The Return of Owners of Land in England and Wales 1873

The Return of Owners of Land in England and Wales aimed to show the number and names of owners of land of one acre and upwards, whether built upon or not, together with the estimated acreage and the annual gross estimated rental of the property, and the number (but not named) of owners of land of less than 1 acre..

The reason the return was called for was due to a discussion which had taken place in the House of Lords, between The Earl of derby and The Lord Privy Seal, when the Earl had said, "..there was from time to time a great outcry raised about what was called the monopoly of land, and, in support of that cry, the wildest and most reckless exaggerations and mis-statements of fact were uttered as to the number of persons who were the actual owners of the soil."

The outcries the Earl was referring to originated out of newspaper reports, quoting the 1861 census, which had stated that the number of owners of land was approximately 30,000, which, given the 1861 population of England and Wales was returned as 20,065,811, put the ownership of the land in England and Wales in the hands of around 0.15% of the population.

The figures in the 1861 census were misleading, as various owners of land were not returned under that heading, but under other headings, such as gentleman, merchant, shopkeeper, farmer etc.

The Earl felt that 300,000 was nearer the mark (but he was way off too, as we shall see).

The information in the return was culled from local valuation lists for rating purposes, and padded out with the names of lessees who held a lease for 99 years or more, or those lessees who had a right of perpetual renewal, both of which were to be considered as 'owners'.

The term 'owner' also included bodies such as Poor Law Guardians, Overseers, Churchwardens, Trustees, Executors of Wills etc.

The final results were as follows:

Number of owners of land > 1 acre: 269,547
Number of owners of land < 1 acre: 703,280

Giving a total of 972,836, or 4.8% of the population (in the East Riding the proportion was higher, at around 7.3%).

The following list shows owners of land of 1 acre or more, who were resident in Ellerton, but whose land may not necessarily have been in the parish. 

Addresses in brackets indicate that the actual address of the owner of land could not be ascertained, so the parish in which the land was situate has been entered instead.

Name of 
Address of
Extent of
Estimated Value

A R P £ s.
Adamson, Ann Ellerton 5 2 26 11 10
Browne, Robert Ellerton 60 2 17 92 0
Buttle, Robert Ellerton 9 0 29 17 0
Harrison, Robert Ellerton 2 0 8 17 8
Johnson, John Ellerton 112 1 21 111 14
Johnson, William Ellerton 9 3 25 22 15
Laverack, John Ellerton 3 2 13 5 18
Nutt, David Ellerton 1 0 3 13 4
Overseers of … Ellerton 22 0 0 13 16
Wake, George Ellerton 32 3 27 90 13
Watson, John Ellerton 71 3 14 112 5
Watson, Jos. Ellerton 55 0 39 58 3
Wilkinson, Robert Ellerton 1 0 0 12 0