Turgot: the Dutch Connection.

A contribution to the Lantheuil Conference of May 2003.

Marcel Claessen & Ida Nijenhuis.

Dordrecht & The Hague, 21 February 2003.

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NOTA BENE: corrected for typoes on 27 August 2003 by Marcel Claessen.

HTML conversion 01 December 2003.

Introduction and summary conclusions.

Having shown interest in the history of economic thought on earlier occasions, i.e. on the Enlightenment economics of Isaac de Pinto [Nijenhuis] and of Condorcet [Claessen], we have come to realize that it is necessary to study the history of economic thought in the context of political and economic history. This may be illustrated by the following quotation, which the attendants of the Lantheuil Conference of May 2003 will easily recognize as the view of a late 18th century, classical economist:

'There is no merchant who would not want to be the sole vendor of his commodities; there is no commerce in which those who exercise it do not seek to evade competition, and will not find some sophisms to make believe that is in the interest of the State to at least prevent the competition of foreigners, who can be more easily represented as the enemies of the nation's commerce'.

Although this might well have been extracted from the Wealth of Nations, it is, of course, a quotation [in our translation] from the Marque des fers, the Letter written by Intendant Turgot on Christmas evening 1773 to Contrôleur-Général Terray.

   There are at least three reasons why the quoted observations could not have been made by a late 18th century, Dutch classical economist. The first, insipid, reason being, that no such economist has existed: the first Dutch 'full-blown' classical economist, Simon Vissering, wasn't born until 1818, and his 'mere liberal' predecessors seldom opposed protectionism before 1835. Which is not to say, that a hypothetical Dutch classical economist would not have observed the monopolizing tendency, as inherent to the 18th century Dutch economy, as to any other market economy. The second reason being, that protectionist sophisms would not likely have been very successful in a nation breathing international trade. Which is not to say, that mercantilist defences were, then and now, beyond the Dutch. The third reason being, that the federalist Dutch Republic lacked the strong government, necessary for a protectionist scheme to work. Which is not to say, that Dutch governments, then and now, would not be prone to woodenheadedness; etcetera.

     Our contribution is of a provisional nature. Our aim has been merely to clarify whether Turgot's economics and politics have exercised a notable influence on Dutch economics and politics. We selected topics relating to midwifery [1] and veterinarian education [2], to the abolition of corvées and of guilds [3], to the reception of the economics of Turgot [4], to the presence of Dutch books in Turgot's library [5], and to Turgot's presence in Dutch diplomatic sources [6]. In short, our findings were:

Summa summarum: Turgot's economics and politics have had no notable influence on 18th and 19th century Dutch economics and politics. There is no indication for a Dutch influence on the economics of Turgot.

1. Did Turgot's midwifery school in Limoges set an example?

When portrayed as the industrious Intendant de la généralité du Limousin, Turgot is sometimes credited for the foundation of a midwifery school in Limoges, as for instance by Dupont in his Notice historique sur Turgot [Dupont 1844, T.1, p.xlii]. Aiming to reduce mother and child mortality, such an institution would indeed have been of great importance for the demographic and economic upswing of the region. Such a result would also have been a potent stimulant for the spread of enlightened midwifery to other regions and countries. The Limoges midwifery school had, however, no such exemplary effect, since it was probably no more, or less, than one of many French relicts of the series of courses in child delivery ['Cours d'accouchement'], given in 1763-1764 by Mme. Angélique Marguerite le Boursier du Coudray (1712-1794), the King's own travelling midwife [Gelbart 1998]. This may be gathered from the catalogue of the 1961 exposition, commemorating the bicentenary of Turgot's appointment in Limoges. The exposition contained Turgot's Circulaire of 26 September 1763 [Chamson 1961, exhibit 152], to the clergymen in the region, inviting them to notify their flock of the courses by Mme. du Coudray.

Although it is uncertain whether the Clermont-Ferrand born Mme. du Coudray attended the only [and all female] clinical obstetrics course in France in the Maternité at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris, she nevertheless passed the official midwifery exam in 1740. She stayed on in Paris as a practising midwife for 15 years, and she was instrumental to the institution of a 'Cours d'anatomie et de l'obstetrie' for midwifes at the (all male) Medical Faculty of the Paris university in 1745. In 1757 she published her own text book, the Abrégé de l'art des accouchements dans lequel on donne les préceptes nécessaires pour le mettre heureusement en pratique: on y a joint plusieurs observations intéressantes sur des cas singuliers, Paris, 1759, being a revised expansion of a 1667 midwifery textbook. The second edition, of 1777, also contained 26 coloured sketches, including a rather curious one, showing a troublesome twin birth with the left leg of the one, and the right leg of the other foetus being misinterpreted as the legs of a single infant.

     Mme. du Coudray was granted a pension by Louis XV in 1759, when Contrôleur-Général Bertin commissioned her to teach the art of childbirth to midwifes all over France. Her 'Cours d'accouchement', covering two days a week during two months, were given to 'sages-femmes', mostly illiterate, rural women, as well as to male surgeons. They were held all over France, e.g. Bourg 1762-63, Limoges 1763-64, Poitiers 1764-65, and Besançon 1772, with an estimated certification of between 5.000 and 10.000 midwifes in 40 cities during 25 years. Apart from being an innovation in itself, the Cours featured the demonstration of, and training in, the obstetric manipulation of a foetus during birth on a life-sized obstetrical 'machine à démontrer l'art de l'accouchement'. This mannequin or 'maniken' with a puppet-foetus, is still known and used as the 'fantoom' in Dutch medical education. Her 'Cours' were concluded, in a 'Maoist' style, by the instruction of the teaching method to a local medical surgeon, who could then pass on his skills as a 'chirurgien démonstrateur' to further generations of midwifes.

     As they were elsewhere, all over France, the Du Coudray midwifery courses in Limoges were a great success. This was confirmed by Turgot in a Lettre of 6 December 1763, to his fellow Intendant of Bordeaux:

'Her work is extremely useful and her method of teaching is the only one within way to reach the rural midwifes. You may find her a bit ridicule for the high esteem she holds of herself, but you will probably ignore this, as I do ... The parishes have sent more pupils than I expected. She is in her third course now, with one more to go. I don't think that she will accomplish this Generality before the end of the spring' [Chamson 1961, exhibit 161].

After the departure of Mme. du Coudray, the Limoges school for midwifery was probably reduced, as intended, to a virtual institution, consisting of the 'chirurgien démonstrateur' as an occasional instructor, and a maniken worth 200 livres. There is no literature as regards the success of the Limoges school, but it may well have been like that of the school founded in 1772 by the Intendant Lacoré in Besançon, Franche-Comté, with an attendance of the initial Cours by Mme. du Coudray of 99 pupils, including 12 chirurgiens, followed by 23 'sages-femmes' in the next two years, and another 110 in the next fifteen years [Blandel 2002].

     Even though many of the pupils attended the midwifery schools on order of a parish priest, it was by no means certain that the graduates succeeded in their profession, since it was, in the end, not the parish priest, but the assembly of married women in the paroisse that elected the sages-femmes who were allowed to assist with their accouchements. In this matter, interwoven with mystery and myth, the traditional trust in the empirical knowledge of the bonne-femmes may well have been coupled with the financial motive of the remuneration of a professional midwife, who had to live of her trade [Soret 2000].

Midwifery education in the Netherlands.

Courses by Mme. du Coudray, like the ones patronized by Turgot in Limoges, were also held in the southern part of the Netherlands, notably in the Flemish towns of Ghent, Ypres and Nieuwpoort [Boeynames 1939]. The instruction was, of course, in French, but the physician Van Daele, who also published Mme. du Coudray's courseware in Dutch, provided a simultaneous translation for the Flemish-speaking attendants. (1) We know of no such courses in the northern part of the Netherlands. Whereas France had known a uniform, statewide regulation of the midwifery profession since a 1692 edict, Dutch towns ordained local regulations and supervision by the local Collegium Medicum. Here, as in France, midwifes were instructed by the municipal lecturer in obstetrics ['lector obstetricae' or 'stadsvroedmeester']. Their instruction focussed on the anatomy of the female pelvis ['bekkenleer'], since their skilled involvement tended to be restricted to the surgical (by sectio cesarea or symphysiotomy) or mechanical (by forceps, tongs, probe, clips, scalpel, saw, etcetera) termination of abnormal or ill-fated cases of childbirth. Save perhaps an incidental female dissection, the instructions in obstetrics were a theoretical subject only on the academic curriculum [Lamens van Malenstein 1997, p.293], building on original Dutch studies on foetal manipulation and forced extraction, (2) and on translations of well-known French, German, Swedish and English handbooks. (3) Some of the Dutch medical faculties had no facilities for clinical patients at all, like the one at the University of Harderwijk (1648-1811), where the famous 18th century physicians Boerhaave and Linnaeus once had obtained their doctor medicinae for a small fee. Dutch physicians, willing to remedy their training deficit in obstetrics, completed their studies abroad, in the leading medical schools and private clinics of Paris, London, Strasbourg, Berlin, Göttingen, Würzburg, Vienna, etcetera. In 1791, Meinard du Puy, who had studied obstetrics in London and Paris, became the first Professor extra-ordinarius artis obstetriciae et chirurgiae practicae at the University of Leiden, where he was upgraded to [full] professor collegii medico-practici in 1795. During the 'Bataafse Republiek' ['Batavian Republic'], the short period in which the Dutch were, for once, ruled by their own (yet French inspired) enlightened imagination, Du Puy was praised for his public lessons in Dutch in the National Assembly by the physician David Heilbron, who demanded a public health policy, blaming the sorry state of public health to a lack of clinical instruction in the medical curriculum. This was overcome in 1799, when Du Puy managed to extend the Nosocomium Clinicum at the Leiden University Medical College with a delivery room and a 4 bed Tocodochium ['maternity ward'].

     From 1823 on, medical schools ['Geneeskundige scholen ter aankweking van Heelmeesters en Vroedvrouwen'] were also established in the Netherlands outside the universities realm, e.g. in Middelburg and in Rotterdam, with theoretical as well as clinical instruction in obstetrics, general surgery and pharmacy. Since women were only allowed to attend the obstetrics courses, the midwifery profession now became officially restricted to normal maternity care for healthy women. On the other hand, an academic promotion in obstetrics ['obstetriciae doctor'] allowed medicinae doctores, from 1838 on, to use all the tools of the trade. Specialized, government instituted midwifery schools ['Rijks-kweekscholen voor vroedvrouwen'] were introduced in 1861. The universities regained their monopoly on all other forms of medical education in 1866, with a curriculum structured to the Prussian model.


The institution by Turgot of a school for midwifery in Limoges, important as it may have been for the Limousin region, seems by no means to have been exceptional in France. The constituting 'Cours d'accouchement' by Mme. du Coudray, propagated - free of charge - to the Intendants by Contrôleur-Général Bertin, were also held in the Flemish part of the Netherlands. This is the only link between the Limoges school for midwifery and the Netherlands. In the other direction, only an even weaker link may be constructed with reference to Turgot's possession of a copy of the Institutiones medicae by the early eighteenth century Dutch physician, and botanist, Herman Boerhaave, as was mentioned in the Cataloque des livres de la bibliothèque de Turgot [Tsuda 1974-1977]. We find it, therefore, safe to conclude that there is no veritable link, one way or the other, between the foundation of the Limoges school for midwifery by Turgot, and the development of midwifery and obstetrics in the Netherlands.

2. Did Turgot's veterinary school in Limoges set an example?

When portrayed as the industrious 'Intendant de la généralité du Limousin', Turgot is sometimes credited for the foundation of a veterinary school in Limoges, as for instance by Dupont in his Notice historique sur Turgot [Dupont 1844, T.1, p.xlii]. And indeed, by the persisting efforts of Turgot, the first pupils entered the Limoges veterinary school, the second such institution in France, only four years after the first six pupils had entered the 'Ecole de médecine vétérinaire' in Lyon. Aiming to reduce the impact of epizootics on livestock production, the new institution should have become an important contribution to the demographic and economic upswing of the Limousin, one of the poorest regions of France [Hill 1999, pp.27-ff.], and a stimulant example for other regions in France. The intentions of the Intendant of Limoges, however, turned out to be to good to come true. Whereas the school in Lyon, then the second largest city in France, with 100.000 inhabitants, still exists today, the school in Limoges, then a minor town with a mere 16.000 inhabitants, closed down after no more than two years and nine months (22 January 1766 - 5 November 1768). Its first six pupils, and the next five: in total eleven until 1768, probably are what distinguishes Turgot's project most from the other stillborn attempts at veterinary schools in France, in Caen, La Roche-sur-Yon, Poitiers, and La Rochelle, who never really educated veterinarians.

Veterinary medicine in 18th century France.

Modern veterinary medicine is generally thought to have commenced in 1711, when Pope Clementius XI instructed his physician, Giovanni Maria Lancisi, an epidemiologist with a clear insight into the theory of contagion, to prescribe measures for the suppression of Bovilla peste, the bovine plague known as murrain or 'Rinderpest', after high losses to the Papal flock. His recommendations, remarkably modern in comparison to the methods used in the present European Community, included slaughter to reduce spread, restricted movement of cattle, burial of animals in lime, and inspection of meat. They were supported by drastic penalties threatening transgressors: guilty laymen were, supposedly, hung, drawn and quartered, whereas guilty ecclesiastics were 'only' sent to the galleys. As reported by Lancisi himself, the strict application of these methods stamped out murrain in the Romagna region. (4) Even though the application of the Papal method in other parts of Europe, combined, of course, with the lethal effect of the disease itself, contained murrain to an endemic status, widespread outbreaks nevertheless reappeared from the 1740's onwards. In France, the serious setback of the disease for food production convinced the reform-minded Contrôleur-Général des Finances Henri-Léonard Bertin of the need to place animal medicine on a more organized, rational, and scientific foundation, and to make more numerous and better-trained personnel available to supply veterinary treatment. Bertin (1719-1792) had been the 'Intendant de la Généralité de Lyon' from 1754 to 1757, when he went on to become the Lieutenant-Général de la police in Paris. He was promoted to Contrôleur-Général in 1759, and finally became a Ministre d'Etat, charged with the fosterage of agriculture, in 1763. One of the many projects he undertook, was the foundation of a veterinary school in Lyon, entrusting its direction to Claude Bourgelat (1702-1779), a Lyon born lawyer and Royal horse master, who had been made director of the 'Académie d'équitation' de Lyon in 1740. This was a cavalry school, teaching horsemanship, as well as swordsmanship, mathematics, music and etiquette. He had written two well-received books about horses, which had incited Diderot and d'Alembert to commission him as the editor of some 250 equestrial articles in their Encyclopédie in 1752. (5) Bourgelat seems to have been a workaholic, sidelining as the 'Contrôleur-Général des haras' ['horse breeding'] since 1757, and as the 'Inspecteur de la librairie de Lyon' since 1760. (6)

     Bourgelat's continuing efforts to broaden the curriculum of his academy to include veterinary medicine, and his new book on veterinary medicine, L'Art vétérinaire ou médecine des animaux, of 1761, induced Bertin to allow Bourgelat to open a school for public instruction in the principals and methods for the treatment of animal diseases. It seems that the book was used as a prospectus for the school, circulated, with the assistance of the royal administration, to the Intendants. Some of these 'encountered difficulties in their recruiting efforts [as] may be seen from the other circulars and memoranda the government found it necessary to send out periodically encouraging them to increase the numbers of veterinary students sponsored by the généralités. [...] Perhaps the most committed of all the intendants to this nascent field was Turgot [...], who went so far as to establish a veterinary school in his own province' [Kreiser 1997, p.19 n.22].

