Gregory King collection
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of three photostatic copies of the writings of Gregory King. The locations of the original manuscripts are described in the Provenance. Each photostatic copy is bound as a single volume. When the photostatic copies were acquired by the University, "Natural and Political Observations..." and "Naval Trade of England ..." were printed in their entirety under the title Two Tracts by Gregory King, edited by Jacob H. Hollander (1936). Spelling and capitalization were not modernized in the printing.
The first volume in the collection is an autobiography which covers King's life up to 1694 and is entitled "Some Miscellaneous Notes on the Birth, Education and Advancement of Gregory King Esqr. (at first Rougedragon Pursuivant afterwards) Lancaster Herald."
King described in detail his early education, his work as a painter and engraver, and his years in the College of Arms. King was explicit in his description of what he studied, which books he read and under whose tutelage. His first positions with Sir William Dugdale, Lord Hatton, and Lady Gerard are mentioned, but he is much more detailed about his work with Mr. Ogilby the London printer for whom King engraved plates for books. King also described his survey and map-making work at this time (1672-80). King explained at great length the work he did for the College of Arms first as Rougedragon and later Lancaster Herald. There are long descriptions of the travels King made to induct foreign dignitaries such as the Elector of Brandenburg and the Elector of Saxony into the Order of the Garter. In connection with these commissions King described the procedures and the remuneration he received.
The autobiography ends in 1694 before King became interested in the theories of political arithmetic for which he was later known. Political arithmetic was a 17th and 18th century science dealing with the economic and demographic statistics of political units.
The final two volumes in the collection are good examples of King's work in the field of political arithmetic. The manuscript entitled "Natural and Political Observations and Conclusions upon the State and Condition of England, 1696" is known to supply the best account of the population and wealth of England at the close of the 17th century. King's study described the demographic characteristics of the population of England and Wales: age, gender, marital status, numbers of children, servants and "sojourners." King even calculated the amount of beer, ale, and malt consumed annually in England. He was able to estimate the quantity of silver and gold in the world in general and to project future population growth.
The third and final item in the collection is the photostatic copy, "Of the Naval Trade of England, 1688, and the National Profit then Arising thereby." written in 1697. This is King's statistical summary of the trade and wealth of England, 1600- 1688. He calculated the increases in shipping (for war and trade), customs, coinage, buildings, fortresses, and the purchases and improvements of land. This treatise is also printed in Two Tracts of Gregory King.
- Creation: (1694-1697)
- King, Gregory, 1648-1712 (Person)
Permission to publish material from this collection must be requested in writing from the Manuscripts Librarian, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Md. 21218.
Gregory King (1648-1712) was born at Litchfield, England. His first positions were as a clerk/secretary, but these jobs also enabled him to utilize his painting and drawing talents. At age 14 he became a clerk to Sir William Dugdale who was making a visitation of Staffordshire for the Herald's Office. King later (1667-69) served Lord Hatton and was steward and Secretary to Lady Gerard (1669-72). In 1672 he moved to London to work as an engraver for the printer Mr. Ogilby. He also did survey work and engraved maps while working with Ogilby. In 1677 King was appointed Rougedragon in the College of Arms. He became Lancaster Herald in 1688 and held that post until his death in 1712.
0.5 Cubic Feet (3 volumes)
Language of Materials
The photostatic copies were purchased through the Hutzler Fund and added to the Hutzler Collection of Economic Classics, most likely before 1936. Two tracts in this collection, "Natural and Politicall Observations and Conclusions Upon the State and Condition of England, 1696" and "Of the Naval Trade of England, 1688, and the National Profit then arising thereby" were printed and published under the title, Two Tracts by Gregory King in 1936. The title was published as part of the Johns Hopkins University series, Reprints of Economic Tracts. George E. Barnett wrote the introduction to Two Tracts by Gregory King and cited King's autobiography which forms the third item in the collection. Jacob H. Hollander who was the General Editor of the Reprint series was also in charge of purchasing materials for the Hutzler Collection of Economic Classics.
The original of "Natural and Politicall Observations and Conclusions upon the State and Condition of England, 1696" is the Harleian Mss. 1898 owned by the British Museum. The former Hutzler number was 2158.
The original "Of the Naval Trade of England, 1688, and the National Profit then arising thereby" is the Rawlinson Mss. D 924 owned by the Bodleian Library of Oxford University. The former Hutzler number was [2159?].
The original of the King autobiography is the Rawlinson Mss. C 514 owned by the Bodleian Library of Oxford University. The autobiography is entitled "Some Miscellaneous Notes on the Birth, Education and Advancement of Gregory King Esqr. (at first Rougedragon Pursuivant afterwards) Lancaster Herald." The former Hutzler number was 2160.
When the collection was originally processed in 1988, it was formed by the King autobiography only. In September, 1991, the two additional photostatic copies were added. The collection was renamed the Gregory King Collection. The collection number remained Ms. Hut 3.
General Physical Description note
- King (Gregory) 1648-1712 Collection (1694-1697)Ms. Hut003
- Cynthia H. Requardt, Joan Grattan
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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