History Tax - King Edward VI and Queens Mary and Elizabeth

History of Accounting > Tax History > KING EDWARD VI. AND QUEENS MARY AND ELIZABETH

Debt left by Henry VIII. The subsidy on sheep and wool in 1548, repealed in 1549. Grant of fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy in 1553. The subsidy is released by queen Mary. The marquis of Winchester lord treasurer. Grants to the queen in 1555 and 1557. The debt at the accession of Elizabeth. The ‘ wasting of treasure’ that had occurred. Restoration of the first-fruits and tenths to the crown. Grant of two fifteenths and tenths, and a subsidy for the war with France and the recovery of Calais. The economical policy of the queen. Grants in 1563 and 1505. Grant, in 1570, of two fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy for the expenses of suppressing the rebellion in the north. Inadequate yield of the subsidies voted in 1575. An addition made to the usual grant. Parsimony of the commons. Limited grants in 1581, 1585, and 1587. Grant for the defence of the country against the Armada of four fifteenths and tenths and two subsidies. Renewed parsimony of the commons. The lords refuse, in 1592, to assent to a less grant than three subsidies. Six fifteenths and tenths and three subsidies granted. A similar grant made in 1597. Produce of a subsidy only 80,0001. Grant for the war with Spain in 1601. Debate in the commons. Eight fifteenths and tenths and four subsidies granted. The Acts for the subsidies. The practice in assessment. The reason for the small yield.
King Henry VIII., who had commenced his reign with nearly two millions of savings accumulated by hisfather, and ‘ample revenue wherewith to embellish state,’ left, on his decease in 1547, a revenue considerably diminished by his alienations of demesne, and no small amount of debt to be paid by his successor. Hertford, now duke of Somerset and protector, was soon compelled to apply to parliament for a grant to the young king ‘for the purpose of making a mass of money to relieve and maintain the great charges of preparations made to meet any foreign power.’ The clergy granted 3s. in the pound, payable in three years; and the laity, a fantastic subsidy—from his poor servants and ‘little flock’ to their ‘little shepherd,’ as the king is termed in the subsidy Act, charged upon sheep, at the rate of 3d for every ewe, 2d. for every wether, and l^d. for every sheep kept on a common, and upon cloth at the rate of 8d. in the pound upon the value of all cloth made for sale in England, together with a subsidy on goods.1
This taxation of sheep and cloth may have been due to the strong feelings prevalent at the time against the conversion of tilled lands into pasture and the inclosure and appropriations of the common fields, which found their expression soon after this in the disastrous rebellion in Norfolk. For a large part of England had recently been converted into vast pasture farms, to the detriment of many formerly engaged in agricultural labour and in infringement of the rights of the commoners; and this was mainly due to the great profit that cometh of sheep,2 sheep being, as the author of the ‘ Book of Husbandry’wrote in 1534, ‘the most profitablest cattel that man can have.’
This curious subsidy was payable in three years; but in the next year, the charge upon sheep and cloth was cancelled, and the subsidy continued only so far as it related to goods, with an addition of Is. in the pound on goods, aliens to pay a double rate.3
1 2 & 3 Edw. VI. c. 30. 3 See 25 Hen. VIII. c. 13.
3 3 & 4 Edw. VI. c. 23.
The history of the unsuccessful government of Somerset, which ended in his fall, is summed up, from an adverse point of view, in the preamble to the next subsidy Act, which charges the late protector (who had been executed, on charges of felony, in January, 1552) with involving the king in war, wasting his treasure, involving him in much debt, embasing the coin, and having given occasion to a most terrible rebellion,1 and in fact, was a long accusation of Somerset prompted by the duke of Northumberland and his party.2
The subsidy granted consisted of a confirmation of a clerical grant of 6s. in the pound to be paid in three years, and two fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy from the temporality, to be paid in two years ;8 and the grant was made in consideration of the great debt the king was left in by his father, the loss he put himself to in reforming the coin, and ‘because his temper was found to be wholly set for the good of his subjects and not for enriching himself.’4
But Edward did not live to fulfil the promise of a beneficent reign given by his youthful ability and amiable disposition—’ ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque ultra esse siuent;’ he died before the subsidy was collected, and his sister, on her accession to the throne, released the lay subsidy by letters patent, an act which subsequently received confirmation in parliament, when the fifteenths and tenths granted to the late king were reserved to the queen.1
1 The rebellion in Norfolk against inclosures and in the West against the new service-book, led to the appointment of lords-lieutenant of counties.