     In the first year that the new veterinary school existed, 1762, a total of 38 students were admitted, aging between 11 and 31 years, originating from many provinces, such as Bresse, Bugey, Bourgogne, Lorraine, Picardie, and Dauphiné, and including two pupils emanating from the Limousin. In 1764, the school was promoted to the 'Ecole Royale vétérinaire de Lyon', whereas Bourgelat himself now became the 'Directeur et Inspecteur-Général de l'école vétérinaire de Lyon et de toutes les Ecoles vétérinaires établies et à établir dans le royaume', as well as the 'Commissaire-Général des haras du royaume'.

The school in Limoges.

As a fervent promoter of agricultural reform, Bertin had encouraged the creation of agricultural societies, on the model of the 1757 'Société d'agriculture, du commerce et des arts de Rennes'. The newly appointed Intendant Turgot, intended on bringing civilization and prosperity to his backward and poor province, engaged in various agricultural reform projects, sometimes together with, but often against, the 1759 'Société d'agriculture de la Généralité de Limoges'. Turgot's agrarian reform plans included, above all, the abolition of the road building corvées and a reduction of the taxation by the taille and the vingtième. These were considered to be very high, compared to the neighbouring regions, on the account that cattle, the main agricultural product of the mountainous Limousin, then as now, constituted an easy, but often arbitrary indication of the taxability of the owners. Other plans concerned the draining of marshes, the introduction of new food crops (rice, potatoes), the selection of appropriate livestock (cattle, sheep) and forage, and the promotion of animal health. Incited by the 1761 Bourgelat prospectus for the Lyon veterinary school, Turgot managed to send him but a mere two pupils.

     In 1763, perhaps making a virtue of the necessity of funds for the sending of more than two pupils, Turgot decided to start his own school in Limoges. Bourgelat approved of the plan, offering one of his teachers, Le Blois, as its director. Bertin also supported the plan, but he could or would not commit the necessary finances. Turning down proposals by Turgot for a levy on the provinces neighbouring the Limousin (thought to be gaining from the school), and for a share in the tax funding ('traits de Tréoux') of the Lyon school, Bertin suggested the same 'excédents de la Capitation' (the balance of the capitation tax of each adult for a fixed sum) of the Limousin province, that Turgot already considered being over exhausted by central government itself. On the express recommendation by Bourgelat, Bertin nevertheless approved of the Limoges initiative in 1764, perhaps considering it an experiment for the introduction of many more schools to come, that is: as the first of a series of provincial outlets for a future, national, training school for veterinary teachers.

     The plan for such a national school, 'd'un ordre peutêtre supérieur' to the provincial schools, was the adjustment by Bertin to the Bourgelat plan for a single national veterinary school. The settlement of the school near King and Capital, may well have been a subtle stratagem of the Inspecteur-Général to avoid the opposition to a large-scale modernization of the equestrian professions by the conservative guilds of obscurist 'maréchaux-ferrants' ['farriers', 'hoefsmeden']. Another consideration may have been Bourgelat's dismay of the reorientation of the Lyon veterinary school towards agronomy by his successors, the botanist Rozier and the economist Baroilhet. The establishment of the Alfort school indeed meant a considerable loss to the Lyon school, both of pupils and of anatomist and clinical staff, but it survived. The new 'Ecole royale vétérinaire de Paris', organized in a military fashion, and with a very strong orientation on horses, was established in Paris in 1765. In 1766, its small quarters, the (tax induced) high prices of forage, and the metropolitan dangers to the morality of the students, occasioned a move of the school to Maison-Alfort near Paris, where it has been situated since.

     Meanwhile, back in Limoges, Turgot had grown tired of waiting for yet another obstacle to his school by the new Contrôleur-Général des finances, François de L'Averdy, who had succeeded Bertin upon his promotion to Ministre d'Etat. (7) On his own accord, Turgot had bought a building for his new school, and then circulated an advertisement to the parish priests in the Limousin region, and to the Intendants of the nearby provinces. (8)

     The third veterinary school in France opened its doors in Limoges in 1766, for just six pupils, including three from the neighbouring provinces. Over the next two years, a total of eleven pupils attended the Limoges school. (9) Its short existence was marked by a lack of funds, including a lack of scholarships for pupils with a zest for veterinary medicine. As Turgot noted in a 1768 letter to Bertin, informing him of the forthcoming closure of the school, the non bursary students, who paid their own fees, tended to opt for the more attractive and lucrative career of a humane surgeon: 'ils aimeraient mieux étudier tout simplement la chirurgie', as had, indeed, already been observed by Bourgelat [Desnoyers 1967, p.63.]. Added to these problems was the lack of speedy acceptance of the school's graduates by the tradition prone stock farmers and herdsmen of the Limousin, who probably also considered modern veterinarians, living of their trade, as costly. The Limoges school came eventually to an end with the decision by Turgot to send the remaining students to Alfort. What remained was Turgot's lengthy correspondence with the Paris bureaucracy, soliciting a financial compensation for Le Blois, the now jobless headmaster.

     The échec of the Limoges veterinary school seems to have had three main causes [Desnoyer 1967, p.67]: [a] its instable, semi-private existence, without official recognition, and by consequence, the inexistence of subsidies; [b] the appointment of the headmaster Le Blois, an excellent chirurgien, but not the dynamic and complete individual needed for the launching of the school; [c] and foremost: the foundation of the Alfort school; its power of attraction turned out to be so great, that it took more than 50 years until the next viable veterinary school was founded in France (Toulouse, 1825), and well over two centuries until the fourth school was founded (Nantes, 1979) [Kreiser 1967, n.52].

French influence on veterinary education in the Netherlands.

Although the Bourgelat initiative 'spread like an infection over Europe', the brooding period happened to be fairly long in the Netherlands. This is not to say, of course, that animal husbandry in the Low Countries wasn't plagued by disease, (10) or that veterinary cures for animal diseases, especially the 1711 Ramazzini prophylactic immunization, weren't discussed, and researched, by the Dutch during the 17th and 18th centuries. Examples are the 1676 anatomical studies of farm animals by Gerardus Blasius of Bruges and Amsterdam, the book on horse diseases by Jacobus de Smet of Borgerhout (1680, with many reprints until 1761), the Lancisi style provincial edicts from 1713 onwards, an essay on rabies in 1738, a prize-contest on immunization of cattle by the Dutch scientific society ['Hollandsche maatschappy der weetenschappen'] in 1759, the reports on experiments in immunization by Petrus Camper and many others during the 1760's, the demonstrations in the Theatrum anatomicum in Rotterdam by Henricus Vink in 1769, a prize-contest on liver-fluke in sheep by the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture ['Maatschappij ter bevordering van den landbouw'] in Amsterdam in 1777, and the report by Geert Reinders in 1778 on an inoculation society in the Groningen province, trading immunized calves for seizable ones. The well known Mémoire sur les maladies épidémiques des bestiaux by Denis Barberet (Paris, 1766) was translated into Dutch by Joost Schomaker in 1769, the Elémens d'hippiatrique by Bourgelat was translated into Dutch in 1770, his Matière médical raisonnée courseware for the 'Ecole vétérinaire' in 1774; etcetera.

     An important reason for this Dutch delay was the less important role of horses in Holland, due to the well developed waterway transport system (where, if applied at all, horsepower was much more efficient than in road transport), the lack of a non-naval military tradition and of a royal court with a great number of horses, and to the comparatively small percentage (forty) of the workforce employed in agriculture [Mathijsen 1997, p.63]. Another reason for the delay was the lack of an educational policy, or for that matter: of anything but a foreign policy, in the Dutch Republic. Until 1795, economic policy was left to the enlightened private care of the 'Oeconomische tak' of the Holland Society of Sciences, a Dutch pendant of the Society instituted at London for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce. Even though considered an imperium in imperio, the society's main activities were mere prize-contests on subjects in agriculture, trade and colonial affairs, industry, mechanics and chemistry, as well as navigation and fishery, reaching a total of 753 contests in its twenty years existence from 1777 on. Although the main agricultural interest was in land reclamation, a 1779 contest solicited cures for various animal diseases as well. The society also offered fifty scholarships, of forty guilders each, for the new nautical academy ['Zeevaartschool'] in Amsterdam, and a two hundred ducat premium for 'a Dutch youth, fluent in French, who, having attended the 'Ecole vétérinaire' in Paris or Lyon for at least two years, can prove his skills upon his return' [Bierens de Haan 1952, p.54]. The first two, private students originating from the Austrian parts of the Low Countries had already entered the school at Alfort in 1770; four bursary students from Belgium were sent to the school in Lyon in 1770-1771. From the twenty Belgian pupils sent to Alfort until 1795, ten successfully absolved their veterinary formation. (11)

     This private attention for economics and education dissolved into an attempt at public policy during the turbulent years of the 'Bataafse Republiek' of 1795-1806. Inspired by the French example, its patriot-democratic government set up a ministry of economic affairs, the 'Agentschap van nationale oeconomie', with, at its maximum, a staff of two couriers, eleven clerks and four senior civil servants [Zappey 1967, p.36], including the agricultural commissioner Jan Kops, a former Mennonite minister and fervent botanist, and the first Dutch professor in agricultural economics to be. Kops pioneered a small levy pro caput of cattle for a Cattle fund, to compensate farmers for the losses resulting from the Lancisi system of culling diseased and suspect animals, that was implemented by the 1799 Law to prevent and control rinderpest. His many other plans included the installation of Provincial agricultural commissions, and the founding of a veterinary school, seizing upon the extensive plan, including blueprints, that had made the physician Jan Arnold Bennet (later to hold the chair for agricultural economics at the University of Leiden) the prize winner of a 1796 contest by a landowners Society for the promotion of agriculture of Amsterdam. Bennet, drawing upon the curricular examples of the German, Austrian, and Danish offspring of the Alfort school, had proposed a two teacher, five to ten pupils academy. It was to be situated in the city of Utrecht, suitably located in the middle of the Republic, with a university, a cavalry garrison, an important cattle and horse market, moor lands for experiments in crop cultivation, etcetera [Mathijsen 1997, p.64]. A lack of funds prevented the plan to materialize.

     During the short reign of Napoleon's brother Louis in the 1806-1810 'Koninkrijk Holland', no less than three new veterinarian plans found an official support: the upgrading of the military riding school in Leiden by means of the appointment of a equestrian teacher, and the institution of a veterinary examinations board in Leiden (1808-1810), the sending of five sponsored Dutch pupils to Alfort, (12) and the foundation of a veterinary school in the city of Zutphen, in the east of the kingdom. Although a German veterinarian and a local pharmacist were indeed appointed in Zutphen, teaching for over three years, a proper school was never established. Zutphen was, however, mentioned in a decree on veterinary schools by Emperor Napoleon, during the short period of the French annexation of the Netherlands from 1810-1813, when Jean-Baptiste Huzard, 'Inspecteur-Général des écoles royales d'économie rurale et vétérinaire', deemed the town the suitable site for one of the four future veterinary schools of secondary rank (Aachen, Lyon, Turin, Zutphen), under the first rank 'Ecole impérial' at Alfort.

     During the 'Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden' (United Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1813-1831), the Leiden veterinary examinations board was revived in 1817, now also stipulating the official licensing proof for southern veterinarians absolved from the Alfort school during the French period. A genuine Dutch veterinary school, the 'Rijksveeartsenijkundige' school in Utrecht, was finally established in 1821, opening its doors (and dormitory) for a first class of 24 students. Refuting the opinion of the Belgian veterinary historian Marc Mammerickx, that this was the only school in Europe without a French tradition, especially since none of the Utrecht professors had studied in France, August Mathijsen has shown that the semi-military organization of the Utrecht school was inspired, if not copied, from the Alfort model.

     Forty-five Flemish-speaking students absolved the Utrecht veterinary school until the Belgian Secession of 1831, whereas twenty-five French-speaking students of the southern part of the Netherlands continued their education in Alfort during the same period. In the new, independent Kingdom of Belgium, a French language veterinary school, in semi-military Alfort style, was established in Cureghem, near Brussels, in 1831. A Flemish counterpart of the 'Ecole vétérinaire de Cureghem-Bruxelles' was only established at the University of Ghent in 1930. In 1992, the Cureghem school was relocated to become the Veterinary Faculty at the Campus du Sart-Tilman of the University of Liège.


In the history of veterinary medicine, the institution by Turgot of a veterinary school in Limoges constitutes a rather insignificant episode, spanning one building, a few teachers, a few pupils, and a few years. The history of veterinary medicine is a specialist(s) subject, with a World association for the history of veterinary medicine, at least twenty five national veterinary history societies and seven journals, and a browseable biographies database with over 1.600 names and 2.900 sources, including, in all, two entries for Turgot: the 1967 thesis by Pierre Desnoyer, and a reprint of the Recueil de médecine vétérinaire [67 (1902), pp.107-116] article by Railliet, Alcide-Louis-Joseph & Léon Moulé: 'Turgot et l'École vétérinaire de Limoges (22 février 1766 - 5 novembre 1768)', Paris, 1902, covered, of course, by Desnoyer. Turgot's veterinary school in Limoges is, however, not without significance for the history of political economy. It shows us Turgot ardently grabbing every opportunity to stimulate the growth of wealth in the Limousin region, being, so to speak, his experimental plot for economic policy and political economy. Having erected the school without a proper financial foundation, hoping that his fait accompli would shake the treasury in Paris, Turgot liquidated the school without much hesitation when his scheme failed. In doing so, he showed a business-like behaviour: he took his losses when they were smallest, thus avoiding the behaviour common, then as now, to gamblers, politicians and administrators. No Barbara Tuchman-like woodenheadedness for Turgot.

     It would be hard to construct a credible link between the Limoges veterinary school and the Netherlands. The botanist and agronomist Rozier, the former director of the Lyon school who had become the founding editor of the scientific monthly Journal de physique ['Observations sur la physique, l'histoire naturelle et sur les arts et métiers'] in Paris, visited the Low Countries in 1777, but he seems to have been interested most in windmills. That same year, the eminent Dutch theologian, anatomist and immunization experimenter Petrus Camper visited Paris, but he seems to have been interested most in gorillas. (13) We find it, therefore, safe to conclude that there is no veritable link, one way or the other, between the foundation of the Limoges veterinary school by Turgot, and the development of veterinary medicine in the Netherlands.

