University and Borough Hearth Tax assessments

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Victoria County History

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J. P. C. Roach (editor)

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1959

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500-504

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'University and Borough Hearth Tax assessments', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3: The City and University of Cambridge (1959), pp. 500-504. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66664 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


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CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY AND BOROUGH HEARTH TAX ASSESSMENTS 1662–1674

The Hearth Tax was granted to the Crown as a perpetual revenue in 1662, and abolished in 1689; (fn. 1) it was collected half-yearly from Michaelmas 1662 to Lady Day 1689, but assessments from the local areas of administration were only returnable to Quarter Sessions and the Exchequer during the periods Michaelmas 1662 to Lady Day 1666 and Michaelmas 1669 to Lady Day 1674. (fn. 2) It is only for these two periods that any Cambridgeshire records of the tax are preserved in the Public Record Office. Broadly the tax consisted of a half-yearly payment of 1s. for each hearth in the occupation of every person worth more than 20s. yearly who was not a local (church and poor) ratepayer. The Hearth Tax assessments consist of lists of persons with the number of hearths in their occupation; in all assessments most entries represent separate houses or dwelling places and almost all entries represent separate households. The tax had a far wider incidence than any permanent direct tax previously imposed or to be imposed until the 19th century; because of this, the lists, when analysed, provide useful information, not obtainable from other contemporary sources, about the size, character, and importance of places. It must, however, be emphasized that the entries analysed are but entries in a tax assessment of the responsible heads of households or families, or of house owners, with hearths in their occupation. Statistics based on these entries cannot be translated automatically into population statistics and it is unsafe to try to do so.

The roll for Michaelmas 1662 (fn. 3) was the first assessment of the tax; it was prepared rapidly in the summer of 1662 by parish officials and constables, enrolled by the Clerk of the Peace and certified by the Justices at General Quarter Sessions on 17 July 1662. Except for the Colleges at Cambridge and Ely each entry professes to represent a 'house'. For the colleges the phrase 'several lodgings and chambers' replaces 'house'. The assessment was intended simply to list those legally bound to pay; though an unknown number of persons recorded in it was subsequently granted certificates. In general it includes fewer names than any of the other assessments but it provides the best means of comparing places in one county with those in another, since more details of the assessments for Michaelmas 1662 are preserved than of those of any one of later date.

The roll for Michaelmas 1664 (fn. 4) is a revision of the 1662 assessment made, in accordance with official instructions, by the under-officers of the receiver, Captain Robert Hill, and certified by the Justices at General Quarter Sessions on 11 January 1666. It has been used only for the University because of the difficulty of analysing concisely a great mass of revisionary matter.

The paper books for Lady Day 1666 (fn. 5) were prepared by the under-officers of the sub-farmer for Cambridgeshire, George Wilmot, after the tax had been collected; they were submitted directly to the Exchequer, without enrolment or certification by the justices of the peace, at some time before his account was taken on 1 December 1671. They list persons under the headings of 'Paid' and 'Unpaid', giving simply names and number of hearths; they do not indicate whether any of those who did not pay were legally entitled to exemption, so it is likely that all those included were considered by the compilers to be chargeable.

The roll for Lady Day 1674 (fn. 6) consists of lists made by the under-officers of the receiver, with the assistance of the parish officials, enrolled by the Clerk of the Peace and certified by the Justices at General Quarter Sessions on 8 October 1674. The lists are divided into taxpayers and those legally exempt by certificate; no details are given of paupers, for they did not require a certificate to secure exemption. Among the taxpayers the owners of empty houses and the occupiers of houses recently built or with recently added hearths are distinguished, while there is one Cambridge entry where payment is said to be in arrear without any cause being assigned. Such hearths are entered to the left of the perpendicular line in the lists of taxpayers (normal hearths being entered to the right of that line), but are nevertheless included in the total of taxpaying hearths.

