The date of Michael Bland's birth is unknown. Most of the evidence the detectives were able to find was dated after 1800.
He appears to have been born into a Quaker family which at one point owned property in North America. His father appears to have been a man of some standing in the Norwich community.
Using inherited wealth Bland pursued a range of business interests, including brewing and South American investments. At the Norfolk Record Office the detectives found lists of his
shares and a
'to do' list.
By the 1820's he was based in London - a fact that clearly did not prevent him from being nominated as a land tax commissioner for Norwich. His role was therefore presumably somewhat limited.
Whilst it had previously been assumed that Bland died in 1846, the detectives found an entry in the 1851 census suggesting that he was then living in Kensington, in London.