Analysis of hearth tax assessments

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Victoria County History

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C. R. Elrington (editor), Diane K. Bolton, G. R. Duncombe, R. W. Dunning, Jennifer I. Kermode, A. M. Rowland, W. B. Stephens, A. P. M. Wright

Year published

1973

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273-278

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'Analysis of hearth tax assessments', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 5 (1973), pp. 273-278. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66694 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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ANALYSIS OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE HEARTH TAX ASSESSMENTS, LONGSTOWE AND WETHERLEY HUNDREDS, 1662, 1666, AND 1674

Introductory Note

The following analyses have been prepared from the Cambridgeshire Hearth Tax Assessments preserved in the Public Record Office for 1662 Michaelmas [E 179/84/436], 1666 Lady Day [E 179/244/22], and 1674 Lady Day [E 179/244/23]. The assessments have been fully described, and the nature of the tax and value of its records have been briefly discussed, in V.C.H. Cambs. iii. 500 and iv. 272. The 1662 lists were prepared by petty constables in June and early July 1662 and were designed to be simply lists of taxpayers, though during the next eighteen months many persons in the lists secured exemption. The 1666 lists were made out in the summer of 1666, after collection had taken place, by the officers of George Wilmot, the sub-farmer, and are drawn up under the headings 'Paid' and 'Unpaid'; many of the persons with one or two hearths included under the latter heading may have been entitled to exemption but the lists do not indicate them, since they were included as taxpayers in default. The lists for 1674 were made out by the sub-collectors of the receiver, Edward Miller, with the assistance of parish officials, during the spring and summer of 1674, after the collection had been made. These lists are divided into taxpayers and those legally exempted by certificate. Among taxpayers the owners of empty or recently destroyed houses or hearths, and the occupiers of houses recently built or with recently added hearths in them, are distinguished. The exempt may include paupers, even though paupers did not need to be certified. The exemption certificates themselves survive incompletely and heavily damaged [E 178/326/10].

The three documents have been analysed on the same principle. Against each place is given, in separate columns, the total of entries recording persons as occupiers of from one to ten hearths and a further column gives the occupiers of houses with 11 or more hearths; final columns give the total number of entries and hearths in each place. For 1662 only one line is needed for each place. For 1666 three lines are generally needed: for those recorded as 'Paid', for the 'Unpaid', and for the combined total of the two categories. For 1674 up to four lines may be needed: for the taxpayers, for those among the taxpayers who owned empty houses etc., for the exempt, and for the combined total of the three categories. For 12 out of the 25 places in the two hundreds no exempt are recorded. There are three possible reasons: there may have been no exempt to certify; the certified from two neighbouring parishes may have been included in a single certificate for one or the other (Caldecote and Toft, the Eversdens, Bourn and Hardwick were certainly so combined and others may have been); the certificate may have reached the clerk of the peace too late for enrolment. Among the 1674 certificates which survive there are none for places which are without exempt in the roll. Certificates also survive which were made out in 1672, or early in 1673, apparently for the three collections Lady Day 1672 to Lady Day 1673 [E 179/84/440]. They include certificates, or lists for two places on a single certificate, which cover seven places that are without exempt in 1674. There are none for the other five places (Caldecote, Hatley St. George, Kingston, Coton, Harlton), which suggests that those places may have had none needing certification, though all may have had paupers who did not need certificates. It has therefore been thought useful to give the number of persons in the certificates for 1672 in footnotes to each hundred in the table for 1674. The number is in some cases less than the number of names originally entered on the certificate, because in a few certificates some names were cancelled before, or when, the justices of the peace countersigned them. In general, attention is also drawn in footnotes to a few special entries, chiefly of alms-houses or town houses; and to differences, resulting from faulty addition, between the total number of hearths in the recorded entries and the total given in the documents.