3 John Dudley, earl of Warwick, had been created duke of Northumberland, the Percy title being at the time extinct, in 1552; the earl of Wiltshire, marquis of Winchester; and lord Dorset, duke of Suffolk. 3 7 Edw. VI. cc. 12, 13. * Buruet, ii. 358.
The lord treasurer, Winchester, continued to hold the office to which he had been appointed in 1551 in succession to Somerset, a post which he held until his death in 1572.2
Further subsidies were granted to the queen, in 1555, when she received 6s. in the pound to be paid in three years from the clergy,3 and a subsidy from the laity; and in 1557, when she received 8s. in the pound from the clergy to be paid in four years, and from the laity, a fifteenth and tenth and an entire subsidy of 4s. on lands and 2s. 8d. from those having goods to the amount of 51. and upwards, to be paid before June 24 then next. Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Durham were exempted from the subsidy, as liable to be ravaged by the Scots.4
When queen Elizabeth came to the throne, in 1558, the debt which had commenced four years at least before the death of her father remained unpaid; and this, with the debts left by her brother and sister, ‘ all the while running upon interest, a course able to eat up not only private men and their patrimonies, but also princes and their estates,’5 formed an incubus of debt which it took the queen, with her slender resources, fifteen years to get rid of. While the revenue had been impaired by the large alienations of demesne in the reigns of her father and brother, the loss of the Calais duties, and the repeal, on the instance of her sister, of the Act that granted the first-fruits and tenths to the crown.
1 1 Mar. sess. 2, c. 17.
2 In the 97th year of his age, leaving 103 issued from his own body. Burnet, ii. 625.
3 2 £ 3 Phil and Mar. cc. 22, 23.
4 Par. Hist. i. 029. 4 & 5 Phil, and Mar. cc. 10, 11.
5 Sir Walter Mildmay. chancellor of exchequer, on the motion for granting a subsidy in 1075. The interest on some of the loans was at 14 per cent.
Parliament at once restored the first-fruits and tenths to the crown,1 and granted ‘as a present’ to the queen, besides the usual customs subsidies for life, two fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy. ‘The realm,’ they recited in the subsidy Act, ‘and the imperial crown had been lately sore shaken, impoverished, enfeebled, and weakened; and the decay had been, besides many other things, principally in these three first: wasting of treasure,2 abandoning of strength, and in diminishing the authority of the imperial crown ;’ and they declared themselves ready to assist the queen in any preparations, not only for the recovery of Calais, but’ if need be, to recover further the old dignity and renown of this realm,3 with heart, will, strength, body, lives and goods.’4
This struck a keynote for Elizabeth’s future policy, and economy carried even to parsimony, and the maintenance of a high and independent position in Europe, more particularly as a leading protestant sovereign,
1 l Eliz. c. 4.
2 ‘The inestimable wasting and consumption of the treasure and ancient revenues of this realm of late years,’ it is termed subsequently in the Act 1 Eliz. c. 21.
3 Boulogne, Henry VIlI.’s costly conquest, had been restored to France in 1550 for 400,000 crowns—133,333/. 6s. &/.
4 1 Eliz. c. 21.
supreme head of the national church, became for her a rule of conduct from which she never swerved.
The produce of a fifteenth and tenth was at this date somewhat less than 30,000/., that of a lay subsidy when carefully collected nearly 100,000/., and that of a clerical subsidy of 4s. in the pound, about 20,000/. The total amount, therefore, granted to the queen formed by no means a large sum; and the question of Calais was judiciously postponed. Peace was concluded with France in the spring of 1559, and Calais was to remain in the hands of the French king for eight years, and was then to be restored: should the town not then be restored, France was to pay 500,000 crowns, and the queen’s claim to the crown of France was to stand.
