Someone in trade is not part of the gentry. You might act like a gentleman and even be treated as such, but you were always a step below. In Pride and Prejudice, for instance, Sir William Lucas was in trade, until he was knighted because of an address to the king during his mayoralty. He then essentially retired on his interest and turned his back on the business world. Mrs. Bennet, despite the affection between the families, always looked down on the Lucases because of this. Mr. Bingley is in a similar situation. His father was very rich and made his money in trade, and left his fortune, which did not include land, to his son.