For the University an analysis is unnecessary. The details supplied are all those given in the assessments, the Colleges being given their 17th century titles and arranged in their order of seniority. For the Borough assessments of Michaelmas 1662, Lady Day 1666 and Lady Day 1674 are analysed on the same principle. Against each place is given, in separate columns, the total number of persons recorded as occupiers of from one to fourteen hearths, while a further column gives the number of occupiers of houses with fifteen or more hearths; final columns give the total number of entries and hearths in each line. For 1662 only one line is needed for each place. For 1666 three lines are needed: for those recorded as having paid, for those unpaid, and for the total of those two categories. For 1674 three lines are also needed: for the taxpayers, for the exempt, and for the total of those two categories. Entries of taxpayers who owned empty houses or newly built hearths are indicated in footnotes. The parishes are listed in different orders in the three assessments and have here been arranged in alphabetical order. Attention is drawn in the notes to entries which plainly do not represent households or houses where persons normally lived; and to differences, commonest in 1674, between the total number of hearths in the recorded entries and the total given in the document. A summary enables the grand totals for the Borough as a whole to be readily compared.

Assessments of Cambridge University Hearth Tax

1662 Mich.1664 Mich. (fn. 7) 1666 Lady Day1674 Lady Day
Peterhouse59596060
Clare Hall52526664
Pembroke Hall69697074
Gonville and Caius College8485 (fn. 8) 8686
Trinity Hall5150 (fn. 9) 5350
Corpus Christi (Bene't) College64646666
King's College84848084
Queens' College79798081
Catharine Hall48484848
Jesus College67676465
Christ's College95959496
St. John's College134134130150
Magdalene College5351 (fn. 10) 5353
Trinity College215210 (fn. 11) 200227
Emmanuel College89899093
Sidney Sussex College5554 (fn. 12) 5055
Total1,2981,2901,2901,352

Analysis of Cambridge Borough Hearth Tax

1662 Michaelmas

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
1234567891011121314over 14EntriesHearths
All Saints in the Jewry142412151143111121 of 1590341
Barnwell7105312113089
Holy Sepulchre6136835321148187
Holy Trinity2234151611732112121 of 26118440
St. Andrew17271716964121132 of 16106415
St. Bene't.1025131043522111 of 1777286
St. Botolph11311698741111191318
St. Clement17281112542321 of 1785282
St. Edward728201469312121 of 2795393
1 of 17
St. Giles19326102211174192
St. Mary the Great1725311818117633111 of 29143617
1 of 20
St. Mary the Less7281013535273239
St. Michael14227107311166202
St. Peter1115621311242312
Total179342175156916744211498886101,1384,313

1666 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
1234567891011121314over 14EntriesHearths
All Saints:
Paid28281915 (fn. 13) 441111 of 16102289
Unpaid43311135
Total28322218451111113324
Barnwell:
Paid2015533147104
Unpaid213311030
Total22168613157134
Holy Sepulchre:
Paid23249102322176206
Unpaid123619
Total242411132322182225
Holy Trinity:
Paid53381920 (fn. 14) 1053121 of 21153439
Unpaid865311 of 162353
Total614424231063122176492
St. Andrew:
Paid55501931 (fn. 15) 9732411 of 15182525
Unpaid223311211564
Total5752223410744511197589
St. Bene't:
Paid232918127431198284
Unpaid554211740
Total2834221484311115324
St. Botolph:
Paid3745 (fn. 16) 1710661111125322 (fn. 17)
Unpaid6223111539
Total43471913771111140361
St. Clement:
Paid402918131212111109279
Unpaid (fn. 18) 463111537
Total443521141213111124316
St. Edward:
Paid37352323644211136392
Unpaid33423121869
Total40382725945411154461
St. Giles:
Paid74409711132224
Unpaid13311724
Total874397111149248
St. Mary the Great:
Paid24 (fn. 19) 3738 (fn. 20) 311011522111 of 20164583 (fn. 21)
Unpaid65331211 of 192162
Total304241341113532112185645
St. Mary the Less:
Paid37311313 (fn. 22) 552106259
Unpaid14411035
Total37321717652116294
St. Michael:
Paid152313733165174
Unpaid1231726
Total1524151034172200
St. Peter:
Paid4081033111168151
Unpaid41121923
Total4491153211177174
Total56047226923376652814146443361,7574,787