In the fifth year of the reign, 1562, the queen received again two fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy from the laity, with 6s. in the pound from the clergy, to be paid in three years;x and in the eighth year, 1565, a single fifteenth and tenth and a subsidy, with 4*. in the pound from the clergy.2 No further grant was made until 1570, when two more fifteenths and tenths and a lay subsidy and 6s. from the clergy in three years, were granted and confirmed, towards the expenses of the suppression of the late rebellion in the north under the earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland in favour of Mary of Scotland.3
But the subsidy, levied upon an assessment notoriously inadequate, was now declining in yield. ‘It could not be unknown to any,’ said the chancellor of the exchequer, sir Walter Miklmay,1 in the house of commons in 1575, ‘how favourable was the taxation of subsidies, whereby far less cometh to her majesty’s coffers than by the law is granted, a matter now drawn to be so usual that it is hard to be reformed.’ And on that ground, the laity exceeded their previous grants by a fifteenth and tenth, granting three fifteenths and tenths in addition to a subsidy, with a clerical subsidy of 6s. in the pound payable in three years.2
1 5 Eliz. cc. 29, 30. 2 8 Eliz. cc. 17, 19. 3 la Hiz. cc. 26, 27.
Their liberality was limited to the occasion. The commons, summoned to parliament to make a grant, considered their first duty to the constituents by whom they were paid to consist in the restriction of the amount to be granted to the lowest possible sum; and on the occasion of their next grant, in 1581, relapsed to the level of their previous parsimony, and granted only two fifteenths and tenths and a subsidy, with 6s. in the pound from the clergy in three years.3
The commons continued this grudging liberality and system of stinted doles while the horizon in the direction of Spain was darkening with the clouds of the coming storm, and restricted the grants they made in 1585 and 1587 to the amount granted in 1581.4 The moderation of the queen may, indeed, have proved misleading to them, for though the trained bands were regularly exercised and a large ship was built every year as an addition to the navy, Elizabeth, even when her ministers were discussing with doubt whether, should Parma effect a landing, the trained bands and rude soldiers of England would prove a match for the Spanish soldiery, still curtailed all preparations to meet the coming attack, as she afterwards starved her sailors, in her persistent refusal to press for subsidies and thus endanger her popularity. The queen knew that’ to tax and to be loved is not given to man,’ and she retained her popularity. But her action was misleading; and it is not surprising that the people, who are never sensible of remote dangers and who had experience of the use of rumours of war for the mere purpose of accumulation of treasure, should have continued reluctant, because not strongly pressed, to contribute a great deal out of their yearly income towards preventing such dangers.
1 Since 1506. 2 18 1 liz. cc. 22, 23. 3 23 Eliz. cc. 14, 15. 4 27 Eliz. cf. 28, 29. 29 Eliz. cc. 7, 8.
But when the ‘Invincible Armada’ had arrived, and Elizabeth, who ‘had always so behaved herself that, under God, she had placed her chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of her subjects,’l had to bring her popularity to a crucial test, the result was unequivocal. The requirements of the ship writs issued for the equipment of the navy were vastly exceeded, and the graziers and traders were ready, with the rest of the nation, to assist the queenwith ‘heart, will, strength, body, lives and goods,’ as offered thirty years before by their fathers.2 The grant of the commons overtopped all former subsidies, and four fifteenths and tenths and two subsidies were granted at the same time, with two subsidies of 65. in the pound from the clergy to be paid yearly by 2s. in the pound,3 that is to say, in all, 120,000/. from fifteenths and tenths, 160,000/., or more, from the subsidies, and 60,000/. from the clerical subsidy, forming a total of over 340,000/.
1 Speech at the muster at Tilbury. 2 Ante, p. 187.
3 31 Eliz. cc. 14, 15.
When the peril was past, the commons again buttoned up their pockets. In vain was it represented to them, in 1592, that since the last subsidy the queen had spent upon the war 1,030,000/. of her own, and that Philip, having established himself in Brittany, had been able from this point of vantage to interfere with our wine trade to Eochelle and Gascony after the late vintage. In vain did Kobert Cecil insist upon the smallness of the produce of the grants to the queen. ‘The late subsidies,’ he stated, ‘had been very small. They were imposed for the most part upon the meaner part of her majesty’s subjects. He knew one shire wherein there were many men of good living and countenance, but none of them in the last subsidies were assessed at above 80/. lands per annum; while in the city of London, where the greatest part of the riches of the realm were, there was no one assessed at above 2001. goods, and only five or six were assessed at that amount.’ The commons, deaf to the appeal, proposed only a grant of fifteenths and tenths with two subsidies. This degrading illiberality provoked the lords ‘positively to refuse to give in anywise their assent to pass any Act in their house for less than three entire subsidies, to be paid in the next three years by halfyearly payments at Easter and Michaelmas;’1 and in the event, three entire subsidies were granted, together with six fifteenths and tenths, but with a careful proviso that the grant should not be drawn into a precedent for future years. At the same time two clerical subsidies of 4s. in two years were confirmed.1
