[ Income Tax in Victorian Kent ] Minute, Assessment and Appeal books for the North Division of the Lathe of Aylesford, 1829-1888.

Income Tax in Victorian Kent:
Publication details: 
SKU: 18810

The four volumes in this collection, spanning almost sixty years, are filled with a mass of information relating to the day-to-day business of tax assessment and collection in one of the home counties during Queen Victoria's reign. An unusual survival, they are of interest in the fields of economics and local history.All four items complete and clearly legible, on aged and lightly-discoloured paper, in heavily worn bindings (Item One in vellum and Item Two in calf), with two of the four lacking their spines. Items One and Two have titles in manuscript on the front board, and Item Four has its title in gilt on the spine.ITEM ONE. Assessed Tax Minute Book. Folio, circa 240 pp. The entries are for meetings at a variety of locations (from the Clerk's Office and Rochester Guildhall to 'the Office of Mr. Edward Twopeny [later 'Essell, Haywood & Essell'] at Rochester') dating between 9 March 1829 and 12 May 1868, with each entry signed by the commissioners present. The meetings are, as a typical entry states, 'for putting in execution the several Acts of Parliament relating to and for granting to Her Majesty the several Rates and Duties under the management of the Commissioners for the Affairs of Taxes called the Assessed Taxes acting in and for the North Division of the Lath [sic] of Aylesford'. Most entries list individuals who are to be 'summoned to appear at the next Meeting to take upon them the Oaths and Office of Assessors'. Two assessors are usually named per parish, in lists of around twenty-eight parishes from Allhallows to Strood. Other entries record the swearing in of assessors, the bringing in of their books of assessments, and the issuing of warrants to those nominated by them to be appointed collectors of taxes, as well as the summonsing of non-attenders. Occasional revealing entries, for example, on 12 May 1868: 'The Schedule of Defaulters for the Parishes of Gravesend & Milton was inspected by the Commissioners and the Clerk was instructed to write to the Collectors stating that the commissioners felt they had not used due diligence in Collecting the Taxes & that they must clear the collection by the 8th. June'.ITEM TWO. Income Tax Minute Book, 1855 to 1869. Folio, circa 320 pp. Signed minutes, dated between 4 August 1855 and 30 November 1869. Similar in format to Item One, but with the purpose of the meetings now given as 'for General Purposes acting under and by virtue of the several Acts of Parliament for granting and continuing to Her Majesty Duties or Profits arising from Property, Proffessions, Trades and Offices'. Problems with specific commissioners are occasionally described, with 'John Roberts Collector of Taxes for the Parish of Chatham' appearing before the commissioners on 21 September 1859 'to show cause why he should not be fined for neglect of duty in disobeying the orders of the Commissioners'. The entry for 15 July 1861 records 'The lists for supplying vacancies being exhausted and there being two vacancies amongst the Commissioners for general purposes in this district caused by the respective decease of the Reverend George Davies and Charles Rather Esqure Resolved that William Francis Dobson Esqre and James Edman Beveridge Esquire (being persons qualified and willing to act as Commissioners for general purposes for the said district) be and they are hereby appointed'.ITEM THREE. Income Tax Appeal Book, 1863/4 to 1872/3. Signed records of appeals heard (mainly at the Guildhall, Rochester) between 3 November 1863 and 13 May 1873. For description see next.ITEM FOUR. Income Tax Appeal Book, 1873/4 to 1887/8. Signed records of appeals heard (mainly at the Guildhall, Rochester) between 12 November 1873 and 8 June 1888. Inscription of 'Wm. Webb Hayward | Clerk to Commissioners of Taxes | Rochester' on reverse of front free endpaper. Sir William Webb Hayward (1818-1899) was twice Lord Mayor of Rochester. He was Clerk of the Peace for East Kent, 1851-1896.Items Three and Four give the results of tax appeals heard mainly at the Guildhall, Rochester, and the Town Hall, Gravesend (also at the County Court House, and Corn Exchange, Rochester). Each volume is a landscape octavo. Both begin with a substantial thumb index giving an alphabetical list of appealers. In Item Three the 396 numbered pages of the volume are preceded by an index of around 90pp. In Item Four the index ends on p.93, with the records of the appeals running from p. 103 to the end. Each page carries five printed columns, with headings Parishes, Na[mes], Sch[edule], No. [Number], Result. The volumes lists the names, parish and schedule numbers of appealers, together with the result of the appeal. As many as 57 cases could be heard at one sitting, with the amount owed in tax usually abated by between a fifth and a third. Reasons for the abatement are only very occasionally given, with brief phrases such as 'business given up & dischd' and 'exempted by Surveyor'.