Thursday, 8 May 2014
Lord Caledon (1730-1802), merchant and landowner, amassed an absolute fortune of ca £700,000, with an equivalent net annual income of about £235 million.
He made his fortune with the East India Company, mainly based at Bengal.
At Patna and Mushidabad, the young Alexander, in his own words, made a "rich harvest out of the early revenue administration".
When he left Bengal in 1772, Mr Alexander reckoned he was worth about £150,000; a gross underestimation.
In fact, he returned to his native Ulster to purchase estates for ca £600,000.
Alexander was elected MP for Londonderry, 1775-90.
He derived an income of £7,000 from his 9,000 acre estates.
Mr Alexander was elevated to the peerage, having ceased to be an MP, in 1790, as Baron Caledon; and eventually advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF CALEDON, in 1800.
Lord Caledon was, needless to say, a staunch Unionist until his decease in 1802.
The conclusion is that Lord Caledon's personal estate was worth ca £700,000, or £3.2 billion in today's terms.
Caledon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.