How much is £20000 in 1840 worth today?


A

Anna

In Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre inherits £20000. Assuming this takes
place around 1840, how much is that worth today? Just curious as she
promptly gives away 75% of it.

Thanks,

Anna.
 
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B

Bruno

Anna said:
In Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre inherits £20000. Assuming this takes
place around 1840, how much is that worth today? Just curious as she
promptly gives away 75% of it.

Just less than 100 years later (1935) an elderly friend of mine bought her
new house for £425, which is now worth about £175k

I'm gonna take a completely wild guess and say about £1.5M

Bruno
 
R

Ronald Raygun

Bruno said:
Just less than 100 years later (1935) an elderly friend of mine bought her
new house for £425, which is now worth about £175k

I'm gonna take a completely wild guess and say about £1.5M
I'm curious as to why you bother to relate the anecdote of your friend's
house, if your guess really is "completely wild", and hence not based
on the anecdote.

Your guess is evidently not based on it, unless you presuppose whopping
negative inflation in the previous 100 years. From 425 to 175k is a
factor of over 400 for less than half the period we're covering.
Naive extrapolation would support a factor of 1.3M leading to a
value guess of £27,000M. That's clearly rubbish, and if we were to
suppose that today's properties are overpriced by a factor of 10, the
70-year factor becomes 40, and the 165-year factor 6000, supporting
a more reasonable guess of £120M.

That's probably still rubbish, as it's too naive and makes no allowance
for inflation having been both positive and negative. And house values
are not a good measure. It would be more sensible to look at incomes.
Today, a butcher, baker, or electrician would be doing well to earn
£20k a year (net).

How much would a butcher, baker, or candlestick-maker have earned a year
in 1840? Perhaps £200? If so, the fortune is equivalent to 100 yearly
incomes of a trader, or about £2M, which is very close to your guess.

Careful reading of Bronte must surely give some hints about typical
incomes.
 
B

Bruno

JESUS CHRIST!

just a bit of fun that's all m8!

Some people are just sooooooo serious all the time
 
S

Sunil Sood

Anna said:
In Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre inherits £20000. Assuming this
takes place around 1840, how much is that worth today? Just curious
as she promptly gives away 75% of it.
The page doesn't seem to be working at the moment but
http://www.eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/ will tell you..

Regards
Sunil
 
S

Simon

JESUS CHRIST!

just a bit of fun that's all m8!

Some people are just sooooooo serious all the time
Well just for fun then. That is the era of the penny post. 1d *
240 * £20000 / 28p = £1344000

Of course you could probably expect the letter to arrive :)
 
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A

Anna

Careful reading of Bronte must surely give some hints about typical
incomes.
Good point. Jane earns £30 p.a. as a governess/teacher. She inherits £20000
which is roughly 667 times her annual salary. So assuming £20k p.a. for a
similar post today, that inheritance is worth around £13m in today's money.

Anna.
 
J

john boyle

Anna said:
Good point. Jane earns £30 p.a. as a governess/teacher. She inherits £20000
which is roughly 667 times her annual salary. So assuming £20k p.a. for a
similar post today, that inheritance is worth around £13m in today's money.
Anna, pardon my illiteracy. Did Jane 'live in', or did she live at home
and go to the house in which she was governess?
 
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D

Daytona

I see that you've got some answers but here's some more historic price
information if anyone's interested -
<URL:http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/current/howmuch.html>

It really depends upon what you compare it to and whether the
comparisons are consistent over the years. Interestingly the
purchasing power of £30 in 1840 in todays money comes out at
£1,445.45. This demonstrates that earnings have increased at a faster
rate than purchasing power.

Daytona
 
A

Anna

john boyle said:
money.

Anna, pardon my illiteracy. Did Jane 'live in', or did she live at home
and go to the house in which she was governess?
--
Yes, yet another good point! She lives at the home of Mr Rochester, of whose
ward she is governess. The home is somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside.

So her room and meals would have been included. Anyone want to hazard a
guess at the salary for a similar post today?

Anna.
 
A

Anna

john boyle said:
money.

Anna, pardon my illiteracy. Did Jane 'live in', or did she live at home
and go to the house in which she was governess?
--
Yes, yet another good point! She lives at the home of Mr Rochester, of whose
ward she is governess. The home is somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside.

So her room and meals would have been included. Anyone want to hazard a
guess at the salary for a similar post today?

Anna.
 
S

Steve Firth

Anna said:
In Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre inherits £20000. Assuming this takes
place around 1840, how much is that worth today? Just curious as she
promptly gives away 75% of it.
The only object that our family owned that we have records for from that
era is a house. It was built for £2000 in 1830. It was recently sold for
£500,000. So £20,000 in property equates to £5,000,000 today. Except
that property prices are non-linear and I doubt that a Victorian £20,000
house would necessarily be be up for sale for £5,000,0000.
 
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T

Tim

Anna said:
The only object that our family owned that we have records for from
that era is a house. It was built for £2000 in 1830. It was recently sold
for £500,000. So £20,000 in property equates to £5,000,000 today.
Except that property prices are non-linear and I doubt that a Victorian
£20,000 house would necessarily be be up for sale for £5,000,0000.
But what about *TEN* "Victorian £2,000 houses" ? ;-)
 
S

Steve Firth

Tim said:
But what about *TEN* "Victorian £2,000 houses" ? ;-)
OTOH, forty Victorian £500 houses would probably fetch about £8,000,000
to £10,000,000 in the same area. Cheap millworker's and weaver's
cottages in a National Park tend to go for anywhere from £180,000 to
£250,000 in the present market.
 
J

john boyle

Anna said:
Yes, yet another good point! She lives at the home of Mr Rochester, of whose
ward she is governess. The home is somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside.

So her room and meals would have been included. Anyone want to hazard a
guess at the salary for a similar post today?
Not a lot, she was 'unqualified' as well wasnt she? So, if she is 'all
found' then I reckon only a measly £8k ish.

This would make it £5.3m.
 
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A

Anna

john boyle said:
Not a lot, she was 'unqualified' as well wasnt she?
She was a pupil at Lowood until around 16 and then stayed on as a teacher
for 2 years at £15 p.a. So she certainly had the skills and experience to be
a governess.

Anna.
 

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