Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Leaflet Guides to Records:


LAND TAX ASSESSMENTS FOR THE CITY OF LONDON AT GUILDHALL LIBRARY


Guildhall Library holds land tax assessments for all the wards of the City of London for 1692-4 and from 1703 to 1930.

 

INFORMATION RECORDED IN THE ASSESSMENTS

The only information recorded consistently for each ward is:

In addition the following details may or may not be included:

PROBLEMS IN THE USE OF ASSESSMENTS

The main difficulties stem from the inconsistent way in which the assessments were compiled.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND

The first assessments of 1692-3 were made under the terms of "An Act for granting to their Majesties an aid of four shillings in the pound for one year for carrying on a vigorous war against France" [4W. & M.c.1,1692/3]. The Act specified that real estate and personal property, that is buildings & moveable goods as well as land, were to be taxed. It nominated for each borough and county in England and Wales the local commissioners who were to supervise the assessments & local collection. The tax was voted annually, usually in the spring, until 1798 when it was transformed into a permanent tax but was redeemable on payment of a lump sum. It was levied on a number of different bases : as a pound rate between 1693 & 1696, as a 4 shillings assessment supplemented by a poll tax in 1697 and from 1698-1798 on the system whereby each county or borough was given a fixed sum to collect. In 1949 redemption became compulsory on property changing hands and in 1963 all unredeemed land tax was abolished.


HOW TO CONSULT THE ASSESSMENTS

The assessments have been bound alphabetically by ward, and for each ward they are grouped by parish, precinct or liberty. Within this grouping they are arranged chronologically. An index to streets and wards is available at the enquiry desk but Guildhall Library has no comprehensive map of ward precincts.

The catalogue description of the land tax assessments (Guildhall Library Ms 11316) is available at the enquiry desk and in the land tax folder in the microfilm area. It should be noted that between 1703 and 1838 each year's assessments occupy three volumes.

Ms 11316 volumes 1 to 398, covering 1692-1831, must be consulted on microfilm; volumes 399 to 522, covering 1832 to 1930, should be ordered in the original from the Manuscripts enquiry desk. N.B. Volumes 491-522, covering 1901 to 1930, are stored in a separate building and those wishing to consult them must give at least 24 hours notice.


Last updated April 2002

Leaflet Guides to Records

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section