The name of this section – ‘Personal Taxation’ – is perhaps a bit misleading, as it intended to provide an entry into records where people’s names may be found, though the ‘taxes’ or dues they have to pay may be due to the property they happen to own, for example. People have been taxed since the dawn of civilisation, whether it be in kind, service or latterly in coin. Religious institutions, land owners and local and national government all collected (or tried to collect) their dues for their varying expenses and projects.
Records of named tax-payers go back for hundreds of years though survival is variable. Of course, most named individuals are men as the owners of taxable property. The public records are rich in these people lists and the National Archives has issued Lay Taxes in England and Wales 1188-1688. This explains the scope of the different national taxes, which is necessary to understand why some people don’t appear in a given list of taxpayers.
A number of records of Herefordshire tax-payers have been published but cannot be reproduced because of copyright restrictions. A select bibliography is in preparation.
This section has been divided into sub-sections for the records which vary from hearth taxes through manorial rentals to penalties for removing timber from waste land.
It’s useful to tabulate the organisations who may claim dues from an individual living in Herefordshire and a list is in preparation.
More categories will be added as records are added. In particular, some information about previously very important divisions of the county – HUNDREDS – can be found here. A more detailed map of the hundreds can be seen here - sorry, Club members only.This is particularly relevant to the personal name indexing method used in publications of transcriptions by Michael Faraday. It is explained further under sub-section Hearth Taxes.