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Land Tax Assessment

Hanlith - 1798

Land Tax was introduced in 1692, in the reign of William III and Mary, as yet another means of raising revenue and wasn't finally abolished until 1963. Administered at the local level, it was based on a tax quota for each parish, shared amongst the landowners.

The sums assessed are the actual amounts of tax charged, so by comparing the assessments you can get an idea of the size and value of the property. Between 1772 and 1909 the rate remained at 4s. in the £, but from 1798 properties valued at under 20s. per year were officially exempted from paying land tax.

Because the tax was levied locally, the surviving records are usually to be found in the local record office, normally in the Quarter Sessions records, but the survival rate of these tax lists varies greatly from year to year and place to place.

The annual Land Tax Assessments list the names of the Occupiers and the names of the Proprietors (owners of land) in each parish (or Township in the case of Malhamdale), many of the latter, for example Lord Ribblesdale, lived elsewhere. Occupiers may hold land in more than one parish or township, so did not always live where they are listed in the Land Tax Assessments. In Malhamdale farms often straddled several townships, as they do today.

After 1798 the tax could be redeemed or exonerated with a lump sum payment equivalent to 15 years’ annual tax. Exonerated properties and their owners were still listed because of the need to record voting rights (from 1780, payment of land tax on freehold property worth £2 or more a year qualified a man to vote). Duplicates of the land tax assessments were deposited annually with the clerk of the peace for electoral purposes. From 1832 onwards, Land Tax Assessments contain incomplete lists of owners and occupiers, as those redeeming the land tax with a lump sum no longer had to be included on the lists after the 1832 Reform Act changed the qualification for voting rights and seperate Electoral Registers of qualified electors were compiled.

The assessors and collectors were usually parish officers, such as the Overseers of the Poor, who would already be collecting the Poor Rates for the area.

West Riding of Yorkshire - Township of Hanlith
An Assessment made in Pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed
in the 38th Year of His Majesty's Reign, for granting an Aid to His Majesty
by a Land Tax to be raised in Great Britain, for the Service of the Year 1798

Land Tax Assessment 1798

Names of Proprietors
Names of Occupiers
Sums Assessed
Date of Contract
Mr. G. Lloyd John Brown 6  
W.R.L. Serjeantson Esquire Samuel Preston 1 19 11     
Roger Preston 1 19 5    22 Jun 1799
John Hind 17 8     
Benjamin Haywood Esquire William Preston 1 2     
Reverend W. Roundell Matthew Procter 2 9 0    23 Mar 1799
John Hind himself 1 7 0    18 Mar 1799
John Litton William Hill 11 11    19 Mar 1799
James Constantine Robert Preston 4 0    20 Dec 1799
William Parker Richard Preston 7 4    18 Mar 1799
Christopher Lawson John Wellock 7 0     
Edmund Knightson George Wellock 7 10     
Mr. J. Anson John Heaton 7 8     
Mr. J. Rimington himself 4 0    23 Mar 1799
John Heaton himself 1 2     
William Hall himself   2     
Reverend W. Roundell Richard Hardacre 1 0    23 Mar 1799
Lord G.H. Cavendish Tithes Robert Procter 11 3     
  Total £12    3s    6d     

Transcribed by Diana Mallinson

Finding Further Land Tax Assessments for Malhamdale 1781 - 1832

You can find the Land Tax Duplicate asssessments in the West Riding Quarter Sessions records held at the West Yorkshire Archives Service External Website logo in Wakefield, listed in class QE13.

Assessments for Malham Moor; Malham (East & West); Kirkby Malham(dale); Hanlith; Scosthrop; and Airton, all situated in the Wapentake of Staincliffe West and Ewcross and are listed under class QE13/13 and the following years are available:

Malham Moor QE13/13/34 1781, 1783-1786, 1788-1815, 1817-1832
Malham (East & West) QE13/13/32 1781-1786, 1788-1815, 1817-1832
Kirkby Malham(dale) QE13/13/27 1781-1786, 1788-1815, 1817-1832
Hanlith QE13/13/20 1781-1786, 1788-1815, 1817-1832
Scosthrop QE13/13/47 1781-1786, 1788-1815, 1817-1832
Airton QE13/13/1 1781-1786, 1788-1800, 1802-1812, 1814-1815, 1817-1832
Otterburn QE13/13/42 1781-1786, 1788-1812, 1814-1815, 1817-1832

Assessments for the townships of Bordley; Calton; Eshton; Flasby with Winterburn; and Coniston Cold listed in the Wapentake of Staincliffe, East under class QE13/12. Returns for the period 1760, 1781- 1832 are available, with the exception of the years 1787, 1807, 1816 which have not survived for the east division of Staincliffe.

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