3. Did Turgot's six edicts set an example?

Turgot and the 1776 abolition of the corvées and of the jurandes.

When portrayed as the industrious 'Intendant de la généralité du Limousin', Turgot is sometimes credited for the de facto abolition of the same corvées, which he managed to end de jure in 1776, during his office as a reformist Contrôleur-Général. (14) Turgot held both ethical, and economical, arguments against the corvées. These unpaid services covered the 1740 road building corvées des chemins for peasants of roadside parishes, the towing of timber rafts destined for the naval yards by riverains, and the transport and lodging of troops. The corvées inflicted an injustice on those forced to deliver their labour and materials, since most of the benefit of this 'tax in kind' was enjoyed by people exempted from the tax: rural landowners, city dwellers, and in general: the rest of France. From his economist's point of view, the corvées were inefficient as well, relying on unskilled and reluctant labour, with the cost of repairs being enlarged due to a lack of surveillance of roads and construction works. (15) Both arguments favoured the substitution of the road corvées by an enhancement of the tax on the value of landed property, thought to be increasing when disclosed by roads; the tax proceeds could then be used for the expenses of voluntary, skilled labour [e.g. by the military].

     Even before becoming an Intendant, Turgot had already ventured his (and Gournay's) opinion about the effect upon the economy of restrictions, like those imposed by the guild system, in the Encyclopédie of Diderot et d'Alembert, as for instance in his 1757 article 'Foire': (16)

'We conclude that great fairs are never as utile, as the inutility of the impediment they encompass; & far from being the proof of a flourishing state of Commerce, they may au contraire only exist where Commerce is hindered, overloaded with rights, & in consequence mediocre'.

Together with the abolition of the corvées, Turgot's reformist plan for fiscal renovation, deregulation and modernization of the French economy was spearheaded by the abolition of the 'jurandes'. (17)

     Bundled with four minor edicts, extending free trade in grains to Paris and abolishing some unnecessary offices, the six liberalization and deregulation edicts of Turgot were fiercely opposed by the newly recalled parliament, for the attack on the privileges of tax exemption of the nobility and the clergy that the edicts encompassed. Short of a more solid argument, 'the parlement dared not print its remonstrances against the edicts. They were published in Holland, where the writ of censorship in France did not run, and the [non parliamentary] magistrates used every means to prevent them being imported into France'. (18) Despite the opposition of the parlements, and even of his own colleagues, (19) Turgot managed to force the registration of the six edicts by a royal lit de justice. But his liberalization policy soon after came to an end, when on his turn he was forced to resign in Mai 1776, whence, 'as far as was possible, all the work of his ministry was rapidly undone' [Cobban 1977, I, p.107].

     The immediate application of the 'jurandes' edict had been limited to the 121 guilds of Paris, where only four 'good' guilds had been spared: the pharmacists, the booksellers and printers, and the gold- and silversmiths, who had already been under some form of police surveillance (the 'orfèvres' even since 1260), and the barbers, wigmakers and bathhouse masters, whose 'sanitary' trade was to be transformed in a public office. The 'restauration' edict of 4 August 1776 reinstated 21 of the original guilds of Paris, and, lessening the restrictions on female participation and on the combination of trades, recombined the others to some 50 new guilds. In the following years, similar edicts and Lettres patentes were given for other French cities [Wiskerke 1938, pp.35-38].

  It took a revolution to finally abolish the guild system in France. The resolution of the National assembly of 4 August 1789, to the 'réformation des jurandes', was followed by the proclamation of 11 August 1789, opening all trades to all citizens. In March 1791, a pertinent Loi d'Allarde was agreed upon by the Constituante, abolishing the 'jurandes et maîtrises', with the exception of the guilds of pharmacists and of silver- and goldsmiths, (20) with indemnification for the property rights infringement of those who had bought their maitrîses, as well as the introduction of a patent or business tax. The suppression of the guild system was finalized in June 1791 by the Loi le Chapelier, prohibiting all economic and political associations and coalitions of professionals, that is: both of masters and of workers in any given trade.

Dutch comments on Turgot's ministry.

Meanwhile, Turgot's edicts had also aroused widespread interest outside of France, with the Mémoires secrètes reporting no less than five or six editions of the edicts in translation in England [Hill 1999, p.171]. His performance in the King's government gave rise to some pointed comments from Mattheüs Lestevenon van Berkenrode, the 'not very prominent' Dutch envoy in Paris. (21) In his letter of 12 February 1775, Van Berkenrode mentioned the rather abstruse and tiresome ways that were used by Turgot to convince young Louis XVI of his policies. On 20 June 1775, the Dutch envoy stated that the Côntroleur-Général was the King's favorite because of his peace-loving foreign policy. In the same letter Van Berkenrode expressed his hope that breadprices would fall, fearing an otherwise inevitable popular revolt against the Côntroleur-Général. In his letter of 16 November 1775, Van Berkenrode indicated the demise of Turgot, mentioning the strong 'cabale' against him. He explained the dire straits in which Turgot now found himself by pointing out his character deficiencies: 'too much obstinacy; wanting too many things at the same time, without "menagement"; determined to attack and overthrow [everything]'; his downfall was easy to foretell, and he would already have been out of his job but for the King's trust. In all of his letters sent to the Dutch Republic during Turgot's ministry, Van Berkenrode confined his reports on the Côntroleur-Général's activities to political and court intricacies. No substantial remarks were made with respect to either Turgot's political economy or his specific plans. This indifference with regard to the contents of Turgot's policy matched the lack of interest in this type of reform strategy, that was generally shown by the political elite in The Hague.

     The Dutch were probably interested more in the financial effects of Turgot's political conduct, than in the effects on Dutch foreign trade. The Amsterdam economic spectator and trade weekly, De Koopman of bydragen ten opbouw van Neêrlands koophandel en zeevaard ['The merchant or contributions to the reconstruction of Dutch trade and shipping'] never once mentioned Turgot, or for that matter: French politics, in all of its 1774-1776 editions. (22) But the general newspaper Amsterdamsche Courant, on the other hand, spent as much of its columns on French news, as it did on domestic news: 25%. It was surpassed only by the French language newspapers published in the major cities of the Netherlands. The most outstanding among these was the Gazette de Leyde, an internationally circulated newspaper with a reputation for timely, accurate, and impartial news: it might well have been the best newspaper of the world. (23) It was published twice a week in Leiden, the main Dutch university town with a considerable minority of Huguenot professors, entrepreneurs and reverend ministers. Reporting on major political events in European nations, its news about French politics mainly consisted of reprinted (summaries of the) contents of the semi-official, and much more expensive, Gazette de France.

     The selection of news in the Gazette de Leyde, and its incidental commentaries, had shown a favour for the parlementaire-led opposition to the ministerial 'despotism' during the latter days of the Louis XV regime. The editor of the Gazette de Leyde since 1773, Jean Luzac, had nevertheless written extensively about the ministry of the enlightened reformer Turgot, right from the beginning in August 1774, (24) observing that if Turgot carried his rumoured plan to allow each French province to tax itself, France would return to the nation, that is: the parliaments, the sacred right to tax itself. As far as the Gazette de Leyde was concerned, the essential issue at stake in French domestic politics was not reform towards greater efficiency, desirable as it was, but freedom and participation in government [Popkin 1987, pp.88-90].

     Throughout 1774 and 1775, the Gazette de Leyde reported favourable on Turgot's reform projects. sometimes even laudatory. It became jubilant in Numero LXXII du Vendredi 9. Septembre, 1774; Supplement [our translation]:

'From Brussels, 5 September. [...] The revolution in the system of Government of France is total. The People on the one hand show their joy & zeal for the Monarch and Ministers, who fulfil the desires of the Nation, and on the other their hate & animosity for the former Ministers whose official deeds nearing the end of the former Rule, for some time seem to have alienated the Peoples hearts that were so attached to their King. The busts of M. le Chancelier [Maupeou] and of M. l'Abbé Terray are mistreated openly in the Streets of the Capital; and these former Ministers have run a risk, it is said, of having a like treatment in person: it has been necessary, to prevent even larger disorders, to post a Guard at the Palace & at the Place Vendôme. [...] To Mr. Turgot, the new Contrôleur-Général, are attributed several reform Projects of public utility, & when this Minister took his place in the Chamber of Accounts, he made a Speech that seemed to announce these...'.

In the edition of 30 September 1774, the newspaper reported extensively on Turgot's Arrêt for the deregulation of the grain market:

'A text which is of such interest not only for the details it contains about one of the branches most important to the political Administration, but also for the impression it bears of the kind-heartedness & wisdom that have characterized until now, all the Laws that emanated under the present Rule, can only be agreeable to all the Readers who are sensible to the well-being of humanity'.

In October 1774, it reported on Turgot's 'annullement de la Régie des hypothèques de Terray', on the replacement of the 'Ferme des domaines' by a Régie, and on his 'Plan d'imposition économique & d'administration des finances', and in November 1774 on his plans to abolish the extorting credit facility for the Paris meat market, the 'Caisse de Poissy'.

     Turgot's plan for a follow up on a national scale of the abolition of the Limousin corvées was first, and favourable, signalled by the paper on 7 February 1775: Numero XI. du Mardi 7. Février, 1775; Supplement:

'From Paris, 30 January. M. the Contrôleur-Général has, it is said, the plan to suppress de Corvées for the high roads; & one imagines that he will easily get this accorded by the King, who desires but to relief the burdens of his Subjects. Those doing the work will be paid out of a Contribution for which the Parishes will be taxed. This is not the only benefaction that the Nation promises itself from this Patriot-Minister'.

From the report on the troubles in Dyon and Metz on 5 Mai 1775 onwards, the Gazette de Leyde rallied to Turgot's assistance in the Flour War. On 9 Mai 1775 it wrote:

'There can be no right-minded man who will not be convinced of the patriotic & wise views of M. le Côntroleur-Général [...] [The recent Arrêts] on the occasion of the dearth in Burgundy and the mutiny in Dyon [...] (which, faute de place ici, will be reprinted in our next edition) are a brilliant proof of the kind-heartedness of our [sic!] Government, who, instead of a severe opposition to the discontentedness of the People, seeks foremost to remove their motives, buying them a prompt relief'.

The Gazette de Leyde took a middle position in the conflict between Turgot and the Paris parliament, that emerged in the open when the King repressed the parliament's Arrêt, in which, pointing to the King's 'paternal care for the subsistence of his People', it had claimed the final say in all the measures concerning the bread revolt. On 23 Mai 1775, the Gazette de Leyde cited two letters to Turgot by the King, expressing His contentment with Turgot's firm stand during the revolt, and with the precautions he had taken for Paris. The paper's interest in French domestic policies died out in the summer of 1775, but during the fall, the Gazette de Leyde again reported extensively on the suppression of the 'Caisse des amortissements', probably informing its readers in the Dutch banking business. In February 1776, it reported on the cassation by the Conseil Royal of a debilitating modification by the Rouen parliament of Turgot's deregulation of the grain market. On 20 February 1776, the Gazette de Leyde reported on the registration of the famous six edicts with the Paris parlement, and on 27 February on the first of the parliamentary remonstrances supplicating the King 'to withdraw the Edict, purporting the abolition of the Corvées'. Following a full reproduction of the edict, abolishing the 'Caisse de Poissy', and including its extensive preamble, the Gazette de Leyde discussed the other five edicts in all of its 12 editions from 26 March until 3 Mai 1776, summary abstracting the edicts and the parliamentary proceedings, 'the limits of our paper prohibiting us to infer all the documents'.

The abolition of the 'Drostediensten' in the Dutch province of Overijssel.

We do not know for certain, whether the abolition of the corvées by Turgot has had any influence in the Netherlands, since, for a start, we do not know at present how widespread the Gazette de Leyde was circulated in the 18th century Dutch Republic. (25) We do know, however, that remnants of (pre) feudal institutions were concentrated in the higher parts of the country, and that it was only in the eastern province of Overijssel that corvées still existed in 1777. (26) In this province the radical democrat Johan Derk van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741-1784) started a campaign for their abolishment in 1778. A 'born regent' and a 'Patriot par excellence' [Leeb 1973, p.136], a jurist by education and a nobleman by trade, Van der Capellen had not derived his political ideas from the French philosophes of his century [Wertheim 1966, pp.20-21], but from English philosophers. (27) If at all, Van der Capellen is still best known, internationally, for his three successful campaigns in support of the American revolution: against lending of the mercenary Scottish Brigade to the English in 1776; (28) in support of a 200.000 guilders loan to the new Republic in 1780; and in support of the formal recognition of the United States of America by the 'Republiek der Vereenigde Nederlanden' in 1782. The Dutch acknowledge him for his patriot and democratic opposition, as did his self appointed modern day successor, the late Dr. Pim Fortuijn.

     Van der Capellen's first success in interior politics was the abolition of the personal servitude of the 'Drostediensten' in his home province of Overijssel. The 'Drostediensten' had originally been a statute labour for the peasantry. During the centuries they had degenerated into a private services to the 'Drost' magistrate, consisting of two days of manual labour and of carting, twice a year, or a redemption in money. The five 'Drost' offices of sub-regional governors in Overijssel were a relict of the regions mediaeval feudality to the bishop of Utrecht and the German emperor. In 1778, upon publishing his speech to the States of Overijssel on this subject, and distributing it among the regional peasantry, Van der Capellen had been expelled from this provincial establishment for breaking the secrecy caps. Although he had larded his ardent speech with images of human rights violations, and of blood, sweat and tears sufferings of the rural population, he had based his conclusions on a formal, judicial, argument: as he had uncovered in the unpublished parliamentary proceedings, the 'Drostediensten' had already been abolished in 1631, in return for an increase of the 'Drost'-officials salaries. It took Van der Capellen and his peasant and patriotist followers over two years of petition campaigning, to get the Overijssel parliament to confirm to the abolition of the 'Drostediensten', and to readmit the Baron to the parliament. [Ter Harmsel 1981, pp.iv-vi].

