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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hearth Tax

Medieval kitchen fireplace © Richard Croft cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph ...I've been researching where my ancestors came from in England and Scotland and have come across some strange records.

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.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

wow - very interesting. And goes to show - the government shall get their money somehow, someway - even way back in the day