Available March 2018


ISBN 9781911454038  Hardcover  £65.00     Order

234mm x 156mm. 296pp.


ISBN 9781911454052  Hardcover    £65.00    Order
234mm x 156mm.  296pp.

Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.

About these books

We are now publishing hardcover revised editions of the first two volumes of Professor William D. Rubinstein’s standard works of research and reference on Who Were the Rich?  

Several entirely new volumes will also follow shortly. 

EER envisages issuing a new volume every six months. The following volumes will cover: 1840-1914.

Each volume will be c.280 pages, including the Index and Introduction. 

These volumes comprise a unique and original work which provides comprehensive biographical information on all 884 persons who left personal estates of £100,000 or more in Britain from 1809, when these sources begin in a usable form. £100,000 is the equivalent of about £10 million today.

This work by Professor William D. Rubinstein, the leading academic expert on wealth-holding in Britain over the past two centuries, comprises a series of volumes which will provide similar information on all persons leaving £100,000 or more down to 1914.

For every person included, accurate information is given about his or her occupation or source of wealth, parentage and family background, education, marriage, children, and heirs, religion, political involvement, and land ownership.

Virtually none of this information has ever been compiled before, and this work provides a unique, accurate, and realistic portrait of the wealthy elite in Britain during and just after the Napoleonic Wars.

The picture which emerges is a surprisingly conservative one, with wealth centred not in the new industries of the Industrial Revolution, but in London, especially in the City of London, as well as in the landed aristocracy, in fortunes made in the east and west Indies, and riches derived from "Old Corruption," by government employees and placemen. The Introduction to this work provides useful summaries of the main trends.

This set of volumes will be of considerable interest to economic, social, and political historians, to genealogists and family historians, and to local historians and historians of local communities.

Who Were the Rich? Volume One: 1809 - 1824

This is a completely revised and updated version of this book, originally published by the Social Affairs Unit in London in 2009. 

Every entry has been completely revised. Entries are approximately twice as long as in the first edition, reflecting the plethora of sources which have become readily available since then.

Who Were the Rich? Volume 2, 1825 -39 

Covers everyone leaving £100,000 or more between 1840 and 1859.

This is a completely revised and updated version of this book, originally published by the Social Affairs Unit in London in 2009. 

About the author

William D. Rubinstein was Professor of History at the University of Aberystwyth between 1995 and 2011, and is now an adjunct professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He was previously Professor of Social and Economic History at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, and of the Royal Historical Society.


“This second edition adds significantly to the unique material accumulated in Rubinstein's pioneering prosopographical work and gives all those interested in British society of the early 19th century an important new resource.      

 “The series as a whole will provide a unique resource to academic scholars, family historians and local specialists based on Rubinstein's painstaking work of the past 30 years.” - Dr. Nicholas Draper, Legacies of British Slave-ownership, University College, London.

"Within the pages of this volume are the fruits of a lifetime’s career. Bill Rubinstein has assembled a wealth of fascinating detail on the rich folk of early nineteenth-century Britain, offering unique and important insights into the social, economic and political world of the elite. Here lie the raw materials for writing new histories of a nation in transition, where we can begin to track changing sources of wealth and prosperity, shifting social structures and the familial networks of power and influence. In bringing together disparate fragments of biographical information, this ‘who’s who’ of early nineteenth-century Britain surpasses any on-line search engine and deserves a place on the bookshelves of libraries and scholars alike. - Professor Alastair Owens, Queen Mary University of London.

Who Were the Rich?

British Wealth Holders

Vol.1 1809-1824

Vol. 2 1825-1839

Complete Revised and Expanded Reference Set

W D Rubinstein

​“The series as a whole will provide a unique resource ...” - Dr. Nicholas Draper