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Alan the Rich: 1066 invader was Britain’s wealthiest man in history, by Jaya Narain


“Roman Abramovich and Lakshmi Mittal are two names never far from the top of UK rich lists. But their wealth is small change compared with that of a little-known French immigrant who amassed the largest fortune ever seen on these shores. When he died more than 900 years ago, Alan Rufus was worth, in today’s terms, £81billion and he owned huge swathes of the country. Alan the Red – so-called because of the colour of his hair – tops a list of the 250 wealthiest people in British history in a book called The Richest Of The Rich. Using figures from probate records and ancient documents, authors Philip Beresford and Bill Rubinstein have calculated that this sum was more than 7 per cent of the national income of the time.”

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