugald Stewart, and who, in his dictionary (1837), accepted the doctrines of the ‘immortal’ Horne Tooke, the ‘philosophical grammarian who alone was entitled to the name of discoverer.’

‘ἜΠEA ΠTEROENTA, or the Diversions of Purley, Part I,’ appeared in 1786, 8vo. Another edition, with a new second part, was issued in 1798, and again in 1805. An edition in 2 vols. 8vo by Richard Taylor, with additions from the author's copy and the letter to Dunning, appeared in 1829, and has been reprinted. Besides the pamphlets mentioned above, Horne Tooke published a sermon in 1769; an ‘Oration … at a Meeting of the Freeholders of Middlesex,’ in 1770; and a ‘Letter on the reported Marriage of … the Prince of Wales’ in 1787; and he co-operated with Dr. Price in writing ‘Facts addressed to Landowners,’ &c., 1780 (Morgan, Life of Price, p. 83).

[The life by Alexander Stephens [q. v.], in 2 vols. 8vo, is the best authority. Stephens knew Horne Tooke in later years, and had some private information. A life by W. Hamilton Reid (1812) is of little value. The so-called ‘Memoirs, &c.,’ by John A. Graham, published at New York, 1828, is an absurd attempt to identify Horne Tooke with Junius. Much information is contained in the reports of the trial for libel in 1777, and of the trial for high treason in 1794, in State Trials, vols. xx. and xxv. The proceedings in the action by Onslow against Horne before Blackstone were published in 1770; and the proceedings in the action by Fox in 1792. The debates in the Parliamentary History, vol. xxxv., upon Horne Tooke's eligibility to the House of Commons, include a few references to his personal history; cf. Brit. Mus. Cat. s.v. ‘Horne.’]

L. S.

TOOKE, THOMAS (1774–1858), economist, born at Cronstadt on 29 Feb. 1774, was the eldest son of William Tooke (1744–1820) [q. v.], at that time chaplain to the British factory at Cronstadt. Thomas began life at the age of fifteen in a house of business at St. Petersburg, and subsequently became a partner in the London firms of Stephen Thornton & Co., and Astell, Tooke, & Thornton. He took no important part in any public discussion of economic questions until 1819, in which year he gave evidence before committees of both Houses of Parliament on the resumption of cash payments by the Bank of England.

As a follower of Ricardo, Horner, and Huskisson, he was a strenuous supporter of the principles embodied in the report of the bullion committee of 1810. The three years which followed the Resumption Act of 1819 were marked by a great fall in the prices of nearly all commodities, and the opinion rapidly gained ground that the fall was due to a contraction of the currency which was assumed to result from the return to cash payments.

To combat this view was the task to which Tooke applied himself in his earliest work, ‘Thoughts and Details on the High and Low Prices of the last Thirty Years,’ published in 1823, and the same line of argument is pursued in his ‘Considerations on the State of the Currency’ (1826) and in a ‘Letter to Lord Grenville’ (1829). His object was to ‘negative the alleged influence of the bank restriction and resumption in raising or depressing general prices beyond the difference between gold and paper,’ and to show that the act of 1819 was practically inoperative so far as any contraction of the currency was concerned. For this purpose he entered upon a detailed examination of the causes which might affect prices, and claimed to establish the conclusion that the variations, both during the period of restriction and after the resumption, were due to circumstances directly connected with the commodities themselves, and not to alterations in the quantity of money.

The same views are developed at greater length in the ‘History of Prices,’ of which the first two volumes, dealing with the period from 1793 to 1837, were published in 1838. His conclusions as regards that period were that the high prices which, speaking generally, ruled between 1793 and 1814