the smallest tax, largely because of the very large
number with more modest personal estates under 2s. 6d., comprising
well over half the assessed inhabitants in both hundreds. It is
beyond the scope of this introduction to make similar detailed
examinations of the distribution of wealth in other regions of the
county, but enough has been done to show that marked differences
existed between neighbouring hundreds in which the quality of the
soil was much the same. Altogether the obvious deficiencies of the
subsidy, on account of the omission of the names of many persons not
assessed to the tax, should not be allowed to conceal its very real
importance in illustrating the distribution of population and wealth
in Kent of the first half of the fourteenth century.
In editing the text the general aim has been to
make the contents easily readable without departing essentially from
the form of the original. Roman numerals have been converted into
arabic and christian names have been anglicized wherever possible.
In the case of less well known Latin forms, the English versions
given in Trice Martinís Record Interpreter have been
adopted and where no English equivalent could be found the original
Latin form, converted into the nominative, has been retained. A
particular difficulty arises with regard to "occupational"
surnames in Latin. It is impossible to know
each case (a) if the name denotes the actual occupation of the
person concerned and (b) if it is a surname in itself or merely the
Latin form of an English or French family name. For these reasons it
was thought best to give the nominative form of the original with an
English translation in brackets. "Filius" has been
rendered as "son of ", e.g. Filius Rogeri (son of Roger)
though this could well be equivalent to Fitz Roger or Rogers.
Contractions have been extended wherever the intention seemed
reasonably clear. In doubtful cases the contraction has been left
and is indicated by an apostrophe. This applies also to some
Christian names, e.g., Julianí and Alicí ; wherever the full
forms occur these read as Juliana and Alice respectively but the
possibility of masculine versions cannot be excluded.
When mistakes have been discovered in the calculation
of the total assessments for the boroughs, hundreds and vills the
correct totals have been supplied in brackets. The total number of
assessments for each taxation unit has also been indicated. It
should be noted that these do not necessarily correspond to the
total of names in each case as two or more names are occasionally
included in a single assessment.
With the exception of a little fading in one or two
places the document is clear and legible throughout. It is, however,
frequently impossible to distinguish between certain letters,
especially u and n, o and e, t and c, with any degree of assurance.