James Mill (1773-1836)

[Created: 30 January, 2013]
[Updated: 6 February, 2021]


Bief Bio

James Mill (1773-1836) was an early 19th century Philosophic Radical, journalist, and editor from Scotland. He was very influenced by Jeremy Bentham’s ideas about utilitarianism which he applied to the study of British India, political economy, and electoral reform. Mill wrote on the British corn laws, free trade, comparative advantage, the history of India, and electoral reform. His son, John Stuart, after a rigorous home education, became one of the leading English classical liberals in the 19th century.

For more information about James Mill see the 19th century biography by Alexander Bain and the "Biographical Sketch" by Donald Winch in the Selected Econmic Writings (1966) <http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/100/30337>.

  • Alexander Bain, James Mill. A Biography (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1882). [PDF 9.7 MB]


Anthology of his collected political essays 1815-1836

I have edited a collection of his later political writings: The Political Writings of James Mill: Essays and Reviews on Politics and Society, 1815-1836 which is available here.



The following list of his works comes from James Mill, Selected Economic Writings, ed. Donald Winch (Edinburgh: Oliver Boyd for the Scottish Economic Society, 1966). Winch's comments are indicated. The others are by me. Several errors of citation have been corrected. We havealso consulted Bain's biography on the authorship of the articles.


James Mill on Class Analysis

Mill's theory of class and the state is very interesting. I am collecting the best of his writings on this topic here:

  • "Caste," Supplement to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1824), vol. 2, pp. 674-54. [PDF 1 MB] and HTML.
  • "Summary Review of the Conduct and Measures of the Seventh Imperial Parliament"in Parliamentary History and Review (1826), pp. 772-802. [PDF 2.3 MB] and HTML version.
  • "State of the Nation," The London Review, Apr. 1835, vol. I, no. 1, pp. 1–24 [PDF 1.3 MB] and HTML version.
  • "Aristocracy," The London Review, Jan. 1836, vol. II, pp. 283–306. This was reprinted in a collection of pamphlets edited by John Arthur Roebuck, Pamphlets of the People, vol. 1 (London: Charles Ely, 1835). [PDF 1.2 MB] and HTML.


Books and Pamphlets

An Essay on the Impolicy of a Bounty on the Exportation of Grain, London, 1804.

  • James Mill, An Essay of the Impolicy of a Bounty on the Exportation of Grain; and on the Principles which ought to regulate the Commerce of Grain (London: C. and R. Baldwin, 1804). [PDF 1.8 MB]

Charles Villers, An Essay on the Spirit and Influence of the Reformation of Luther… With a Sketch of the History of the Church, from its Founder to the Reformation;intended as an Appendix to the Work. Translated and Illustrated with copious Notes by James Mill, Esq. (London: C. and B. Baldwin, 1805).

Commerce Defended, London, 1807; 2nd edition, 1808.

  • James Mill, Commerce Defended. An Answer to the Arguments by which Mr. Spence, Mr. Cobbett, and Others, have attempted to Prove that Commerce is not a source of National Wealth (London: C. and R. Baldwin, 1808). [PDF 4.1 MB]

Schools for All, Not Schools for Churchmen Only, London, 1812.

  • James Mill, Schools for All, in Preference to Schools for Churchmen Only: Or, The State of the Controversy Between the Advocates for the Lancasterian System of Universal Education, and Those who Have Set Up an Exclusive and Partial System Under the Name of the Church and Dr. Bell (Longman 1812). [Not yet available from Google Books].

The History of British India, London, 1817 in 6 volumes: 2nd edition, 1821; 3rd edition, 1826.

The Elements of Political Economy, London, 1821; 2nd edition, 1824; 3rd edition, 1826, reissued 1844. French translation of 2nd edition in 1823; German translation in 1824. Italian translation in Biblioteca dell'Economista, vol. V, Turin, 1854.

  • James Mill, Elements of Political Economy, 2d edition revised and corrected (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1824). [PDF 7.6 MB]
  • James Mill, Elements of Political Economy, 3rd edition revised and corrected (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1844). [PDF 8 MB]

Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, in Two Volumes. (London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1829).

Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind. A New Edition with notes illustrative and critical by Alexander Bain, Andrew Findlater, and George Grote. Edited with Additional Notes by John Stuart Mill. In Two Volumes. (London: Longmans Green Reader and Dyer, 1869).

Fragment on Mackintosh, London, 1830.

  • A Fragment on Macintosh: with Strictures on some Passages in the Dissertation by Sir James Macintosh, prefixed to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1835). [PDF 10 MB].



1. Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine [1802]

  • ‘Belsham's Logic’, May 1802, vol. XII, pp. 1–13


2. The Literary Journal or Universal Review of Literature Domestic and Foreign [1803-1806]

Winch: Attribution of authorship of articles in this journal which was edited by Mill is particularly difficult. But it seems worthwhile recording some of the interesting articles which appear to bear traces of Mill's hand. See also above, p. 23.

  • ‘Millar's “Historical View”’, Oct. 1803, vol. II, pp. 325–33
  • * Articles defending the trade of neutral ships, Oct. 1803, vol. II, pp. 366–74; 385–400; 433–41
  • * ‘Brougham's “Inquiry into Colonial Policy of European Powers”’, Nov. 1803, vol. II, pp. 513–27
  • * ‘Malthus's Essay’, Dec. 1803, vol. II, pp. 577–87
  • * ‘Boase's “Observations on Lord King”’, Jun. 1804, vol. III, pp. 627–35; 694–701; 753–60
  • * ‘Lauderdale's “Inquiry”’, Jul. 1804, vol. IV, pp. 1–18
  • * ‘Foster's “Essay on Exchange”’, Aug. 1804, vol. IV, pp. 137–66
  • * ‘Anderson's “Calm Investigation”’, Oct. 1804, vol. IV, pp. 385–402
  • * ‘Cook's “Answer to Lord Sheffield”’, Dec. 1804, vol. IV, pp. 137–66
  • * ‘Jordan on W. Indies’, Dec. 1804, vol. IV, pp. 583–94
  • * ‘Lauderdale on Irish Currency’, Apr. 1805, vol. V, pp. 367–71
  • * ‘Say's “Traité”’, Apr. 1805, vol. V, pp. 412–25
  • * A series of articles defending the neutral trade appeared beginning Dec. 1805, vol. V, and continued in the issues for Feb., May and Jun. 1806, vol. I (2nd series).
  • ‘Tooke's “Diversions of Purley”’, Jan. 1806, I (2nd Series), pp. 1ff.
  • * ‘Lord Sheffield's “Strictures”’, Jan. 1806, vol. I (2nd Series), pp. 51–62
  • * ‘Sir James Steuart's “Collected Works”’, Mar. 1806, vol. I (2nd Series), pp. 225–35
  • * ‘Lord Liverpool's “Treatise on Coins of Realm”’, May 1806, vol. I (2nd Series), pp. 449–59
  • ‘Craig on Millar’, Jun. 1806, vol. I (2nd Series), pp. 624ff.
  • ‘Filangieri's “Science of Legislation”’, Sep. 1806, vol. II (2nd series), pp. 225–42.


3. The Eclectic Review [1807-14]

Winch: Except for the last two items the evidence for attribution to Mill is chiefly internal; see above, p. 23.

  • * ‘Spence's “Britain Independent of Commerce”’, Dec. 1807, vol. III, pp. 1052–8
  • * ‘Wheatley's “Essay on the Theory of Money”’, Jan. 1808, vol. IV, pp. 24–35; Feb. 1808, vol. IV, pp. 130–8; Apr. 1808, vol. IV, pp. 355–62
  • * ‘Chalmers’ “Enquiry into National Resources”’, Jul. 1808, vol. IV, pp. 575–89
  • * ‘On National Subsistence’, Jan. 1809, vol. V, pp. 50–56
  • ?* ‘Ricardo's “High Price of Bullion”’, Mar. 1810, vol. VI, pp. 216–27
  • ‘Indian History’, Jan. 1814, vol. I, n.s., pp. 140–55
  • * ‘Corn Laws’, Jul. 1814, vol. II, n.s., pp. 1–16


4. Annual Review and History of Literature for 1808, vol. VII

  • ‘C. J. Fox's “History of James II”’, pp. 99–101
  • ‘Bentham on Scotch Reform’, pp. 198–203


5. Edinburgh Review [1807-1814]

Winch: In compiling this list I have consulted Mrs Esther R. Houghton, who is assisting in the editing of the Wellesley Index of Victorian Periodicals, shortly to be published; the evidence for the attributions to Mill is omitted here, but will be given in the Wellesley Index.

