Land ownership

Land ownership has always been an important issue, usually for taxation purposes. Another important aspect of land ownership was that, for many years, it conferred the right to vote in elections. In the nineteenth century, this led reformers to argue that too much land was concentrated in the hands of too few people. The Prime Minister at the time, Lord Derby, refuted this and in 1872 he commissioned a survey to prove his point. Unfortunately for him it did nothing of the sort, and showed that land ownership was dominated by a privileged few. The outcome was increased demand for electoral reform, leading to the third Reform Act of 1884-5.

1872 Land Ownership Survey

1847 Tithe Apportionment being transcribed

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