Taxpayers 1327-1666 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Taxpayers 1327-1666

Taxation, necessary but not always popular has a long history in the public records.  Governments have always been keen on keeping evidence of money owed to them!

Most of the early records with names of taxpayers relate to a wealth tax called a subsidy, first levied by Edward I in 1290.  They were voted by Parliament for a specific purpose, such as a war.  in the countryside better off people paid 1/15th of their moveable property.  Some landowners who lived in the parish would be assessed on the value of their lands instead.   For a short time in Henry VIII's reign, some people were taxed on wages.

Index of Dates
1373 Subsidy
TNA E179/237/53

Sutton Lathe, Akstan Hundred (extract)
(all those from one parish seem to be grouped together although it doesn't say this in the document)

the Manor of Fawkham 10s
William Kirkeby 10s
John Asbetyn 2s
John Cylkyndenn 3s 6d
Thomas Baker 18½d
Ralph [Kot]ele? 4s
Edward Sparwe 18½d
John Maykyn 2s
John Pour 18d
John Mawer 8s
Archdeacon of Rochester 40d
William Pour 3s
Thomas Mellar 12½d
John Kotel 18d
John Overay 3s
William Pour junior 2s 4½d
Manor of Hertleye 13s 4d
John Northassh 3s
William [..]urch (Church?) 3s
Richard Halyday 5s
William Clerk 4[...]
Robert Crabbe 3[...]
Warin Walton (Dalton) [5..]
Thomas Smeth 2s
Robert atte Hacch 3s

Total 106s 6½d
1377 Poll Tax
TNA E179 123/37

The 1377 poll tax was the first of its kind in England and the most successful in terms of revenue. It was repeated in 1379 and 1381, but abandoned after the widespread rioting that it caused in Kent and Essex. Its leader Wat Tyler is claimed by both Dartford and Maidstone.

As the preamble says, the 4d (about 1½p) tax was paid by every man or woman over the age of 14 - a total of 53 in the case of Hartley. It is estimated that to get a rough idea of population you need to add about 40% for children and 40% for evasion. This would give a population in Hartley of 80-100. Unfortunately the lists of names of taxpayers survive in few areas, and this area was not one of them.

Receipts of the Poll Tax 1377

Hartley - This indenture witnesseth that Richard atte Lese and his colleagues, collectors of 4d from each sane person, man and woman, of the age of 14 years and above, granted to the lord king.... in the county of Kent. Have received from Robert Jasper, constable of Hertley, Warin Dalton and Robert Baker, leading men of the same vill, 17s 8d for 53 people. In witness whereof the seal of the parties present has alternately been appended. Given there the 10th day of May in the said year (51 Edward III).

Robert Jasper, constable 48 people 16s
John Askelyn
Clement Fynyan

John Hamond, constable 36 people 12s
William Mochered
John Meller

John Hamond, constable 51 people [.....]
Robert Jasper
John Launce

1380 Subsidy
TNA E179 120/59

This is a list of tax payers for Hartley, Fawkham and Ash in 1380. Generally only the more substantial people were assessed for this tax on wealth. So of the 53 listed for the poll tax only 3 years previously, only 15 were assessed this time.

John Faver, William Dalton, and Robert Crabbe all appear in the 1392 survey of the manor. We can assume that at least some of the Daltons lived at what is now called Hartley Manor (Manor Drive), which was called "Daltons" until 1726. Robert at Hay no doubt lived at Woodins in Church Road, which we know was called "Hayes" by the c15th.  Roger Vessy was from the family who gave their name to Bazes Shaw, now in New Ash Green.

The other parishes contain names of families who would one day own land in Hartley eg. the Overeys at Fawkham and the Launces at Ash.

For those not old enough to remember pre-decimal currency there were 12 old pence in a shilling (5p) and 20 shillings in a pound. So the tax paid here ranged from 3p to 25p for Hartley. The purchasing power of money was of course very different then. 4d (1p) was the average daily wage of a farm labourer, while a skilled labourer might get 6d per day (2½p). The main foodstuff, wheat, cost 25-30p per bushel (about 60 lb or 27kg in weight).

