- Richest of the Rich position: 73
- Birth/Death: 1800-1879
- Origin of wealth: Land
- Wealth: £8.504m
- Net National Income: £1.075bn
- Net National Income Percent: 0.79%
- In Today’s Money: £8.768 billion
William Cavendish was the second but surviving son of the 4th Duke of Portland. After service in the Guards and a brief spell as a Tory MP, he inherited the title as the 5th Duke in 1854. His lands were vast – some 183,199 acres in nine counties of England and Scotland. His annual income was around £233,000. A recluse in his later life, he was known for building vast underground passages at his Welbeck Abbey seat. A pity, perhaps, that he was not alive today to build the Jubilee Line.
When he died in 1879, he left in personal items and cash some £1.5m to add to the £7m value of his land holdings. In all, that represented around 0.79% of the then net national income of £1.075bn. Today’s equivalent would be over £8.7bn.