Chronicon Preciosum: or, an account of English gold and silver money …

FLEETWOOD, William, Bishop of Ely. Chronicon Preciosum: or, an account of English gold and silver money; the price of corn and other commodities; and of stipends, salaries, wages, joint….

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FLEETWOOD, William, Bishop of Ely. Chronicon Preciosum: or, an account of English gold and silver money; the price of corn and other commodities; and of stipends, salaries, wages, jointures, portions, day-labour etc in England, for six hundred years last past…. T. Osborne. 1745.

8vo. Contemporary full brown calf, gilt fillets to sides, sometime rebacked with raised bands and paper label to spine; pp. [viii] + 147 + [v] + 30 + [2], 12 plates of coins; with unbound engraved portrait of Bishop Fleetwood, very good.
Second edition, first published 1707. Bishop Fleetwood had been asked by a correspondent whether it was fair that a man should have to surrender his fellowship at Oxford for having a estate worth more than £5, when that limit had been set in 1440. Fleetwood's ensuing effort to work out how much £5 was worth in the fifteenth century led him to create this book, the first major historical survey of prices and wages. "Although in his price comparison Fleetwood did not go so far as to think of weighting his individual items according to their importance in a shopping basket, he did see the need to have a single magnitude, however approximate, as an index of change" (Stone). The book's significance did not gain recognition until the nineteeth century, although Adam Smith used some of Fleetwood's data in the Wealth of Nations.

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