     Just before his readmission in 1782, Van der Capellen had been successful in dealing a major, be it anonymous, Patriot blow against the ruling party of the Dutch 'Stadhouder' William V, and the ménagerie of the House of Orange. In a neo-feudal system of patronage for both the rural gentry and the urban bourgeois regents, the House of Orange had reached a near monarchical status in the 18th century. The 'Stadhouder', thus, had also become the symbol of the prolonged decline of the once prosperous republic, when Dutch international trade, industry, and fishery, were finally cut to size by the French and English competitors. Turning into rentiers, the upper class had managed to escape decline, diverting their private and banking capitals to foreign investments. This left the burden of the economic crisis to the smaller entrepreneurs catering the home market, and, of course, to the working class. Whereas the proletariat set their hopes on the fatherly care of the Stadhouder, the formerly well to do 'burgers' ['citizens'] combined in reform societies and in a Patriot reform party. In a widely circulated brochure, Van der Capellen had accused the 'Stadhouder' of the usurpation of sovereignty, of preferences for commissioning foreign officers and for a far to large standing army, as an permanent attempt at military tyranny, of being a foreign prince serving foreign interests and selling out to the English, whose dynasty William was parented to, etcetera. In his attempt to save the country, the anonymous Van der Capellen called for no less than a revolt: for the defence of the ancient liberties and rights of the Dutch, for a national inquiry into the causes of the nations disastrous situation, for civil liberty, for freedom of the press, and for political rights, expressed in democratic, patriotist committees of 'burgers' en 'boeren' ['farmers'] and in civic militia's. His 1781 Brief aan het Volk van Nederland ['Letter to the People of the Netherlands'] turned out to be the final blow that Van der Capellen struck: he died in 1784. In the following years, his companions of the Patriot party, aristocrats and 'burgers', successfully revolted to gain or regain positions in the political bodies of the larger towns. Their opponents of the Orangist party reacted in 1787 with a coup d'état, orchestrated by the 'Stadhouder' and supported by the Prussian army, sent by his brother in law. This forced a number of bourgeois Patriots to flee the country for the safety of Belgium and France. Orangist followers of the Prince blew up the Baron's grave monument in 1788.

The abolition of the guilds in the Netherlands.

In order to appreciate the abolition of the guilds in the Netherlands, it is necessary to first recap some of the late 18th century Dutch political and constitutional intricacies. In the wake of the French Revolution, exiled and inland patriots were rejoined in 1795, when a French Army invaded the Netherlands, and the 'Stadhouder' fled to England. A new 'Bataafsche Republiek' ['Batavian Republic'] was quickly constituted, based on the French Revolution's principles of freedom, equality and brotherhood. The framing of a Dutch Constitution turned out to be less easy, and it took well over a year for the 'Nationale Vergadering' ['National Assembly'] to agree on an 'Ontwerp van Constitutie' ['Draft Constitution'], divided as the members were in a Unitarian faction, seeking to enlarge the constitutional scope, and a Federalist faction, seeking to uphold the traditional local and provincial self-governance. The constitution that the parliament finally agreed upon, was turned down by popular vote in August 1797. A coup d'état by the Unitarian faction expelled part of the Federalist faction from the assembly in January 1798, forcing the remaining members of parliament to renounce both stadholdership, federalism, aristocracy and anarchy. Guided by the five members of the cabinet-like executive committee ['Uitvoerend Bewind'], the representatives now agreed on a new, unitarian constitution, largely drawn after the prevailing French constitution. The resulting 'Staatsregeling' was accepted by popular vote in April 1798. Accused of unconstitutional and dictatorial conduct, and of delaying the inscription of the new constitution, the radical, unitarian majority was ousted from the 'Uitvoerend Bewind' by a moderate counter coup d'état in June 1798. An intermediate executive committee then enforced the 'Staatsregeling van de Bataafse Republiek' in July 1798. This constitution lasted until 1801, when another, French inspired, coup d'état resulted in a new constitution, largely restoring the pre-1795 provincial federalism in what was now called the 'Bataafs Gemenebest' ['Batavian Commonwealth']. The constitution then remained in tact until 1806, when Napoleon turned the republic into the Kingdom of Holland, clipping the assembly of its legislative power with a new 'Grondwet' ['Constitution'], that opened the way for the much needed codification of Dutch Law, copied from the French Codes.

     The Dutch guild system, when measured with the indicators for Amsterdam, with 50 guilds and a 220.000 population, with the guild system covering 85% of the workforce, excluding sailors, was probably as effective as the French system [Lourens 1994]. The effectiveness may have included the capacity to suppress objections to the guild system. A scarce, and not very well received, exception was the 1659 plea by the cloth merchant Pieter de la Court (1618-1685) for the deregulation of manufacture in Leiden [Het welvaren van Leiden]. Another exception, though probably of imaginary Dutch origin only, was the 1758 study of the guild system in France, published with a 'The Hague' imprint as: M. Delisle, Mémoire sur les corps de métiers, and with an 'Amsterdam' imprint plus an accurate attribution of the author as: Simon Clicquot de Blervache, Considérations sur le commerce et en particulier sur les compagnies, sociétés et maîtrise, ouvrage composé sous les yeux de M. de Gournay. It leaned heavily on De la Court's Aanwysing der heilsame politike gronden en maximen van de republike van Holland en West-Vriesland, translated, together with the two chapters of the Interest van Holland ofte gronden van Hollands-welvaren attributed to Johan de Witt (1625-1672), as the Mémoires de Jean de Witt of 1709 [Wildenberg 1986, p.54]. A more materialist contribution to the survival of the guild system within the cities of Holland, was the possibility to circumvent the guild restrictions by transferring a manufacture to the Dutch domestic 'colony' under federal rule, the 'Generaliteitslanden' of Brabant. This happened, for instance, during the 18th century with a large section of the textile industry of Leiden, where during the 17th century the guild system had been opposed by Pieter de la Court. The existence of a guild free zone within the republic underscored, of course, that the guilds had no final say in local, provincial and federal government. With strong traditions undermined by the multi-religious affiliations of the membership, and short of a firm grip on economical and political society, the continued flourishing of the guilds in the Netherlands may well have been the result of the mutual insurance that they provided to (the relatives of) their members [Bos, Lourens & Lucassen 2002].

     As Wiskerke has recalled in his 1938 dissertation, it was only after 1775, when the stagnation of the Dutch economy had become a 'popular' subject for prize-contests by private societies seeking to encourage commerce, that prudent objections to imperfections of the guild system began to spread. Total rejections of the guild system were only delivered in Dutch translations of Spanish and English apologies of the system of economic and political freedom, as advocated by Campomanes, Price, Priestley and Paine. From 1789 on Dutch patriots, exiled in France, had begun to plan the transformation of the Dutch federation of provinces and towns in a French style unitarian republic, leaving no room for economic and political privileges of the guilds, since all men were equal!

     From the French invasion of January 1795 onwards, local authorities in the new 'Bataafse Republiek' nevertheless resisted the incidental Patriot addresses for the immediate dissolution of the guilds. Printed objections to the guild system that now began to circulate freely, rested not so much on theoretical arguments in economics, as well on exemplified, exceptional imperfections of the guild system, (29) or merely pointed to the report about the guilds delivered by d'Allarde to the 'Constituante' in the course of the 1791 abolition of the guilds in revolutionary France.

     It was left to the new Patriot parliament to settle the fate of the guilds as an element of the new, revolutionary, constitution.The Chapter on Guilds of the 'Plan van Constitutie', that was debated on 14 and 15 March 1797, included:

In the parliament, no one argued in favour of the existing guild system as such. (30) The first, Federalist, member who spoke, set the tune for the meeting: 'The nature of exclusive monopolies that the guilds have assumed here and elsewhere [...] [had made him a proponent] not of total nullification [...] [but] of appropriate improvement'. Radical members favouring full nullification argued that the guilds were an obstacle to the equality of citizens, especially between the populations of towns and of rural areas. As an obstacle to the advancement of technology, guilds were detriment to the constitutional task of advancing the economy. (31) Moderate members argued for a balancing of pro's and con's, though not of the guild system itself, but of its suppression; an abolition of the guilds on short notice could be worse than a continued existence for some time. It might also be wiser to change the guild system, than to abolish it altogether. Urban, Federalist, members warned for a ruin of the towns, as nullification would be a biased benefaction of the rural population. Although one radical member suggested to put nullification to a popular vote, it was finally agreed upon that, although the guilds should be abolished in due time, it was best to consider these matters further in a parliamentary committee, as was finally decided in a nominal vote by a majority of members.

     This irresolution was, of course, not resolved in the committee, and its final 'Ontwerp van Constitutie voor het Bataafsche volk' merely renumbered the artt.736-740 to artt.829-833, replaced art.737 with art.830: Instructing parliament to replace, within 18 months after the constitution was passed, and abiding to the rules of justice, the existing public monopolies and guild regulations with new 'general laws of police', when, and where, required by professions, trades, factories, etc.; and replaced art.737 with art.833, stating that the temporary monopolies of art.832 [art.739] could not be granted to places [towns, regions] or families, but only to persons. This was the 'Ontwerp' that was rejected by popular vote on 8 August 1797.

     The revolutionary 'Staatsregeling van de Bataafsche Republiek', which was agreed upon in April of 1798, proclaimed the freedom of commerce, and the equality of all citizens. The preliminary art.52 merely stated that: 'No restrictions, whatever and wherever, shall be allowed for trade and production of goods'; the art.53 stated that:

'Passing of the Staatsregeling will nullify all Guilds, Corporations or Brotherhoods of trades, professions or factories. Every Citizen, wherever he lives, has the right to commence any Factory or Trade or any other honest profession he may choose. Parliament will assure good order, comfort and convenience in this matter'.

The actual suppression, or continuation, of the guilds was left to provincial and local authorities, guided by indistinct or ambiguous government proclamations and laws, and, of course, by the market. (32) As a result, it has taken more than 150 years until the nullification, on 30 Mai 1950, of the [supposedly] last of the Dutch Guilds, the Porters Guild ['Korps Zakkendragers'] of Dordrecht. A Law of 26 July 1820, for the liquidation by the municipalities of the guild insurance funds for widows and orphans, is still valid. The secret use of the remnants of the guild funds of Rotterdam, by its mayor and aldermen, aroused a serious political upheaval only a few years ago.


The 1776 abolition by Turgot of the 'corvées' and of the 'jurandes', although well noted in the Gazette de Leyde, did not set an example in the Netherlands. There is no indication of a relation between the edicts of Turgot and the almost contemporary abolishment of the 'Drostediensten' in Overijssel. The resolution of the guild system in 1797-1798 was strongly influenced by the example set during the French Revolution, but inside or outside the Dutch parliament, Turgot was never mentioned in connection with the abolition of the guilds in the Netherlands.

4. Did the Dutch know about Turgot's economics?

The Goldberg catalogues of 1800 and 1828.

In the 'Bataafse Republiek', the 'Uitvoerend Bewind' ['Executive Committee'] had appointed Johannes Goldberg (1763-1828) as the head of the new 'Agentschap voor Nationale Oeconomie' ['Office for the National Economy']. The new 'Agent', who had been a successful insurance broker in Amsterdam, started his ministry in 1799, heading one senior civil servant, one clerk and one courier. After a French inspired, conservative coup in 1801, it merged into the new department of home affairs ['Raad van binnenlandse zaken'], and into the new department of Trade and Colonies of the Kingdom of Holland ['Koninkrijk Holland'] in 1806. In its short existence, is was largely occupied by the details of the war economy's restrictions on trade, by the organization of the postal services, and by the relief of the poor. Goldberg also embarked on an inspection tour and a large-scale statistical survey of the Dutch economy. His critique of a lack of instruction in economical statistics by the Dutch universities was met by Adriaan Kluit in 1802, who became the first Dutch lecturer in Statistics or Political Economy ['Professor statistices regni Hollandici'] at the Leiden University in 1806. (33)

     For his Agentschap, Goldberg collected a reference library of some 1000 titles. Its catalogue of circa 1800, now preserved in the 'Koninklijke Bibliotheek' ['Royal Library'] in The Hague, listed mainly studies about industry branches and regions. A few of the other titles are also listed in the 1828 auction catalogue of Goldberg's books, prepared shortly before his untimely death, by Goldberg and the Dutch bookseller Johannes Immerzeel junior; (34) the 1828 catalogue is also preserved in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Even though we identified not a single title connecting in any way to Turgot, we have thought it appropriate to list the titles notable from the viewpoint of a (modern) economist in our Appendix 2.

Provenance of 18th and early 19th century works by, or about, Turgot in Dutch libraries.

Using an old French noun for 'origin', the history of ownership of a particular book or work of art is indicated by its 'provenance'. It is mainly used by auctioneers, dealers, and collectors, as a criterion in the valuation of old and rare books, but it is certainly also of scholarly importance.

The provenance conception has been widened by Richard Landon to include, aside from historical association, 'non print' indications in books: wrappers, bookplates, bindings, linkages to authors, collectors, libraries, and dealers, as well as marginalia and other inscriptions. When positively identified, these indications may be of considerable academic significance. Interesting linkages may be made between writers or historical figures and books by analysing provenance. The history should at least be indicative of ownership: an owner's mark in handwriting, an ex libris bookplate, a dealer's mark, a specific bookbinding, etcetera. When the (previous) ownership is fully indicated, a particular book may be referred to as 'the copy' of that owner [Landon 1996, p.49]. The (lack of an) indication of the date and the circumstances of the acquisition of a book, or even better: a full account of the usage of a book until its alienation, as modern public libraries should be able to provide, may be crucial in academic discourse. (35)

     We have looked into the previous ownership of the remarkably few period books by, or about, Turgot, that are preserved in the academic and larger public libraries in the Netherlands. We used the OCLC PICA OBN NCC Open Library Network's Dutch Central Catalogue [probably missing out on part of the identification string here], containing the bibliographic references and the locations of 14 million books in over 400 libraries in the Netherlands. Our query for the 'author' Turgot yielded 49 hits. We eliminated those relating to A.R.J. Turgot's father, Michel-Etiènne Turgot, the prévôt des marchands of Paris still known for his 1739 city plan including 20 maps in bird's-eye view (reprints only), or to his elder brother, Etiènne-François Turgot, the governor of Guyana still known for his 1758 book on natural history (four Libraries). Next, we eliminated the misattributed Sur les finances by Pierre André ****, fils d'un bon laboureur [...], of 1775 (Tilburg University Library), and the works by Turgot on the American Revolution, including the 1791 edition of the Mémoire sur les colonies of 1776 (Vredespaleis Library), his Letter of March 22, 1778 in the 1785 Observations on the importance of the American revolution, and the means of making it a benefit to the world by Richard Price (Utrecht University Library), and in the Dutch translation of the Observations of the same year (four Libraries).

