Analysis of hearth tax assessments

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Victoria County History

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A. P. M. Wright (editor), A. P. Baggs, S. M. Keeling, C. A. F. Meekings

Year published

1982

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268-272

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'Analysis of hearth tax assessments', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8 (1982), pp. 268-272. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66761 Date accessed: 19 September 2014.


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ANALYSIS OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE HEARTH TAX ASSESSMENTS, ARMINGFORD AND THRIPLOW HUNDREDS, 1662, 1666, 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 full 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, although 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 of '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 Edward Miller, the receiver, with the assistance of parish officials, during the spring and summer of 1674, after collection had been made. They are divided into taxpayers and those legally exempt by certificate. Among the taxpayers the owners of empty or recently destroyed houses or hearths and the occupiers of houses recently built or with new hearths in them are distinguished. The exempt may include paupers, even though they did not need to be certified. The exemption certificates themselves survive incompletely and are heavily damaged [E 179/326/10].

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 give 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 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 those categories. For eight of the twenty-three places in the two hundreds no exempt are recorded. That may be due to three reasons. There may have been no exempt to certify; the certified from neighbouring places may have been included in a single certificate; 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 from Lady Day 1672 to Lady Day 1673 [E 179/84/440]. They include certificates, or lists for two places on a single certificate, for three places which are without exempt in 1674. There are none for the other five places (Croydon, East Hatley, Foxton, Thriplow, Stapleford); that 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 of 1672 as 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 almshouses or town houses; and to differences, through 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 very little difference between the totals of entries for 1666 and 1674. Each is within six or fewer of the other with one exception, Melbourn, where that for 1674 is greater by 14. In Armingford hundred the 1674 lists give the highest number of entries for 6 places; the 1666 lists give the highest number for 4 places; the 1662 lists give the highest number for 2 places; in the remaining place the numbers in 1662 and 1674 are equal. In Thriplow hundred the 1674 lists give the highest number of entries for 5 places, the 1666 lists for 3 places, a 1662 list for one place, and in one place the 1674 and 1662 lists have the same highest number. In the hundreds as a whole the 1674 lists have slightly the highest number of entries for both Armingford and Thriplow hundreds. Since the 1662 lists were intended to include only taxpayers their number of entries is naturally the lowest of the three assessments for most places and, in total, for both hundreds. But since far more details of the 1662 assessments survive for the country as a whole than from any other date, those lists are the most useful for comparative studies of England and Wales generally.

1662 Michaelmas

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Armingford Hundred
Abington by Shingay5631111745
Bassingbourn432413654297219
Croydon86422 of 142268
East Hatley1521929
Kneesworth914111 of 121748
Litlington2810812985
Melbourn402813811 of 1291187
Meldreth2416431311 of 1153122
Guilden Morden21199211255125
Steeple Morden2255121 of 203684
Tadlow9622132358
Wendy cum Shingay7 (fn. 1) 44111 of 221865
Whaddon9822111 of 222474
Total2001367337111415338 (with 127)4911,209
Thriplow Hundred
Fowlmere (fn. 2) 2165311113990
Foxton18206422153124
Harston2416442151103
Hauxton1011432856
Newton16531111862
Great Shelford131743511145119
Little Shelford (fn. 3) 714431111 of 25 1 of 1133113
Stapleford4744212263
Thriplow209251121 of 1341102
Trumpington2813533211 of 16 1 of 1257145
Total146119433517692325 (with 77)387977 (fn. 4)

1666 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Armingford Hundred
Abington, paid10711112146
unpaid1125
total10821112351
Bassingbourn, paid7920104621122215
unpaid73221427
total8623126621136242
Croydon, paid1141211936
East Hatley, paid3511 of 131030
unpaid112
total36111132
Kneesworth, paid633111440
unpaid1125
total644111645
Litlington, paid221383114896
unpaid111 (fn. 5) 310
total2214932151106
Melbourn, paid5728102211 of 12101179
unpaid34 (fn. 6) 211021
total6032123211111200
Meldreth, paid2614412211 of 1151111
unpaid135112030
total391952221171141
Guilden Morden, paid4021323170123
unpaid6311015
total4624423180138
Steeple Morden, paid381033111 of 1457108
unpaid2111511
total40114411162119
Tadlow, paid862121940
unpaid5 (fn. 7) 21812 (fn. 7)
total1383122752
Wendy cum Shingay, paid8321111 of 201760
Whaddon, paid19111111 of 193475
unpaid3146
total221121113881
Total, paid327145482217724236 (with 89)5831,159
unpaid3922125179144
combined3661676027187242366621,302
Thriplow Hundred
Fowlmere, paid217432113986
unpaid3311816
total24105421147102
Foxton, paid201843111 of 1248105
unpaid1127
total20185411150112
Harston, paid301452115395
unpaid22159
total3216621158104
Hauxton, paid1254212448
unpaid11136
total1365212754
Newton, paid88321112463
unpaid21147
total109421112870
Great Shelford, paid321982231168147
unpaid441915
total362392231177162
Little Shelford, paid1494211 of 20 1 of 113290
unpaid3221 (fn. 8) 817
total17116312 (with 31)40107
Stapleford, paid10932212762
unpaid11 (fn. 9) 212
total109332112974
Thriplow, paid231031214085
unpaid11136
total2411131214391
Trumpington, paid4066 (fn. 10) 421111 of 16 1 of 1163147
unpaid1 (fn. 11) 14
total4066521112 (with 27)64151
Total, paid21010541258982145 (with 70)418928
unpaid16149514599
combined226119503089831454631,027

