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Sir William Petty (1623-1687), Political economist

Sitter in 8 portraits
A physician, natural scientist, inventor and political economist, Petty was a founding fellow of the Royal Society. He overcame a humble origin to rise rapidly following the Parliamentary victory in the civil war. Petty was elected Professor of Anatomy at Oxford in 1651, and made a fortune following Cromwell's conquest of Ireland by surveying the land to be confiscated and distributed amongst the victors. He retained his positions at the Restoration and impressed Charles II with his design for a double-keeled ship. He is principally remembered for carrying out the first serious attempt at a scientific and mathematical study of social statistics in Political Arithmetic (1690).

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D5517

Sir William Petty

by Edwin Sandys
line engraving, 1683
NPG D5517

D30966

Sir William Petty

by and published by John Smith, after John Closterman
mezzotint, 1696
NPG D30966

D30967

Sir William Petty

by and published by John Smith, after John Closterman
mezzotint, 1696
NPG D30967

D11978

Sir William Petty

by and published by John Smith, after John Closterman
mezzotint, 1696
NPG D11978

D30056

Sir William Petty

after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, late 18th to early 19th century
NPG D30056

D20077

Sir William Petty

by and published by John Smith, after John Closterman
mezzotint, 1696
NPG D20077

D5516

Sir William Petty

after Isaac Fuller
photogravure, published 1895
NPG D5516