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.

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


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
        Headings in
        Original Headings in Tables
        ANames of proprietorsNames of proprietors [written alphabetically]
        BNames of OccupiersNames of Occupiers
        Value £ Rent
        Sums assessed & exonerated
        Rental Valuation £
        Sums assessed & exonerated
        Assessed amount £.s.d
        ENot Exon
        Value £ Rent
        Sums assessed & not exonerated
        Rental Valuation £
        FNot Exon
        Sums assessed & not exonerated
        Assessed amount £.s.d
        GEstateSums assessed of PERSONAL ESTATES STOCK
        HOFFSums assessed of OFFICES ANNUAL AMOUNT
        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:-
      North Erpingham1780South Erpingham1767
      Eynsford1801East Flegg1781
      West Flegg1782Forehoe1767
      Freebridge Lynn1767Freebridge Marshland1782
      Gallow1786North Greenhoe1782
      South Greenhoe1778Grimshoe1782
      Shropham1767Smithdon Brothercross1777
    • 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.


Gibson Jeremy, Medlycott Mervyn and Mills Dennis
Land & Window Tax Assessments, 1690-1950
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?]
Hunt H. G.
Short Guides to Records
First Series - Guides 1-24
No 16 - Land Tax Assessments
Edited by Lionel M. Munby
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)


  • 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.


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

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
February 2016