Charles II, 1664: An Act for collecting the Duty ariseing by Hearth-money by Officers to be appointed by His Majestie.

Pages 514-516

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

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In this section

Recital of 13 (13 & 14) Car. II. c. 10. and of 15 Car. II. c. 13;

Reasons for passing this Act The King may appoint Officers to collect this Revenue;to view and number Hearths and inspect Returns; who (accompanied with a Constable, &c.) may enter and search Houses, &c.; Search every Year. Variance in the Number of Chimnies to be certified to the Clerk of the Peace; and by him, being approved by Sessions, unto the Exchequer

Whereas by an Act made in the Parliament begun at Westminster the Eighth day of May in the Thirteenth yeare of his Majestyes Raigne that now is entituled An Act for establishing an additionall Revenue upon His Majestie His Heires and Successors for the better support of His and their Crowne and Dignitie, And by another Act made in the Second Session of the said Parliament in the Fifteenth yeare of the Raigne of His said Majestie entituled An Additionall Act for the better ordering and collecting the Revenue ariseing by Hearth money It was enacted and ordained That from and after the Five and twentyeth day of March in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred sixtie and two, every Dwelling and other House and Edifice, and all Lodgeings in Innes of Court, Innes of Chancery Colledges and other Societyes that are, or hereafter shall be erected within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales and Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede (other then such as are therein excepted) shall be and are charged with the annuall Payment to the Kings Majestie His Heires and Successors for every Fire Hearth and Stove within every such House Edifice Chambers and Lodgeings the summe of Two shillings by the yeare to be paid yearely at the Feasts of Saint Michaell the Arch-Angell, and of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by even and equall portions an exact and just Account of the numbers of all which Fire Hearthes and Stoves is thereby enacted to be taken and returned into His Majestyes Court of Exchequer And the Moneyes and Revenues due and payable for the same to be collected levyed and paid to His Majestie by such persons and Officers in manner and forme as by the said Acts is prescribed. Neverthelesse by reason of some defects in the said [Acts (fn. 1) ] and great negligence of the said Officers and other persons in not returning the exact numbers of the said Fire Hearthes and Stoves, and not duely collecting leavying and paying into His Majestyes Exchequer the full Revenue due for the numbers returned at the times appointed, and by sundry fraudulent practises to elude the said [Act (fn. 2) ] the said Revenue is much diminished and not duely answered, For Remedy thereof and for the better ascertaining and collecting the said Revenue for the future Be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by Authoritie of the same That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Kings Majestie His Heires and Successors from and after the Fower and twentyeth day of June One thousand six hundred sixtie fower from time to time by and with the Advice of the Lord High Treasurer Chauncellour Under Treasurer and Barons of the Court of Exchequer for the time being or any three of them, whereof the Lord High Treasurer or Chauncellour of the Exchequer to be one to constitute and appoint such person or persons as His Majestie His Heires & Successors shall thinke meete to be the Officer or Officers for the receiveing and collecting and answering the duty ariseing by the said Fire-Hearthes and Stoves by vertue of the said severall Acts, and for viewing and numbering of the severall Chimney Hearthes and Stoves mentioned in the said Acts, and for the inspecting and examining the severall, Rolles Certificates and Returnes thereof made, and to be made from time to time into His Majestyes Court of Exchequer in pursuance of the said Acts or any other thing belonging to the same, Which Officers or any of them shall have full power to examine and supervise the Rolles and numbers of Fire-Hearthes and Stoves already returned into the said Court of Exchequer And being accompanyed with the Constable or the Tythingman Treasurer Under Treasurer or other publique or proper Officer of the place (who are hereby required to attend and assist upon this occasion) and in all Parishes and, places where there are noe Constables Tythingmen or other Publique [Officers (fn. 3) ] as aforesaid there without any such assistance to enter in the day time into any dwelling or other House Edifice Lodgeings and Chambers aforesaid And to search and examine whether there be any more Fire Hearthes and Stoves in the same then were formerly returned or certifyed, and what Fire Hearthes or Stoves are increased or decreased since the former Certificate, After which search and examination, the said Officer with a Constable or Tythingman or Officers as aforesaid shall have liberty to make the like search and examination once every yeare, And if they shall finde any variance; in the number returned both the Officer or Officers appointed by His Majestie and the Constable or Tythingman or other Officer as aforesaid to certifie the same under his and their Hands to the Clerke of the Peace, which Certificate they are hereby enjoyned to make, and after Approbation thereof by the Justices of the Peace at their Sessions the same to be certifiyed to His Majestyes Remembrancer in the Exchequer and the Officer or Officers soe appointed by His Majestie unto the same shall from and after the said Fower and twentyeth day of June One thousand six hundred sixtie fower have power to collect and levy the Revenue and Dutyes soe given to His Majestie as aforesaid and all Arreares of the same.