1 Par. Hist, i. 881.
After the destruction of the Armada, the gloom of uncertainty which had hindered business of every sort in England cleared off, the value of land and rents rose, and trade increased throughout the kingdom. Such was the prosperity of the time that, notwithstanding the careful proviso to the grant of 1592, the same number of fifteenths and tenths and subsidies were granted to the queen in 1597, when no particular danger was imminent, with three clerical subsidies of 4s. to be paid in three years.2
The last of these lay subsidies produced only 80,000/., a sum ludicrous as the yield of 4s. in the pound on land and 2s. 8d. in the pound on goods, in the prosperous state of the kingdom; and therefore when in 1601, after the Spaniards had landed in Ireland and fortified Kinsale, a debate occurred in the house of commons regarding the grant of a subsidy, one member moved for a revision of the assessment— ‘that that which was done might be completely done, and the subsidy gathered by commission and not by the old roll;’ another, ‘that the council should order that justices of the peace, few of whom were assessed at above 61. or 10/., should be assessed at 20/. in lands,’ the statutory qualification necessary for a justice at that date; while sir Walter Ealeigh protested against the notorious under-assessment of persons of wellknown fortune : ‘ Our estates,’ he said, ‘ that be 30/. or
1 35 Eliz. cc. 12,13. 2 39 Eliz. cc. 20, 27.
40/. in the queen’s books are not the hundredth part of our wealth.’l Even at the other end of the scale of he subsidy men, those assessed at 3/. were so lightly taxed that the House refused to raise the limit of exemption. And when the poverty of the country was advanced as an argument for a light subsidy, Fulk Greville observed—’ We have no reason to think it poor, our sumptuousness in apparel, in plate, and in all things argueth our riches.’
In the event, eight fifteenths and tenths and four entire subsidies were granted, with four clerical subsidies of 4s. in the pound.2 Allowing 30,000/. as the produce of a fifteenth and tenth, and 80,000/. for a subsidy, this would be 240,000/. + 320,000/.; in all, 560,000/. from the laity, and adding 20,000/. for every clerical subsidy, or 80,000/., the whole grant would amount to 640,000/.
These were the last subsidies granted to queen Elizabeth ; who died in 1603, when she had ‘ completed the forty-fourth year of her reign, and yet had not outlived her good fortune.’3
The Acts For The Tudor Subsidies contained lengthy and elaborate regulations for the assessment and collection of the tax.
The taxpayers were divided into two classes: 1, landowners, who were charged in respect of their in come from land, ‘ in terris ;’ and 2, persons charged in respect of their moveables, ‘in bonis,’ which included crops from laud. Sometimes a light poll tax was added for persons not charged ‘ in terris’ or ‘in bonis.’ As a rule aliens paid double tax.
1 Par. Hist. i. 920. 3 43 Eliz. cc. 17, 18.
3 ‘ In feliccm niemorinni Kliz.’—Bacon.
VOL I. 0
A full or entire subsidy was 4s. in the pound for those charged ‘in terris,’ and 2s. 8d., eight groats, for those charged ‘in bonis;’ and sometimes the subsidy was collected in parts, as, for instance, 2s. 8d. for a first, and Is. 4d. for a second payment for land; and Is. 8d. for a first, and Is. for a second payment for goods.
The charge for landowners was as follows:— For every person for every pound yearly that he had of freehold—in fee simple, tail, or for life—in any honors, castles, manors, lands, tenements, rents, services, hereditaments, annuities, fees, corodies, or other yearly profits from land, according to the clear yearly value thereof. And this class was kept separate and distinct from the next, those charged ‘in bonis,’ by a special provision to the effect that persons charged in respect of profit from land were not to be charged in respect of their moveables, and vice versa: ‘none were to be doubly charged.’
