SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

The Hearth Tax for Skelton in 1673.

Margaret Long of Maryland, USA has very kindly contributed the roll of people in Skelton who paid the Hearth Tax in 1673.

A Hearth Tax was an old idea to raise money from the populace by taxing a household, rather than each individual.
It was also called the "Chimney Tax" or "Chimney Money", being levied on the number of hearths, which, being static, were deemed easier to count than people. However this entailed the tax collectors or "Chimney Men" having to inspect properties and this in itself caused resentment.
The Tax was introduced in 1662. Charles II, the Stuart King, had been restored to the throne in 1660 and more money was needed to pay him an annual income of over a million pounds per annum.
Initially it seemed that the richest in the population would pay the most, as in Skelton, for instance, Edward Trotter of Skelton Castle had 17 fireplaces and owned most of the buildings on his estate.
But the richest at that time also commanded Parliament and they soon changed the rules so that the burden fell on the tenants rather the owners of properties.
The tax was a shilling on each hearth, to be paid twice a year in March and September. People who did not pay the Poor Rates and Church Tithes, or whose property was worth less than one pound rental per year, or whose total assets were less than £10 were exempted, but still listed in the returns.
Thus, those who paid the most were the tenant farmers and tradesmen in the middle wealth group and the levy was very unpopular. There was much evasion. People who were found to have bricked up a fireplace were charged double.
When the Stuarts were kicked out in 1688 and William and Mary came to the throne a year later the tax was repealed as part of their popularity campaign. It was they said:-
"not only a great oppression to the poorer sort, but a badge of slavery upon the whole people, exposing every manís house to be entered into, and searched at pleasure, by persons unknown to him."
The list below gives 91 heads of households in Skelton and the number of fireplaces for each.
The Collector is given as Robert Sanders, aided by the local Constable, George Heaton, who was also a tax-payer.
There is some variation in the spelling of Surnames - Snawden/Snowden, Havelocke/Havelock Awmon/Hawman etc.

Awmon Richard
Barker Francis
Bosman George
Boucher William
Bridell William
Brotton George
Brotton Henry
Brotton Roger
Carlile Thomas
Carter John
Castle Francis
Chapman Mary
Chapman Mary
Coates Richard
Cooke Ra
Cornforth Henry
Cotham John
Dickinson Thomas
Ellerbecke Widow
Emerson Phillip
Foster Mary
Garbot John
Hammon Andrew
Hammond William
Havelock Christopher
Havelocke Robert
Hawman George
Hawman James
Hawman John
Hawman William

2                                   
1
5
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1


Heaton George, the Constable.
Hoope Tobias
Hooper Joshua
Hutchinson William
Hutton Anne
Hutton Anne
Hutton John
Hutton Richard
Hutton Robert
Jackson John
King Thomas
Kirke William
Lambe Robert
Lambe William
Laton William
Lawson Robert
Lyon James d.
Lyons Robert
Lyons William
Mawer Edward
Mawer Thomas
Mercer Mary
Mercer Ra
Moory Christopher
Nelson William
Nicholson Jo
Pearson Luke
Porrit John
Robinson Henry
Roger George


1                                    
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
3
1
2
1
1
1
1
3
1
1

Rogers Richard
Sawer Robert
Slater John
Smith Anne
Smith John
Smith Margaret
Smith Ra
Smith Robert
Smith Thomas
Snawden William
Snowden Thomas
Sotheran Widow
Stonas Tym
Stoope Robert
Thompson Henry
Thornton Christopher, Priest
Tiplady John
Tiplady Thomas
Tooes John
Tooes Robert
Tooes Robert jnr
Trotter Edward esq, Castle
Tyson Richard
Tyson Thomas
Warde Elizabeth
Watson John
Westland Margaret
Westland Richard
Westland William
Wilkinson Anne
Wilson John

1
1
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
17
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1


The Stanghow Lane School Jubilee Magazine for 1936.
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