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SINCLAIR, Sir John

The Statistical Account of Scotland drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes.

Stock Code
89600
Edinburgh, Creech, 1791
£3,500

Pioneering work on statistics.

'In 1790, as an elder in the general assembly of the Church of Scotland,Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835) launched the idea of a survey of the state of the country, which was to become the twenty-one volumes of the Statistical Account of Scotland. It is a detailed account of the geography, history, economy, and society of every parish. He had gathered the word 'statistical' from Germany on his northern tour. He used it to mean information which was desirable for legislative purposes, though not necessarily numerical in form. 'Statistics', he said, 'should reveal the quantum of happiness in a population', as well as 'the means of further improvement'. He saw the proper function of government as intervention or legislative action to promote welfare and economic growth, and recognized that detailed information was necessary for such intervention to be effective. He was not the first to move towards the

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Description

First edition. 21 volumes, 8vo, 7 engraved plates, 4 folding, engraved map, 4 folding tables, half-titles. (2 folding plates very browned, a little foxing.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, red labels on spine, neat repairs to joints and extremities as required, a very good set.

Bibliography

Goldsmiths' 14611; Kress B.2206.

Stock ID:89600

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