The Wealth Structure of Britain in 1809–39, 1860–1, and 1906

William D. Rubinstein

in Men, Women, and Money

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593767
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728815 | DOI:
The Wealth Structure of Britain in 1809–39, 1860–1, and 1906

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This chapter explores the occupational composition and geographical venues of the very wealthy in Britain between 1809 and 1906. It provides biographical information about individuals who left probated wealth of at least £100,000 in three periods: 1809–39, 1860–1, and in 1906. In terms of occupations, the commercial and financial sector accounted for the largest number of very wealthy individuals, although over the period the proportion of those from administrative and professional backgrounds declined whilst those from the manufacturing and industrial sectors increased. London remained the geographical focus of these wealth holders, although in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, elites from provincial centres became more common. By the start of the twentieth century, it appeared that the possession of money rivalled the ownership of land as a measure of social status.

Keywords: wealth-holding; probate valuation; millionaires; London; Britain; occupational classification; gender; geographical distribution; landownership; nineteenth century; twentieth century

Chapter.  8634 words. 

Subjects: Business History

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