II. The Duty arising payable to the King's Officers.

Default of Payment.; Distress.

And be it further enacted That the said Duty shall from time to time be paid after the Feast dayes of Saint Michaell the Arch-Angell and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary yearely unto such Officer as shall be appointed by vertue of this present Act to receive the same upon demand thereof made by such Officer or his Deputy at the House Chamber or Place where the same Duty shall arise or grow due, And that in case of refusall or default of such payment thereof by the space of one houre after such demand the said Officer or his Deputy may at any time with the assistance of a Constable Tythingman or other Officer as aforesaid in the day time leavy the said Duty and all the Arrearages thereof by Distresse and Sale of the Goods of the party or partyes soe refuseing or makeing defaulte, restoreing to the party or partyes the overplus of the value of such Goods over and above the Duty and Arrearages thereof then behinde, and over and above the necessary charges of takeing such Distresse, which charges shall in noe case exceede the one moyety of the Duty and Arrearages thereof soe levyed.

III. Within what Time Arrears to be exacted.

If Violence used against Officers; Punishment; The former Officers discharged.

Provided alwayes and be it enacted That noe Owners Proprietors or Occupiers of the said Fire-Hearthes or Stoves shall be charged destrained or molested for the said Duty, or any Arrearages thereof at any time after the space of two yeares next after the Duty hereafter shall become due to His Majestie His Heires or Successors, [Nor for any Arrearages of the said Duty already incurred after the space of two yeares from the Fower and twentyeth day of June One thousand six hundred sixty [& (fn. 4) ] fower (fn. 5) ] And in case of violent opposition or injury done by any person or persons to any such Officer or his Deputie in the due execution of this Act, and the same proved by Oath before any one Justice of the Peace, or Cheife Magistrate or Magistrates of the Citty Towne or Place dwelling neere unto the place who are hereby authorized to administer the said Oath, it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Justice of the Peace Magistrate or Magistrates to punish such offender or offenders if he shall finde cause by Imprisonment in the Common Goale for any time not exceeding the space of one Moneth, And from and after the said Fower and twentyeth day of June One thousand six hundred sixty fower all Officers formerly appointed to collect the said Duty shall be discharged from the future collecting and levying the same otherwise then as they are directed by this Act, And the said Officer and Officers soe appointed by His Majestie to collect this Duty shall pay the same into His Majestyes Exchequer to the ends in the said former Acts mentioned.

IV. Collectors to give Security and take Oath.

No Fee to Officer.; Penalty.; Officer to give Acquittance to Party without Fee.

Provided That noe person or persons shall be imployed as aforesaid unlesse he and they shall first give in sufficient Security to His Majestie His Heires and Successors for the due collecting levying and paying in of the said Revenue or such part thereof as shall be committed to their respective trusts, and shall likewise take a Corporall Oath before one or more of the Barons of the Exchequer or before such persons as shall be authorized to take such Security and Oath by Commission from the said Court of Exchequer for the due and faithfull execution thereof according to the Lawes enacted [for (fn. 6) ] that purpose, And that they shall not exact or demand any Fee or summe of money for execution thereof from any Subject, but onely from the Kings Majestie under paine of being disabled to execute the said Office or Imployment, And upon legall Conviction of any such Crime to render treble damage to the party grieved, And shall signe and deliver Acquittances for Moneyes by them received without any Fee or Reward whatsoever. And every such Acquittance shall be a finall Discharge as in the said first Act is provided.

V. The succeeding Tenant liable for the broken Half Year.

Stopping up, or concealing Chimnies, &c. Penalty.

