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Westmorland Hearth Tax

Catherine Ferguson, Colin Philips, Andrew Wareham


Of value to students and family historians this new edition to the Hearth Tax volumes covers the old county of Westmorland.

It provides a scholarly introduction, complete with maps and tables which can be of the greatest use to social and economic historians working on a national canvas. It is ideal for finding lost ancestors as it comes with Hearth Tax documents and their indexes.
The introductions also stress that the Hearth Tax documents throw light upon the buildings about which they give austere information and focuses attention on the housing as necessary evidence in interpreting the past.
Previous volumes have printed an assessment or return as the main document with ancillary documents as appendixes. This volume, however, prints three Hearth Tax documents in the main section: the return for Michaelmas 1670 from the National Archive, the county survey for 1674/5 (known as Manuscript R), and the survey for Kendal and Kirkland, both from the Cumberland Record Office. There is also an additional list of exempt households from Kendal appearing as an appendix. No other run of taxation documents gives any indication of the invisible part of the iceberg, the non-taxable; those who were exempt from the tax (often on the grounds of poverty) since they held a cottage or land worth less than 20 shillings a year and were therefore not liable to pay. Family historians may be able to find much poorer ancestors than those whoe were accessible in the past.





Publication Date:



180mm x 250mm hardback




colour & black & white maps and plates