Taxation as we understand it today came into being in the 17th century.In the reign of Elizabeth I monarchs were expected to fund their household and government from the personal revenue of the crown such as the royal demesne or crown lands, tonnage and poundage (customs) and feudal dues.This was in time of peace and when war broke out the parliament granted subsidies.Monarchs found it difficult to make ends meet and in each reign lands were sold off to garner extra income. Poundage was granted to the monarch for life until 1688 when the civil list was thought of. Charles I had only been granted tonnage and poundage for one year. Ship money was a tax which the monarch could levy on maritime counties in order to defend English commercial activity on the seas, especially from the pirate states of North Africa, and also to build up the navy to defend the realm. Charles I also levied this tax on the inland counties but the taxes did go to benefit the navy.When the civil war broke out the parliament introduced taxes on all the population in order to finance the military.The most common tax was the excise which was a consumption tax which included liquor, ale ,wine and foreign luxury goods.Meat and fish were included untill 1647.In 1643 John Pym's excise ordinance taxed tobacco, cider, raisins, currants, figs, sugar,playing cards , thread and silk.An appropriate bureaucracy was set up to ensure collection and payment of taxes and collectors could resort to military assistance.Between 1644-1645 beef, mutton, veal, alum, coperas and hats were also taxed. The function of the excise was to pay for food , clothes, munitions and recruits for the military as well as giving pensions to widows of soldiers and injured soldiers.The assessment or land tax affected the counties and coercion, fines and confiscation were resorted to to force people to pay. The excise is what we know today as value added tax. it affected everyboday and was a new departure as in Tudor times the working poor were not taxed. After the restoration these taxes were continued and with them the emergence of the modern state and government as we understand it today.
sources: James Scott Wheeler. The Making of a World Power. Sutton 1999.
22 Feb 2003, 5:17 p.m. - language hat
An impost, duty, or tax of so much per pound sterling on merchandise; spec. a subsidy, usually of 12 pence in the pound, formerly granted by Parliament to the Crown, on all imports and exports except bullion and commodities paying tonnage. Now Hist.
1422 Rolls of Parlt. IV. 173/2 A subsidie of Tonage and Poundage..that is to sey of every Tunne iii s; and xii d of every Pounde. 1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. vi. (1885) 122 The kynge hath therfore
22 Feb 2003, 5:35 p.m. - language hat
A tax or duty formerly levied upon wine imported in tuns or casks, at the rate of so much for every tun. Commonly in association with poundage: see poundage sb. (By some historical writers and in some dictionaries written "tunnage" for distinction's sake, and to emphasize the connexion with tun sb.; but "tonnage" is the more usual form.)
Tonnage and poundage were first levied in the 14th c., and were granted for life to several sovereigns, beginning with Edward IV. They were abolished by 27 Geo. III c. 13, in 1787.
1422 Rolls of Parlt. IV. 173/2 A subsidie of Tonage and Poundage.., that is to sey of every Tunne iii s; and xii d of every Pounde. 1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. vi. (1885) 123 Pondage and tonnage mey not be rekenned as parcell off the revenues wich the kynge hath ffor the mayntenance off his estate, bi cause it aught to be applied only to
22 Feb 2003, 9:55 p.m. - michael f vincent
Name of the game is money and how to get it: remember London is one of the greatest trading sites: home to the East India company, home to the Levant company: home to the west africa co,( a source of slaves):
Council for Foreign Plantations ;
There was a Stock Market where big money and influence:
Lots of sucessful merchants liked getting titles for their hard work: and not paying a too hard a tax.
All of these and other organisations wanted the best represenatation for their income;
Royalty,old money, new money and lastly citizens and those who had no vote
23 Feb 2003, 3:31 a.m. - Susanna
Actually, London's first stock exchange (modeled on one in the Netherlands) would not open until 1698. So there was no stock exchange in England when Pepys was writing his diary.
23 Feb 2003, 5:01 a.m. - michael f vincent
Yes Susanna you are right, the official market was organised by royal charter.
But prior this Trading in goods was done on an informal basis in coffee shops. In 1600 East India Company was founded. Company had monopoly trading rights for much of Asia. Thomas Stevens was the first accountant for the company. This successful company had much to do with the rise of England as a mercantile power.
15 Mar 2003, 6:09 p.m. - Emilio
Huh - just stumbled across this page. Here's the link to an annotation I did on the excise under the Government > Law heading. It repeats some of what's in Helena Murphy's note above, but does include additional info on the history and nature of the excise.
12 Mar 2005, 5:54 a.m. - vicenzo
Real taxation ,
crown revenue 4th june 63: Excise of beer,ale, worth 274,950 quid a year,
and wine licences brought in another 20,000 smackers [L] see