Enclosures, a Cause of improved Agriculture, of Plenty and Cheapness of Provisions, of Population, and of both private and national Wealth; Being an Examination of two Pamphlets, entitled, the one, A Political Enquiry into the Consequences of enclosing Waste Lands, and the Cause of the present high Price of Butcher’s Meat, &c. The other, Cursory Remarks upon Enclosures, by a Country Farmer; together with Some slight Observations upon the Report of the London Committee, Appointed the 16th of July, 1786, to consider the Causes of the present high Prices of Provisions. John HOWLETT.

Enclosures, a Cause of improved Agriculture, of Plenty and Cheapness of Provisions, of Population, and of both private and national Wealth; Being an Examination of two Pamphlets, entitled, the one, A Political Enquiry into the Consequences of enclosing Waste Lands, and the Cause of the present high Price of Butcher’s Meat, &c. The other, Cursory Remarks upon Enclosures, by a Country Farmer; together with Some slight Observations upon the Report of the London Committee, Appointed the 16th of July, 1786, to consider the Causes of the present high Prices of Provisions.

4 p.l., 100 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: W. Richardson, 1787.

First edition and quite scarce. Rev. Howlett (1731-1804), economist and writer on the poor, took his BA at St John’s College, Oxford. Most of his writings concentrated on the well-being of the poor, an issue for which he was well equipped as an able statistician and demographer.

It was widely felt in the 18th century that England and Wales were experiencing depopulation. Howlett argued the opposite: that the population of these two countries “had doubled since 1688 and was expanding at a quickening pace to the benefit of the rural poor. One of the principal factors was the changing pattern of land usage, especially through the intensification of commercial agriculture, enclosures, the progressive loss of common rights, and the engrossing of small farms. Howlett believed that resistance to change was motivated by sentiment and irrational argument, which he sought to dismiss in a 1787 pamphlet [the present work] with a wide range of evidence on population trends…A widespread network of correspondents in England, Wales, and beyond meant that Howlett was not short of data and that regional differences could be factored into his estimates and explanations.”–ODNB.

Fine copy with minor foxing.

Price: $2,750.00

Item ID: 6461

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