Amongst the families of British landed estates, a portion was the amount of money allocated to maintain all children apart from the eldest after the father’s death. Usually the portion was stipulated as one or two year’s annual revenue of the estate. Thus if there were five children and an estate worth £10,000 a year, each child would receive £2,000, or the interest thereon. For further discussion, see George Brodrick’s English Landlords: An Enquiry into the Origin and Character of the English Land System, with Proposals for its Reform (London: Petter, Galpin and Co., 1881), pp. 89-116. Portions might also form part of the calculations used to establish the dowry of a woman on marriage, whether as …
Editors. "Portion". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=884, accessed 25 April 2015.]