Thursday, 8 May 2014

Caledon Wealth

I've been researching James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon. The BBC programme about the East India Company whetted my appetite.

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.


Anonymous said...

A staunch Unionist until his death in 1802? All of 1-2 years then!!

Garvagh said...

Highly interesting.