The charge for persons in respect of their moveables was as follows:—For every person and every fraternity, guild, corporation, mystery, brotherhood, or commonalty, in respect of every pound of money, plate, stock of merchandise, all manner of corn and grain, household stuff, and all other goods moveable, and all sums of money owing to them, allowing a deduction for bona fide debts and an exemption for the apparel of the person charged, his wife and children, but not to include jewels, gold, silver, stone, and pearl.
As before stated, aliens resident in the kingdom were charged double the amount charged for natives, ‘persons born under the king’s obeysaunce.’
An exemption was allowed for persons having less than 31. in value, at which figure the charge commenced. And sometimes a lower rate was charged between the minimum taxed and another stated sum, at which the full tax came into play.
The inhabitants of the northern counties, Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, the towns of Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. and the bishopric of Durham were exempted, as liable to be ravaged by the invasions of the Scotch; and there were exemptions in favour of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the lands of schools and hospitals.
The appointment of Commissioners for the management of the tax was iu the hands of the lord chancellor, the lord treasurer, and other great officers of the crown, or any two of them, the lord chancellor being one. They were to be persons of the highest respectability and integrity,’ of the most sadd and discrete persons.’
Their course of proceeding was mapped out for them as follows: They were to divide themselves into sets of District Commissioners for the various hundreds or wards within the limits of their commission, and issue their precepts to the constables and other inhabitants to attend and be examined. The Assessors were to be appointed by, and return the certificates of their assessments to, them; and persons dissatisfied with the assessments were allowed an appeal to the commissioners^
The Collectors were also appointed by the commissioners, and their names were returned to the High Collector, an officer to be appointed in every shire and division by the commissioners; to whom the sub-collectors were accountable, and who, in his turn, was accountable to the exchequer. And the high collectors were required to give security to the commissioners to answer for the money received by them.
One duplicate of the schedule of assessment was to be given to the high collector; and the other was to be returned into the exchequer to be a charge upon the collector’s receipt.
The collection was made by the sub-collectors in conformity with assessments delivered to them, and precepts from the commissioners, which gave them power to distrain the lands and goods of the persons assessed.
A more elaborate and comprehensive system for the taxation of property as it existed in the sixteenth century could not have been devised. Whence then was it that the yield of the subsidies proved to be so far below the produce that might reasonably have been expected? An answer is easily supplied by reference to the difference between a subsidy in theory and a subsidy in practice. Nominally a rate of 4s. in the pound on lands, and 2s. 8d. the pound on goods, it slipped into the same kind of groove as that of the ‘fifteenth and tenth,’ and became, in practice, a grant of a sum of money of about the same amount as the yield of the last preceding subsidy. There was practically no re-assessment of the kingdom. A subsidy in the later year? of Elizabeth meant, effectively, a sum of about 80,000/. to be levied after the manner of former subsidies, just as a fifteenth and tenth meant a sum of about 30,000/. to be levied in the accustomed manner. The various counties and towns, and within them the various divisions and hundreds and wards, paid, as near as might be. the amount previously paid for a subsidy, and any readjustment—for it can hardly be termed re-assessment—that took place was limited to a rectification of the rolls of the subsidy men in the particular districts, with a view to produce the usual amount in every particular district, and no more; for great would have been the outcry of the subsidy men had their district been raised in value, while the neighbouring districts remained on the level of the old assessment.
