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The Kent Lay Subsidy Roll of 1334/5.  By  H.A.Hanley, B.A. and C.W. Chalklin, M.A., B.Litt    Page 61

the amount assessed on the Cinque Ports men is always deducted from the charge against the hundred as a whole. The complete omission of the boroughs of Dover, Sandwich, Hythe and New Romney, which were wholly within the liberty of the ports, accords well with this explanation as no problem would arise in these cases. It is, however, rather surprising that it was felt necessary to list the individual contributions in those hundreds in which there was no exempt property, but presumably this was because of the possibility that an exempt person might have acquired property there in the interval since the previous return.
   Another puzzling fact is that in the neighbouring county of Sussex which also contained several member ports of the Cinque Port confederation no reference of any kind is made to Cinque Port property either in the 1332 or in the 1334 subsidy.1  Perhaps the men of the liberty there were not considered sufficiently numerous or their property sufficiently dispersed to warrant special consideration.
   Although in the peculiar circumstances that existed in Kent the former method of assessment would probably have been the simplest means of raising the subsidy is seems clear that in 1334 the chief taxors carried out their mandate to negotiate lump assessments with the men of each local tax unit. The charge against the county as a whole shows an increase of 110 16s. 0d. over the

amount raised in 1332. The figures for twelve hundreds taken at random show increases ranging from 9s. 6d. for Beckenham to 4 13s. 4d. for Ringslow over the corresponding amounts in 1332. In the majority of instances the increases are in round figures of pounds or marks, suggesting that they were arrived at in a rather arbitrary fashion.
   Once the charge against a particular hundred had been decided the calculation of the individual contributions would have been a difficult task. The burden must be distributed among the taxpayers, whose numbers might have increased or diminished since 1332, in a way that would take account of the differences in their personal estates. In other counties, as we have seen, the problem was one which did did not concern the chief taxors. Did the Kent chief taxors actually play a part in deciding the individual amounts by appointing and supervising sub-assessors or did they merely receive a copy of the assessments decided upon locally? There is no evidence which might throw light on this question but the latter seems the more likely alternative.
  The assessment of Cinque Port property within the hundreds affected was a separate problem. It is known that at least as early as 1353 it was the practice for the Ports to assess their own members
1 Willard, op. cit., pp. 58, 114.

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