Adam Smith in Paris

Now that I have completed my multi-part reviews of the Jack Balkin and Mark Lemley papers, I will be “switching gears”, so to speak, and writing about Adam Smith’s eventful year in Paris — i.e., from late December of 1765 up to mid-October of 1766. But before proceeding any further, what was Smith doing in France in the first place, and what was he up to in the City of Light?

Most students of Adam Smith’s life will already know the answer to the first question. Smith was in France in his capacity as a “travelling tutor” to Henry Scott Campbell, the future 3d Duke of Buccleuch, whose portrait (circa 1760) is posted below. A direct descendant of King Charles II of England and King Henry IV of France, Duke Henry was born into one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most prestigious families in Scotland, and upon his official coming of age in September of 1767, Smith’s pupil would legally become one of Scotland’s largest landowners. (For further background about Duke Henry, I strongly recommend Alain Alcouffe & Philippe Massot-Bordenave’s 2020 book “Adam Smith in Toulouse and Occitania”, especially pp. 28–34.)

Okay, but what were Adam Smith and his pupil doing in Paris? Stay tuned, for I will revisit (pun intended!) Smith’s time in Paris in my next few posts.

File:Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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