While census records have been invaluable they only go back so far. What I came across today was a list of people in Suffolk (only men and widows are shown) in 1674 who were required to pay a Hearth Tax (First Chimney Act 1662). The Act was passed to obtain more money for the coffers of King Charles II.
Be it enacted that from and after March 25, 1662, every dwelling and other house within England, Wales and Berwick on Tweed shall be chargeable with the annual payment of 2 shillings for every fire hearth and stove within such house, to be paid yearly by even portions at the feast of St. Michael and the feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the first payment to be paid at Michaelmas, 1662.Note: Those who are shown as certified means that they have a certificate of poverty and do not have to pay the tax! Deficient means they failed to pay the tax.