1674 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
1234567891011121314over 14EntriesHearths
All Saints: (fn. 23)
Charged222923165632111111 of 19113401
1 of 16
Barnwell:
Charged14165333246124
Exempt5167
Total19175333252131
Holy Sepulchre: (fn. 24)
Charged11256102483170247
Exempt121212
Total23256102483182259
Holy Trinity: (fn. 25)
Charged22502122936211311 of 23143508
Exempt2611 of 222728
Total48512122936211312170536
St. Andrew: (fn. 26)
Charged316215271355531221 of 15172586
Exempt363636
Total676215271355531221208622
St. Bene't: (fn. 27)
Charged7321689551211 of 1788332
Exempt131 of 151313
Total20321689551212101345
St. Botolph: (fn. 28)
Charged15431971173231111371
Exempt1511617
Total30441971173231127388
St. Clement: (fn. 29)
Charged27321011652522102323
Exempt1421618
Total413410116522118341
St. Edward: (fn. 30)
Charged1835211691161111 of 27122461
1 of 18
1 of 16
Exempt1411516
Total3236211691161113137477
St. Giles: (fn. 31)
Charged3040874111193214
Exempt4044448
Total70448741111137262
St. Mary the Great: (fn. 32)
Charged14392925186104242121 of 30158680
1 of 20
Exempt1431720
Total28422925186104242122175700
St. Mary the Less:
Charged16351314553394281
Exempt941317
Total253913145533107298
St. Michael: (fn. 33)
Charged9221369311165207
Exempt222
Total11221369311167209
St. Peter:
Charged24177143211 of 2460170
Exempt1822022
Total4219714321180192
Total47849620617310767523014887105131,6745,161

Cambridge Borough: Grand Totals

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
1234567891011121314over 14EntriesHearths
1662
Total179342175156916744211498886101,1384,133
1666
Paid50643223019866582610116443361,5634,231
Unpaid54403935107243194556
Total56047226923376652814146443361,7574,787
1674
Charged25447720317210767523014887105131,4274,886
Empty321613
Newly built333
Arrears113
Exempt21819237256
Total47849620617310767523014887105131,6745,161

Footnotes

1 By 14 Car. II c. 10, and 1 Wm. & Mary c. 10.
2 A somewhat fuller account of Hearth Tax documents will be found in V.C.H. Cambs. iv. 272.
3 E 179/84/436.
4 E 179/84/437.
5 E 179/244/22.
6 E 179/244/23.
7 In accordance with official instructions remarks were entered to account for differences between this and the previous assessment; they are given in the footnotes.
8 One added by new building.
9 Returned one too many by mistake.
10 There is 53 but they refuse to pay for two of them.
11 Five pulled down since the return.
12 One pulled down since the return.
13 Includes an entry of 2 houses with a total of 4 hearths.
14 Includes 2 entries each of 2 houses with a total of 4 hearths.
15 In one entry of 4 hearths two names are bracketed.
16 In one entry of 2 hearths two names are bracketed.
17 Owing to a wrong addition on p. 26 of the book the total is given as 321.
18 This list is headed poor.
19 Includes an entry of 1 hearth in the vestry in the church.
20 Includes an entry of 3 hearths for Sturbridge Fair House.
21 Owing to a wrong addition on p. 3 of the book the total is given as 563.
22 Includes an entry of 4 hearths in the King's Mill.
23 All Saints: no exempt are listed for this parish; in one entry of 2 hearths two names are bracketed; owing to wrong addition the total of charged is given as 399.
24 Holy Sepulchre: owing to wrong addition the total of charged is given as 248.
25 Holy Trinity: an entry of 2 hearths and another of 3 hearths are noted empty; an entry of 3 hearths is noted as being in arrear but is not said to be empty.
26 St. Andrew: three entries of 1 hearth and one of 3 hearths are noted as empty; an entry of 5 hearths is described as the Cockhouse and one of 13 hearths as the Workhouse; owing to a wrong addition the total of charged is given as 587.
27 St. Bene't: owing to a wrong addition the total of charged is given as 333.
28 St. Botolph: an entry of 3 hearths is noted empty and one of 1 hearth as new; owing to a wrong addition the total of charged is given as 372.
29 St. Clement: owing to a wrong addition the total of charged is given as 318.
30 St. Edward: an entry of 1 hearth is noted as new.
31 St. Giles: an entry of 4 hearths is noted as empty.
32 St. Mary the Great: an entry of 4 hearths is described as the Town Hall and an entry of 3 hearths as Sturbridge Fair House.
33 St. Michael: an entry of 1 hearth is noted as new.