Thornton, Henry

▪ British economist, banker, and philanthropist
born March 10, 1760, London, England
died January 16, 1815, London

      English economist, banker, and philanthropist who made significant contributions to monetary theory.

      Thornton was the son of a noted merchant and philanthropist. He became a leading member of the Clapham Sect, an austere, evangelical branch of the Church of England, and was a close associate of William Wilberforce (Wilberforce, William) in his campaign against slavery. In 1782 Thornton was elected to Parliament for Southwark, a seat he held until the end of his life. Thornton, who was noted for his personal integrity and for his abolitionist views, believed he could best maintain political independence by refusing to join either the Whigs or the Tories. In Parliament his peers regarded him as an authority on all financial matters. His sense of public service extended to his private life, too, as he donated most of his income to charity.

      Because Thornton was a monetary theorist, his major contributions concerned interest, circulation of money, prices, and the effects of banking on currency. He was the first economist to establish the difference between nominal and real interest rates—for example, if the real rate of interest is 4 percent, and people expect inflation of 3 percent, then the nominal interest rate will be 7 percent.

      Thornton's Inquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain (1802) is a significant work on monetary theory. Although this book was forgotten for more than 100 years, economists Jacob Viner (Viner, Jacob) and Friedrich von Hayek (Hayek, F.A.) brought it to the attention of their colleagues in the 1930s. In Inquiry Thornton also defended the Bank of England (England, Bank of) against charges that its excessive issue of paper money had been responsible for a general rise in prices. Thornton adopted the antibullionist position, i.e., that banks reflect rather than cause high prices. Over time, however, he grew more critical of the Bank of England, and in his Bullion Committee Report of 1810, which studied the cause of the high price of gold bullion, he favoured a decrease in the issuance of paper money.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thornton (surname) — Thornton is a surname, and may refer to:* A. P. Thornton * Alvin Thornton * Andre Thornton * Andrew C. Thornton II * Andy Thornton, baseball player * Barry Thornton * Big Mama Thornton, musician * Billy Bob Thornton, actor * Bonnell Thornton,… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Thornton (magazine) — Henry Thornton is an independent Australian online news and culture magazine created in 1999 to provide an independent view point on the goings on in the worlds of politics, commerce, world affairs the arts and any area that is creating column… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Thornton (abolitionist) — Henry Thornton (1760 ndash; 1815), economist, banker, philanthropist and parliamentarian, was the son of John Thornton (philanthropist) (1729 ndash;90) of Clapham, London, who had been one of the early supporters and patrons of the emerging… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Hermann Mumm Thornton — (born 1932) was a prominent banker and businessman whose young adulthood was detailed in the journals of his stepfather Edmund Wilson, the noted essayist and scholar [Wilson, Edmund. The Fifties. Leon Edel (editor).] . Henry was also mentioned… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Thornton — is the name of: * Henry Thornton (abolitionist) (1760 1815), one of the founders of the Clapham Sect. * Henry Thornton (magazine) (Began 1999), an Australian online opinions based magazine. * Sir Henry Thornton (1871 1933), president of Canadian… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Worth Thornton — Henry Thornton (Sir) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Thornton. Sir Henry Worth Thornton et Lady Thornton au Ontario Jockey Club Sir Henry Worth Thornton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thornton — ist der Name folgender Orte: in Großbritannien: Thornton (Angus) Thornton (Buckinghamshire) Thornton (Fife) Thornton (Lancashire) Thornton (Leicestershire) Thornton (Lincolnshire) Thornton (Merseyside) Thornton (Middlesbrough) Thornton… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thornton Abbey — was founded as a priory in 1139 by William le Gros, the Earl of Yorkshire, and raised to the status of Abbey in 1148. It was a house for Augustinian or black canons. These priests lived a communal life under the Rule of St Augustine but also… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Wharton Conway — (* 18. März 1793 bei Greeneville, Tennessee; † 9. November 1827 in Arkansas Post, Arkansas) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1823 und 1827 vertrat er das Arkansas Territorium als Delegierter im US Repräsentantenhaus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Buchtel — Henry Augustus Buchtel (* 30. September 1847 in Akron, Ohio; † 22. Oktober 1924 in Denver) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker (Republikanische Partei) und von 1907 bis 1909 der 16. Gouverneur des Bundesstaates Colorado. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.