Hearth Tax Returns

Hearth Tax Returns for Henham and Pledgdon

Hearth Tax fragment Fragment of a hearth Tax certificate dated 9 December 1600 and found in St. Julien’s House, Wood End Green in 1907.The Hearth Tax of 1662 was enacted 13-14 Charles II. c. 10. The tax required that each owner or occupier of any house, lodging or chamber was obliged by 31 May 1662 to deliver an account in writing to the constable(s) (or headborough(s) or tythingman/men) of all hearths and stoves within the house. The constable was then to immediately enter the house (during the daytime) to verify the return. Where there was no occupier, a written notice was fixed to the door by the constable who was to enter the property within six days to make his own assessment. Consequently the tax included occupied and unoccupied buildings.The constable was then to deliver all the papers – the returns from the households, his amendments and his own surveys – together with a list of the names of all persons refusing to give an account, at the next quarter sessions following 31 May 1662 to the justices of the peaceThe justices were next required to cause the returns to be enrolled by the clerk of the peace for the county (or riding or division), and the clerk additionally to make a transcript on parchment, to be delivered into the Exchequer within a month from the receipt of the returns from the constables. So there are few areas of England for which the full 1662 hearth tax returns do not survive, either in the National Archives or in the county record offices. The first payment was due 29 September 1662.No person who was exempt from church or poor rates by reason of poverty was required to pay the hearth tax. Additionally, the parish poor law was used to identify further households inadequate to pay the hearth tax. If the churchwardens and overseers of the poor, together with the minister of the parish (or any two of them, the minister being one) certified in writing to the two nearest justices of the peace that the house was not worth more than 20s a year upon the full improved rent, and that neither the householder nor anyone using the property had, used or occupied any lands worth 20s a year, nor had any land, goods or chattels worth £10 or more, that house was to be exempt from the hearth tax, and the householder was not to be listed in the return made by the constable.So, apart from this last provision, which was at first rarely invoked but became commonplace later, the hearth tax returns should, in theory, give a complete list of householders, including those unable to pay the tax, in the summer of 1662. This is a key moment for those genealogists who have been relying mainly on baptisms, marriages and deaths from the parish registers to reconstruct their family trees, because most parish registers were disrupted – or are even completely lacking – from about 1640 to 1660, the Civil War and Commonwealth periods.The Hearth Tax was levied between 1662 and 1689. The rate was two shillings (10p in today’s money) per annum for each hearth in a building. The record for 1662 has been transcribed and is much easier to read than the photocopy of the 1671 original. Copies of both are at the county archive in Chelmsford.
1662 Hearth Tax for Henham (total 144) 

* means ‘ inserted’ after the Return was completed 1662 Hearth Tax for Pledgdon Hamlet in Henham (total 47)1667/1668 Hearth Tax for Henham
(Essex CC archive ref SEAX Q/RTh 3)

householder forename no. of hearths householder forename no. of hearths
ABBOTT Robtus 03 MEAD Nichus 03
ARCHERS Simon 07 (MEAD) idem Nichus 01
BRAND Johes 02 MONCK Josias 01
*BRAND Lewis 01 MORE Willus, sen 03
BROWNE Georgius 02 MORE Willus, jun 04
BUSH Nichus 04 MORRIS Thomas 05
BUSH Willus 01 MUNCK Thomas 04
CLARK Johes 03 MUNCK Thomas 01
CORKER vid 01 OAKLY Edrus 02
CORNELL Johes 08 PERRIN vid 05
COULT Jacobus 03 PERRIN Georgius 02
DAVYE Willus 03 PERRIN Thomas 01
ELY Samuel, clerk 05 PRESTLAND Lewis 01
* GUN Willus 02 SALMON Robtus 03
GUYVER Johes 05 SMYTH Johes 04
HALL Robtus 03 STANES Johes 03
HAMOND Daniel 01 STANES Ricus 03
HAYWARD Simon 03 STUBBIN Johes 03
HEADLAND Willus 02 * WOOD Henry 02
HELLUM Jacobus 06 WOOD Johes 03
HILLS Anna,vid 01 WOOD Ricus 02
HUMFREY Thomas 03 * WRIGHT Johes, sen 02
JOSSLYN Henry 05 WRIGHT Willus, sen 04
LINSELL Willus 03 WRIGHT Willus, jun 06

1662 Hearth Tax for Pledgdon Hamlet in Henham (total 47)

householder forename no. of hearths householder forename no. of hearths
BALTROPE Daniel 01 MUNSHOWE Thomas 01
BALTROPE Johes 01 ROBSON Johes 01
BLAKES Nathaniel 06 ROBSON Thomas 01
BRAY Alexander 03 STANES Henry 03
CRABB Tuor 01 THOMPSON Lucas 01
DENNIS Johes 01 TURNER Mattheus 01
GULL Johannes 01 WAKEFIELD Johes 01
HALLS Clemens 06 WAYLETT Thomas 01
MICHELL Johes 11 WOLLEY Mattheus, gen 06
Hearth Tax lower part Hearth Tax Upper part
Upper and Lower Hearth Tax Return for 1673
1673 Hearth Tax Uttlesford hundred: Henham. 34 names; 35 hearths. National Archives reference number: E 179/328/717. Manuscript. 2 folios in book form. Particulars of Account and other records relating to Lay and Clerical Taxation.

1673 Hearth Tax Uttlesford hundred: Henham. 42 names; 44 hearths. National Archives reference number: E 179/328/716. Particulars of Account and other records relating to Lay and Clerical Taxation.