     Further eliminating the works already contained in available earlier editions, notably the Mémoire sur les prêts d'argent contained in the Oeuvres de J. Bentham, jurisconsulte Anglais (Bruxelles, 1831: five Libraries, and 1840: one Library) and the Oeuvres de Turgot by Eugène Daire (Paris, 1844: twelve Libraries) we arrived at seven books: one copy of the Mémoires sur la vie et les ouvrages de M.Turgot, ministre d'état (1782), one copy of the Vie de Monsieur Turgot (1786), two copies of the Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses (1788), one copy of the Reflections on the formation and distribution of wealth (1793), and two copies of the Oeuvres de M. Turgot (1808-1811). Since the copy of the Reflections on the formation and distribution of wealth in the Tilburg University Library, signature CBM584E05, turned out to be a microfiche only, four 'provenable' titles, six (series of) books remained:

  [Dupont]  Mémoires sur la vie et les ouvrages de M.Turgot, ministre d'état, Philadelphi, 1782.
The copy in the Utrecht University Library, signature 001487895. (36) The catalogue hyper corrects 'Philadelphi' with 'Paris'. The copy contains no provenance data, and no relation to an acquisition journal.
  [Condorcet]  Vie de Monsieur Turgot, Paris, 1786.
The copy in the Rotterdam University Library, signature 171E14. (37) This turned out to be the most interesting book in our quest. It has a handwritten 'par Condorcet' in ink added on the title page, as well as two signatures in ink, different handwritings: 'G. Romme'; and, probably: 'J.C. Tily'; it is stamp marked 'Bibliotheek Nederl. Economische Hogeschool Rotterdam', and '29 juni 1936' and has a written library signature 171 E 14. It has the original, mint condition French bindings, with marbled endpapers & edges. It is cut and without traces of usage, and has probably never been read. There is a printed bookmark label 'De la bibliothèque de J.-B. Tailhand avocat à Riom' on the bottom of the title page; underneath is another printed bookmark label 'De la bibliothèque de Gilbert Romme'. (38) Both labels are without ornament. Since the last page is 299, this a Gerits edition A [Gerits 1993, p.35]. The last page contains a handwritten number in ink: 17469. The library staff could trace the signature back to the acquisition journal entry for 26 June 1936, when it was bought, in a lot of 4 books, from the Librairie Magis et Mounaud, for the price of 100 French francs. (39)
Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses, S.l., 1788.
The copy in the Vredespaleis library in The Hague, signature 122 F 31. (40) The copy is bound [second] in an in-8 volume, together with [first] Oeuvres posthumes de M. Turgot, ou mémoire de M. Turgot sur les administrations provinciales [167 pp.], (41) and [third] the Considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs, par M. de Volney [136 pp.]. (42) It has original paper bindings, with a non period addition of a leather patch and gilded title on the back, and with marbled endpapers. It is cut and without traces of usage, and has probably never been read. The signature 122F31 locates bookcase 122, shelf F, title 31. We traced the provenance of the omnibus volume to the private library of a Dutch army colonel, known, bibliographically, only for the two editions of his chronological list of 19th century Dutch Cavalry officers. (43)
The copy in the Rotterdam University Library, signature N 175 P 50. It is first edition of 1788; modern binding, half cloth, papered boards; it is uncut and without traces of usage, so probably never been read. There are no provenance markings, except for a library stamp 'Bibliotheek Nederl. Economische Hogeschool Rotterdam', an old Library signature 449 G 4, and a new Library signature N 175 P 50; there is no relation to an acquisition journal, but it was probably acquired after 1938.
Oeuvres de M. Turgot précédées et accompagnées de mémoires et de notes sur sa vie, son administration et ses ouvrages, Paris, 1808-1811..
The copy in the 'Rotterdamsche Leeskabinet', signature B XIII 9:108. (44) This copy consists of only two out of the nine volumes of the 1808-1811 Oeuvres de Turgot: Tôme II. (1749-1754) and Tôme V. (1761-1774). These are original bindings, very fine copies, without traces of usage, so probably never been read. There are no provenance markings, except for the library stamp and signature B XIII 9:108. This could be traced to the library acquisition journal entry for April 28, 1953: 'terug ir. Angenot'. This 'returned by' entry is very unusual, as entries should read: 'bought for', donation by', or 'exchanged with/for'. We think that 'returned' should have been 'donated' instead: failing other signatures in both volumes, there is no indication for any previous ownership of the copy by the 'Rotterdamsche Leeskabinet'. (45)
The copy in the Nijmegen University Library, signature 244c65. (46) This is a full copy of nine volumes. Its has no provenance markings, but for the library stamp and the signature 244c65 [bookcase 244, octavo, title 65], indicating the inclusion in the library collection sometime before 1940.

Signs of late 18th - early 19th century Dutch reception of Turgot's economics.

During the 1770s, the place of commerce within Dutch politics and economy became a central issue in the debates and publications of the earlier mentioned 'Oeconomische Tak' ['Economic Society'] of the Holland Society of Sciences. In several of its prize-contests the decline of Dutch international trade, that had followed the 17th century Golden Century, was put to the question. Most answers pointed to external causes and suggested the stimulation of the domestic industry by taxation of luxury imports. Dutch authors discussed the writings of Montesquieu and others on luxury, and on the loss of republican virtue in commercial societies: not within the current international context of the debate on the (moral) consequences of economic modernisation, but from their own perspective of decline in wealth and power. Few of them, amongst which the Leyden lawyer and prolific writer Elie Luzac (1721-1796) and the expert on finance and credit Isaac de Pinto (1717-1787), were able to refute these defensive plans. Other recovery plans aimed for growth of the two sectors of the economy that were considered still strong: the exploitation of monopolies and the money trade. It was only at the turn of the 19th century, that economists began to feel the need for cameralist or statistical descriptions of Dutch wealth with the object to do something about the presumed sorry state of affairs [Nijenhuis 1992, pp.104-112]. The views of liberal, 'classical' economists, including those who had emanated from post-physiocratic, pre-revolutionary France, had reached the territory, but not the minds of the Dutch by then. It may not come as a surprise, then, that we have found no signs of a (near) contemporary reception of Turgot's economics in the following books and periodicals that discussed Dutch wealth and politics during the late 18th and early 19th century:

The libraries of H.W. Tydeman and J. Ackersdijck.

The two major Dutch economists in the first half of the 19th century were Hendrik Willem Tydeman (1778-1863), a professor of Law and Politics in Leiden, and Jan Ackersdijck (1790-1861), a professor of Law in Liège (1825-1830), and of Law, political economics, statistics and history in Utrecht. Drawing heavily on English classical economists, they both restricted their expositions with French classical economics to Say and Bastiat.

     Tydeman is considered to have been the most influential Dutch economist of the beginning of the nineteenth century. (50) In economics, Tydeman's main writings were the preface to his 1807 translation of the 1804 Theorie der Statistik by the 'kameralist' August Ludwig von Schlözer, his 1821 prize essay on the Guild system [occasioned by the liquidation of the guild insurance funds for widows and orphans], his co-authored essays on the poverty problem and on poorlaws of 1821, 1849 and 1852, and the prefaces to his 1825 translation of the 1816 Conversations on Political Economy by Jane Haldiman Marcet, and to his 1839 translation of the 1836 French adaptation, by Jean Arrivabene, of Nassau William Senior's Outline of the science of political economy. The catalogue of the 1864-1866 auction of his estate library, preserved in the 'Bibliothecae Tydemannianae' of the Leiden University Library, comprised over 14.500 titles, including some 600 titles on the history of France, but very little 'French' 18th century economist writings. We identified Vauban [Dîme], Necker [Colbert, Pouvoir], Voltaire [40 Ecus], Accarias de Sérionne [Richesse, Commerce, Intérêts], Condorcet [Esquisse], Mirabeau [Ami, Philosophie Rurale], Adam Smith [Wealth in Roucher's French translation, and the manuscript of Hoola van Nooten's Dutch translation], and a manuscript of the lecture notes of Kluit: probably the 'Bouwstoffen' that we have mentioned before. The Tydeman auction catalogue revealed no traces of Turgot.

     Ackersdijk is considered to have been the first Smithian economist in Holland. His major writings in economics were his Remarks on the cornlaws ['Bedenkingen over de korenwetten'] of 1835, an impeccable exercise in classical economics in opposition of a proposal for the introduction of cornlaws in the Netherlands, (51) his Tract on public finance and national debt of 1843, his Tract on taxation and on reduction of expenditure of 1849, and his Communication on Dutch colonial reforms and slavery to the 1860 meeting of the 'Société d'Economie Politique' in Paris. The catalogue of the 1862 auction of his estate library, part of which had belonged to his father (a judge and curator of the Utrecht university deceased in 1843), comprised over 7.200 titles, including many works on geography, history and religion. Interesting 'French' economist writings were: Mirabeau [Oeuvres 1828], Condorcet [14 vols. Bibliothèque homme public 1792], [Collection des principaux economistes 1848], Adam Smith [Wealth in Roucher's and Garner's French translations and in Hoola van Nooten's Dutch translation], Sismondi [Richesse], Say [Cours, Traité, & 6 other titles], Bastiat [Catéchisme, & 5 other titles], Mirabeau [Philosophie Rurale], Galiani [Dialogues, Da Moneta], Bentham [Défense], Vauban, [Dîme], Accarias de Sérionne [Richesse, Commerce, Intérêts], and Oudermeulen [Recherches]. The Ackersdijck auction catalogue revealed no traces of Turgot.

Availability of mid-19th century works by, or about, Turgot in Dutch libraries.

In 1828, Saint-Amand Bazard translated Bentham's 1787 Defense of Usury, and added Turgot's Mémoire sur les prêts d'argent of 1770. Dutch libraries do not (at present) hold a copy of the Défense de l'usure, ou Lettres sur les inconvénients des lois qui fixent le taux de l'intérêt de l'argent, Paris, 1828. Turgot's Mémoire was also added to the Défense de l'usure in the 1831 Volume III of the Oeuvres de J. Bentham, jurisconsulte Anglais, Bruxelles, 1829-1831. There are three mid-18th century institutions among the eight libraries that hold copies of these Oeuvres: the University of Leiden, the Royal Library ['Koninklijke Bibliotheek'] in The Hague, and the predecessor of the 1877 University of Amsterdam, the 1632 'Athenaeum Illustre' (250 students, eight teachers, studies in trade and philosophy).

     We suppose that the 1788 copies of the Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses (1766), held by the 'Vredespaleis' and the 'Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam', and the copies of the 1808 Oeuvres de Turgot held by the 'Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen' and by the 'Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet', are all twentieth century acquisitions of books previously held in private libraries in the Netherlands, or abroad. This would imply then, that the obscurity of the works of Turgot among Dutch scholars only dissipated in 1844, when Eugène Daire and Hippolyte Dussard published a new edition of the Oeuvres de Turgot, in volumes III and IV of what was to become the 1841-1852 Collection des principaux économistes of Eugène Daire and Gustave Molinari of fifteen volumes. (52) There are at least nine Dutch libraries with a full copy of the original Collection [there is a 1966 reprint by Zeller of Osnabrück], including the Royal Library, and the Libraries of the (near) contemporary Universities of Leiden, Groningen and Amsterdam. The library of the Polytechnic University of Delft, being the successor to the 1842 'Koninklijke Akademie ter opleiding van burgerlijke ingenieurs', also holds a copy.

     It is not certain whether the 1844 Oeuvres de Turgot, or the 1831 Oeuvres de J. Bentham, were used as a reference source for the 1849 Leiden PhD-thesis in Roman and contemporary law by P.W.H. van Sonsbeeck, 'Usury in relation to economics and law' [De woeker in betrekking tot staatshuishoudkunde en wetgeving, 's Gravenhage, 1849; pp.27-ff.], since the Mémoire sur les prêts d'argent is referred to by chapters, not by pages. (53) It is certain, however, that the 1844 Oeuvres de Turgot were used for the 1858 Leiden PhD-thesis in Roman and contemporary law by Joannes Franciscus Benjamin Baert, 'Adam Smith and his inquiry into the wealth of nations [Adam Smith en zijn onderzoek naar den rijkdom der volken, Leiden, 1858], containing the first extended discussion of the Wealth of Nations in the Netherlands. (54) Baert had been a student of the first [and last] full-blooded Dutch classical economist, Simon Vissering (1818-1888), who had been appointed at the Leiden university in 1850, in succesion to Thorbecke, who had become prime minister in 1849. Vissering's epochal 'Handbook of practical political economy' [Handboek van praktische Staathuishoudkunde, Amsterdam, 1860] never mentioned Turgot, although it discussed, of course, many Turgot-related subjects like usury laws, guilds and corporations, and monopoly, and incidentally referred to the French authors Say, and especially Bastiat.

     The 1844 Oeuvres de Turgot of the Collection were also used by another of Vissering's students, Willem Frederik de Vogel, as the (sole) reference source for the few pages dedicated to the economics and politics of Turgot, in his 1859 Leiden PhD-thesis in Roman and contemporary law, 'On the Physiocratic doctrine' [Over de leer der Physiokraten, 's Gravenhage, 1859]. We have not identified the volume of 'over 400 pages, gr. 8N entitled Actes du ministère de Turgot', that was also referred to by De Vogel [p.107], but it may well have been a separate binding of the [thus headed] pp.164-185 of the second volume of the 1844 Oeuvres de Turgot.


We found no indications, that Turgot's contributions to economic theory reached scholars in the contemporary Netherlands. The 1800 catalogue of the reference library of the new Agency for National Economics contained no titles by, or about Turgot, nor did the 1828 catalogue of the library of Johannes Goldberg, its first Agent. The titles in the 1828 catalogue that are notable from the viewpoint of a (modern) economist, are listed in our Appendix 2. We have found no signs of a (near) contemporary reception of Turgot's economics in the Dutch economics literature of the late 18th - early 19th centuries. We attempted a provenance of 18th and early 19th century books in Dutch libraries by, or about, Turgot. Of the four titles, six copies, that we found, no period acquisitions could be established. It was only from 1844 onwards, when the Oeuvres de Turgot became available in the 1841-1852 Collection des principaux économistes of Eugène Daire and Gustave Molinari, that Dutch students of law and economics began referrering to the economics and politics of Turgot in their PhD-theses.

5. Did the Dutch contribute to the economics of Turgot?

In his letters to Louise Elisabeth de La Rochefoucauld duchesse d'Enville (1716-1797), Turgot mentioned three Dutch connections: the banker Rodolphe Emmanuel Haller, the physician and librarian Théodore Tronchin and the rather mysterious 'monsieur Grand de Hollande' [Ruwet 1979, passim]. Our research attempts to track these connections in Dutch archives, have so far have led to nothing. This is regrettable, especially with regard to Haller, who might well have been among the financiers with whom Turgot raised deficit-financing loans at cheaper rates than were offered by the Paris Tax Farmers.

