KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

The Kent Lay Subsidy Roll of 1334/5.  By  H.A.Hanley, B.A. and C.W. Chalklin, M.A., B.Litt    Page 62

and to issue "billets" or "allocations" to the chief taxors.1 These listed separately the amounts assessed on an individual for each hundred in which he held property. In the absence of a fixed charge against the Ports as a whole, the assessments can only have been true fifteenths and tenths. Thus in their case the old system was retained.
   Because the Kentish subsidy rolls after 1332 are the only ones that give the amounts paid by each taxpayer they have a unique importance for the study of the methods of assessment within the hundreds and vills during this period. By comparing one with another it is possible to show how the same general burden of taxation was distributed among individuals on each occasion. Such a detailed comparison is outside the scope of the present paper but a rather brief examination of the 1332 and 13382 rolls showed that where the contributions of the same persons can be identified in all three subsidies they frequently fluctuate quite considerably. Changes in the names and numbers of the taxpayers often affect the value of the comparison for a hundred or vill as a whole but in the case of the extra-hundredal vill of Newenden the proportion of names appearing in both the 1334 and the 1338 assessments is sufficiently high to warrant a detailed comparison.
   In 1334 the charge against the vill was £1 13s. lid, assessed on eleven taxpayers; in 1338 the charge was £1 14s. lid, and was paid by twelve taxpayers. Of the original eleven names, nine re-appear in 1338. As one of the 

newcomers was assessed at 1s.—the amount of the increase in the charge against the vill—and the others paid sums exactly corresponding to the amounts shown against the two missing names in the earlier subsidy, it would have been possible to have left the remaining nine assessments as before but this is not done. There are two increases of 1s. and 3s. 2d. respectively, and the rest show decreases ranging from 3d. to 1s. 9d. The changes must obviously be related to changes in the value of personal estates. It is impossible to say whether this has been achieved by a calculation of an actual fifteenth in each case, with adjustments to make the total approximate to the charge against the vill. Doubtless, similar comparisons for selected hundreds would help to throw light on the method employed.
   Of more general interest is the sharp rise in the number of assessments in the 1338 subsidy. There is an increase of about 6,000 compared with the figures for the previous three extant subsidies. The large number of very small assessments noticed in this roll suggests that the burden of taxation was being spread more widely.
   The hundredal divisions of the county were clearly settled by the early fourteenth century. Apart from the four Cinque Ports previously mentioned, all the later hundreds of the county appear in the roll, with
1 See Kent Records, Vol. xvi; Register of Daniel Rough, p. 100.
F.R.O., E179/123/l1, 14.

Page 62

Previous Page         Back to page listings          Next Page

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Vol. 18 Contents Page    Kent Records Volumes       Back to Research        Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society May 2004     

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs.. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details to