Jeremiah Alexander Garland, MBE, MP (11 November 1705 - 24 December 1784), styled as Lord Garland, the 4th Earl of Scarborough, was a British economist and statesman. He is best known for his involvement in the British East India Company, as well as his tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1740 - 1748). He was also the first and longest serving Governor of Barbados (1734 - 1756), as well as the British ambassador to two European nations: the Netherlands (1728 - 1730) and France (1731 - 1734). Starting from 1728, he was a member of the House of Lourdes in British Parliament, representing the Whig Party from his native North Yorkshire, and later a member of His Majesty's Royal Cabinet.

A staunch liberal, Lord Garland's political career is marked with major economic reforms and several attempts to constitutionise the British government. His unorthodox economic views and outspoken opposition to slavery led to criticism amongst his peers. He is best known for his open views, advocation of direct mercantilism, and a rise in British imperialism via financial means. As the Professor of Economics at Glasgow University following an end to his political career, he famously published the economic handbook Lectures On the Free Market (1763), a treatise that evolved into early capitalist thought and inspired the works of one of his students, Adam Smith.

During his early tenure serving in the British East India Company, Garland rose through the ranks until being appointed Lord Lieutenant, a position only topped in the joint-stock company by the royally-appointed Chairman. As Lord Lieutenant, Garland abolished the military junta that had been established in the company during previous administrations, as he saw it not the company's responsibility, but the British Royal Navy's priority to repel foreign attacks, including acts of piracy. Garland also advocated the economic thought of mercantilism, calling for open trade among Britain and all countries of the world, including a controversial trade agreement made with the Shogunate of Japan. Regardless, his political-economic ideologies led to a rise in his popularity, and thus his royal appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Early lifeEdit

Birth and ChildhoodEdit

Garland's father, Sir Thomas Robert Garland (1668 - 1731), was the 3rd Earl of Scarborough, and served in the British Parliament representing North Yorkshire. He served in the House of Commons, under the reigns of William III and Mary II, Anne, and George I. His wife, Garland's mother, Lady Josephine Garland (née de Peusen) (1671 - 1743) was a Dutch heiress and the first cousin of King William of Orange (later to be King William III of England).

Garland was born in Scarborough on the 11th of November, 1705. When he was two years old, his father, the 3rd Earl of Scarborough, was given command of a regiment of the Royal British Army in the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession, and left Yorkshire for seven years, seeing action in Flanders, Portugal, and the Rhineland (he was also present at the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, officially ending the war in 1713). Garland was the third born in the family, but the first son, therefore placing him as the heir presumptive to the Earldom of Scarborough. He had two older sisters: Anna (1696 - 1761) and Sophia (1700 - 1715). The latter died of tubercluosis early in Garland's childhood.


At the age of nine, Garland left Scarborough for several years to attend Eton College in Southern England. He was a quick and noted learner, and took particular interests in philosophy, economy, diplomacy, language, and astronomy. More often than not he would lock himself away in his dormitory, reading the works of Locke, Hobbes, Milton, and Newton amongst others. It was also during this time that he taught himself to speak, read, and write French, in addition to his studies centred around Greek and Latin. By the age of fourteen, he began writing pamphlets dealing with political and philosophical thought for the school, written in both English and French.

In April of 1715, Garland returned to Yorkshire upon hearing the news of the death of his sister. He spent several months at his family's estate in mourning before returning to Eton. He graduated from the bordering school in 1719, and sought higher education. Whilst his father wished for Jeremiah to attend Cambridge University as he had, Garland instead decided to enroll at the the University of Glasgow in Scotland, to stay nearer to home. He attended the college that year, at age fourteen, with an emphasis on philosophy and French literature. It was during his four years at Glasgow that Garland met and befriended his life-long friend and a future prime minister of Great Britain, Henry Pelham, who was several years Garland's senior. The twenty-one year-old Pelham was impressed by Garland's knowledge on various subjects, and the two kept in close contact until Pelham's appointment as British prime minister, and Garland's simultaneous appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Pelham.

