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High Littleton & Hallatrow
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Rates and Taxes

For well over 1,000 years those responsible for raising money to pay for national, regional or local matters as diverse as the defence of the realm, waging wars, upkeep of roads, bridges, relief of the poor and repairs to the church, became more and more inventive in devising new ways of taxing people. 

No one enjoyed paying taxes and people sought to minimise their liability wherever possible, by such means as blocking up hearths and windows to avoid the hearth tax or window tax.  Generally speaking it was quite easy and relatively painless to tax owners of land or wealth rather than to try to tax the whole adult population. The first Poll Tax was introduced in 1377, when everyone under the age of 14 had to pay 1 groat = 4d. (beggars were generously excluded).  This tax was graded socially in 1379 but nevertheless brought about the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381. After 1381 only aliens were taxed per head, which proved much more popular. Lessons were not learnt and the Poll Tax was resurrected in 1513, again in 1641 and in a rather different form by Margaret Thatcher’s government; all to the same condemnation by the poorer classes.

For researchers, tax returns, where they exist, provide lists of names and tax assessed, which places an individual in a specific location and can indicate his social status. Taxes on land were usually calculated on the same basis of assessment year in, year out. Separating, upgrading or uniting parcels of land over the years could produce unfairness in assessments. Dissatisfaction brought appeals, which sometimes could only be settled by finding a new fair basis of assessment, which resulted in a detailed survey of the parish or tithing and a new valuation being agreed. Where they exist these surveys (and maps) provide a description and measurement of each field or cottage with owners’ and occupiers’ names and allow one to pinpoint an individual’s residence.

This section deals with a number, but by no means all sorts, of taxes from danegeld, which was partially responsible for the Domesday survey of 1086 to the Inland Revenue Valuation of 1910, referred to by many as the modern Domesday. For the early taxes, few lists of names survive but by the mid 18th century, there is plenty to interest one.

Articles/Transcriptions
Click to view/download the documents (in pdf format)

High Littleton Church Rates

Church Rate Dispute 1682 (Jones against Hodges)

High Littleton Domesday Survey

High Littleton Hearth Tax

Highway Rate

Inland Revenue Valuation 1910&Index

Hallatrow Survey 1802

High Littleton Land Tax

Lay Subsidies

High Littleton Poor Rates 1755-1825

1825 Survey of High Littleton and Hallatrow & New Rate

High Littleton Tithes

Window Tax
 

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