Victorian Gold Mining and the Recovery of the Baillieu Fortune in the 1890s
Journal of Australasian Mining History, Vol. 9, September 2011
15 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2013
Date Written: September 1, 2011
William Lawrence Baillieu (1859-1936) founded one of Australia largest and most long-lasting family fortunes. He made his first fortune as a real estate agent and land developer in the Melbourne land boom of the 1880s, but lost almost everything in the crash of the early 1890s. Although the Victorian economy remained in deep depression throughout the 1890s, Baillieu made a new fortune and by 1900 was again a wealthy man. The sources of his new wealth have always been a mystery. This paper shows that Bailleu’s business operations as a real estate agent, company liquidator and company promoter produced a reasonably steady income stream, but it was the super profits he made from Victorian gold mines that were the main source of his new fortune.
Keywords: Baillieu, family fortunes, gold-mining, Victoria
JEL Classification: N37, N57, N87
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation