Sign in / register

Who paid 18th century window tax?

ScotlandsPlaces is pleased to launch the 218 volumes of surviving 18th century historical window tax rolls.

Taxes helped pay for wars, and from the 1740s until 1815 Britain was frequently at war in Europe and beyond.  The surviving tax rolls in the National Records of Scotland provide a precious snapshot of Scottish society at this period – a time of economic development and the cultural achievements of the Enlightenment.

In 1747 the window tax came to Scotland. It had been in force in England and Wales since 1696, and was not abolished until 1851. It raised a few pence per window on a sliding scale, beginning with houses with 10 or more windows. Later all houses with 7 or more windows were liable for tax.

New taxes were introduced from the 1770s onwards as a result of the conflicts that followed the American and French Revolutions. These taxes aimed to raise revenue from some
of the comforts enjoyed by the propertied classes, but duties also began to fall on people further down the social scale, such as tenant farmers and carters.

We have now also launched four more Ordnance Survey Name Books including:

Roxburghshire, 1858-1860,
Ross and Cromarty, 1848-1852,
Lanarkshire, 1858-1861, and,
Argyll, 1868-1878

The remaining tax rolls and OS Name Books will be added to the site in the coming months.

Date: 
Tuesday, July 16, 2013