In the towns various customs in assessment probably prevailed. In the counties the commissioners for the subsidy were, as a rule, nominated by the county members, and were usually justices of the peace, or country gentlemen of good position. They met, divided themselves into committees for the different districts, sent for the constables of the hundreds and the last subsidy roll, and upon evidence produced to them, or their own knowledge of the circumstances, made such alterations as seemed necessary in consequence of deaths or the sale of estates; and sometimes they would strike out, on the ground of diminution of estate, a name from the list of the ‘subsidy men,’ and place it in a subsidiary list of ‘bearers,’ a class below the property qualification of subsidy men, but yet of sufficient ability to bear some portion of the burden of taxation with the lowest class of subsidy men. In assessing the various townships they followed customs which had become established. Some townships were, by custom, assessed wholly in terns, at the 4*. rate; some wholly in bonis, at the 2s. 8d. rate; and from the diary of a subsidy man of the period we learn the following interesting particulars:—Elmswell, a towiiship in Yorkshire in which he resided, had always been rated at 10/. in bonis for a subsidy. There were usually three subsidy men—the lord of the manor being one, and the tenant of a farm of his another. If the lord of the manor was assessed at only 4/. in bonis towards the 10/., he by the custom had to pay in that assessment without any bearer, because it was for his demesne. But if he was assessed at 11., that is to say, 4/. for his demesne and S1. for his farm as without a tenant at the time, then he was to have half the bearers in the township, and as much borne of his 3/. as the other subsidy man had of his 3/.1
The extent to which taxation in bonis, for moveables, at the Is. 8d. rate, was carried, as opposed to taxation in terris, for land and rent, at the 4s. rate, may be gathered from an assessment of the county of Gloucester. The whole charge for the county is 11,629/. 16s. 8d.; of which b,251/. 10s. is charged on goods, and only 3,378/. 6s. 8d. on lands. The county, though rich in landowners by recent purchase, derived^from the ranks of the prosperous merchants of Bristol, shows a subsidy roll with only 79 names of persons charged 10/. or more. One only is rated at 50/.—sir Henry Pool, of Saperton, who was at the time ‘eminent for his great housekeeping ;’ five are rated at 4(K, and four at S0/.1 It would be difficult to understand how the commissioners could have the effrontery to sign the roll, did we not bear in mind that the commissioner was himself assessed as ‘a justice of the peace’—such was the arbitrary mode of valuation—at 61. or 10/., while the statutory qualification for the post was 20/., and his fortune probably five times that amount at the least. He would, therefore, not improbably consider himself justified in applying to others a similar standard of measurement. Large allowances were made for outgoings, for large families, and for the expenses of position; and in the result estates of 301. or 40/. in the queen’s subsidy books were, as sir Walter Ealeigh stated in the house of commons, not the hundredth part of the wealth of some of the persons assessed.2
1 For instance: ‘Henry Best his rate for the subsidy of 71. in bonis, for which two subsidyes commeth, att 2s. 8d. per pound to 37s. 4d.; whereof hee himselfe is to pay 31s. 4rf. and Edward Lynsley, his bearer, 6s. William Whitehead 3/. in bonis commeth to 16s., whearof William Pindar, a bearer with him, payeth 3s. 4rf., and Richard Parrott, another bearer with him, 2s. 8d.; soe that hisowne part commeth but to 10s. just.”
Best’s Farming Book (Surtees Society Pub. vol. xxxiii.), p. 87. Obs. the
lord of the manor, being a subsidy man charged in bonis, paid nothing in respect of the rent derived from the farm, rents being charged with land.
Thus it was that after the defeat of the Armada, in the last fifteen years of the reign of the queen, while rents rose, and internal industry, lately strongly reinforced by the immigration of refugees from the religious persecutions in the Netherlands, progressed in development day by day; while commerce, represented at the Royal Exchange—originally Gresham’s Bourse — vas increasing in every direction; while expense in dress and expanse in building—those unfailing criteria of wealth in the upper classes—were conspicuous, the one in those magnificent costumes where, as we see in portraits to this day, the courtier was rightly said to carry sometimes ‘the value of a manor ‘ on his back; the other in ‘all that great bravery of building that set in in the times of Elizabeth,’ of which so many examples still exist in our Elizabethan halls and manor-houses; and while the increase in drinking— that unfailing criterion, alas! of increase in means in the lower classes in England, carried your English in potency of potting above even ‘your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander’—briefly, while agriculture, internal industry, and trade and commerce all combined in advance, and everything else evidenced an increase of riches, the ad valorem rate on property declined in yield. In these last fifteen years of the reign—’ the spacious times of great Elizabeth ‘—all else expanded save the total of the queen’s subsidy roll. In short, such a travestie of taxation took place, such a burlesque of assessment was represented in the proceedings of the commissioners for the subsidies, that in reading Bacon’s observations upon taxes, while we acknowledge their correctness, they appear to have a force and felicity beyond, perhaps, the intention of the author, when he says :—’ He that shall look into other countries, and consider the taxes, and tallages, and impositions, and assizes, and the like, that are everywhere in use, will find that the Englishman is most master of his own valuation and the least bitten in purse of any nation in Europe.’
1 Atkyns’ Gloucestershire, pp. 12, 335. The list is for the subsidies, S Jac. 1. 2 Ante, p. 192.

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