  • ‘Filangeri on the Science of Legislation’, Jan. 1807, vol. IX, pp. 343–73
  • †* ‘Smith on Money and Exchange’, Oct. 1808, vol. XIII, pp. 35–48
  • ‘Leckie on Foreign Policy of Great Britain’, Oct. 1808, vol. XIII, pp. 186–205
  • ‘Emancipation of Spanish America’, Jan. 1809, vol. XIII, pp. 277–311
  • ‘Jovellanos on Agriculture and Legislation’, Apr. 1809, vol. XIV, pp. 20–39
  • ‘Molina's Account of Chile’, Jul. 1809, vol. XIV, pp. 333–53
  • ‘DeGuignes' “Voyages à Peking”’, Jul. 1809, vol. XIV, pp. 407–29
  • ‘Bexon's “Code de la Législation Pénale”’, Oct. 1809, vol. 19, pp. 88–109
  • ‘Voyage aux Indes Orientales’, Jan. 1810, vol. XV, pp. 363–84
  • * ‘Affairs of India’, Apr. 1810, vol. XVI, pp. 128–57
  • ‘Sur la Tolération Religieuse’, Aug. 1810, vol. XVI, pp. 412–43
  • ‘Mémoires du Prince Eugéne’, Nov. 1810, vol. XVII, pp. 39–57
  • ‘Code d'Instruction Criminelle’, Nov. 1810, vol. XVII, pp. 88–114
  • ‘Chas. Sur la Souveraineté’, Feb. 1811, vol. XVII, pp. 409–28
  • ‘Liberty of the Press’, May 1811, vol. XVIII, pp. 98–123
  • ‘Wilke's History of Mysore’, Aug. 1811, vol. XVIII, pp. 343–69
  • * ‘East Indian Monopoly’, Nov. 1811, vol. XIX, pp. 229–43
  • ‘Letters of Tippoo Sultan’, Feb. 1812, vol. XIX, pp. 363–73
  • ‘Malcom on India’, Jul. 1812, vol. XX, pp. 38–54
  • * ‘East India Monopoly’, Nov. 1812, vol. XX, pp. 471–93
  • ‘Education of the Poor’, Feb. 1813, vol. XXI, pp. 207–19
  • ‘Malcom's “Sketch of the Siks”’, Jul. 1813, vol. XXI, pp. 432–43
  • ? ‘Neild on Prisons’, Jan. 1814, vol. XXII, pp. 385–400


6. The Monthly Review [1810-1815]

Winch: Identification of authorship of articles for this journal can be found in B. C. Nangles, The Monthly Review, 2nd Series, 1790–1815, Oxford, 1955. The listing for James Mill does not always seem to be correct owing to possible confusion with another contributor with a similar name. The list given here is based on Nangles but modified where the attribution seemed incorrect.

  • ‘Jamieson's “Dictionary of the Scottish Tongue”’, Sep. 1810, vol. LXIII, pp. 11–31
  • ‘India’, Dec. 1811, vol. LXVI, pp. 337–52
  • ‘Tracts on Education’, May 1812, vol. LXVIII, pp. 83–95
  • * ‘East India Company’, Jan. 1813, vol. LXX, pp. 20–37
  • * ‘East India Company’, Apr. 1813, vol. LXX, pp. 410–25
  • ‘India’, Jan. 1814, vol. LXXIII, pp. 1–17
  • * ‘East India Company’, Feb. 1815, vol. LXXVI, p. 137
  • ‘India’, Apr. 1815, vol. LXXVI, pp. 399–412
  • ‘India’, Jun. 1815, vol. LXXVII, pp. 190–4


7. The Philanthropist [1811-1817]

Winch: A large number of articles, some of which are identified in Bain's biography.

The Philanthropist: or Repository for Hints and Suggestions calculated to promote the Comfort and Happiness of Man (London: Longman and Co., 1811-189). [I have downloaded 5 volumes from Google Books and am still sorting through them.]

  • Vol. 1, 1811
  • Vol. 2, 1812
  • Vol. 3, 1813
  • Vol. 4, 1814
  • Vol. 5, 1815
  • Vol. 6, 1816
  • Vol. 7, 1817 (published 1819)

According to Bain the following were probably written by Mill:

8. The British Review [1815]

The British Review, and London Critical Journal. Vol. VI. (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1815).

  • "Dugald Stewart's “Elements of the Philosophy of Mind”," Aug. 1815, vol. VI. pp. 170–200. [PDF 5.4 MB].


9. Supplement to the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Edinburgh, 1824, 6 volumes. [1815-1824]

Winch: Half-volumes of this work appeared regularly between 1815 and 1824 and a collection of Mill's contributions which contained the articles on Government, Jurisprudence, Liberty of the Press, Colonies and the Law of Nations was separately reprinted in 1825. The following 12 articles were written by Mill:

  • Banks for Saving, vol. 2, pp. 91-101.
  • Beggar, vol. 2, pp. 231-48.
  • Benefit Societies, vol. 2, pp. 263-69.
  • Caste, vol. 2, pp. 674-54. [PDF 1 MB] and HTML.
  • Colony, vol. 3, pp. 257-73.
  • Economists, vol. 3, pp. 708-24.
  • Education, vol. 4, pp. 11-33.
  • Government, vol. 4, pp. 491-505.
  • Jurisprudence, vol. 5, pp. 143-161.
  • Liberty of the Press, vol. 5, pp. 258-72.
  • Nations, Law of, vol. 6, pp. 6-23.
  • Prisons and Prison Discipline, vol. 6, pp. 385-95.

