Thurgarton Priory
Nottingham Elites and Civil Society 1900-1950
Status, Engagement & Lifestyle


Much of the data can be analysed and represented in graphical form to provide a visual comparison through time and across organisations. Charts can be generated that display membership data relating to those on the council, who were Poor law Guardians, magistrates, or who served in voluntary organisations. Use the 'Chart Selection' boxes to enter your requirements and then click the 'Draw Chart' button.

(1) Select the organisation type that you wish to investigate. The options are:
  • Political: based on those serving on Nottingham City Council 1900-50. You can select by party, by type (i.e. councillors, aldermen), or combinations thereof. Local councillors were elected for a three term. Each of the 16 city wards had three councillors, with one standing for re-election each year. Thus, elections were held every year. Unlike certain other councils, in Nottingham these were largely all contested, and after 1918 always so. Aldermen were elected for a six year period by their fellow councillors, normally after a period of continuous service. In practice, in Nottingham their appointment was increasingly tied to reflect relative party strength. Although in extraordinary circumstances an aldermen might not be re-elected, in practice that rarely happened.
  • Voluntary Associations: covers the 34 charities and associations in the data base. You can restrict your search to those serving on the executive management committee of each (select 'Executive'), or broaden to include also those who were presidents, governors, trustees, district organisers, etc (select 'Office Holder'). Note that the coverage for each is not necessarily uniform or complete, being dependent on the data sets available. There are gaps across time, and in terms of the general membership, a lack of uniformity regarding other officer positions. You can select up to 6 Associations at any one time for comparison, and also, by ticking the ‘multiple membership’ box, compare each selection against the trend for the overall sample as a whole.
  • Magistracy: this sets out the details for those who were Justices of the Peace in the city. These were nominated, rather than elected offices, although strong correlations existed between these appointments and local elites drawn from the political parties, largely because politicians took a large measure of control over the nomination process.
  • Poor Law Guardians: Guardians were elected for a three year term of office through a franchise identical to that of municipal elections. By the twentieth century, the ward boundaries were also the same as for the council. Each of the 16 wards had three Guardians. Women ratepayers were entitled to vote and stand for election, just as they could stand for election to local councils, in advance to the extension of the parliamentary franchise in 1918 and 1928.

(2) Choose the search criteria applicable to the selcted organisation

(3) Select the unit criteria through which you want to analyse the data. The options are:
  • Wealth: Based on probate values i.e. the sum of property and other assets on death (for further explanation see W.D. Rubinstein, Men of Property (1981)). Valuations are expressed at constant prices (base 1934) to enable cross-time comparisons to be made. Probate as a reliable indicator remains problematic in several respects when used in large cross class samples because of: a) as death duties rose so did tax avoidance; b) a majority, although numbers were decreasing, left so little as not to liable for death duty; c) it undervalues female wealth.
  • Income: It is impossible to tabulate income across a large sample except in the very broadest sense. A proxy for income, therefore, has to be found. The most readily accessible is the value of property in which these individuals lived (as owners or renters): Click Here The rateable value (standardised base year 1934), is directly related to property value and offers an ordinal numeric index rather a monetary enumerator of family income.
  • Class: derived from combining a range of: probate (where available), property value and occupation for each individual. The class range is delineated as upper, upper middle, middle middle, lower middle, skilled working, semi and unskilled, and unknown. Occupation is based on an 18 point occupation scale (see Hayes, ‘Calculating Class’, Urban History, 2009), rather than on the Registrar General’s census occupation categorisation, because the latter proved to be unreliable as an indicator of hierarchical status.

Chart Selection

(1) Select the organisation type: