Adam Anderson (economist)

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Adam Anderson (1692 or 1693 – 10 January 1765) was a Scottish economist. He was a clerk for forty years or more in South Sea House, the headquarters of the South Sea Company; at his death at Clerkenwell in 1765, he had risen to chief clerk for the Stock and New Annuities of the South Sea Company.[1]

His life's work, commonly known as Anderson's History of Commerce,[2] was published shortly before his death. The long, actual title is An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce from the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time.[3] The title page goes on to say: "Containing, an History of the great Commercial Interests of the British Empire. To which is prefixed, an Introduction, Exhibiting a View of the Ancient and Modern State of Europe; of the Importance of Our Colonies; and of the Commerce, Shipping, Manufactures, Fisheries, &c. of Great Britain and Ireland: and their Influence on the Landed Interest. With an Appendix, containing the Modern Politico-Commercial Geography of the several Countries of Europe."

The work was reissued with a somewhat shorter title in four folio volumes in 1787.[4]

The freemason James Anderson may have been his brother.


  1. ^ Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney (1908). Dictionary or National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 371.
  2. ^ See, for example: Webster, Noah (1806). Compendious Dictionary. New Haven, Connecticut: Hudson & Goodwin. p. xxi.
  3. ^ Anderson, Adam (1764). An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce, from the Earliest Accounts to the present Time. London: A. Millar; J. & R. Tonson; J. Rivington; R. Baldwin; and others.
  4. ^ Anderson, Adam (1787). An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce: From the Earliest Accounts. London: J. Robson; T. Payne & Sons; B. White & Son; L. Davis; and others.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Anderson, Adam" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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