Centre for Hearth Tax Research

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For all economic and social historians of Britain in the early modern period, the hearth tax is a remarkable source. Between 1662 and 1689 central government imposed a levy on all householders across England, Wales and Ireland measured in terms of the number of hearths in each property. The surviving accounts of the hearth tax are substantial, and provide one of the most detailed, comprehensive and instructive sources of information that we possess on the people of Britain and Ireland before the first National Census (1801). The Centre benefits from the continuing support of the British Academy for the Hearth Tax Project through its Academy Research Projects scheme. This is a signal of the national importance of the work of the Centre & Project. We make the hearth tax returns available to the research and teaching community and to a range of general users interested in a number of themes, ranging from family history to historical demography. This is achieved through the publication of hard-copy hearth tax editions in partnership with the British Record Society and local record societies. These volumes comprise checked returns, full indexes, GIS maps, interpretative essays, and statistical analyses. Much of this content is also published on Hearth Tax Online, which is currently being redesigned in partnership with the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz. The Centre benefits from numerous partnerships with academic and non-academic organizations at national and local levels, and runs outreach activities in cities and towns across the whole of England.

AHRC London and Middlesex Hearth Tax Project

The London Hearth Tax project is of great interest to historians, genealogists and all of those interested in London and its people at a time when the metropolis was experiencing an unprecedented degree of expansion on its way to becoming one of the most dynamic modern Global cities. In June 2007 the London Hearth Tax project was awarded c. £87,700 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Ref: AH/E008445/1) to undertake work involving collaboration between the research community, professional consultants and volunteer members of the public. Electronic publication also forms a key part of the AHRC-supported Project to publish, both online and in hard-copy, hearth tax data for the City of London and the historic county of Middlesex.

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