BHO

University and Borough Hearth Tax assessments

Pages 500-504

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Citation:

Table of contents

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 Day 1674 Lady Day
Peterhouse 59 59 60 60
Clare Hall 52 52 66 64
Pembroke Hall 69 69 70 74
Gonville and Caius College 84 85 (fn. 8) 86 86
Trinity Hall 51 50 (fn. 9) 53 50
Corpus Christi (Bene't) College 64 64 66 66
King's College 84 84 80 84
Queens' College 79 79 80 81
Catharine Hall 48 48 48 48
Jesus College 67 67 64 65
Christ's College 95 95 94 96
St. John's College 134 134 130 150
Magdalene College 53 51 (fn. 10) 53 53
Trinity College 215 210 (fn. 11) 200 227
Emmanuel College 89 89 90 93
Sidney Sussex College 55 54 (fn. 12) 50 55
Total 1,298 1,290 1,290 1,352

Analysis of Cambridge Borough Hearth Tax

1662 Michaelmas

Totals of entries, with hearths Totals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 over 14 Entries Hearths
All Saints in the Jewry 14 24 12 15 11 4 3 1 1 1 1 2 1 of 15 90 341
Barnwell 7 10 5 3 1 2 1 1 30 89
Holy Sepulchre 6 13 6 8 3 5 3 2 1 1 48 187
Holy Trinity 22 34 15 16 11 7 3 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 of 26 118 440
St. Andrew 17 27 17 16 9 6 4 1 2 1 1 3 2 of 16 106 415
St. Bene't. 10 25 13 10 4 3 5 2 2 1 1 1 of 17 77 286
St. Botolph 11 31 16 9 8 7 4 1 1 1 1 1 91 318
St. Clement 17 28 11 12 5 4 2 3 2 1 of 17 85 282
St. Edward 7 28 20 14 6 9 3 1 2 1 2 1 of 27 95 393
1 of 17
St. Giles 19 32 6 10 2 2 1 1 1 74 192
St. Mary the Great 17 25 31 18 18 11 7 6 3 3 1 1 1 of 29 143 617
1 of 20
St. Mary the Less 7 28 10 13 5 3 5 2 73 239
St. Michael 14 22 7 10 7 3 1 1 1 66 202
St. Peter 11 15 6 2 1 3 1 1 2 42 312
Total 179 342 175 156 91 67 44 21 14 9 8 8 8 6 10 1,138 4,313

1666 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearths Totals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 over 14 Entries Hearths
All Saints:
Paid 28 28 19 15 (fn. 13) 4 4 1 1 1 1 of 16 102 289
Unpaid 4 3 3 1 11 35
Total 28 32 22 18 4 5 1 1 1 1 113 324
Barnwell:
Paid 20 15 5 3 3 1 47 104
Unpaid 2 1 3 3 1 10 30
Total 22 16 8 6 1 3 1 57 134
Holy Sepulchre:
Paid 23 24 9 10 2 3 2 2 1 76 206
Unpaid 1 2 3 6 19
Total 24 24 11 13 2 3 2 2 1 82 225
Holy Trinity:
Paid 53 38 19 20 (fn. 14) 10 5 3 1 2 1 of 21 153 439
Unpaid 8 6 5 3 1 1 of 16 23 53
Total 61 44 24 23 10 6 3 1 2 2 176 492
St. Andrew:
Paid 55 50 19 31 (fn. 15) 9 7 3 2 4 1 1 of 15 182 525
Unpaid 2 2 3 3 1 1 2 1 15 64
Total 57 52 22 34 10 7 4 4 5 1 1 197 589
St. Bene't:
Paid 23 29 18 12 7 4 3 1 1 98 284
Unpaid 5 5 4 2 1 17 40
Total 28 34 22 14 8 4 3 1 1 115 324
St. Botolph:
Paid 37 45 (fn. 16) 17 10 6 6 1 1 1 1 125 322 (fn. 17)
Unpaid 6 2 2 3 1 1 15 39
Total 43 47 19 13 7 7 1 1 1 1 140 361
St. Clement:
Paid 40 29 18 13 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 109 279
Unpaid (fn. 18) 4 6 3 1 1 15 37
Total 44 35 21 14 1 2 1 3 1 1 1 124 316
St. Edward:
Paid 37 35 23 23 6 4 4 2 1 1 136 392
Unpaid 3 3 4 2 3 1 2 18 69
Total 40 38 27 25 9 4 5 4 1 1 154 461
St. Giles:
Paid 74 40 9 7 1 1 132 224
Unpaid 13 3 1 17 24
Total 87 43 9 7 1 1 1 149 248
St. Mary the Great:
Paid 24 (fn. 19) 37 38 (fn. 20) 31 10 11 5 2 2 1 1 1 of 20 164 583 (fn. 21)
Unpaid 6 5 3 3 1 2 1 1 of 19 21 62
Total 30 42 41 34 11 13 5 3 2 1 1 2 185 645
St. Mary the Less:
Paid 37 31 13 13 (fn. 22) 5 5 2 106 259
Unpaid 1 4 4 1 10 35
Total 37 32 17 17 6 5 2 116 294
St. Michael:
Paid 15 23 13 7 3 3 1 65 174
Unpaid 1 2 3 1 7 26
Total 15 24 15 10 3 4 1 72 200
St. Peter:
Paid 40 8 10 3 3 1 1 1 1 68 151
Unpaid 4 1 1 2 1 9 23
Total 44 9 11 5 3 2 1 1 1 77 174
Total 560 472 269 233 76 65 28 14 14 6 4 4 3 3 6 1,757 4,787

