The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

King, Gregory (1648–1712)

  • Phyllis Deane
Reference work entry


King was born in Lichfield in 1648, the son of a jobbing technician who had acquired a sufficient practical competence in mathematics to earn a modest livelihood practising as a surveyor, a sundial maker, a landscape gardener and even a teacher of bookkeeping. King himself, according to his autobiography, was educated partly at the local Free School and partly at home (for example, in bookkeeping and surveying) until he became clerk to Sir William Dugdale, then Norray King of Arms, whom he served for five years. This appointment set the course of his professional career as a herald, though he was to work for several years in London as a cartographer and engraver before being appointed Rouge Dragon in 1677, Registrar to the College of Arms in 1684 and eventually Lancaster Herald in 1688. After the accession of Queen Anne, when King’s Tory bias ceased to be an obstacle to advancement in the public service, he held several appointments of an accounting nature, for example the secretaryship of the Commission of Public Accounts and secretary to the Controller of Army Accounts.


Davenant, C. Demand analysis Gregory King’s Law King, G. National income accounting Population estimation 

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  1. Chalmers, G. 1802. Estimate of the comparative strength of Great Britain. London: J.J. Stockdale.Google Scholar
  2. Dallaway, J. 1793. Inquiries into the origin and progress of the science of heraldry. London. (For King’s autobiography up to 1694.)Google Scholar
  3. Evans, G.H. Jr. 1967. The law of demand – The role of Gregory King and Charles Davenant. Quarterly Journal of Economics 81: 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Glass, D.V. 1965. Two papers on Gregory King. In Population in history, ed. D.V. Glass and D.E.C. Eversley. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis Deane
    • 1
  1. 1.