Military careerEdit

In 1723, following his graduation from Glasgow and through his father's urging, Garland successfully enlisted into the British Royal Navy. Though he was initially supposed to be deployed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to help counter the growing native hostilities in the New England Colonies, a series of miscommunications amongst the war office instead saw Garland and his entire company stationed in Bombay, the capital of British India. He departed for the Indian subcontinent in May of that year.

Garland, since promoted to lieutenant (and later captain), stayed in India until 1726. During that time, his main duty was to oversee the protection of the East India Company, which had made its world headquarters in Bombay, as well as negotiate peace with the regional aboriginal power, the Mughal Empire. Garland's ability to quickly learn Urdu made him a vital player in the latter duty, going so far as to sit in the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah as an interpreter in Delhi. Impressed by Garland's skills as a dignitary, the British governance in Bombay soon recognised him as a diplomat of the British Empire. Garland negotiated and helped compose the Treaty of Agra (1725), which formed an alliance among the British Empire, the Mughal Empire, and the neighbouring state of Hyderabad.

Though he would retain military honours throughout his career, Garland saw little open conflict. He was, however, present at the signing of the Treaty of Aachen in 1748 to end King George's War, and the Treaty of Paris in 1763 to end the Seven Years' War.


Shortly after the Treaty of Agra, Garland's necessary tenure of duty was over and he returned to Britain. Initially returning to Scarborough, Garland was soon invited to London to work as an assistant in the State Ministry. He rented a flat on Piccadilly and worked out of Whitehall, in Westminster.


By late 1727 Garland had grown in prestige within the State Ministry and he had been promoted to the under secretary of the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, William Lee. Lee recognised Garland for his linguistic abilities (by this point he was now proficient in English, French, Dutch, Italian, and Turkish). Due to Lee's urging, King George II royally appointed Garland as the Ambassador to the Dutch Republic on January 7, 1728. The decision was made due to Garland's fluency in Dutch and his mother's links to the Dutch royal family. Hitherto the Dutch Republic and Britain had enjoyed a healthy relationship, with a Dutch king, King William III of Orange, having sat on the English throne three decades earlier. Garland departed for Den Haag on January 21 of that year.

Though the official British embassy was centred in Den Haag, the city in which the Dutch royal court was held, Garland spent a majority of his tenure as ambassador in Amsterdam – the cultural and financial capital of the Dutch Republic – and Rotterdam – the country's largest port – working from the British consulates there. In Amsterdam, Garland met and befriended the painter Nikolaas Verkolje, who famously produced a commissioned portrait of Garland at this time. Overall, Garland was liked by the Dutch populace and well-received in the Dutch royal court. King William IV particularly admired the young man's ability to speak and appreciated his proficiency in the Dutch language; prior to Garland, ambassadors to the Netherlands seldom made any attempt to learn Dutch.

Garland led a highly active ambassadorship. In March of 1729, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ascension of King William III, Garland joined the current Dutch king, his wife Anna, and their entourage for a "grand tour" of the Netherlands. Beginning in Maastricht in the south and ending in the Frisian city of Groningen, the tour saw the group visit over thirty Dutch towns and villages, which received Garland well; several Union Jacks were waved in addition to the Dutch standards, and never before had Dutch-British relations reached a seemingly high point. In Leiden, Garland befriended Dutch writer and scientist Herman Boerhaave; the two would remain a steady correspondence for several years afterwards.

It was also during this time that Garland first began reading about and developing an interest in economic theory. Whilst still living in the British consulate in Amsterdam, Garland published his first work, a fifty-page pamphlet entitled A Treatise on the Dutch Market (1730). The pamphlet openly praised the Dutch's pioneering trade dominance, the innovative economic phenomena of the stock market established in Rotterdam a century earlier, and the Dutch tendency to colonise "far and wide, but without the need of lethal force." It was published that year in Dutch and English, and later French.