Richard Cantillon

Life
1680-1734 [Richard E. Cantillon]; b. Kerry, called ‘Father of Political Economy’ for his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, 1755, quoted by Adam Smith; and poorly translated into English after; murdered by his cook. ODNB DIB DIW

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Works
  • Essai sur la nature du commerce en général [ … &c.] (Paris 1755);
  • The Analysis of Trade, Commerce, Coin, Bullion, Banks, and Foreign Exchanges, wherein the true principles of this knowledge are fully [ ...] explained [ ...]; taken chiefly from a manuscript of a very ingenious gentleman deceas'd, and adapted to the present situation of our trade and commerce (London: printed for the author 1759), xxiv. 215pp., 8°. [based on Essai sur la nature du commerce, Paris 1755];
  • Essai sur la nature du commerce en général. Texte de l'édition originale de 1755 avec des études et commentaires par Alfred Sauvy, Amintore Fanfani, Joseph J. Spengler, Louis Salleron (Paris 1952), 192pp.;
  • H[enry] H[iggs], ed., Essai sur la nature du commerce en général; traduit de l'anglois [1756 Edn.] (London & NY: 1892), v, 430pp., 12°., and Do. [rep. edn.] (London: Macmillan & Co. 1931), viii, 394pp., pls., 8°.;
  • F. Scottoni, ed. & pref., Saggio sulla natura del commercio in generale. Autore Inglese [i.e. Cantillon] (Venezia 1767), 298pp., 12°.

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Commentary
T. C. Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions in the South of Ireland, Pt. II (1828) includes a story entitled “Florry Cantillon’s Funeral” which makes reference to the Cantillons’ strong attachment to their burial place (p.21). Croker adds that the same story is told of the location in question - Ballyheigh Bay - but in a version involving the MacEllicot [Elligott] family. He supplies a quotation from Dr. Smith's History of Kerry consistent with the version concerning the Cantillons: ‘“the neighbouring inhabitants,” says that writer, speaking of Ballyheigh, “show some rock visible in this bay only at low tides, which they say are the remains of an island that was formerly the burial place of the family of Cantillon, the ancient proprietors of Ballyheigh.” (Smith, p.201.)’ There follows some remarks on Croker’s part about the ‘conjugal union contracted between the human race and the inhabitants of the deep’ proposing, albeit facetiously, that the story of the dolphins in Athenaesius (Lib. 13, Cap. 8) provided some evidence that the rumour of marriage-relations between ‘the finny tribes and man has some foundation in fact’ (Croker, op. cit., pp.27-28.) In the tale told by Croker, and ancestor of Florry Cantillon married a sea-being with the effect that the king of the sea made the waves claw away the land until the grave of his daughter Durfulla was reclaimed.

See other allusions to Cantillons or Cantillions associated with Cork and Kerry in works by Dorothea Conyers [as infra] and Joseph Edwards Carpenter [as infra].

 

References
Dictionary of National Biography [ODNB]: Irish extraction, London and Paris merchant, said to have helped John Law float paper money scheme in Paris in 1716.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, reprints “Lament for Richard Cantillon”, a traditional folksong given in George Petrie’s Ancient Music of Ireland (1855. The editors note that R. Cantillon was Richard Mór of Rath Faroich, now Marland, nr. the Causeway, Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry. (FDA2, p.77.)

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Libraries
British Library holds [1] The Analysis of Trade, Commerce, Coin, Bullion, Banks, and Foreign Exchanges, wherein the true principles of this knowledge are fully [...] explained [...] Taken chiefly from a manuscript of a very ingenious gentleman deceas'd, and adapted to the present situation of our trade and commerce. [Based on R. Cantillon's “Essai sur la nature du commerce.”]. pp. xxiv. 215. Printed for the Author: London, 1759. 8o. [2] Essai sur la nature du commerce en général. Texte de l'édition originale de 1755 avec des études et commentaires par Alfred Sauvy, Amintore Fanfani, Joseph J. Spengler, Louis Salleron. pp. 192. [Paris,] 1952. 8o. [3] Essai sur la nature du commerce en général. Traduit de l'anglois. [By R. Cantillon.] Title [Another edition.] Title [Another edition.] Essai sur le commerce. Reprinted for Harvard University. [The editor's preface signed: H. H., i.e. Henry Higgs.]. Londres [Paris], 1755. 12o.. 1756. pp. v. 430. Macmillan & Co.: London & New York, 1892. 12o. [4] Dal mercantilismo al liberismo. Le ricerche di R. Cantillon sulla ricchezza delle nazioni. pp. viii. 174. Milano, 1936. 8o. [5] Richard Cantillon. Un mercantiliste précurseur des physiocrates. pp. viii. 168. Paris, 1900. 8o. [6] Essai sur la nature du commerce en général. By Richard Cantillon. Edited with an English translation and other material by Henry Higgs. [With plates.]. pp. viii. 394. Macmillan & Co.: London, 1931. 8o. [7] Saggio sulla natura del commercio in generale. Autore Inglese [i.e. Richard Cantillon.] [With preface signed, F. Scottoni.]. pp. 298. Venezia, 1767. 12o. [8]

University of Ulster Library holds Antoin Murphy, Richard Cantillon (OUP 1986).

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Notes
Castle home: A footnote Joseph Edwards Carpenter's Lays and Legends cites Dr. Smith’s History of Kerry which refers to remnants of castle of the Cantillion family, ancient proprietors of Ballyheighe [sic]. (See The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, 1991, supra.)

Namesakes?: In Dorothea Conyer’s Hounds of the Sea (1927), the Cantillions are a family that bears a curse.

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