This study compares and contrasts the writings of Edmund Burke and Adam Smith, to determine whether they are contradictory, compatible, or complementary. Burke can be regarded as the founder of modern conservatism, and Smith is an early and powerful advocate of market-orientated liberalism. Today, their ideas have been blended into a system of “liberal conservatism” that serves as the unofficial political ideology of most right-of centre parties throughout the English-speaking world. However, it is not so immediately apparent that Smith and Burke can be reconciled with each other. In the course of this study, Burke and Smith’s ideas are considered at various levels of abstraction. They share a nuanced view of human beings as complex, social, sympathetic and self-interested. They both adhere to an empiricist epistemology that is distrustful of deductive rationality, especially when applied to complex human societies. In order to cope with this complexity, Burke and Smith alike counsel humility and pragmatism, and emphasise the importance of contingency. Furthermore, they suggest that policymakers rely on mechanisms that reveal information held by large numbers of individuals: tradition in the case of Burke, and the market mechanism in the case of Smith. Burke is a staunch opponent of arbitrary power, and an advocate of colonial liberty. However, he defends the prescriptive powers of the state, and argues that liberty should be tempered by self-restraint. Smith advocates a “system of natural liberty” in economic affairs, but acknowledges that such a system takes place within the framework of a coercive state. In terms of policy, Burke and Smith share similar views on external free trade and laissez-faire within the domestic economy, but there are important stylistic and substantive differences in their views on the relief of the poor. Ultimately, this study argues that Burke and Smith’s complementary policymaking framework, rather than their actual views on policy, is the true point of convergence between them.