In conclusion, a word may be said about the relative comprehensiveness of the assessments. It may be understood that in all lists a person may occur more than once when as a landlord he, or she, is entered for the hearths in a tenant's house, but in general the number of entries represents households. There is not much difference between the totals of entries in 1666 and 1674. The difference is of two or fewer for six places in Longstowe hundred and for five in Wetherley. It is only greater than six in four places, of which two, Orwell and Wimpole, lack exempt in 1674 but would, with exempt of about the same number as in 1672, show little if any difference. The only substantial difference in favour of 1674 is at Bourn (17); the largest difference in favour of 1666 is at Comberton (7). In Longstowe hundred the 1666 lists give the highest number of entries for nine places; for two places 1666 and 1674 have an equal number; for three places 1674 has the highest number. In Wetherley hundred the 1666 lists have the highest number of entries for nine places and in one place the 1662 and 1666 lists have an equal number; in one place the 1662 list has (slightly) the highest of all three. In the hundreds as a whole the 1666 lists have slightly the highest number of entries, even after allowing an addition to the 1674 totals for those places without exempt for which there were certificates in 1672. Since the 1662 lists were intended to include taxpayers only, their number of entries is naturally the lowest of the three assessments, but since far more details of the 1662 assessments than of any other are available for the country as a whole those lists are the most useful for comparative studies of England and Wales generally.

ANALYSIS OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE HEARTH TAX: LONGSTOWE AND WETHERLEY HUNDREDS

1662 Michaelmas

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Longstowe Hundred
Bourn362910211 of 1879156
Caldecote22211822
Caxton1210232111 of 1633108
1 of 12
Croxton77521112464
Eltisley14834313376
Eversden15204422148113
Gamlingay17141465521 of 2464204
Little Gransden21192114475
Hardwick2121311947
Hatley St. George54141 of 121544
Kingston563221 of 111957
Longstowe862111 of 121947
Toft91511212965
Total1531525034121932117 (with 105)4341,078
Wetherley Hundred
Arrington (fn. 1) 106121 of 112044
Barrington35206321111 of 1170147
Barton211233112373
Comberton131772114189
Coton6513211856
Grantchester109411121 of 272996
Harlton1410623262
Haslingfield72865111 of 2249134
Orwell1516343111 of 1244114
Shepreth25123332149107
Wimpole34113111 of 331579
Total14013540242277426 (with 116)3901,001

1666 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Longstowe Hundred
Bourn, paid47233311 of 1878137 (fn. 2)
unpaid7 (fn. 3) 3221427
total5426551192164
Caldecote, paid6421220
unpaid31158
total9531728
Caxton, paid231123211 of 1643101 (fn. 4)
unpaid521211125
total281335121154126
Croxton, paid2164113360
unpaid12148
total2285113768
Eltisley, paid15632112855
unpaid3211714
total18843113569
Great Eversden, paid149312750
unpaid111310
total141013113060
Little Eversden, paid12323112248
unpaid3257
total15523112755
Gamlingay, paid6322693321 of 20109228 (fn. 5)
unpaid5 (fn. 6) 52121 (fn. 6) 1645
total682781053211125273
Little Gransden, paid24191114674
unpaid62111017
total30212215691
Hardwick, paid991112140
unpaid22159
total11112112649
Hatley St. George, paid5421111435
unpaid1123
total6521111638
Kingston, paid99132248
unpaid221510
total11111132758
Longstowe, paid107211 of 132147
unpaid221510
total1292212657
Toft, paid1315113053
unpaid3311816
total16181213869
Total314177413812134124 (with 67)6061,205 (fn. 7)
Wetherley Hundred
Arrington, paid821211428
unpaid4221918
total1243312346
Barrington, paid3818521165112
unpaid45 (fn. 8) 121225
total4223641177137
Barton, paid11922112663
unpaid7 (fn. 9) 311117
total181232113780
Comberton, paid25163314883
unpaid12 (fn. 10) 1412
total25175415295
Coton, paid12421312353
unpaid421712
total16622313065
Grantchester, paid951311112262
unpaid94111529
total1891321213791
Harlton, paid and unpaid, total (fn. 11) 13104112954
Haslingfield, paid22202411 of 2050110
unpaid63211223
total28234411162133
Orwell, paid16146411143100
unpaid104211728
total26188511160128
Shepreth, paid261011214173
unpaid3221818
total291231314991
Wimpole, paid7321211 of 401779
unpaid53111018
total126322112797
Total239140393217522232 (with 60)4791,017

