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2 2009-2010 Huntington Library Fellowship, Research proposal ‘Piety, Profit and Public Service’, Koji Yamamoto (York

, UK)

Piety, Profit and Public Service in the Financial Revolution: A case study of James Brydges (1674-1744) as an investor and a patron Koji Yamamoto The proposed research is part of my post-doc article project which reconsiders the role of piety in the financial revolution in early British empire. Craig Muldrew has suggested that the rise of joint-stock companies, the stock market and long-distance trade from the end of the seventeenth century precipitated the move towards ‘a more utilitarian market culture’. In this culture, Larry Stewart has argued, Newtonian philosophy was exploited with ‘much greed and just as much skulduggery as financial imagination can devise’. So too was religion, Stewart has suggested: religious affiliations were indicative ‘of important patrons than of theological virtuosity.’ Studying Atlantic trading networks, David Hancock has also suggested that religion did little more than provide established networks that entrepreneurs exploited with ‘extreme opportunism’. These views accord with a wider consensus away from Weberian emphasis on Protestantism, a consensus that Protestantism pushed the development of capitalism not so much because of its particular creed like predestination, but because of networks and resources it provided. I do not wish to underplay impacts of the commercialisation or profit motives, or the role of religion as a kind of social capital. But doing so should not lead us to downplay the significance of piety and worldly godliness, mundane practices of religion that could not be readily reduced to a creed or a social capital open to exploitation. In my Ph.D thesis, I have shown that High-Church Tory Sir Humphrey Mackworth conceptualised and promoted his speculative mining company as godly public service. In 1700, he wrote in his diary: ‘wh[a]t are all the Mines in the world to mee, unless applyed to the Glory of God, by doeing Good in the world’? For him, running a joint-stock company had to be a worldly exercise of godliness that would not only confer private profit, but also advance charitable activities for the public good. Using the one-month Fellowship, I will explore the Stowe MSS – one of the richest at Huntington – in order to develop a parallel case study. It explores how far, as Mackworth did, James Brydges the first Duke of Chandos conceptualised and presented his business and financial activities as means of ‘doeing Good in the world’ for ‘the Glory of God’. Such a reappraisal is important. As Larry Stewart has shown, Brydges was one of the most prominent patrons who assisted the commercial application of Newtonian philosophy in the financial revolution. P.G.M. Dickson and J.V. Beckett have depicted Brydges as a typical entrepreneur of the period who ‘was by temperament greedy and a gambler’. Stewart has assessed Brydges’ patronage as ‘a marriage of convenience’: by giving clerical positions to a Newtonian disciple John Theophilus Desaguliers, Brydges ‘merely provided [him with] the opportunity to engage the attractions of natural philosophy’. Patricia Fara has also suggested that the clerical appointments were more about the provision of ‘sources of income’ than about ‘religious commitment’. Therefore, Brydges (and his patronage of Desaguliers) have been used to epitomise the supposedly utilitarian market culture of the financial revolution. Brydge’s career, however, suggests that religion was much more than a social capital. Brydges wrote diaries and penned ‘Observations’ upon the Bible, Bacon’s Essays (1597), and Thomas Fuller’s Holy State (1641). His upward mobility required ‘sanctification’ too. Between 1705 and 1713, Brydges served as a paymaster of British armies abroad and earned more than £700,000. So by the time he appointed Desaguliers as his chaplain in 1716, Brydges amassed a vast sum of money and was soon to

3 2009-2010 Huntington Library Fellowship, Research proposal ‘Piety, Profit and Public Service’, Koji Yamamoto (York, UK)

be made the Duke of Chandos. As contemporary sermons repeatedly asserted, ‘Riches, and Honour, and Power are given unto Mankind, for no other end, but to Do Good’ (Laurence Hacket), and ‘men of quality’ should ‘value their high Rank and Station’ as ‘an Instrument of doing Good’ (Robert Nelson). These were the precepts Mackworth tried, but found very difficult, to follow in his mining business. We must explore how Brydges – a regular churchgoer interested in scriptural authority – also sought to ‘sanctify’ his rising wealth and station by ‘doing good’. I will focus on two periods of Brydges’ life before and after his spectacular rise as a paymaster. I will use the first week and a half of the Fellowship to explore his two-volume diary (1697-1702) (Stowe 26) and his 1697 ‘Observations’ on Bacon, Bible and Fuller’s Holy State (Stowe 13). These hitherto under-explored manuscripts are significant. For, exploring philosophical, financial and spiritual entries along side each other will enable me to examine how far, for Brydges, these seemingly discreet topics were interwoven. The analysis will reveal how far, as Baconian John Houghton did in the same period, Brydges approved and invested in joint-stock companies as a means of improving industries. It will also establish how, like Mackworth, Brydges conceptualised and presented such economic improvement as means of pursuing piety and public service as well as private profit. I will use another week and a half to survey Brydges’ letters to Desaguliers and other experts written between 1719 and 1725 regarding speculative ventures (Stowe 57). Brydges’ ongoing business interest is significant. He apparently lost £200,000 during the South Sea Bubble in 1720. If Desaguliers’ expertise did not help Brydges prevent the losses, a utilitarian reasoning would have prevented further reckless investment and warned him against consulting Desaguliers. Yet Brydges continued to seek Desaguliers’ advice on various fire and steam engines that might return vast profit from London waterworks and elsewhere. Was Brydges pursuing piety and public service as much as his profit? To answer this question, I will examine how Brydges conceptualised and presented his ongoing business activities and the role of the Newtonian natural philosopher in the volatile financial market. I will end the Fellowship by using one week on supplementary research into Huntington’s extensive printed and manuscript holdings (e.g. Ellesmere 9903-4, Notes on the case of Craven Howard’s waterworks (1694-98); Ellesmere 9905-8, Notes on the ‘Office of Land Credit’ [1696]). In particular, I will examine how the promotion of speculative projects was couched in religious terms. Doing so will help me root my case studies in what Andrew Cambers has called the ‘godly religious culture’ in early modern England. The Fellowship will enable me to develop an article that highlights an overlap between the financial revolution and early modern social welfare reforms. As Charles Webster, Paul Slack, and Jonathan Barry have shown, godliness drove reform initiatives of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, from the Harlib circle to Quaker John Beller, Whig John Cary, and the Reformation of Manners. The article will highlight that, like social welfare reformers, entrepreneurs in the age of financial revolution conceptualised and promoted their activities as a joint pursuit of piety, profit and public service. To extend the argument to Atlantic contexts, the article will incorporate case studies of three colonial entrepreneurs, John Hull (1624-1683), his son-in-law Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), and a son of Sewall’s cousin, Jeremiah Dummer (1681-1739). I have applied for the Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowship from Harvard in order to examine their manuscripts kept in Boston area. Together, the Fellowship at Huntington will help me open up a broader discussion of the role of godliness in the emerging British empire both home and abroad, a theme somewhat underplayed in Hancock’s Citizens of the World (1995), but has been picked up recently by

3 2009-2010 Huntington Library Fellowship, Research proposal ‘Piety, Profit and Public Service’, Koji Yamamoto (York, UK)

Michael Braddick and others. Reaffirming the role of piety is crucial. For, as Boyd Hilton and Geoffrey Searle have shown, the compatibility of the fledging capitalism with Christian morality remained an enduring preoccupation in the Victorian commercial culture and beyond.