James Ramsay MacCulloch of Auchengool (1789-1864)

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Editor, professor, political economist.

A famous Scottish economist and statitician, John Ramsay McCulloch was born at Whithorn, Wigtownshire on 1 March, 1789.

His father died while he was still in infancy and he was reared and partly educated by his maternal grandfather, Dr Laing. His mother once remarried, he resided with her and her husband, Dr Dempster at Kinross, and attended school in that town for a few years. In 1805 he removed to Edinburgh and began his studies at the University. He was originally studying for the law but soon found it was not to his atste and forsook it for the more congenial study of politiacl economy, which he did so much to advance and illustrate.

From 1818 to 1819 he edited The Scotsman. His articles in that well read paper raising controversial economic questions, writing reviews and the publication of his book Principles of Political Economy (1825) led to him being offered a professorship of political economy at University College of London in 1828. He held this office until 1832 and became an intimate friend of John Stuart Mill and his circle.

His persistent advocacy of liberal measures made him popular with the Whig government of the day, and Lord Melbourne in 1838 in offered him a lifetime sinecure as Comptroller of H.M. Stationary Office where he introduced innovative and welcome reforms as well as producing two of his most monumental works: his Dictionary of Commerce and Commercial Navigation (1832) and his Statistical Account of the British Empire. McCulloch was also a warm admirer of Sir Robert Peel (founder of Britain's modern police force amongst other reforms) a feeling which was mutual and manifested in Peel's bestowal on him in 1846 of a pension of 200 pounds per annum).

James Ramsay McCulloch of Auchengool [20K JPEG; Click to View]

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