Hundred of Axstan

In the parish of Hertlegh


The Manor of Hertelegh 18s 7d
Warin Dalton 6s
Thomas Smyesth' 12d
Robert atte Hay 18d
William Box 18d
John Faver 3s
William Dalton 5s
John Northassch 2s
William Clerk 2s 8d
Robert Crabbe 4s
Roger Vessy 2s
John Tholl 18d
Geoffrey Clerk 6¼d
Henry Simme (?) 18d
Richard Halyday 5s

Total 55s 9¼d


William Brien 15s 8d
William Kirkeby 15s 8d
Idon' Grovers 2s 2d
John Bere 4d
Clement Fynyan 3s 4d
John Ingery 4d
Thomas Sayx 12d
Robert Thomalyn 7s
Robert Leylord 4d
John Carles 2s
Thomas Baker 4s 2d
John Ilkynden 2s 1d
Richard Fyret 3s 2d
Ralph Kytel 6s 1d
John Pour 12d
John Sparwe 12d
John Meykyn 2s
Archibald de Langfeld 10s
John Miller 5s
John Overey 5s
William Muchelord 5s
John Pone 5s
William Partrich 5s 1½d
William Rour 5s
Robert Heliday 5s

Total 102s 6½d


Manor of Esshe 43s
William Topclone 24s
William Southesshe 10s
Thomas Clement 8s 6d
Roger Frannceys 2s
Robert Meller 3s 6d
John Mellere 6s
Henry Mellere 5s
Thomas Redhicton 3s 4d
Thomas Hewe 2s 6d
Thomas Adam 2s
John Hewe 16d
Roger Michel 5s
Henry Hodesole 2s
William Wiltok 18d
Thomas (?) Wotte 2s 2d
John Wotte 3s
Martin Ballard 5s 8d
John Carles 4s
Mabel Martyns 18d
Peter Jasper 2s 6d
Richard John Godchop 16d
John Hodsole 8s
William Bere 2s
Robert Jasper 8s 6d
Richard Shiede 2s 6d
Clement Wodeman 3s 4d
Walter Seohfeld 3s 4d
John atte Hacche 18d
Roger Earel 2s
Stephen Banstede 2s
John Smyth 3s
Richard Launce 18s
Richard Romayn 18d
Richard Hodsole 21¼d

Total £8 7s 3¾d
1385 (approx) Subsidy
TNA E179/123/48

Undated subsidy roll, but likely to be about 1385.  William Dalton junior is the only name here not on the subsidy roll of 1379/80 above, therefore it is likely to be a little but not much later.


William Dalton 4s
Warin Dalton 3s
Manor of Hertleye 10s
Robert Crabbe 2s
John Fauer 3s
William Dalton junior 2s 6d
Roger Beysey 2s 6d

1523/24 Subsidy Roll (15 Henry VIII)
TNA E179 124/187

Tax Due
William Smyth (Smith)
in goods
£84s (?)
John Overeyin lands41s2s 0½d
John Northashein goods60s14d (?)
Briane Gille
in goods
Henry Clerke (Clerk)
in goods
£73s 6d
Thomas Crips (Cripps)
in goods
Harry Gerrerd
in goods
John Richardsonin wages26s 4d4d
Richard Thornehamin wages20s4d
Sum of Hartley

37s 2½d
1526/27 Subsidy (18 Henry VIII)
TNA E179 124/208

Badly faded, only fragment survives.
Reign of Henry VIII Subsidy
TNA E179 124/255


Tax Due
Richard Smyth (Smith)
in goods
£106s 8d
John Walterin goods£73s 4d
John Northashin goods20s2d
John Dalton
in goods
John Overy (Overey)
in lands
in goods
James Cripps
in goods
John Mann
in goods
1544/45 Benevolence (36 Henry VIII)
TNA E179 125/290

This was anything but the free gift the name suggests.  It was taxation in another name, but enabled the monarch to circumvent Parliamentary scrutiny and assent.  See Wikipedia Article for background.