I have compiled Mill's articles into one PDF file here [PDF 21 MB]. I think this is first time the following 5 articles have been republished since 1824: Banks for Saving, Beggar, Benefit Societies, Caste, Economists.

The complete 6 volume Supplement was republished in 1824: Supplement to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. With Preliminary Dissertations on the History of the Science. Illustrated by Engravings. (Edinburgh, Archibald Constable and Company, 1824). See the table of contents at the end of volume 6 [PDF 296 KB]. The following volumes are available from Google Books (large files):

  • Volume First: Abdallatif to Atwood (George) (not available from Google Books)
  • Volume Second: Australasia to Ceylon
  • Volume Third: Chemistry to Economists
  • Volume Fourth: Edinburgh to Horticulture
  • Volume Fifth: Hungary to Mysore
  • Volume Sixth: Nairnshire to Zaire

Some of the individual articles were republished as separate pamphlets in 1825, namely Colony, Education, Government, Jurisprudence, Law of Nations, Liebrty of the Press, and Prisons and Prison Discipline:

James Mill, Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (London: J. Innes, 1825).


10. Parliamentary History and Review, London, 1826

Winch: According to John Stuart Mill (Autobiography, pp. 82–83) his father contributed one major article to this journal, probably the "Summary View of the Conduct and Measure of the Seventh Imperial Parliament".

Parliamentary History and Review; containing Reports of the Proceedings of the Two Houses of Parliament during the Session of 1826: - 7 Geo. IV. With Critical Remarks on the Principal Measures of the Session. (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1826). [James Mill], "Summary Review of the Conduct and Measures of the Seventh Imperial Parliament" pp. 772-802. This volume also contains an abridged version of Bentham's Book of Political Fallacies which was first published in English in 1824.


11. The Westminster Review [1824-1836]

Winch: Here again I have had the assistance of Mrs Houghton of the Wellesley Index.

The Westminster Review. (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1824-1836).

  • "Periodical Literature 1 (Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Review)," Jan. 1824, vol. I, no. I, pp. 206–68. [PDF 2.6 MB].
  • "Periodical Literature 2 (Quarterly Review and Edinburgh Review)," Oct. 1824, vol. II,no. IV, pp. 463–553. [PDF 4.8 MB].
  • "Robert Southey's Book of the Church," Jan. 1825, vol. III, no. V, pp. 167–213. [PDF 2.6 MB].
  • "Ecclesiastical Establishments," Apr. 1826, vol. V, no. X, pp. 504–48. [PDF 2.2 MB].
  • "Formation of Opinions," Jul. 1826, vol. VI, no. XI, pp. 1–23. [PDF 1.1 MB].
  • "State of the Nation," Oct. 1826, vol. VI, no. XII, pp. 249–78. [PDF 1.3 MB].
  • "The Ballot," Jul. 1830, vol. XIII, no. XXV, pp. 1–37. [PDF 1.7 MB].


12. The London Review [1835-36]

The London Review (London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Company, 1835). 2 vols. James Mill signed the articles "P.Q."

Volume 1: April-July 1835 [PDF 23 MB]

  • "State of the Nation," Apr. 1835, vol. I, no. 1, pp. 1–24 [PDF 1.3 MB] and HTML version
  • "The Ballot—A Dialogue," Apr. 1835, vol. I, no. 1, pp. 201–53 [PDF 2.5 MB]
  • "The Church and its Reform," Jul. 1835, vol. I, no. 2, pp. 257–95 [PDF 1.6 MB]

Volume 2: July-January, 1835-6 [not yet available on Google Books]

  • "Law Reform," Oct. 1835, vol. II, no. 3, pp. 1–51 [PDF 9.9 MB]
  • "Aristocracy," Jan. 1836, vol. II, no. 4, pp. 283–306.[PDF 4.3 MB]. This was reprinted in a collection of pamphlets edited by John Arthur Roebuck, Pamphlets of the People, vol. 1 (London: Charles Ely, 1835). [PDF 1.2 MB] and HTML.
  • "Whether Political Economy is Useful?," Jan. 1836, vol. II, no. 4, pp. 553–72. [PDF 7 MB]

James Mill died on 23 June, 1836. That year the London Review merged with its rival the Westminster Review to become the London and Westminster Review. His last essay "Theory and Practice (signed with his usual "P.Q.") appeared in the first issue of the merged journal in the issue of Apr. 1836, vol. XXV, pp. 223–34. [PDF 563 KB].