More precisely than that...
Posted by Jessamyn on November 20, 1997 at 23:36:46:
In response to Rumor, written by Arnessa on November 20, 1997 at 15:22:44
] Also, too, when I think that families lived on their estates for centuries, it's easy to imagine that other people in the town could estimate how much the estate and its current proprietor were worth in the currency of the day.
When they talk about someone's income ("Ten thousand a year!") what they're talking about is the interest on the principal they've inherited. People didn't shop around for different rates for different terms--you weren't going to spend the principal (unless disaster struck), you would keep the money invested theoretically forever, so everyone knew that you were getting five percent or whatever of your principal annually.
The question, of course, is how the amount of the principal becomes common knowledge, but probably when a will was read the information was made public, among other things.
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