Article | Economic History Review

Businessmen and Land Ownership in the Late Nineteenth Century

by Tom Nicholas


This article analyses the proportions of personal to real estate wealth for a group of 295 businessmen profiled in the Dictionary of business biography. It shows that businessmen who owned land on a large scale in the late nineteenth century were a comparatively small group who retained a small proportion of their total wealth in landed assets. Low levels of social mobility are identified as a function of land purchase, and new insights are given into the relationship between wealth, status, and land ownership. Any integration of business and landed wealth in this period was not a consequence of businessmen becoming landowners.

Keywords: Ownership; Personal Finance; Property; Biography; History; Acquisition; Wealth; Power and Influence; Status and Position; Integration; Transformation; Market Transactions;


Nicholas, Tom. "Businessmen and Land Ownership in the Late Nineteenth Century." Economic History Review 52, no. 1 (February 1999): 27–44.