KELLY, Patrick. The Universal Cambist and Commercial Instructor Being a General Treaty on Exchange, Including the Monies, Coins, Weights, and Measures, of All Trading Nations and their Colonies … The Second Edition. Corrected from verified Standards by Order and Aid of Government amd the East India Company: and kept correct during subsequent Alterations by a Series of Supplemets, comprising the New Laws for Establishing the Imperial System of Weights and Measures.

London, Printed for the Author, 1835.


Two volumes in one, 4to. Original publisher's cloth (rarely seen), spine lettered in gilt, ornamented in blind, yellow endpapers; pp. xl, [2, errata], 422; xxiv, 380. [2], [2, author's advertisements], two engraved maps of India at the end; cloth a little marked, a few pages a little spotted, otherwise very clean, fresh, and uncut with wide margins; provenance: contemporary engraved armorial bookplate of Lord Dinorben, Welsh copper mine owner, philanthropist and Whig politician, inside front cover.

Actually third edition of an impressive accumulation of economic and trade knowledge for all kinds of business and financial services, with an supplement on the Indian Subcontinent on the final 55 pages of volume two. The title had appeared first in 1811 and was in this edition considerably enlarged and updated.

The mathematician and astronomer Patrick Kelly 'was for many years master of the Finsbury Square Academy, London. Nothing is known of his parentage or early life; on 1 August 1789 he married Ann Plomley, who predeceased him. Their son, later the Revd Anthony Plomley Kelly (b. 1797), survived him. The Finsbury Square Academy, a finishing school teaching commercial and mathematical subjects, comprised a boarding-house, schools, and an observatory … At the end of the eighteenth century English merchants lacked any reliable guide to rates of exchange comparable with J. E. Kruse's Allgemeiner und besonders Hamburgischer Contorist (1753) prepared for the Hamburg merchants. The Bank of England in 1796 declined to undertake a similar task, and in 1804 Kelly submitted a prospectus for an expanded and updated version of Kruse's work. The bank then agreed to support Kelly, as did the Board of Trade, East India Company, and leading mercantile houses. His Universal Cambist (1811) dealt with the moneys, coins, weights, and measures "of all trading nations", and surpassed Kruse by including the East and West Indies and America. The Bank of England had assayed the gold and silver content of the coins, but Kelly could not procure foreign standards of weight and measure during the war years, and had perforce to rely on the equivalents provided by merchants. When peace came, the government issued a circular to all British consuls to obtain standards; these were compared at the Royal Mint. The first edition of the Cambist showed up the earlier defective exchange rates, especially in Spanish and French currencies, which had cost England dear, and these new and corrected values were published in the second edition in 1821' (ODNB).