MORTIMER, Thomas Every man his own broker: or a guide to Exchange Alley, 1782
MORTIMER, Thomas. Everyman his own broker: or a guide to Exchange Alley. Published by G. Robinson, Paternofter Row 1782. 9th Edition, 8vo., xxiv, 252 pp., 40pp. tables of interest, original brown leather covered in marble paper, spine lettered in gilt, carmine edges. Fine. Goldsmiths' 12333.
In her work From Coffee House to Cyber market: Two Hundred Years of the London Stock Exchange, historian Elizabeth Hennessy outlines the importance of Mortimer’s work: “One of the most knowledgeable and persistent critics of brokers’ trade in securities was Thomas Mortimer whose book Every Man His Own Broker appear in fourteen editions between 1761 and 1801, and was translated into German, Dutch, French and Italian. According to his own account he wrote because of any unhappy experience at Johnathan’s in 1756, and the work is certainly hostile to jobbers and speculators; like many of his contemporaries he was deeply perturbed by what he saw as unnecessary trading in Government funds. However his detailed advice to the public on how to buy and sell successfully gives one of the best pictures of stock broking in the second half of the eighteenth century.”
Thomas Mortimer (1730–1810) is chiefly remembered as a writer on economics. Every Man his Own Broker was first published in 1761, and ran to fourteen editions in the next forty years, this reissue being of the fourth edition. It was based on his own experience of the stock market, which in the first half of the eighteenth century was rapidly developing, but also suffered crises in which many speculators lost heavily. Increasing sales of government stock to pay for foreign wars led to concern, and Mortimer gives practical advice to readers to avoid making mistakes by relying on brokers. The book gives a good picture of how the stock market and the London financial world were operating at this time, although Mortimer's antipathy to brokers and jobbers is exaggerated. The book contains the first use of the terms 'bull' and 'bear' to describe types of markets.