Open a form to report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted

Help and advice for Norfolk: Land & Property

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it.

We are in the process of upgrading the site to implement a content management system.

Norfolk: Land & Property

Land Tax Records

This is a brief overview of the Government Land Tax which came into existance in the fourth regnal year (1692) of William and Mary and was finally abolished in 1963 although only records up to 1832 will be initially considered here. For more information see the reference section.

Background
Assessment for payment
    - Valuation
    - Who Paid
    - What was taxed
    - Tax Rates
Assessments Records
    - Hundred divisions
    - Boroughs (Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Norwich)
Publications
Notes
References

Background

Governments are always in need of money and particularly so in 1692 as this country was at war with France. This was another tax to raise the necessary finance. It replaced the old Commonwealth monthly assessments.

Assessment for payment

A County valuation was done in 1692 to assess who and what was taxable. Once this was done the task of gathering the tax fell to Commissioners who were appointed for each County and from these came divisional commissioners who appointed parish assessors and collectors. Quotas were allocated to Hundreds (in the case of Norfolk) and then to individual parishes.

  • The amount paid was based on this valuation regardless of any rental increases which happened subsequently.
    • This can be illustrated by the land tax assessment for the parish of Alderford for 1801-02 where the total valuation is £158 but the rental valuation used for the Church Rate (for 1821) is £394 so that they differ by a factor of at least 2.5
    • Local adjustments were sometimes made although the quota allocated to the parish was not changed.
  • Who paid the tax?
    • In general this was the owner although some occupiers (as part of their rental agreement) paid it and then consequently paid less rent.
  • What was taxed?
    • Land, tithes, some buildings, some salaries, pensions and investments.
    • Land etc. valued at less than £1 was not taxed.
  • What was the tax rate?
    • It varied annually from 1/- to 4/- shillings per £1 of valuation.
    • In 1700 it was 2/- (two shillings) but in 1744 it was 1/- (one shilling) and in 1767 the rate was 3/- (three shillings) [see example under Hargham]
    • In 1776 it became fixed at 4/- (four shillings) per Pound of "Valuation" or "Rental".
  • 1780 changes
    • You had to be registered in the Land Tax assessment to vote.
    • Not everyone who was registered could vote.
  • 1798 - New act passed
    • Tax rate set at 4/- per £1 of valuation (which equals 20%).
    • Printed forms appear (from 1799) - see example under Tuttington for 1801. They had the following headings:-
      • Column
        Iden
        -tity
        Contracted
        Headings in
        Transcriptions
        Original Headings in Tables
        A Names of proprietors Names of proprietors [written alphabetically]
        B Names of Occupiers Names of Occupiers
        C Exon
        Value £ Rent
        Sums assessed & exonerated
        Rental Valuation £
        D Exon
        £.s.d
        Sums assessed & exonerated
        Assessed amount £.s.d
        E Not Exon
        Value £ Rent
        Sums assessed & not exonerated
        Rental Valuation £
        F Not Exon
        £.s.d
        Sums assessed & not exonerated
        Assessed amount £.s.d
        G Estate Sums assessed of PERSONAL ESTATES STOCK
        H OFF Sums assessed of OFFICES ANNUAL AMOUNT
        J YEAR PAY TOTAL of YEARLY PAYMENTS"
        K QTR PAY QUARTERLY PAYMENTS"
         
        Note that in the transcriptions for most parishes and years the standard heading starting "An Assessment for one Year ..." (see example for Tuttington 1801 above) has been excluded. Where columns "G" and "H" were blank they have also been omitted.
    • Possible to redeem by paying 15 times the yearly amount (ie. 5 times the valuation) so that no more taxes were payable. Once this was done the land appeared under the exonerated heading.
    • If no record for a parish exists in the 1800's or later it may indicate that all the land was exonerated.
    • The land tax year started on 5th April.
  • 1826 - Forms redesigned - see example under Alderford.
  • 1949 - Changes to tax rates.

