Staffordshire Lay Subsidy 1332-3: Introduction

Pages 79-80

Staffordshire Historical Collections, Vol. 10, Part 1. Originally published by Staffordshire Record Society, London, 1889.

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In this section

The Taxation of Staffordshire, Temp. Ed. III.

The Subsidy Roll of A.D. 1332–1333.

This is the second Subsidy Roll of Staffordshire which is extant, and is the fullest and most complete of all, containing the taxation of several vills which were omitted in the Roll of A.D. 1327, printed in Vol. VII of these Collections.

The Subsidy of 1332–33, like its predecessor, was granted by Parliament for the expenses of the Scotch war, and consisted of a tenth of all goods held on Michaelmas Day, 6 E. III., in cities, boroughs, and ancient demesnes of the king, and a fifteenth of the same in counties, with some exceptions, which will be noted further on.

The instructions for levying the aid are given on the Patent Roll of 7 E. III., part 2, membrane 9. These state that the chief taxers were to call before them from every city, borough, or vill of the county, the most loyal men, from whom they were to elect four or six of each vill, or more if necessary, by whom the taxation could be best accomplished; and having summoned these before them they were to be sworn on the Holy Evangelists, to give a true and full account of all the goods that each inhabitant of the said vill held on the said day of St. Michael, both in their houses and out of their houses, and to fairly tax them according to their true value, saving the things excepted. And the chief taxers were required to go from hundred to hundred and from vill to vill to see that the sub-taxers had fully taxed and presented the goods of all the commonalty, saving armour, saddle horses (mounture) jewels and robes of Knights and gentlemen and of their wives, and vessels of gold and brass; and in cities and boroughs one robe for each man and woman was to be excepted, also a bed for each, an "and," a buckle of gold or silver and the silk sash, "ceynte de seye" that they used every day, and likewise the hanaper of silver, or of mazre from which they drink, also all the goods of lepers "bien des meseaux" in cases where they were governed by a master leper, "sovereign mescal" shall not be taxed, but if otherwise their goods were to be taxed like the others; and the goods of people of the counties, outside the cities and boroughs, and the King's demesnes, which did not exceed 10s. in value were not to be taxed, nor the goods of the inhabitants of cities, boroughs, or King's demesnes which did not exceed 6s. in gross value.