hearth tax

1) This was a tax designed to raise revenue for the government in the period 1662-88.

It was based on the premise that the number of hearths in a house was a clear indication of wealth and the ability to pay. It was challenged by individuals and in particular by the cutlers of Hallamshire and other metal workers, who objected to paying tax on both their domestic and smithy hearths. The returns for Ladyday 1672 name the owners of about 600 smithies in and just beyond Hallamshire

Sheffield as a township had 224 recorded smithies

that is one for every 2.2 households. Since the Cutlers’ Company became involved in the disputes it helped to persuade workers who were involved in the production of awlblades, files and scythes to join the company.

places Hallamshire
dates 1672

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0