     Turgot also seems to have conceived his economic ideas without Dutch input. Part of this may be explained by the lack of appreciation for pure commercial nations by the French physiocrat economists. They did not show much approval for the Dutch Republic's insignificant territory and population, which was viewed, at best, as a 'comptoir' for the international distribution of goods between the real (great) nations [Nijenhuis 1989, pp.123-132]. In one of his letters, however, Turgot did mention the positive example that Dutch success in commerce had on Colbert, but, of course, the latter's vision of commerce had been too narrow to be really fruitful for France. (55)

     The minor role of the Dutch Republic in Turgot's oeuvre may, for another part, well be due to the small amount of (politico-economical) theorizing, that the Dutch themselves had dedicated to their exemplary commercial experience during the so-called Golden Age. (56) Dutch merchants, theologians and lawyers attributed the Republic's commercial succes to the cleverness and straightforwardness that God had bestowed on the Dutch, who were considered to be the New Testament's Chosen People. Their testimonies turned out to be of little use for an explanation of the decline of the Dutch international trade in the course of the eigtheenth century. Elie Luzac was the most outstanding among the few authors, that protruded above the 'paradise lost' lamentations and the prize-contest recovery plans of the aforementioned 'Oeconomische Tak'. Elaborating on the 1778 Richesse de la Hollande by Jacques Accarias de Sérionne, Luzac's 1780-1784 acknowledgement that the Republic's decline was of a relative nature 'only', turned out to be the best that a 18th century Dutch author - ignoring De Pinto - could produce. (57)

     Isaac de Pinto's Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit of 1771 was the only 'Dutch' publication that used an European approach to explain the Dutch 18th century predicament. In it, De Pinto presented both a theory that made national wealth increase as a result of greater circulation of money and foreign investments, and a proposal for recovery that would extend the Dutch financial expertise across Europe. (58) The Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit was the only work by De Pinto that was not translated into Dutch. Notwithstanding the fact that his Dutch public read French quite well, we hold this to be a remarkable distinction: it might well infer a lack of reception in Holland, revealing De Pinto's exceptional position, in comparison with the inward-looking analyses and 'means for redress' given by Dutch spectator journalists and (para-)academic authors, like for instance C. Oudermeulen, A. Kluit, E. Luzac and H.W. Tydeman, mentioned before, and H.H. van den Heuvel, F. Pestel, A. Rogge, L.P. van de Spiegel, and C. Zillesen. It might also explain why the analysis of the Dutch Republic's wealth in his Hollands Rijkdom found so little sympathy among his compatriots: although it reflected the actual developments in the Republic, the reactions were mostly negative.

     It may come as no surprise then, that we have found few, and rather insignificant, indications for a Dutch influence on the economics of Turgot, like, for instance, the one by Turgot himself in his Eloge de Vincent de Gournay of 1759, where he mentioned 'Jean de Witt' among Gournay's favourite literature. (59) We know of no other substantial link between Turgot and Dutch economists thought. This was confirmed by the provisory systematic catalogue of the books in Turgot's library that has been drafted in the 1970's by Takumi Tsuda. The Tsuda catalogue was based on the 1775-1776 manuscript books catalogue in the Bibliothèque National, on the 1778 manuscript unbound books catalogue at the château de Lantheuil, and on the 1782 printed books catalogue published on the occasion of the sale of the bibliothèque de feu M. Turgot. Most of the more than 3.000 titles of the 3 volumes of the Tsuda catalogue are about issues in theology (including a collection of foreign language bibles), geography, history, politics, physics, medicine, and law.

     About one hundred books are either by Dutch authors, or otherwise related to the Netherlands, e.g. by Herman Boerhaave, Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn, Anthony van Dale, Hugo de Groot, Jan Huygen van Linschoten, Johannes à Marck, Emanuel van Meteren, Petrus van Musschenbroek, Pieter Schrijver, Gerardus Joannes Vossius, Isaac Vossius, or by L.G.F. Kerroux, Pierre-Daniel Huet, Guillaume-Thomas François Raynal and Georg Louis Le Rouge. Tsuda lists the possession by Turgot of three books by Claudius Salmasius [Claude Saumoise, 1588-1653], the French expatriate jurist of Leiden, but not his De usuris liber, Leiden, 1638, that was precursory to Turgot's 1770 Mémoire sur les prêts d'argent.

     We could identify three titles, four books, of a 'Dutch' economist nature in the Tsuda catalogue:


We found no notable bibliographical indications for a Dutch influence on the economics of Turgot. Among the 3.000 books in the Tsuda catalogue of Turgot's library, we counted one hundred books either by Dutch authors, or otherwise related to the Netherlands. Among these, we identified two [possibly three] titles, four books, of a 'Dutch' economist nature, that we consider to have been of no direct, positive value to the economics of Turgot, since:

Appendix 1.

Drawn from Desnoyers 1967, p.105, xxiii [our translation].

Letter by Turgot to the intendant of the generality of Riom (1)

Limoges, 17 December 1765.

Mr. Bertin having proposed, Sir, to establish in the Kingdom several Schools for the treatment of animal diseases, on the model of the one in Lyon, has chosen Limoges as the seat of one of these establishments. Since its aim is to more and more spread this kind of instruction and to bring it within reach of the provinces that are too distant from Lyon to allow its inhabitants to easily attend the instruction, the School that is about to open in Limoges is no less destined for the use by your province than it is for the Limousin itself. I knew it, in consequence, my duty to inform you of this and I have the pleasure to send you several copies of the printed advice that I published, in order that you may spread these in your generality, if you deem that useful.

The school will be lead by Mr. Le Blois, surgeon demonstrator, who has worked in that quality in the School in Lyon, under supervision of Mr. Bourgelat. In this way the lessons will be exactly the same. If you would judge it proper to send here some pupils from your province, it would be my pleasure to see to it, be it with regard to the instruction, or in any other matter, that they are met with all the attention that you may desire.

I have the honour to be, with a sincere and respectful affection, Sir, your very humble and obedient servant,

Signed: Turgot

(1) Adapted from the Revue internationale de l'Enseignement (biblio 3). (60) Original in the Archives Départemental du Puy-de-Dôme C 1410.

Appendix 2.

This is a listing of the titles in the 1828 Goldberg library catalogue [KB Verzcat 5301] notable from the viewpoint of a (modern) economist, and of the Dutch academic libraries that presently possess identical titles. Institutions that do not possess these titles are not listed. The 'Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek' in Deventer includes the library of the discontinued 'Athenaeum Illustre' of Deventer (1630-1876). The [Frysian] 'Provinciale Bibliotheek' in Leeuwarden includes the library of the discontinued University of Franeker (1585-1811).

1. Legend.

Acronym Library identification and location. Library type
DEV Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek Deventer Academic Library
EUR Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam University Library
GAA Gemeente Archief Amsterdam City Archives
KUB Universiteit Tilburg University Library
KUN Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen University Library
KBD Koninklijke Bibliotheek Den Haag National Library
LEE Provinciale Bibliotheek Leeuwarden Academic Library
NIW NIWI-KNAW Amsterdam Academy of Science Library
RUG Rijks Universiteit Groningen University Library
RUL Rijks Universiteit Leiden University Library
RUU Universiteit Utrecht University Library
UMA Universiteit Maastricht University Library
UTE Universiteit Twente Enschedé Polytechnic University Library
UVA Universiteit van Amsterdam University Library
WAU Universiteit Wageningen Agrarian University Library
THK Theologische Hogeschool Kampen Theological University Library
VPB Vredespaleis Den Haag Peace Palace Library
NIL Not In Library
VML Very Many Libraries Possessed by more than 5 libraries

2. Listing of titles.

Author Catalogue entry [our remarks] NCC Library
Anonymous Catalogus van de Nationale Bibliotheek, met eenige supplementen NIL
Beckmann Beyträge zur Oekonomie, Technologie, Polizey- und Cameral-Wissenschaft, von Joh. Beckmann, Götting. 1779, 11 Th. wovon die 9 ersten in 3 h.e.B. RUG WAU
[Bourgelat] Réglemens pour les écoles royales vétérinaires de France, Paris 1777 NIL
Chatolais, La Proeve van opvoeding voor een volk, door de la Chatolais, Amst .1767 NIL
Condillac Condillac, de Koophandel en Staatsbestuur [beschouwt in hunne onderlinge betrekkingen], Utrecht 1782, 2 deelen, in een h.e.b. [uit het Fr. vert. door Dirk Hoola van Nooten] UVA
[Court, de la] Interest van Holland, of de gronden van Hollands welvaren, Amst. 1662, h.b. VML
Helvetius De l'homme, de ses facultés intellectuelles, et de son éducation, par Helvetius, Londr.1773, 2 vol., dem.rel. RUG UVA NIW
Hogendorp G.K. van Hogendorp, bijdragen tot de huishouding van Staat in het Koningrijk der Nederlanden, 's Hage 1818-1825, 10 deelen, compleet UVA RUL
Hogendorp Opinion du comte de Hogendorp, sur l'Impôt de la Mouture. RUG
Hume Essais sur le commerce, le luxe, l'argent etc. par D. Hume, Paris 1767 UVA
Locke Locke's essai philosophique, concertant l'entendement humain, traduit de l'anglais de Locke, par P. Coste, Amst. 1700 UVA RUU DEV
Locke Oeuvres divers de Jean Locke, Rott. 1710. RUU
Melon Essai politique sur le commerce, par de Melon, Amst.1754 UVA
[Melon] Essai politique sur le commerce, Amst. 1735, rel. UVA
Mirabeau L'Ami des hommes, ou traité de la population, et théorie de l'impot, par de Mirabeau, La Haye 1758, 6 vol UVA RUL
Mirabeau Opinions des anciens sur les Juifs, par Mirabeau, Londr. 1769 UVA KUB
Moine, le de l'Espine De koophandel van Amsterdam, door le Moine de l'Espine, Amst. 1744, 2 deelen h.b. [also in Agency catalogue 1800] GAA UVA UTE RUL KUN
Montesquieu Lettres persanes, par Montesquieu, 2 vol. VML
Necker Compte rendu au Roi par Mr. Necker, Paris, 1781, d.rel. VML
Necker De l'administration des finances de la France, par Necker, 1785, 3 vol. UMA KUN EUR
Necker De l'administration des finances de la France, par Necker, 1784, Ter, grand format. UVA RUL RUU
Necker Dernier vues de politique et de finance, par Necker, 1802, demi rel. UVA RUL EUR
Pope Essai sur la critique et sur l'homme, par Pope, Lond. 1741. [1742] RUL
Pope Essai sur l'homme, par A. Pope, avec anglais en regard, Laus. 1762, dem.rel.fig. UVA
Priestley A course of lectures on oratory and criticism, by Priestley, London, 1777 NIL
Paine Rights of man, by Thomas Paine, Lond. 1791 UVA THK RUU
Paine Remarques sur les erreurs de l'historie philosophique et politique de Raynal, par Thomas Paine, Amst. 1783 RUU RUL DEV
Raynal Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes, par G.F. Raynal, Génève 1783, 10 vol. et atlas in 4to. VPB
Raynal Précis de l'histoire philosophique et politique de Raynal, par P. van Woensel, Amst, 1782. UVA KUN RUU
[Raynal] Analyse de l'histoire philosophique et politique, Leyd. 1775 NIL
[Raynal] Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes, par l'abbé Raynal, Amst. 1772, 7 vol. compl. UVA RUL SBM
Rousseau Les avantages et les desavantages des Sciences et des Arts, par J.J. Rousseau, Londr. 1756, 2 vol.rel. NIL
Rousseau Oeuvres de J.J. Rousseau, Amst,1769, 19 vol. VML
Say Traité d'économie politique ... , par J.B. Say, Paris 1803, 2 vol. UVA RUL
Smith Récherches sur la nature et les causes de la richesse des nations, trad. de l'anglois de A. Smith, Neuchatel 1792, 5 vol. NIL
Smith An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, by Adam Smith, Londr. 1791, 3 vol.eng. b. [also in Agency catalogue 1800] KUB LEE
Smith Ueber national Industrie und Staatswirthschaft, nach Adam Smith, bearbeitet von A.E. Lueder, Berlin 1800, 3 Th.h.e.b. UVA RUL RUG
Smith Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaken van den rijkdom der Volkeren, gevolgd naar het eng. van A. Smith, 4 st. RUL
Sully Mémoires de Sully, Londr. 1778, 10 part. 5 vol. dem.rel [also in Agency catalogue 1800] KUN
Sully [Goujet, C.-P & Petit de Montempuis, J.-G.] Observations sur les mémoires de Sully, La Haye 1747 RUL
Verri Réflections sur l'économie politique, par le comte de Verri, La Haye 1779 [de l'Italien par G.Mingard] RUG DEV
Verri [Chardin] Economie politique, du comte de Verri, Paris an VIII NIL
Verri De Staatkundige Oeconomie, door den Grave de Verri, Leyd. 1801 KBD DEV
Voltaire Elémens de la philosophie de Newton, par Voltaire, Amst. 1738, vel. VML
Witt, de Lettres et négociations de Jean de Witt, Amst. 1725, 4 vol. Bis, 5 vol. vel. UVA


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Mathijsen, August H.H.M., 'The incubation and the founding period of the veterinary school in Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1798-1821', in: A. Mathijsen (ed.), The origins of veterinary schools in Europe. A comparative view. Report of a symposium held in Utrecht on May the 8th, 1996 on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of veterinary education in the Netherlands, Utrecht 1997, pp.62-69.

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Mizuta, Hiroshi, Adam Smith's library: a supplement to Bonar's catalogue with a checklist of the whole library, London, 1967.

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Nijenhuis, Ida J.A., 'De ontwikkeling van het politiek-economische vrijheidsbegrip in de Republiek' ['The evolution of the concept of liberty in Dutch political economy'], in: E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier & W.R.E. Velema (eds.), Vrijheid. Een geschiedenis van de 15de tot de 20ste eeuw, Amsterdam, 1999, pp.233-252.

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Poirier, Jean-Pierre, Turgot: laissez-faire et progrès social, Paris, 1999.

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Schneider, Maarten & Joan Hemels, De Nederlandse krant 1618-1978, Baarn, 1979.

Skalweit, August (Vorwort), Anne Robert Jacques Turgot: Betrachtungen über die Bildung und Verteilung des Reichtums, Frankfurt am Main, 1946.

Spoelder, J[an]. (red.), Leeskabinet: grepen uit de geschiedenis en de boekerij van het Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet 1859-1984, Leiden, 1984.

Stark, Dieter, Die Beziehungen zwischen A.R.J. Turgot (1727-1781) und A. Smith (1723-1790), Basel, 1970.

Wertheim, W.F. & A.H. Wertheim-Gijse Weenink (Inleiding), J.D. van der Capellen: Aan het volk van Nederland; het democratisch manifest (1781), Amsterdam, 1966.

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We used the copy of Dagverhaal der handelingen van de nationaale vergadering representeerende het volk van Nederland, preserved in the Rotterdam University Library.

We used the Catalogue de la belle bibliothèque de feu mm. W.C. Ackersdijck et J. Ackersdijck, and the Bibliotheca Tydemanniana [...] Catalogus der bibliotheek nagelaten door H.W. Tydeman, preserved in the Leiden University Library.

We used the copy of De Koopman of bydragen ten opbouw van Neêrlands koophandel en zeevaard, of Gazette de Leyde, both Goldberg catalogues, and the microfiches of Knuttel Pamphlets 22728 and 22729, preserved in the Royal Library in The Hague.

