• Richest of the Rich position: 10
  • Birth/Death: 1382-1439
  • Origin of wealth: Land
  • Wealth: £100,000
  • Net National Income: £3.3m
  • Net National Income Percent: 3.03%
  • In Today’s Money: £33.631 billion

An outstanding soldier of his day, the Earl of Warwick came from a line which had dominated the West Midlands since 1268. He augmented his considerable family fortune by marrying two heiresses. His first wife, Elizabeth Berkeley, did not produce a male heir, so he remarried, this time to the widowed Isabel Despencer, and produced a son.

Warwick maintained a large retinue and a fine household, whilst also developing the local economy of Warwick and making the River Avon navigable. He fought in many campaigns from the age of 21 to within a couple of years of his death through ill-health in 1439.

His son, who inherited the title and lands, died before he could produce a male heir. The Beauchamp line died but the earldom passed to his brother-in-law, Richard Neville, who became the most famous Warwick of all. Known as ‘Warwick the Kingmaker’, he lived from 1428 until his death at the Battle of Barnet in 1471.

Warwick’s inheritance, supplemented by the fortunes from his two wives, gave him an annual income of over £5,000 a year. In all, his asset wealth was in the order of £100,000, over 3% of the national income of the day. In today’s money that would be £33.6bn.

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