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Richard Cantillon: Entrepreneur and Economist
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3 Classical Economics of the Entrepreneur - The Entrepreneur [Book]
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Indeed, his reputation for making fortunes when others were losing shirts — notably in the Mississippi Scheme and South Sea Bubble — earned him many enemies. He was jailed briefly in Paris and spent much of the s fighting litigation. The later obscurity may have derived from the care he took to cover his trails, which were widespread.
His success as an investor was built on extensive research and travel, so that he had homes in seven different European capitals: including London, the city that did for him eventually. After a fire in his house there in , Cantillon was found dead in bed with severe burns.
At first it was thought he had fallen asleep while reading by candlelight. But a post mortem suggested death had preceded the fire, whereupon the spotlight fell on a cook who had recently been sacked. The cook escaped. Three other servants were subsequently cleared of charges. And perhaps inevitably, there were suspicions that the shifty economist was not dead at all, but that he had faked his own murder to avoid lawsuits.
Despite all his travels, Cantillon retained Irish tastes, at least in some things. His wife was beautiful and much younger than he, yet they seem to have been happy for a while, at least until , when he felt the need to send her to a convent for six months. If the famous banker did stage his death the following year, his wife helped the cover story by promptly marrying her lover.
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Who was Richard Cantillon? Kerry-born 18th-century banker, credited with the origin of the term entrepreneur, can lay claim to being the father of modern economics Mon, Aug 1, , Topics: Richard Cantillon Adam Smith. Sponsored The Story of Home: From ruin to barn conversion. Tax: Coping with complexity and uncertainty. New research takes another step towards self-aware artificial intelligence. Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.