We used the cd-rom version of L'Encyclopédie de Diderot et d'Alembert, available at FNAC, or via


1.   Onderwys voor de leerlingen in de vroed-kunde ofte Konst der kinder-bedden, by vraegen ende antwoorden getrokken uyt de lessen der vermaerde vroed-vrouw Du Coudray, door F.D. van Daele: Met een byvoegsel aengaende de geestelyke sorge, die de vroe-vrauwen moeten draegen, soo voor de swangere ende baerende vrauwen, als voor hunne vrucht ['Instruction for the student in midwifery or the Art of child-bedding, through questions and answers extracted from the lessons of the famous midwife Du Coudray, by F.D. van Daele: with an appendix as regards the spiritual care, that midwifes must take, for both the pregnant and delivering women, and their offspring'], Yper, circa 1775. Next to the obvious baptism and perhaps the last rites, pertaining to ill-fated deliveries, the instruction in 'geestelyke sorge' for mother and child probably refers to the traditional midwife's task of trying to obtain the name of the childs father from unmarried mothers.

2.   e.g. Hendrik van Deventer, Manuele operatien zynde een nieuw ligt voor vroedmeesters en vroedvrouwen ['Manual operations being a new light for male and female midwifes'], 's-Gravenhage, 1701 [a 568 pp. facsimile of the 1746 edition with a 120 pp. introduction by R.W. Bakker, M.A.C. Lubsen-Brandsma & A.Th.M. Verhoeven (eds.) was published in 2001, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Study Group for the History of the Netherlands Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology]; Paulus de Wind, 't Geklemd hoofd geredt ['Stuck head saved': breech birth], Middelburg, 1751.

3.   e.g. Louyse Bourgeois, Observations diverses sur la stérilité, perte de fruict, foecondité, accouchements et maladies des femmes et enfans nouveaux naix; translated as: Verscheyde aenmerckingen, nopende de onvruchtbaerheyt, misvallen, vrugtbaerheyt, kinderbaren, siecten der vrouwen, ende de geboorte der kinderen / nu nieuwelijcx uyt het Francoys int' Nederduyts vertaelt, Delft, 1658; Justine Siegemundin, Die Kgl. Preußische und Chur-Brandenburgische Hof-Wehe-Mutter, das ist: Ein höchst nöthiger Unterricht von schweren und unrechtstehenden Geburthen. Wie nehmlich durch Göttlichen Beystand, eine wohlunterrichtete Wehe-Mutter mit Verstand und geschickter Hand dergleichen verhüten, oder wanns Noth ist, das Kind wenden könne; durch vieler Jahre Übung selbst erfahren und wahr befunden, Leipzig, 1690; translated as: Spiegel der vroed-vrouwen, behelsende een klaer onderrigt van sware verlossingen der kramende vrouwen, soo om de selve te helpen, als ook om in veel sware toevallen behulpelijk te zyn. Neffens een klaer berigt omtrent het keeren der qualijk staende geboorten / Door Justina Dittrichs, genaemt Siegemund, ordinaar vroedvrouw aan 't Keurvorstelijk Hof van Brandenburg. Als mede een Onderrigt ontrent het ampt en pligt der vroed-vrouwen. Door Cornelis Solingen, med. doct. en chir. Met figuuren. Onderrigt ontrent het ampt en pligt der vroed-vrouwen, Amsterdam, 1691; Johan van Hoorn, Siphra och Pua, Stockholm, 1719; translated as: Siphra en Pua [Exodus 1, 15-22]; of Onderwyzing in de vroedkunde en derzelver voornaamste handgrepen; nevens dertig gewigtige waarnemingen omtrent zware verlossingen, gedaan door Johan van Hoorn ... . Naar den derden druk, uit het Hoog- in het Nederduitsch vertaald, en met eenige aanmerkingen vermeerderd, door Gerard ten Haaff ... , Amsterdam, 1753; François Maricceau, Traité des maladies des femmes grosses, et de celles qui sont accouchées, enseignant la bonne et véritable méthode pour bien aider les femmes en leurs accouchemens naturels, et les moyens de remédier à tous ceux qui sont contre nature, et aux indispositions des enfans nouveau-nés, Paris, 1681; translated as: Tractaat van de Siektens der Swangere vrouwen, tweede druk vermeerdert en opgeheldert door Petrus Camper, Amsterdam, 1759; William Smellie, Treatise on the Theory and Practice of midwifery, London, 1752, and A set of Anatomical tables, London, 1754; translated as: Verzameling van ontleedkundige afbeeldingen met derzelver uitleggingen, benevens een kort begrip der Vroedkunde, door Matthijs van der Haage, Amsterdam, 1765.

4.   Dissertatio historica de bovilla peste, ex Campaniae finibus anno MDCCXIII Latio importata: deque praesidiis per . . . Clementem XI . . . ad advertendam aeris labem, et annonae caritatem . . . adhibitis. Cui accedite Consilium de equorum epidemia, quae Romae grassata est anno MDCCXII, Cologne, 1718.

5.   Le nouveau Newcastle ou nouveau traité de cavalerie, geométrique, théorique & pratique, Lyon, 1744; and Elémens d'hippiatrique, ou nouveaux principes sur la connoissance et sur la médecine des chevaux, Lyon, 1750.

6.   The latter office assigned him to repress fraud in the printing industry, including the printing of non-censored books and the contraband import and reprint of books published abroad. A typical encyclopedists anecdote concerning Inspecteur Bourgelat's activity was published on the Internet in 2000 by Jack Bost in the Chronique historique of the Journal de l'ecole nationale vétérinaire de Lyon [our translation]: 'In 1763, he stopped a consignment of books entitled "Tolerance", published under the false identity of an unknown priest. Indignated, Voltaire protested with their common friend, d'Alembert: "You should realize that when you have no "Tolerance", it is the fault of your friend Bourgelat who, in his hippomania, lashed against the Cramers. These Cramers, editors of the work by the holy priest, author of the "Tolerance", did not manage to get him to let pass the parcels for Lyon. The great cavalier behaved himself like a hackney. If he is one of our brothers, you should rebuke him and incite his repentance. For which I give you my blessing, and ask yours." To which d'Alembert replied by advancing Bourgelat's philosophical zeal: "I have written to brother Hippolyte Bourgelat. I find it hard to believe that he is guilty: because he is one of the best draughthorses of the philosophical vehicle, and surely among those who are tamest, and most inclined to the task." The incident was soon forgotten. Voltaire wasn't one to prolong his countless quarrels, and, having discovered a vocation for agriculture upon his installation in Ferney in 1760, more than once solicited Bourgelat's advice'.

7.   Chamson 1961, exhibit 93: Turgot's 18 February 1765 letter to L'Averdy, suggesting the creation of the school, and including a clever sales line on horses: 'The commerce of cattle and pigs constitutes [...] the only wealth of the province. You know also that the soil and climate render it proper for the production of the most beautiful race of horses'.

8.   Chamson 1961, exhibit 94: Turgot's 1765 prospectus for the new school: 'Notice. Veterinary school opens in Limoges, where free lessons will be provided in knowledge and treatment of animal diseaeses'. In our Appendix 1, we have translated the Letter by Turgot to the Intendant of the Generality of Riom, reprinted by Desnoyers 1967, p.105.

9.   Chamson 1961, exhibit 95: the list of pupils as preserved in the National Archives, F10 1195.

10.   Major epizootics in the Low Countries were the Rinderpest epidemics starting in 1713, in 1744, and in 1769. Strict sanitary measures reduced the loss of cattle in the Austrian ruled, southern provinces to a mere 12.000 heads in 1769-1772, as against 400.000 in the independent northern provinces [Mammerickx 1976, p.276]. The Dutch also endured a severe outbreak of liver-fluke among sheep from 1764 onwards.

11.   Mammerickx 1967, pp. 353; 356-358, also listed the names of ninety-six Belgian 'Brevetés Artistes Vétérinaires' for the next twenty years of French occupation of the Belgian provinces, most of these being graduates of Alfort.

12.   Fourteen others went to Alfort on their own account in 1806-1812; in total, only six Dutch student graduated, the failures being accounted for by lack of skills in the French language, lack of bodily strength, homesickness, joining the cavalry upon failing the final examination, or being send off for gambling or duelling, according to Mathijssen 1997, in reference of a genealogist article by W.Th.M. Frijhoff, 'Noord-Nederlandse leerlingen aan de veeartsenijschool te Alfort in de Franse tijd', in: De Nederlandsche Leeuw, 93 (1976), pp.372-377.

13.   Or in groats: in 1785-1786, Turgot's elder brother Etienne-François, who was acquainted with Petrus Camper's son Adriaan Gilles in Paris, asked Camper for agronomist information on the culture of bled de sarrasin; LIAS: sources and documents relating to the early modern history of ideas, 28 (2001), pp.144 and 157.

14.   E.g. Dupont 1844, T.1, p.xlii.; Thurlings 1979, p.167; Skalweit 1946, p.8; Poirier 1999, p,94, and Hill 1999, p.47, citing the French translation, resp. the original of Andrew Young's 1792 Travels in France, for his praise of Turgot for the excellent road condition in the region: 'The noble roads we have passed [in the Limousin], so exceed[ing] any others [...] seen in France, were among his good works; an epithet due to them because they were not made by the corvées'.

15.   Or as this was stated by Turgot in the preamble of the Edit du Roi qui supprime les corvées, et ordonne la confection des grandes routes à prix d'argent of Februari 1776 [Oeuvres de Turgot, I, p.287; our translation]: 'A man who is forced to work and without recompense, works slow and without attention; he performs, in the same time, less work, and his work is done worse. The forced labourers, obliged to spent three hours or more in going to the work area, as well as in returning, loose, fruitless to the works, a large part of the time that is demanded from them'.

16.   The article 'Foire' of the Encyclopédie, Vol. VII, was reprinted in Dupont 1844, I, pp.291-298. It is sometimes referred to as 'Foires', or as 'Foires & Marchés'.

17.   Jurandes refering to the supervising peers, but designating the guild system as a whole.

18.   Hill 1999, p.167, refering to Douglas Dakin, Turgot and the Ancien Regime, London, 1939, p.266. Uncensored opinions reached France also from the other side to the argument; the Gazette de Leyde reported on 8 March 1776 about the official condemnation of a 'Brochure intitulée: les inconvéniens des droits feodaux', condemning the selfish opposition of the parliament: it 'should be torn and burned at the foot of the great stairs of the Palais by the executioner, for being injurieus to the laws and customes of France [....]'.

19.   Evading a compromise after the Limousin example of leaving the tax exemption of the priviliged unharmed, but granting those bearing the corvées tax in kind the alternative of an increase in their taille money tax; Poirier 1999, p.288.

20.   The surveillance of these professions requiring more knowledge than posessed by ordinary citizens.

21.   Van Berkenrode was described in one of the 'dépêches' of the Prussian envoy in The Hague, Thulemeyer, as an ambassador 'auquel on n'accorde pas un talent fort distingué et dont toutes les démarches portent l'empreinte d'une certaine timidité vis-à-vis de la cour [...]'; Fruin & Colenbrander 1912, p.209. The diplomatic correspondence of Lestevenon van Berkenrode is preserved in the Dutch National Archive in The Hague.

22.   Using most of its columns for hints and warnings in trade, bookkeeping and speculations, it had earlier shown some interest in French economic policy, publishing a political testament of 'Colbert' in 1771; Nijenhuis 1992, p.138, n.132.

23.   The high quality of Dutch newspapers resulted from a lack of official censorship. French language newspapers were also published in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Kleve (now in Germany); Schneider & Hemels 1979, p.70.

24.   Turgot was first mentioned in Numéro LXI du Mardi 2. Août, 1774; 'continuation of the News from Paris of 25 July. [...]: Mr. Turgot, well esteemed for his integrity & his zealous industry, has taken his Place as Minister of the Marine'.

25.   Popkin 1987, p.86, mentions about a third of its circulation of several thousand copies being distributed all over France.

26.   In the lower, western parts of the country, new, non-feudal, individual, corvées-like obligations for the maintenance of dikes and ditches had been introduced in connection with land reclamations. These provided a collective security against flooding, and for a part still do so today.

27.   He translated the 1689 Discourse of government with relation to militias by Andrew Fletcher [in 1774], the 1776 Observations on the nature of civil liberty, the principles of government, and the justice and policy of the war with America by Richard Price [in 1776], and the 1768 Essay on the first principles of government by Joseph Priestley [in 1783].

28.   Uncommonly, Van der Capellen leaked his opposition speach in the States of Overijssel. Although inspired by freedom and democray, his main argument stressed the harmful influence of war on Dutch trade.

29.   As for instance the anonymous brochure: The guilds tested for the right of man and citizen, and the general happiness of society, Amsterdam, 1796 [Wiskerke 1938, p.112, n.3; Knuttel Pamphlet 22728] and its reply: The guilds tested for the general interest of society, as a proof, of the necessity, of their maintenance. With, some remarks upon a recently published piece, about the guilds [...], Rotterdam, 1796. [Knuttel Pamphlet 22729]. The anonymous brochure started with a motto from Campomanes: 'A private interest should never be valued over the general interest', continuing: 'To our fellow countrymen. Citizens! Some famous men have demonstrated the harmful effects of the Guilds, on the general happiness of a Society, as well, as their contrariety to the Rights of Man and Citizen, along different ways, be it only brief, and off-hand'. The theoretical argument was restricted to the remark that guilds are a monopoly by which some citizens 'fatten themselves' on the expense of the other citizens [pp.24-25]. 'Since monopolies are harmful to the general interest, they do not deserve to be defended or protected, but rather to be prohibited and averted'. The only 'famous' man referred to, was Thomas Paine [p.32], 'speaking on the Guilds in England'.

30.   A full account of the proceedings is available, under the French Revolution's epithaph of 'Gelijkheid, Vrijheid, Broederschap', in the contemporary parliamentary proceedings, the Dagverhaal der handelingen van de nationaale vergadering representeerende het volk van Nederland [V, pp.255-266], nummer 433-435, 'Verslag der zitting van dinsdagavond, den 14 Maart 1797 [woensdag, den 15 Maart 1797]. Het derde jaar der Bataafsche vrijheid; Plan van Constitutie, Titel over de gildens'. A full reconstruction of the parlementary discussion of the 'Plan van Constitutie', including a selection of the 'Dagverhaal', and complemented with a choice of documents, is available in the 1975-1997 series by L. de Grou about the 'Plan van Constitutie van 1796', 'Ontwerp van Constitutie van 1797', 'De Staatsregeling van 1798', 'De Staatsregeling van 1801', 'De Staatsregeling van 1805' en de 'Constitutie van 1806' [Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatien, Kleine Serie] of the Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, in casu: L. de Gou (ed.), 'De behandeling van het Plan van Constitutie in de Nationale Vergadering'. Deel 1, 10 november 1796 - 10 april 1797, Den Haag, 1983.

