Alternate Author Name(s)

Paul McGouldrick

Document Type


Date of Award



History, Economists, Great Britain, Economic policy, Lloyd, W. F. (William Forster)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Melvin Leiman

Second Advisor

Richard Leighton


Probably more has been written about the English classical economists than any other group in the history of economic thought. While the bulk of this literature concentrates on the major figures of the period, i.e. Adam Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, and J.S. Mill, there is also a considerable amount of material devoted to the works of a less influential group which includes James Mill, DeQuincy, Mcculloch, and Senior. By now the role of all these figures is fairly well understood and attention has shifted to the views of lesser known individuals within the classical period who, foreshadowing later developments in economic thought, were often critical of the Ricardian orthodoxy of the mid-nineteenth century. An examination of these lesser known dissenting views was stimulated by a now famous article by E.A.R. Seligman, entitled "On some neglected British economists." In this article Seligman called attention to some British economic literature of the 1820's and 30's, which he believed "deserved more attention than [it] had received." A major part of Seligman's discussion is devoted to the neglected works of Torrens, Craig, Lloyd, Bailey, and Longfield. Following Seligman's lead, several studies have come forth which provide the economist with a better understanding of the role of most of these men in the development of economic thought. Such is not the case for William Forster Lloyd. In view of the fact that no less a distinguished authority of this literature than Professor Marian Bowley believes that "Lloyd is probably the most important of the discoveries made by Professor Seligman," it is strange that no attempt has been made to present a thorough discussion of the ideas found in his works. The lack of interest in Lloyd is due to the declining interest among economists in the history of their discipline, as well as to the limited availability of material written by Lloyd. Besides the twelve lectures, which were published as a requirement of his tenure in the Drumond Chair of Political Economy at Oxford (I832-1837), there is only one other work of his, a short history of the Prices of Corn in Oxford, published in 1830. Despite its sparseness Lloyd's work is rich in economic anzlysis and does provide a reasonably good picture of his position within the history of economic thought and on some of the vital issues of his day. This dissertation will make the first systematic analysis of Lloyd's work and will explore his position relative to both the mainstream of Ricardian economics, mainly during the 1820's and 1830's, and to the most important Ricardian dissenters in this period within the English classical school. It is hoped that this work will serve as a building block for a more conprehensive study of what has become known as the anti-, or at least non-, Ricardian tradition. Certain aspects of this tradition have received more attention than others, particularly the controversy over gluts, but a full treatment of it must await a detailed examination of all the individuals involved.