Assessments Records

1. For the Hundred divisions :-

  • 1693-1766
  • 1767-1832
    • These are part of the Norfolk Quarter Sessions at the Norfolk Record Office with the reference C/Scd 2
    • Parishes are grouped into divisions or hundreds and in yearly bundles. They are available on fiche (some of which are barely legible). The Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre in the Forum in Norwich both hold copies of these.
    • Note that not all of the early years contain assessments for all parishes.
    • The following table lists each Hundred and the assessment start date:-
      Hundred Date Hundred Date
      Blofield 1781 Clackclose 1767
      Clavering 1797 Depwade 1797
      Diss 1800 Earsham 1797
      North Erpingham 1780 South Erpingham 1767
      Eynsford 1801 East Flegg 1781
      West Flegg 1782 Forehoe 1767
      Freebridge Lynn 1767 Freebridge Marshland 1782
      Gallow 1786 North Greenhoe 1782
      South Greenhoe 1778 Grimshoe 1782
      Guiltcross 1767 Happing 1781
      Henstead 1782 Holt 1767
      Humbleyard 1801 Launditch 1767
      Loddon 1794 Mitford 1783
      Shropham 1767 Smithdon Brothercross 1777
      Taverham 1786 Tunstead 1781
      Walsham 1789 Wayland 1779
    • See the Hundred's page for a list of parishes in each.
    • The 1798 and 1799 assessments are also available at the National Archives in the Inland Revenue Series (Class IR23).
    • 1798
      • Includes some contract dates showing when land leased from.
      • A typescript copy for 1798 for most Norfolk Hundreds is available at the Norfolk Family History Society Library. These include a name index to the Hundreds which have been transcribed.

2. For the Boroughs of Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Norwich there are many records some of which start in the early 1690s. For a list see Norfolk Record Office catalogue.

Publications

Gibson Jeremy, Medlycott Mervyn and Mills Dennis
Land & Window Tax Assessments, 1690-1950
[ISBN: 1860060544, FFHS, 2nd edn. 1998]
Her Majesty's Stationery Office
England and Wales
Return of Owners of Land - Norfolk in 1873
In 2 Volumes (Norfolk in Vol.1)
(Lists owners with 1 acre or more)
[London, HMSO: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1875]
[M.M. Publications (Suffolk), Microfiche?]
[ISBN: 1845945954, Cinderford: archivecdbooks, 2000: CD-ROM]
Hunt H. G.
Short Guides to Records
First Series - Guides 1-24
No 16 - Land Tax Assessments
Edited by Lionel M. Munby
[ISBN: 0852783477, The Historical Association, 1972]
Palgrave-Moore Patrick
Norfolk Rural Extant Land Tax Assessments 1700-1702
(with combined Land Tax and Poll Tax for 1702)
Tunstead Hundred - Norfolk
[Wroxham, Elvery Dowers Publications, 2000]
Palgrave-Moore Patrick
Land Tax Assessments 1700-1703
Tunstead & Happing Hundreds - Norfolk
[Wroxham, Elvery Dowers Publications, 2000]
Palgrave-Moore Patrick
Kings Lynn Land Tax 1692/3
[Wroxham, Elvery Dowers Publications, 2000]
Turner Michael and Mills Dennis Richard
Land and Property
(The English Land Tax 1692-1832)
(includes a West Norfolk section)
[ISBN: 0862992230/0862992231, Sutton Publishing Limited, 1986]

Notes

  • If any people paid tax at twice the normal rate then they may well have been Catholics.
  • Occupiers names should appear from 1772 onwards but they have sometimes been left blank.
  • Proprietors names have sometimes been left out or replaced with occupiers names.

References

For further information about this tax and the records available see:-

  • 1. Norfolk Record Office catalogue (NORCAT) and issue a search for "land", "tax" and "format" with option "And".
  • 2. For Land Tax assessments (for parts of Outwell and Upwell which are in Cambridgeshire) go to Cambridgeshire Record Office Catalogue and issue a search for "land tax".

See also Norfolk Land and Property

These pages are for personal use only. They may not be copied, and the links within them may not be harvested for use on your own web pages. Please see the Copyright Notice.

Copyright © Mike Bristow.
February 2016