Sir William Porter, parson, 5s
James Cripps, 13s 4d
John Overey, 13s 4d
Richard Smyth, 10s

Sir William Herd, parson, 5s
Thomas Walter, 46s 8d
Jane Kettell, widow, 6s 8d
William Pynden, 10s

Sir William Wyldis, parson, 13s 4d
Nicholas Clyfforde, gentleman, 40s
William Launce, 33s 4d
Robert Borough, 26s 8d
Thomas Taylour, 13s 4d
William Warren the elder, 10s
Thomas Averell, 10s

Sir Ewen Carlton, parson, 6s 8d
William Lease, 20s

1551/52 Relief (5 Edward VI)
TNA E179 126/340


Tax Due
Richard Smyth (Smith), husbandman
for goods
Jamys Cryppes (James Cripps), husbandmanfor goods£1515s
John Overey, husbandmanfor goods£13 6s 8d13s 4d
The valuations for the other local parishes was:

Fawkham: Thomas Walter (£40), Walter Pettytt (£10)

Ridley: James Averell (£20)

Ash: William Lance yeoman (£25), Robert Borowe (£20), William Warren sen (£10), Thomas Taylor (£10), Thomas Grenell (£10), Thomas Borowe (£10), Andrew Delasshe Alyen tyler (£8)

Longfield: William Lease yeoman (£13.6.8), John Middylton (£10)

1570/71 Subsidy (13 Elizabeth)
TNA E179 126/419


Tax Due
James Cryspe (James Cripps)
in goods
Thomas Whiteheadin goods£35s
Richard Overie (Overey)in lands£616s
Thomas Goodwynin goods£35s
John Fellowin goods£35s
1592/93 Subsidy (40 Elizabeth)
TNA E179 125/305


Tax Due
Richard Overey
Richard Bestassessment£38s
John Crips (Cripps)assessment£38s
Thomas Whiteheadassessment£38s
1611/12 Subsidy (9 James I)
TNA E179 127/566


Tax Due
John Overey
Elizabeth Best, widowassessment£33s
Thomas Whiteheadassessment£33s
William Kipps, seasorassessment£33s
Richard Overie, seasorassessment£33s
Total for Hartley

Taxpayers from the other local parishes were:

Longfield: Henry Gatlande, Henry Cowlinge, Nicholas Middleton

Fawkham: Joan Maxfeilde, John Walter, Abraham Hackett

Ash cum Ridley: William Averell, Richard Whiffen, Richard Overie, William Hodsoll gent., Thomas Launce, Thomas Comforte

1625/26 Subsidy (1 Charles I)
TNA E179 127/597

Only half of Axtane hundred included - not Hartley
1666/67 etc (Lathe of Sutton at Hone: Poll Taxes)

(a) Duplicate of Poll Tax 18 Charles II (1666/7)

This was the last poll tax before the age of Mrs Thatcher.  The lists of names do not survive, only the names of the collectors and how much they collected.  From the return for Woolwich it appears the tax was levied at 1 shilling per person and 4d for journeymen.  The return for Fawkham contains details of where the tax was respited in two individual cases.

Note the great differences in the moneys raised between the two.

Hartley (collector - Edward Best) £5.9.0
Ash cum Ridley (collectors - James Lance, Richard Whiffen) £17.11.0
Longfield (collector - George Gardiner) £2.15.0

Total for lathe £1,776.8.8

(b) Poll Tax - uncertain date (PRO E179 129/737)

Duplicate of the several sums of moneys raised in the several parishes within the upper division of the lathe of Sutton at Hone within the said county by poll and otherwise toward the present war.

Ash cum Ridley £30.17.0
Fawkham £6.17.8
Hartley £6.10.0
Longfield £3.6.0

Fawkham: returns of Michael Deane and Thomas Carryer collectors of the money raised by the poll and otherwise in the parish of Fawkham...

Nicholas Brett, a servant to Thomas Walter, rated at 4s (?) per annual wage and fled from his master, leaving only 1 shilling in his master's hand for his poll and no distress to be had - 4s

John Waker and 10 poor children for certificate under 2 commissioner's hand and seal (Michael Deacen (S), Thomas Carryer (X)) - £1.10.0

Allocated by us Thomas Randolph, William Swan - £1.14.0

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