History Tax The Danegeld

History of Accounting > Tax History > History Taxes, The Danegeld

The danegeld, revived by the Conqueror, afterwards becomes annual. Is included in the ferm of the county. Disappears after 1163.
The danegeld, or land tax on the hyde, was revived by the Conqueror in 1084, in consequence of an apprehended attack by Sweyn, king of Denmark; and on this occasion, in lieu of 2s. on the hyde, which had been the rate previously, 65. was demanded :—’ The king, after midwinter, 1083, ordered a large and heavy contribution over all England—that is to say, for every hyde of land two and seventy pence.’l
This ‘mycel gyld’ was felt to be peculiarly severe, coming as it did in the year after the year of the great famine or ‘mycel hungor.’ Henceforth the danegeld, at a higher or a lower rate, according to circumstances, was continued, under the kings of the Norman line, as a regular impost, and in the time of Stephen had become annual, at the rate of 2s. the hyde.2 Stephen vowed to God that he would repeal the tax, but ‘ kept this no better than other vows he made and broke.’3
1 Ohron. Sax. A.d. 1083. Hoveden, i. 139.
2 Madox, p. 478. * Iloveden, i. 190.
The tax was farmed by the sheriff of the county, and was returned by him into the exchequer as settled revenue in the same form as the yearly ferm of the county; but after the second year of Henry II. ceased to be accounted for in the Great llolls in that manner; and though there are some traces of its existence for one or two years subsequently,1 disappears from the Rolls as a separate item after 1163.
1 Madox, pp. 478-9.

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