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Money is necessary, not only in time of war, but also in time of peace. For in the former case, revenue is expended on the fortification of towns, the payment of wages to the soldiers, and in many other ways, according to the status of the persons concerned, for the maintenance of the realm; in the latter case, although weapons of war are laid aside, churches are built by devout princes, Christ is fed and clothed in the persons of the poor, and the Mammon of this world is distributed in other acts of charity.

  - The Dialogue of the Exchequer, 1179

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The sheriff of each county was responsible for the collection of taxes and, with the development of the exchequer in the twelfth century records of the accounts they and other officials rendered were keptas the pipe rolls.

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Magna Carta, 1215

The 'Magna Carta' or 'Great Charter' forced from King John by the barons in 1215 is often quoted as being the first 'contract' between and English monarch and his people. It was primarily a contract between the monarch and the barons providing that no man should be imprisoned save by legal process, justice should not be sold or delayed and that no aid (tax), excepting for the three feudal aids, should be imposed other than with the consent of the council of the realm (parliament), establishing the priciple that parliament should cotrol the purse-strings of governemnt (and thus the government of the realm itself).

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Civil War

King Charles I attempted to reinforce the neglected Navy by raising ship money. Ironically, when the raising of this tax for the improvement of the Navy percipitated Egland into civil war between king and parliament, the Navy sided with parliament.

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which you can view by clicking here or on the dates in the left-hand column.

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1008The navy raised by a ship tax failed
1377Poll Tax records for Bristol indicate a population of between 9,500 to 12,000
1496Devon rebels against taxation
1522Wolsey raises money by benevolences
1523Parliament refuses Wolsey\'s demand of a property tax of 20% for the French Campaign
Wolsey came to the house personally, disrupting the debate. Parliament granted 10%
by 1547City of London levies taxes for poor relief
Such tax levied nationally in 1572 with compulsion imposed on local authorities by 1576
1660.MayAbolition of the Feudal Incidents on the restoration of Charles II
1689Abolition of the Hearth Tax by William III
1695Introduction of the window tax
1733Passage of the Excise and Customs Bill by Walpole\\\'s government imposing levies on luxury goods such as brandy, lace, silk and wine leading to an abundance of smugglers or Free Traders
1746Heavy duty imposed on glass
Increased over the years, the tax was abolished in 1861
1842Income Tax set for the following three years at 7d. in the pound
1861Abolition of the duty on glass introduced in 1746
1862.Aug.05The federal government levied an income tax in the USA for the first time
1931.Oct.17US gangster Al Capone convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison
2000.Nov.14Hundreds of trucks and tractors converge on London and Edinburgh in fuel tax protest
2003.Oct.28Andrew James Stevens, of Underlane, Launceston, jailed by Bodmin Magistrates for 30 days for non-payment of �1,217.36 in council tax
He had been given a suspended sentence in August on the understanding that he would pay off the council tax debt and cost in instalments
2003.Nov.06South Hams District Council in Devon decidesto reduce the second home owners discount on council tax from 50% to 10% raising approx. �2-million from the 11.5% of its houses used as second homes
The first council to do so since the powers introduced in the Local Government Act 2003

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Barons v. Monarch
Magna Carta (1215)
  Feudal Incidents
Domesday Book
Hearth Tax
Parish Rate
Poll Tax
Window Tax   (1695-1851)

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Lay Taxes in England and Wales, 1188-1688
  by M Jurkowski, C Smith and D Crook, publisher
PRO, 1998

Recommend a Book for this Page

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