Postlethwayt, Malachi

, a writer of reputation on subjects of trade and commerce, was slightly mentioned in our last edition, but without any particulars of his life; nor have we yet many to communicate. He was bora about the year 1707 but where, of what parents, or how educated, we have not discovered. In the introductory discourse to his work entitled “Great Britain’s true System,” he informs us, that nature having given him a very tender and weak constitution, he studiously declined and avoided, as much as he could, every degree of public life, as being inconsistent with, and indeed destructive of, that small snare of health which he had several years enjoyed, and which his studies had not mended and yet | he preferred the studious life, as being more independent, He complains, however, of want of encouragement; and “humbly hopes that some people will be candid and ingenuous enough to think that he has a right to be treated upon a footing something different from that of an upstart idle schemist or projector, who has never given proof of any talents that might deserve the public regard and attention.” Whether this complaint was redressed, we know not. He died Sept. 17, 1767, and probably not in very opulent circumstances, as he was buried in Old-street church-yard. The coffin, at his own request, was filled with unslacked lime. His death was sudden, as he always wished it might be.

His most valuable publications were, the “Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce,” 2 vols. folio, of which a second edition was published in 1757 and “Great Britain’s true System” one part of which is to recommend, during war, to raise the supplies within the year. His other publications, with the merits of which we are less acquainted, were, <6 1. “The Merchant’s public Counting House,” 4to. 2. “State of the French Trade and Navigation,” 8vo. 3. “Britain’s Commercial Interest explained and improved,” 2 vols. 8vo. 4. “The Importance of the African Expedition considered,” &c. In the papers of 1763, we find mention of a James Postlethwayt, F. R. S. who wrote “The History of the public Revenue,” folio, but whether related to Malachi is uncertain. Malachi was chosen F. S. A. March 21, 1734. 1

1 Cens. Lit. vol. I. Month, and Crit. Review?.