And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any person occupying any Hearth or Stove chargeable to His Majestie shall leave or relinquish any House, Edifice Lodgeing or Chamber before any of the halfe yearely Feasts whereon the same is appointed to be paid [unto (fn. 6) ] His Majestie His Heires and Successors; In every such case the next Occupyer thereof shall be chargeable with the same for the said halfe yeare. And ( (fn. 7) ) if any person shall fraudulently stopp up deface cover or conceale any Chimney Hearth or Stove chargeable by the said Act, and the same be proved either by Confession of the party or upon Oath before one Justice of Peace or Cheife Magistrate or by their view he shall for such offence pay double the value of the Duty [of (fn. 8) ] the same to be levyed as aforesaid,

VI. Persons letting Houses to Poor Persons or parcelling out the same to pay the Duty.

All Houses with more than Two Chimnies, &c. (Exception) liable.

And bee it likewise enacted That if any person within one yeare last past hath, or hereafter shall lett the Lands Gardens Orchards or Outhouses formerly belonging to any Dwelling house or Cottage apart from the same, or shall divide any House into severall Dwellings, or lett out the same to any such persons who by reason of their poverty may pretend to be exempted from payment of the said Duty by any Clause or Clauses in the former Acts that in every such case such person shall pay the ( (fn. 9) ) Duty in as ample manner as they ought to have done before that time, And that noe person or persons inhabiting any Dwelling house (not being an Almes house exempted by the former Act) within any Citty Burrough Corporation [or (fn. 10) ] Market Towne or Parish which hath or shall have in it more then Two Chimneyes Fire Hearthes or Stoves shall be exempted from payment of the Dutyes thereon imposed by colour of any exemption or pretext whatsoever,

VII. One Justice may decide Differences about Distresses. &c.

And if any question or difference shall arise about the takeing any Distresse, or levying any money by vertue of this Act the same shall be heard and finally determined by one or more of the [Justices of the (fn. 11) ] Peace neere adjoyning or cheife Magistrate of the place respectively upon complaint in that behalfe

VIII. Collectors to pay the Money into the Exchequer.

Loss of Office. Justices, &c. to give Assistance to the Officers.

And be it further enacted That every Collector who shall be authorized and appointed by vertue of this Act to receive any of the said Dutyes shall truely answere and pay all such moneys as he shall receive for the said Dutyes into His Majestyes Receipt of Exchequer halfe yearely within Three monethes after the Feast of Saint Michaell the Arch-Angell, or the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary happening next after the time the [said (fn. 12) ] moneys grew due to His Majestie by vertue of the said Acts, and under the penalty of the losse of his Office, And the Justices of Peace and cheife Magistrates Constables and other His Majestyes Officers within their severall Limitts and Jurisdictions are hereby authorized and required to give assistance from time to time to such Officers as shall be appointed by His Majestie His Heires and Successors for the collecting of the said Duty according to the true meaning of the said former Acts and this present Act,

IX. Proviso for Persons formerly exempted, or having paid, producing Certificate for Exemption.

Provided That noe person or persons shall be questioned for any Arreares due on or before our Lady day One thousand six hundred sixtie fower who shall produce to the Collector a Certificate approved or to be approved of by the two next Justices of Peace for their exemption from the said Duty for that time according to the Rules prescribed in the said first recited Act, nor any person who hath truely paid the said Duty and shall if it be required make proofe thereof before any one Justice of Peace or other cheife Magistrate of the place, Any thing therein contained or any Returne made into His Majestyes Exchequer to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

X. Allowance to Constables, &c.

Provided alsoe and bee it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every such Officer or Officers as shall ( (fn. 13) ) at any time [be (fn. 10) ] appointed by His Majestie His Heires and Successors for the collecting gathering and receiveing of the severall Summes of Money now or hereafter to grow due unto His Majestie His Heires and Successors for or in respect of the said Duty ariseing upon the Fire Hearthes and Stoves shall satisfie and pay unto the respective Petty Constables and Clerks of the Peace of this Kingdome all such allowances as are by any former Act or Acts given and allowed unto them aswell for their paines and labour heretofore as hereafter to be taken by them as in and by the former Acts concerning Fire-Hearthes and Stoves are limitted and appointed, Any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.


  • 1. Act O.
  • 2. Acts O.
  • 3. Officer O.
  • 4. interlined on the Roll.
  • 5. annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.
  • 6. to O.
  • 7. that O.
  • 8. for O.
  • 9. said O.
  • 10. O. omits.
  • 11. interlined on the Roll.
  • 12. same O.
  • 13. bee O.