1674 Lady Day

Totals of entries, with hearthsTotals
12345678910over 10EntriesHearths
Armingford Hundred (fn. 12)
Abington, charged9731112251
exempt2134
total11831112555
Bassingbourn, charged4421116532193208 (fn. 13)
newly built113
exempt (fn. 14) 404040
total84211265321134251
Croydon cum Clopton, charged963312250
East Hatley, charged621 of 13933
Kneesworth, charged7 (fn. 14) 15111 of 131651
Litlington, charged1713125148104
exempt999
total2613125157113
Melbourn, charged43261453111 of 1294198 (fn. 15)
empty112
exempt303030
total73271453111125230
Meldreth, charged1218613311 of 1245123
exempt2612728
total381961331172151
Guilden Morden, charged30298121172143
newly built1 (fn. 16) 1 (fn. 16)
empty113
exempt111111
total41 (fn. 16) 299121184158
Steeple Morden, charged301364121 of 1157121
empty111
exempt777
total38136412165129
Tadlow, charged541511641
exempt666
total1141512247
Wendy cum Shingay, charged13411211 of 251371
Whaddon, charged81323111 of 192988
exempt888
total1613231113796
Total, charged215160753816966237 (with 105)5371,289
empty11136
newly built1 (fn. 16) 11 (fn. 16) 4
exempt1392141143
combined355 (fn. 16) 163773816966237682 (fn. 16) 1,442
Thriplow Hundred (fn. 17)
Fowlmere, charged179712123995
empty114
exempt101010
total2797221250109
Foxton, charged201775121 of 1253127 (fn. 18)
Harston, charged2317642153110
Hauxton, charged484322154
exempt555
total984322659
Newton, charged37241111960
exempt888
total117241112768
Great Shelford, charged162674341162161 (fn. 19)
empty1235
exempt181818
total352874341183184
Little Shelford, charged61342111 of 25 1 of 1129101 (fn. 20)
empty114
exempt777
total131343112 (with 36)37112
Stapleford, charged11863313279
Thriplow, charged221124212145105 (fn. 21)
Trumpington, charged271082431111 of 1658160
empty111
exempt666
total34108243111165167
Total, charged1491265332171383334 (with 64)4111,052
empty222614
exempt545454
combined20512853341713833344711,120

Footnotes

1 Two of these entries were for hearths in mills.
2 The number of hearths for one entry recovered from the 1662 copy in the 1664 Michaelmas assessment.
3 Six details of hearths similarly recovered.
4 In the roll the total of hearths for Thriplow hundred is given wrongly as 980.
5 The entry of 5 hearths was in almshouses.
6 One unpaid entry of 2 hearths was in almshouses.
7 The last of Tadlow's unpaid entries reads: Wid. Gadd Viner 12. The total of unpaid hearths below this is '12' and this figure is repeated in the usual summary giving the total of paid and unpaid hearths. In 1662 and in the 1662 revision of 1664, widow Gadd appears as occupier of 1 hearth. It has therefore been assumed that she (and her landlord) were also charged for 1 in 1666; that this was accidentally turned into '12' by putting the '2' of the total of unpaid hearths beside it, and that this should have been cancelled when the clerk realised his mistake and entered the total below. The auditor corrected the total from 12 to 23, which is arithmetically correct; but of course he had no means of discovering that widow Gadd's charge should have been 1 instead of 12.
8 The entry of 4 hearths was in the almshouses.
9 The entry of 8 hearths was in the almshouses.
10 One paid entry of 3 hearths was in the almshouses.
11 The entry of 4 hearths was in the almshouses.
12 The numbers of persons in the 1673 Lady Day certificates for Armingford hundred were: Bassingbourn 38, with Kneesworth 2; Litlington 10; Melbourn with Abington 22; Meldreth 27 (28 hearths); Guilden Morden 12; Steeple Morden 3; Tadlow 7; Wendy cum Shingay 5; Whaddon 3. There are other names cancelled in the Bassingbourn and Melbourn certificates. No 1674 certificates survive.
13 Wrongly given as 205 in the roll.
14 The Bassingbourn exempt included those of Kneesworth: both persons listed as from Kneesworth in the 1672 certificate occur at the end of the 1674 list.
15 Wrongly given as 202 in the roll.
16 This newly built hearth was in an existing house; it has accordingly been disregarded in totalling the entries.
17 The numbers of persons in the 1673 Lady Day certificates for Thriplow hundred were: Fowlmere 12; Harston 5; Hauxton 5; Newton 8; Great Shelford 17; Little Shelford 6; Trumpington 6. There are other names cancelled in the Great Shelford certificate. No 1674 certificates survive.
18 Wrongly given as 125 in the roll.
19 Wrongly given as 164 in the roll.
20 Wrongly given as 103 in the roll.
21 Wrongly given as 107 in the roll.


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