Tontines, annuities and civic improvements in Georgian Britain

David R. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
357 Downloads (Pure)


Civic improvement in Georgian Britain required significant amounts of capital. Tontines were an important means of financing projects. This article provides new evidence based largely on local newspapers that demonstrates their local and national importance for mutual assurance and building. Shifts in profitability depended on the price of Consols and this explains why building tontines increased in importance. Tontines were used to fund new leisure spaces, workhouses, prisons, bridges, streets and other improvements. Their popularity waned in the later nineteenth century but until then they were an important means of funding civic improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649 - 694
JournalUrban History
Issue number4
Early online date14 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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