(Born: 1762?; Died: 1851) English statistician.
Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 604, 175-181. Boase, Modern English Biography, 1892-1921. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.
1. English, 1831.
An | Historical Inquiry | Into The | Production And Consumption | Of The | Precious Metals. | By William Jacob, Esq., F.R.S. | In Two Volumes. | Vol. I. [-II.] | London: | John Murray, Albemarle Street. | [rule] | 1831.
[Vol 1] 8°: [i]-xvi, -380 p.
[Vol 2] 8°: [i]-xi, , 415,  p.
Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Half title page, "An | Historical Inquiry | Into The | Precious Metals," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-ix, "Preface."-dated 16 July 1831.; [x], "Errata."; [xi]-xvi, "Contents."; -380, Text.
[Vol 2] [i-ii], Half title page, "An | Historical Inquiry | Into The | Precious Metals," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-xi, "Contents."; [1 pg], "Erratum."; -415, Text.; [1 pg], "By the same Author, | ..."
Very scarce. Jacob was a London merchant and a Members of Parliament from 1808-12. He traveled widely in Europe and was thoroughly knowledgeable on the subject of the statistics of the precious metals. He was appointed to the comptrollership of corn returns in 1822. "On the suggestion of Huskisson, [Jacob] undertook an inquiry into the production and consumption of the precious metals. This work shows great research, but is defective, which may be attributed partly, for the more recent periods, to the insufficient historical information available then" (Palgrave II, 471). "Mr. Jacob has recently published An Historical Inquiry ... in which he takes up the subject at the earliest period, and continues to the present day. This work ... contains a good deal of valuable information, and deserves the attention of all who take an interest in such inquiries." (J.R. MacCulloch, A Dictionary of Commerce).
Facsimile reprint, 1968: An Historical Inquiry into the Production and Consumption of the Precious Metals. New York, Augustus Kelly, 1968. 2 vols.
Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 263. Goldsmith's Catalogue of Economic Literature: no. 26788. Hoover Collection: no. 447. Kress Catalogue: no. 2842. Zeitlinger & Sotheran, Bibliotheca Chemico, 1921-52: no. 9704.