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William Cunningham


William Cunningham was a British economist. He was an eminent economic historian, a proponent of the historical method in economics, and an opponent of free trade. As representatives of the German historical school, Cunningham claimed "relativity of economic doctrines". He believed that the study of economic history is necessary for knowledge of economic facts, which is the best introduction to economics.


CUNNINGHAM, William was born on December 29, 1849 in Edinburgh. 3rd son of James Cunningham, Writer to the Signet, and Elizabeth Boyle, daughter of Alexander Dunlop of Keppoch.


He graduated BA in 1873, having gained a first class in the Moral Science tripos. In the same year took holy orders, later serving as chaplain of Trinity College


He became vicar of Great St Mary's, Cambridge, in 1887, and was made a fellow of the British Academy. In 1907 he was appointed archdeacon of Ely.

He was a critic of the nascent Neoclassical economics, particularly as propounded by his colleague, Alfred Marshall, and the Cambridge School.


  • Fellow of the British Academy. Clubs: Oxford and Cambridge, Albemarle.


Elizabeth Boyle