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OF LINCOLN'S INX, BARRISTER-AT-LAW ; PROFESSOR OF THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF
COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL LAW IN KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON ; DOCTOR OF

POLITICAL ECONOMY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TÜBINGEN; ETC.

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

1872

The right of translation is reserved

НЕ 3505.8 166

TO THE

BARONESS BURDETT COUTTS.

MADAM,

Among those who first contributed to raise British Commerce to the position it has since acquired, was one whose name your Ladyship so worthily upholds.

Of representatives of old British Merchants and Bankers there are but few remaining; and I value the honour of dedicating this work to you, especially since your munificence has given to the acquisition of wealth a high moral import, and to British philanthropy increasing renown and lustre.

Your Ladyship's humble servant,

LEONE LEVI.

10 FARRARS BUILDING, TEMPLE :

February 1872.

PREFACE.

No HISTORY of BRITISH COMMERCE for the last one hundred years has as yet appeared, though the facts connected with it are replete with interest and instruction. The large quarto volumes of Macpherson and Anderson are chronological records of commercial transactions, rather than histories, and they end just when commerce began to expand into any real importance. Tooke's History of Prices,' valuable as it is, is intended mainly to illustrate the effects of the circulation on prices. And though every history of Great Britain gives so far a history of British commerce, the inventions and discoveries which have so largely promoted productive industry, the political and economic events which have aided or hindered commerce and navigation, free trade with its attendant blessings, those commercial and monetary crises which have so shaken public confidence, the introduction of railways, steam packets, and telegraphs, which have imparted fresh life to international intercourse, and the discovery of gold in California and Australia, have histories of their own, as well as a place in the history of Great Britain. Scarcely any of the reforms, moreover, which have completely altered the aspect of national industries, have been introduced without much misgiving and great opposition. In most cases, errors and prejudices had to be encountered, and

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