Davenant, Charles, 1656-1714

Alternative names
Birth 1656-11-17
Death 1714-11-06

Biographical notes:

Charles Davenant was born in London in 1656. Educated at the grammar school, Cheam, Surrey and Balliol College, Oxford University, he became MP for St Ives, Cornwall, in 1685, and for Great Bedwin, 1690 and 1700. He was Commissioner of the Excise, 1678-1689, and Inspector General of Exports and Imports from 1705 until his death in Nov 1714. Davenant also wrote widely on politics and economics.

Publications: Reflections upon the Constitution and Management of the Trade to Africa, through the whole course and progress thereof, from the beginning of the last century, to this time (John Morphew, London, 1709); The Songs in Circe (Richard Tonson, London, 1677); An Account of the Trade between Great-Britain, France, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Africa, Newfoundland, &c. With the importations and exportations of all commodities, particularly of the woollen manufactures. Deliver'd in two reports made to the Commissioners for Publick Accounts (A. Bell, W. Taylor; J. Baker, London, 1715); An essay upon ways and means of supplying the war (London, 1695); Essays upon Peace at Home, and War Abroad (James Knapton, London, 1704); A Discourse upon Grants and Resumptions, showing how our ancestors have proceeded with such Ministers as have procured to themselves Grants of the Crown revenue; and that the Forfeited Estates ought to be applied towards the payment of the Publick Debts (London, 1700); Sir Thomas Double at Court, and in High Preferments. In two dialogues, between Sir T. Double and Sir Richard Comover, alias Mr. Whiglove: on the 27th of September, 1710 (John Morphew, London, 1710); An Essay on the East India Trade (London, 1696); Discourses on the Publick Revenues, and on the Trade of England (J Knapton, London, 1698); A Report (a second Report) to the Honourable the Commissioners for putting in execution the Act, intitled, An Act for the Taking, Examining, and Stating the Publick Accounts of the Kingdom (London, 1712); An Essay upon the probable means of making a People gainers in the Ballance of Trade (London, 1699); Essays upon I. the Ballance of Power; II. The right of making war, peace, and alliances; III. Universal Monarchy (London, 1701); New Dialogues upon the Present Posture of Affairs, the species of mony, national debts, publick revenues, Bank and East-India Company, and the trade now carried on between France and Holland (John Morphew, London, 1710).

From the guide to the Davenant, Charles, 1695-1696, (Senate House Library, University of London)


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  • Credit--History--Sources
  • Balance of trade--History--18th century--Sources
  • Currency question--History--Sources
  • Banks and banking--History--Sources
  • Coinage--History--Sources
  • Manuscripts, English--Specimens
  • Economists--17th century--Archives


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