1674 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Longstowe Hundred (fn. 12)
Bourn, charged332784111 of 1875159
empty1125
exempt (fn. 13) 323232
total652894111109196
Caldecote, charged342111127
Caxton, charged101352221 of 1538130
1 of 12
2 of 11
exempt101010
total20135222448140
Croxton, charged1010411112865
exempt101010
total2010411113875
Eltisley, charged9943312972
Great Eversden, charged9112312654
demolished116
total91123112760
Little Eversden, charged10442212357
exempt888
total18442213165
Gamlingay, charged37201297421 of 2792249 (fn. 14)
empty2135
exempt313131
total70201397421126285
Little Gransden, charged615312551
empty23 (fn. 15) 4
exempt242424
total3017315279
Hardwick, (fn. 15) charged3141112044
Hatley St. George, charged542111 of 271455
Kingston, charged7111212253
Longstowe, charged343111 of 131344
empty112
exempt101010
total13531112456
Toft, charged8191123169
exempt111
total9191123270
Total281169542719164138 (with 134)5831,277
Wetherley Hundred (fn. 16)
Arrington, charged32411 of 111140
empty1123
exempt888
total1234112151
Barrington, charged30234411265133
empty111
exempt999
total40254411275143
Barton, charged6143321 of 152980
exempt666
total1213586
Comberton, charged13 (fn. 17) 149314090
exempt555
total18149314595
Coton, charged10444112465
Grantchester, charged5731231 of 152281
exempt101010
total157312313291
Harlton, charged1210623060
Haslingfield, charged152765111 of 2556144 (fn. 18)
empty112
total15286511157146
Orwell, charged191755311152127
Shepreth, charged231221514491
empty114
total231222514595
Wimpole, charged44414111 of 372099
Total180136462723563415 (with 103)4361,058

Footnotes

1 Because of damage to the edge of a membrane the number of hearths of seven Arrington entries are wanting in the roll, but the 1664 Michaelmas assessment gives a copy of the 1662 Michaelmas assessment, of which it was a revision, so that the missing details have been recovered from it.
2 The book (p. 11) wrongly gives Bourn's total paid as 138 through wrongly totting the entries on p. 10 as 68 instead of 67; the auditor corrected the total of the page but not the full total.
3 An unpaid entry of 1 hearth was in the town houses.
4 The book wrongly gives Caxton's total paid as 102 through wrongly totting the entries on p. 1; the auditor did not correct the error.
5 The book wrongly gives Gamlingay's total paid as 229 through wrongly totting the entries on p. 5 as 93 instead of 92; neither page nor full total was corrected by the auditor.
6 An unpaid entry of 2 hearths was in the town house and the unpaid entry of 10 was in the alms-houses.
7 Because of its three errors of totting, the book gives Longstowe hundred 999 hearths paid and a combined total of 1,208 hearths.
8 An unpaid entry of 2 hearths was in the alms-houses.
9 An unpaid entry of 1 hearth was in an alms-house.
10 An unpaid entry of 3 hearths was in the alms-houses.
11 The book lists all Harlton's entries under 'Paid', but at the end of the list is the note: Received 42, unpaid 12, in all 54.
12 The numbers of persons in the 1673 Lady Day exemption certificates for Longstowe hundred were: Bourn 18; Caxton 5; Croxton 12; Eltisley 2; Great Eversden 3; Little Eversden 3; Gamlingay 32; Little Gransden 25; Longstowe 10. The 1674 Lady Day certificates for Bourn, Caxton, and Croxton survive.
13 The exempt for Bourn include also those of Hardwick.
14 In the roll the total of Gamlingay's charged and empty hearths is wrongly given as 253.
15 One entry of an empty house in Little Gransden does not give the number of hearths.
16 The numbers of persons in the 1673 Lady Day exemption certificates for Wetherley hundred were: Arrington 8; Barrington 11; Barton 6; Comberton 5; Grantchester 10; Haslingfield 11; Orwell 6; Shepreth 9; Wimpole 8. None of the 1674 Lady Day certificates survive.
17 One of the Comberton entries is a forge.
18 In the roll the total of Haslingfield's charged and empty hearths is wrongly given as 143.


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