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Taxes, Miscellaneous

Nature of Source

Records from various taxes including:

Sheep Tax, 1549-1550
Coaches and Carriages Tax, 1747-1782, tax levied on those owning a carriage.
Silver Plate Tax, 1756-1777, tax levied on owners of silver usually by wealthy elite members of society.
Male Servant Tax, 1777-1852, tax levied on households employing male servants with only the employer' name listed.
Inhabited House Duty or House Tax, 1778-1834
Game Tax, 1784-1807, tax imposed on those intending to hunt and kill or sell game including gamekeepers.
Horse Tax, 1784-1874, levied on those owning a horse including horses used for trade purposes. Those owning racehorses were also subject to a tax covering the same years.
Female Servant Tax, 1785-1792, tax levied on households employing female servants with only the employer' name listed.
Shop Tax, 1785-1789, tax levied on those owning retail premises.
Armorial Bearings/Coats of Arms, 1793-1882, tax levied on those entitled to bear arms.
Hair Powder Tax, 1795-1869, duty imposed on those using hair powder, especially targeted at the popular fashion of wearing powdered wigs.
Dog Tax, 1796-1882, tax imposed on dog owners.
Income Tax, 1799, abolished in 1802 and reintroduced in 1803. Surviving records only include some lists of defaulters and those in arrears and are held at TNA in series E 182.
Clock and Watch Tax, 1797-1798
Uninhabited House Tax, 1851-1924

For a comprehensive listing and covering dates see John Richardson's The Local Historian's Encyclopedia.

The survival rate of many of these tax records is very patchy. Most tax lists simply name the person in isolation but is at least evidence of the person's existence at a particular time and place. Tax lists can be especially useful when they occasionally reveal a family relationship. An unbroken run of tax lists can provide evidence of a death or a move from the area when the name no longer appears or show a possible father son relationship. However, a son taking the same name as the father could create misleading research leads.

Ask at the County Record Office for any locally raised taxes such as the Sea Wall tax levied in coastal towns.

Also see
Hearth Tax (Scotland)
Hearth Tax
Land Tax Assessments & Returns
Lay Subsidy Rolls
Marriage Duty Act/Registration Tax
Poll Tax Including Scotland
Window Tax

Where Found

The National Archives (T 47, Yearly lists of persons paying carriage and plate duties, lists of defaulters etc, 1753 to 1776; lists of persons paying duty on male servants, 1780)
County Record Offices (Tax lists enrolled in at the Quarter Sessions)
Society of Genealogists (Manuscript index to those who paid the Male Servants Tax 1780)
National Records of Scotland (The National Records of Scotland was created on 1 April 2011 by the amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and General Register Office for Scotland [GROS])

Period Covered

1694 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Name, address, occupation of taxpayer. The street address is more likely to be given for London based tax lists but elsewhere only the town may be supplied.

Further References

Chapman, Colin R. Pre 1841 Census and Population Listings in the British Isles: Lochin Publishing, 2002


Gibson Guide: The Hearth Tax, Other Later Stuart Tax Lists and the Association Oath Rolls
Oates, Jonathan. Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837: Pen and Sword Books, 2012


Richardson, John. The Local Historian's Encyclopedia: Historical Publications 2003


TNA Research Guide: Taxation before 1689

Websites (Abstract of the principle Tax Acts, 1823) (Some early Taxes) (Taxation In UK: Historic Taxes) (Ancestor history: Taxes in the UK) (Scottish Archive Network: 1777 Servant Tax) (NAS Research Guide: Taxation records) (A brief history of HM Customs and Excise) (A brief history of income tax)

Online Databases (TNA E 179 Database: Partial whereabouts of taxation records) (London Lives: 4 Shillings in the Pound Tax, 1693-1694; Income Tax Payments 1799-1800) (Farm Horse Tax 1797-1798; Clock and Watch Tax 1797-1798; Consolidated Schedules of Assessed Taxes, 1798-1799; Female Servant Tax 1785-1792; Male Servant Tax, 1777-1798; Hearth Tax, 1691-1695. The site has an interactive map and gazetteer displaying the administrative areas and units of Scotland with the administrative history of each county or place) (Warwickshire Quarter Session Records: Hair powder certificates, 1795-1797 produced in association with Warwickshire County Record Office) (Ireland Dog Licence Registers, 1866-1913. Records of licences purchased at the Petty Sessions courts)

CD Roms (Devon Taxes 1581 To 1660)
Cambridgeshire Family History Society (Miscellaneous Cambridgeshire Documents from 1600 including Carriage Tax 1754-1766, Silver Plate Tax Defaulters 1767 & 1776, Silver Plate Tax Payers 1757 to 1766, Tax on Male Servants 1780)
East Surrey Family History Society (The Carriage Tax Index 1757 – 1766)