1674 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearths Totals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 over 14 Entries Hearths
All Saints: (fn. 23)
Charged 22 29 23 16 5 6 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 of 19 113 401
1 of 16
Barnwell:
Charged 14 16 5 3 3 3 2 46 124
Exempt 5 1 6 7
Total 19 17 5 3 3 3 2 52 131
Holy Sepulchre: (fn. 24)
Charged 11 25 6 10 2 4 8 3 1 70 247
Exempt 12 12 12
Total 23 25 6 10 2 4 8 3 1 82 259
Holy Trinity: (fn. 25)
Charged 22 50 21 22 9 3 6 2 1 1 3 1 1 of 23 143 508
Exempt 26 1 1 of 22 27 28
Total 48 51 21 22 9 3 6 2 1 1 3 1 2 170 536
St. Andrew: (fn. 26)
Charged 31 62 15 27 13 5 5 5 3 1 2 2 1 of 15 172 586
Exempt 36 36 36
Total 67 62 15 27 13 5 5 5 3 1 2 2 1 208 622
St. Bene't: (fn. 27)
Charged 7 32 16 8 9 5 5 1 2 1 1 of 17 88 332
Exempt 13 1 of 15 13 13
Total 20 32 16 8 9 5 5 1 2 1 2 101 345
St. Botolph: (fn. 28)
Charged 15 43 19 7 11 7 3 2 3 1 111 371
Exempt 15 1 16 17
Total 30 44 19 7 11 7 3 2 3 1 127 388
St. Clement: (fn. 29)
Charged 27 32 10 11 6 5 2 5 2 2 102 323
Exempt 14 2 16 18
Total 41 34 10 11 6 5 2 2 118 341
St. Edward: (fn. 30)
Charged 18 35 21 16 9 11 6 1 1 1 1 of 27 122 461
1 of 18
1 of 16
Exempt 14 1 15 16
Total 32 36 21 16 9 11 6 1 1 1 3 137 477
St. Giles: (fn. 31)
Charged 30 40 8 7 4 1 1 1 1 93 214
Exempt 40 4 44 48
Total 70 44 8 7 4 1 1 1 1 137 262
St. Mary the Great: (fn. 32)
Charged 14 39 29 25 18 6 10 4 2 4 2 1 2 1 of 30 158 680
1 of 20
Exempt 14 3 17 20
Total 28 42 29 25 18 6 10 4 2 4 2 1 2 2 175 700
St. Mary the Less:
Charged 16 35 13 14 5 5 3 3 94 281
Exempt 9 4 13 17
Total 25 39 13 14 5 5 3 3 107 298
St. Michael: (fn. 33)
Charged 9 22 13 6 9 3 1 1 1 65 207
Exempt 2 2 2
Total 11 22 13 6 9 3 1 1 1 67 209
St. Peter:
Charged 24 17 7 1 4 3 2 1 1 of 24 60 170
Exempt 18 2 20 22
Total 42 19 7 1 4 3 2 1 1 80 192
Total 478 496 206 173 107 67 52 30 14 8 8 7 10 5 13 1,674 5,161

Cambridge Borough: Grand Totals

Totals of entries, with hearths Totals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 over 14 Entries Hearths
1662
Total 179 342 175 156 91 67 44 21 14 9 8 8 8 6 10 1,138 4,133
1666
Paid 506 432 230 198 66 58 26 10 11 6 4 4 3 3 6 1,563 4,231
Unpaid 54 40 39 35 10 7 2 4 3 194 556
Total 560 472 269 233 76 65 28 14 14 6 4 4 3 3 6 1,757 4,787
1674
Charged 254 477 203 172 107 67 52 30 14 8 8 7 10 5 13 1,427 4,886
Empty 3 2 1 6 13
Newly built 3 3 3
Arrears 1 1 3
Exempt 218 19 237 256
Total 478 496 206 173 107 67 52 30 14 8 8 7 10 5 13 1,674 5,161

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.