31.   This was argued by the radical member Pieter Vreede, a cloth manufacturer of Leiden who had moved to Lier (Belgium) in the wake of the 1787 coup d'état, and then concentrated his business in the Brabant town of Tilburg in 1790. He was to become the leader of the coup d'état in January 1798.

32.   Many topics relating to the rise and fall of the Dutch Guild system have been communicated in the Netherlands Economic History Archive, that is hosted by the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. The NEHA publishes monographs and two journals: the annual NEHA-Jaarboek voor economische, bedrijfs- en techniekgeschiedenis and the bi-annual NEHA-Bulletin.

33.   Boschloo 1989, pp.17-ff.; Kluit (1735-1807), who had been ousted from his previous chair in history and archeology at the Leiden University for being an Orangist, did not differentiate statistics ['statistiek'] from political economics ['staathuishoudkunde']. His career as an economist was short, since he died in the 1807 gunpowder-ship explosion that destroyed a large part of Leiden. Kluit's importance for the institutionalization of political economy in the Netherlands has been denoted by Boschloo, by I.J.A. Nijenhuis ['The University of Leyden: Adriaan Kluit's lectures on statistiek or staathuishoudkunde', in: Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 263 (3 vols.), Oxford, 1989; I, pp.141-145] and by Ida H. Stamhuis ['The differentiation of Statistics and Political Economy: the Teaching of Kluit and Vissering', in: Paul M.M. Klep & Ida H. Stamhuis (eds.), The statistical mind in a pre-statistical era: The Netherlands 1750-1850 [NEHA series III], Amsterdam, 2002, pp.174-184].

34.   A notable exception being the copy of 'Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire .... Paris et Amst. 1751 35 vol. en veau', that might well have ended up in the Leiden University library, being immortalized since as the microfiche used for the ARTFL digitization of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.

35.   With regards to Turgot, this may be examplified by quoting Dieter Stark's refutation [Stark 1970, p.84; our translation] of the linkage by Bel Cary Lundberg [Lundberg 1964, passim] of Adam Smith and Turgot: in pointing to Hiroshi Mizuta's [Mizuta 1967, p.20] indication of Adam Smith's possession of the 1767-1769 volumes of the Ephémérides (including most of the tirage à part of Turgot's Réflexions), Stark remarked: 'We have today neither a guarantee nor any handhold whatever, whether these volumes and especially the two Reflexions-volumes found their way into Smith's library before or after the conception of the Wealth'.

36.   Surpassed by Leiden (1575) and Groningen (1614), Utrecht was the third town in the Netherlands to get a university (1636), with the towns library, filled from the church and cloister libraries confiscated during the Reformation, becoming the University library.

37.   Modelled after the Cologne Handelshochschule, the first Dutch school of economics started in 1913 as the 'Nederlandsche Handels-Hoogeschool'. With a new curriculum, modelled after the London School of Economics, it became the 'Nederlandsche Economische Hoogeschool' in 1938. Extension with a law school and a social sciences faculty in the 1960's, it merged with the Rotterdam medical faculty to become the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam in 1973.

38.   Charles Gilbert Romme (Riom 1750 - Paris 1795), not to be confused with his marine scientist brother Charles Nicolas Romme (1745-1805), was a mathematician, a Strochanoff houseteacher (1781-1788), and a Revolutionary politician, still known for his support in the 1793 Convention of the Optical Telegraph System of Claude Chappe, for his participation with Condorcet in the Comité d'Instruction Publique, for his plan for a rationalized calendar, and, as one of the last Montagnards, for his suicide on the way to the guilliotine on le 29 prairial de l'an III: 17 June 1795. Pierre Crépel has recently done some research on both brothers. Maitre Tailhand was married to Miette Romme, the favorite niece of Charles Romme.

39.   This was the predecessor to the present, well known antiquarian Librairie Jean-Jacques Magis in Paris, specializing in law, economics, humanities, history and periodicals.

40.   The 'Bibliotheek der Carnegie Stichting' ['Library of the Carnegie Foundation'] specializes in international law, international political and diplomatic history, and peace movements.

41.   This was the adaptation [supposedly by Dupont] of Turgot's ministerial Mémoire [to the King] sur les municipalités à établir en France of September 1775, combined with the Lettre [supposedly by Étienne Clavière, and supposedly adressed to Mirabeau] and the Observations d'un républicain sur les différens systèmes d'administrations provinciales, particulièrement sur ceux de MM. Turgot & Necker, & sur le bien qu'on peut en espérer dans les gouvernemens monarchique, [supposedly by Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville], published earlier in Lausanne in 1787. Together with Condorcet, financier Clavière (1735-1793) of Geneva, and lawyer and journalist Brissot (1754-1793) of Ouarville, near Chartres, founded the abolitionist Société des Amis des Noirs. They all shared [in] the revolutionary faith [fate] of the Gironde.

42.   Constantin François de Chasseboeuf, Comte [1808] de Volney (1757-1820), was a geographer, historian, religious skepticist, and politician, who escaped the Girondist's ordeal; membre de l'Institute National 1795, de l'Académie Française 1803. Since Notice FRBNF31601919 of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France considered Londres to have been a ficticious address to evade censorship, these Considérations may well have been originally published in Lausanne.

43.   The Peace Palace Library staff generously traced the signature back to the acquisition journal entry for 30 November 1915, stating acquisition during that month of a total of 37 titles, 52 volumes, at Van Stockum's Antiquariaat book auction in The Hague. At Van Stockum's Veilingen b.v. [since 1833, with auctions of books, pictures, antiques, militaria, and coins], we studied the Minutes of the 17-25 November 1915 book auction. These reveiled that the Oeuvres posthumes were part of the 6 volumes Lot 1277, together with an 1846 edition of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, an 1860 edition of Sydney Smith's Wit and wisdom, and three other books. The Lot was sold on 19 November 1915 to the 'Vredespaleis' for two guilders forty cents. The printed Auction catalogue advertised the sale of books from six libraries, including the estate libraries of a former Minister of Colonies, and of a local history teacher. Lot 1277 was provided, however, by the unmentioned estate of Colonel J.C. Wilbrenninck of The Hague. From the other lots of his library, its is gathered that he collected, foremost, military books and books about genealogy and history of the Dutch provinces of Brabant and Gelderland.

44.   The 'Rotterdamsche Leeskabinet' ['Rotterdam Reading Cabinet'] was founded in 1859 as an all male private clubhouse and reading room for bankers, lawyers, ship owners, merchants, and the well to do in general. Its history is marked by the destruction of its clubhouse, including the administration and all but a few hundred (those outstanding) of its 140.000 books, during the bombing of Rotterdam on 14 May 1940. When rebuild after WW-II, the collection was hit by another, but smaller, disaster during the flooding of the south-western part of the Netherlands on Februari 1, 1953. At present, the 'Leeskabinet' is still a private society of more than 1.200 members, owning some 250.000 books, though affiliated, and rooming in, with the Rotterdam University Library since 1971.

45.   A Delft Polytechnic ingenieur [Ir.; master of engineering] of Walloon origin, Prof. Ir. L.H.J. Angenot was the chief urban planner for the post World War II reconstruction of the city of Rotterdam. He also held extra-ordinary chairs in urban planning at the 'Nederlandsche Economische Hoogeschool' in Rotterdam and at the 'Technische Hogeschool' in Delft. We do not know whether the entry in the acquisition journal is accurate, as a donation to the library of the 'Nederlandsche Economische Hoogeschool' would have been more obvious. There is also no clue as to where professor Angenot may have obtained the books; considering their fine condition, and their volume numbers, it is not likely that they were saved from ruins or flooding.

46.   When the 'Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen' ['Catholic University' in Nijmegen] was established in 1923, the catholic section of the population had amassed a gigantic stock of books, without any registration of origins. The library catalogue having been completed on the eve of WWII, all of the Library administration was destroyed on 18 September 1944, when during the operation Market Garden the retreating 'Wehrmacht' set fire to the university's main building; being kept elsewhere, the library collection escaped fire.

47.   Hasenberg Butter 1969, p.111, n.12, had not been able to locate the manuscript, but Nijenhuis 1992, p.176, located it in the Library of the Leiden University. Among the foreign economists cited by Kluit were Sueszmilch, Luder, Gentz, Von Justi, Smith, Condillac, and Verri. Hasenberg Butter concluded that: 'Kluit's economic ideas belong essentially in the pre-liberal phase of Dutch economic thought [...] [and show] direct cameralistic influence'.

48.   Oeconomische courant ter bevordering van nationale huishoudkunde, nijverheid, koophandel, zeevaart, fabrieken, trafieken, beoefenende konsten, landbouw en alle andere middelen van bestaan ['Economical news paper for the promotion of the nations household, economy, industry, trade, shipping, factories, traffics, arts, agriculture and all other means of subsistance'], Amsterdam, nrs.1-334 [5 January 1799 - 28 December 1803].

49.   G.K. van Hogendorp, De staetkundige oeconomie door den graeve Pietro de Verri; uit het Fransch, met aenmerkingen, Leiden, 1801; Van Hogendorp translated Pietro Verri's Meditazioni sull' economia politica of 1770 from the 1773 or 1779 French translation. G.K. van Hogendorp, Bijdragen tot de huishouding van Staat in het Koningrijk der Nederlanden, verzameld ten dienste der Staten-Generaal ['Contributions to the political economy of the Kingdom of Holland, collected for the use of States-General'], 10 vols., Delft, 1818-1825; re-edited [by J.R. Thorbecke] Amsterdam, 1864.

50.   Although Boschloo agreed with Hasenberg Butter on the 'pole position' of Tydeman, his scorecard featured a third major economist, J.R. Thorbecke (1798-1872), who might well have become the Dutch precursor to Marx, if his career as an economics professor in Ghent had not been cut short by the Belgian revolt of 1830, and when his teaching position in the shadow of Tydeman at the Leiden university had not stimulated the diversion of his career to that of a laissez-faire liberal statesman [Boschloo 1989, p.169].

51.   For which he was nevertheless offically reprimanded, according to Boschloo 1989, passim.

52.   Daire, Eugène & Gustave Molinari, Collection des principaux economistes, Paris, 1843-1848 [1852]. Both Daire and Molinari were well known economists, but little is known about the co-editor, Hippolyte Dussard (1798-1876), an economist and journalist who followed Adolphe Banqui as the 1843-1845 editor of the Journal des économistes, before [probably] becoming the owner of an Pyrenean ironmine and a conseiller d'Etat.

53.   From a provosional list [Boschloo 1989, pp.266-270] of all 47 Phd-theses in economics, delivered at Dutch universities during the period 1786-1875, it may be gathered that Van Sonsbeeck's thesis [number 16] was the first economics dissertation at the Leiden university that was written [entirely] in Dutch.

54.   The Wealth of Nations had been translated, and published in part [chapters 1-10 of Book I only], as Naspeuringen over de natuur en oorzaken van den rijkdom der volkeren door Adam Smith [Amsterdam, 1796] by Dirk Hoola van Nooten; in his introductory remarks ['aantekeeningen'], Turgot was never mentioned.

55.   Ruwet 1976, p.128: 'Colbert seems to have been occupied most by trade, as the lustre of Dutch commerce began to turn the minds in that direction. His fault was that his view of trade was too restricted, and that he was occupied more by its apperances, which he used to earn merit in the eyes of Louis XIV, then by the real wealth generated by commerce' ['Colbert a paru s'occuper davantage du commerce parce que l'éclat du commerce des Hollandois avoit commencé à tourner les esprits de ce côté-là. Sa faute a été d'avoir le commerce trop en petit et de s'être plus occupé de l'apparence, dont il pouvoit se faire un mérite aux yeux de Louis XIV, que de la prospérité réelle du commerce'].

56.   For an analysis and explanation see Ida J.A. Nijenhuis, 'De ontwikkeling van het politiek-economische vrijheidsbegrip in de Republiek' ['The evolution of the concept of liberty in Dutch political economy'], in: E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier & W.R.E. Velema (eds.), Vrijheid. Een geschiedenis van de 15de tot de 20ste eeuw, Amsterdam, 1999, pp.233-252.

57.   The Richesse de la Hollande was a historical treatise on the commerce and trade of the Netherlands, the causes of its prosperity in the past, the reasons for its present decline, and the means for recovery. It was translated and adapted by Elie Luzac in his Hollands Rijkdom.

58.   See Nijenhuis 1992, pp.112-122; Ida J.A. Nijenhuis, 'Isaac de Pinto und die Nützlichkeit von Handel und Kredit', in: Arnold Heertje (Hrsg.), Vademecum zu einem niederländischen Pionier des Denkens über die Staatsverschuldung, Düsseldorf, 2000, pp.31-53.

59.   Oeuvres de Turgot 1844, I, pp.261-291; an English translation has been given by Peter D. Groenewegen, The economics of A.R.J. Turgot, The Hague, 1977, pp.20-42. We hold a dim view of the picture of the influence of the Aanwysing on the economics of Turgot drawn by Wildenberg 1986, pp.54-55, essentially, with no more than the circumstantial evidence of a few remarks in Turgot's Eloge de Gournay: that the Mémoires de Jean de Witt and the Tracts of Josiah Child were the works that Gournay 'read with most pleasure and of which the doctrine tasted him best' [Oeuvres de Turgot, I, p.264]; and that it was to Gournay's honour to have been the first to spread the principles of Child and Jean de Witt in France, and if these 'were to be adopted by our administration one day, our descendants would know to acknowledge M. de Gournay' [ibid, p.286].

60.  p.109, biblio 3: Ecole de Médecine vétérinaire de Limoges (1766). Revue Internationale de l'Enseignement, octobre 1894, t.xxviii, p.327.


 Introduction and summary conclusions.
 1. Did Turgot's midwifery school in Limoges set an example?
     Midwifery education in the Netherlands.
 2. Did Turgot's veterinary school in Limoges set an example?
     Veterinary medicine in 18th century France.
     The school in Limoges.
     French influence on veterinary education in the Netherlands.
 3. Did Turgot's six edicts set an example?
     Turgot and the 1776 abolition of the corvées and of the jurandes.
     Dutch comments on Turgot's ministry.
     The abolition of the 'Drostediensten' in the Dutch province of Overijssel.
     The abolition of the guilds in the Netherlands.
 4. Did the Dutch know about Turgot's economics?
     The Goldberg catalogues of 1800 and 1828.
     Provenance of 18th and early 19th century works by, or about, Turgot in Dutch libraries.
     Signs of late 18th - early 19th century Dutch reception of Turgot's economics.
     The libraries of H.W. Tydeman and J. Ackersdijck.
     Availability of mid-19th century works by, or about, Turgot in Dutch libraries.
 5. Did the Dutch contribute to the economics of Turgot?
 Appendix 1.
 Appendix 2.
 Listing of titles.