Page:PettyWilliam1899EconomicWritingsVol2.djvu/133

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NOTE ON THE "QUANTULUMCUNQUE."

 

Petty's Quantulumcunque concerning Money was suggested, apparently, by the project of recoinage which was already under discussion when he came to London in June, 1682. The earliest allusion to the book occurs in his letter of 5 September to Southwell: "I have writ three sheets in answer to Thirty-one Questions concerning Money. If it take, for I renounce all judgment of my own, you shall have a copy[1]." These words, taken in connection with the fact that Halifax could not have been addressed as "Lord Marquess" earlier than 22 August, 1682[2], cast some suspicion upon the date of 1681 which is assigned to the Quantulumcunque by Harleian MS. 1223 in the British Museum. This MS., moreover, appears to be of the eighteenth century, rather than of the seventeenth, and the pages containing the Quantulumcunque (ff. 169 seq.) are very carelessly written. Everything considered, the tract must be assigned to August or September, 1682.

In 1695, when the recoinage was imminent, the Quantulumcunque was privately printed[3] in a quarto edition which has been followed in the present reprint. Of the alleged earlier editions in octavo[4] I have failed to find a copy.

 
  1. Thorpe, Cat. lib. MSS. bibl. Southwellianæ, 405, Fitzmaurice, 252.
  2. Doyle, Official Baronage, ii. 93.
  3. Massie, Observations relating to the Coin, 32.
  4. Bibliography, 10.