East Sussex Window and House Tax Assessments 1747 by Roger Davey. Published by Sussex Record Society in 2006


(The Surviving Assessments for 46 parishes)
Edited by Roger Davey
from documents in the East Sussex Record Office.
The text of the transcription is reproduced here by the
Sussex Record Society, 2006


The East Sussex Window and House Tax assessments for 1747 transcribed here were probably preserved for precedent purposes, since there was a new Act of Parliament in that year. No coherent series has otherwise been preserved, though isolated returns survive in the East Sussex Record Office for a few parishes in other years. Those transcribed here are for some 46 parishes in the east and north of the county, as described below.

For a useful brief account of the taxes and their coverage, see Mervyn Medlycott's 'Window and Other Assessed Taxes', pp. 13 and 14 in Land and Window Tax Assessments, by Jeremy Gibson, Mervyn Medlycott and Dennis Mills (Federation of Family History Societies, 1993).

Please note: All houses except those of the poor (cf. Burwash lists) had a flat rate House Tax levied on them of 2s. 0d., which is recorded in different ways (see each parish list for an explanation, or each quarter in the cases of Mayfield and Wadhurst). Houses with less than 10 windows paid no additional tax. All houses having between 10 and 14 windows had Window Tax additionally assessed at 6d. per window in 1747. Those having between 15 and 19 windows were assessed at 1s. 4d. per window, and those with 20 or more windows at 1s. 0d. per window. Tax rates might vary from time to time, and possibly from area to area.

Returns survive for the following parishes:

  1. All parishes in the Rape of Hastings (i.e. the eastern third of East Sussex), except for the parish of Northiam, and for parishes within the liberties of the Cinque Ports. Thus there are also no assessments for parishes within the Borough of Hastings, nor for St. Leonards, Rye, Winchelsea or Broomhill. Parishes which were partly within the liberties (e.g. Bexhill and Icklesham) are probably incomplete here.
  2. Eight parishes within the Rape of Pevensey (Lower Division): Chiddingly, Fletching, East Grinstead, Lindfield, Mayfield, Wadhurst, Waldron, and Withyham.

The arrangement here is alphabetical by parish.

The original records are preserved in two sequences within the East Sussex Record Office, to which application should be made for access or reference: East Sussex Record Office, The Maltings, Castle Precincts, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YT; tel. 01273-482349; e-mail [email protected]

No evidence is preserved with the documents here about arrangements for collecting the tax, apart from the names of the assessors and collectors, but it was no doubt done on a 'division' basis, as for the contemporary Land Tax, where the commissioners for the rapes of Sussex (subdivided in some cases) and the Cinque Ports liberties had area jurisdictions. For a fuller discussion of tax collecting arrangements locally, see Roger Davey (ed.), East Sussex Land Tax 1785 (Sussex Record Society, vol.77, 1991), and specifically pp.xvii-xxvii of the Introduction. It would appear that the Land Tax Commissioners dealt also with the Window Tax.

The original work of transcription of the 1747 documents was carried out by members of the Friends of the East Sussex Record Office at winter evening 'workshop' sessions. Considerable thanks is due to them for their painstaking work. The typing was done by Rosemary Muddle.

The originals of these documents may not be reproduced without the permission of the County Archivist, East Sussex Record Office. Permission to publish this transcription is gratefully acknowledged.

Editorial Note:

The information derived from the documents published here has been presented and arranged in a uniform way in columns, for ease of consultation. However, every effort has been made to preserve the evidential value of the originals. Thus all surnames are spelt as they appear (though Christian names are extended), and all incidental comments are included. A number of entries have been crossed through in the originals; they are included here, but with an asterisk (*) to indicate the fact. The one major omission has been the column of the originals, in the cases where it occurs, indicating a 2s. 0d. levy for the House Tax: see the comment above about these. The names of the confirming Justices have also been omitted.

The abbreviations 'jr' and 'sr' are used for 'junior' and 'senior'.