People with \”Norman\” surnames like Darcy and Mandeville are still wealthier than the general population 1,000 years after their descendants conquered Britain, according to a study into social progress.
The research is from Greg Clark (A Farewell to Alms) so cannot be dismissed. But I wonder how he\’s separated out the two possible effects here.
For there is the obvious one that we can all think of: rich peeps get to inherit and the effects of this are still evident 1,000 years after the Normans stole the whole country.
But there\’s another one. The effects of primogeniture. It\’s the sons that carry the family name and it\’s the first son that gets the familial wealth. Or at least, it has been for most of that millennium. Indeed, much of Clark\’s other research has been about how said primogeniture led to downward social mobility of the not first sons and thus spread the habits of the bourgeois through the population.
I don\’t know if this is the actual paper being described, probably not. But the conclusion is certainly interesting:
The evidence above suggests that England was likely a classless society of
complete long run social mobility all the way from 1200 to 2009.
And if anything, that mobility has decreased in recent times……