- Volume 2 (ISBN 978-0-9530998-0-1)
TAX RETURNS FOR FAVERSHAM HUNDRED 1662-1674: With supporting documents.
Hyde and Duncan Harrington.
The book 170mm x 250mm in size, is sewn
and hardbacked and consists of six preliminary pages, plus 173 pages of
text and indexes, including two illustrations. (ISBN 978-0-9530998-0-1). This
was originally offered as a numbered limited edition by subscription and
the subscribers names appear in the book. Approximately 100 copies only
remain from this printing.
This publication offers for the very first time a transcript and name
and place indexes of all the original documents that can be consulted
concerning the Hearth Tax in the Hundred of Faversham. The parishes covered
by this study include Badlesmere, Buckland, Davington, Eastling, Faversham,
Goodnestone next Faversham, Harty, Leaveland, Luddenham, Newnham, Norton,
Oare, Ospringe, Preston next Faversham, Sheldwich, Stalisfield, Stone
next Faversham, and Throwley.
The Act of 14 Charles II, c. 10 (1662) required the first collection to
be made at Michaelmas (29th September) 1662 from lists that had been prepared
in the previous months by the borsholders and petty constables of every
householder, not exempted from parish rates, indicating the number of
hearths in his house. These original lists have sometimes survived and
can be found not only in the E179 series but also within the official
and unofficial papers at the county record offices. These lists having
been returned to the clerk of the peace, an engrossed roll was compiled,
a duplicate being sent to the Exchequer. Only the 1664 duplicate survives
in the Kent Quarter Sessions records. From 1663, the assessors were required
to list the names and hearths of all the non-liable as well as the liable,
and from 1664 everyone with more than two hearths was made liable even
if he or she was otherwise entitled to exemption. Considerable care has
been taken accurately to transcribe all the surviving returns from the
Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew which we trust will be of great
assistance to both national and local historians. In one year, 1664, it
has also been possible to correlate this with the records surviving in
the Kent Quarter Sessions records.
The plague and the war with the Dutch made matters worse and the government
was desperate for money, so, in March 1666, the tax was farmed out to
three London merchants for seven years, which would be to us something
like being privatised. This caused considerable confusion in the administration.
The third appendix containing extracts from the particulars of accounts
gives evidence of the impact of the plague and the Dutch War.
The section on 'Heating and Houses in Faversham Town', by Sarah Pearson
brings an illuminating new approach to the subject. The information from
the Hearth Tax is so tantalizing that the temptation is to use it as much
as possible. Most researchers have found that, as David Foster says, the
Ladyday returns for 1664 are the fullest available. The best use is for
settlement studies when applied regionally, for instance, the spacing
of market towns and their relationship to the surroundings. Work at the
parish level is often more difficult.
There are eight appendices. The first deals with exemption certificates
in the county, though unfortunately none have survived for Faversham Hundred.
The second gives details of the people in arrears with paying the hearth
tax. These are particularly useful in that no assessments have survived
for 1673 and 1674 and there are additional names for the 1671 assessment.
The third gives particulars of account for the Hearth Tax in Faversham.
The fourth make a comparison of entries for Preston Street over the years,
that being the street most fully covered in the surviving documents. The
fifth is a rent roll for the manor of Faversham providing a list of landlords
compared with the list of occupiers in the Hearth Tax. The sixth shows
a statistical analysis of the entries of the two main assessments of 1664
and 1671 by C. A. F. Meekings. The seventh gives, for the first time,
a start on a list of probate inventories for the parish of Faversham,
taken from a variety of different sources. The final appendix looks at
further documents connected with the occupiers of No. 25 Court Street
Also available through us is Kent Hearth Tax Assessment Lady day 1664
published by the Kent Archaeological Society as Volume XXIX in the records
series whivch covers the whole county.