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Isle of Anglesey County Council

Archives' document of the month

Document of the Month: September, 2020

Document of the Month: Window Tax, Amlwch 1760

Reference Number: WQT/80/1/1

This month we go back 260 years – this is the oldest document of the month that we have featured for quite a while. It dates from 1760, and is a Window Tax document for the Amlwch area.

The Window Tax was introduced in 1697, after the abolition of the Hearth Tax. Each house was taxed a flat rate of 2 shillings a year, increasing to 3 Shillings in 1758.

An additional charge was applied thereafter dependant on the amount of windows, 4 shillings was charged for houses of between 10 and 20 windows, and properties with over 20 windows were taxed a further 4 shillings again. In 1709 a new rate was introduced, 6d was charged for each window in a house with 10 – 14 windows, 9d for each window in a house with 15 – 19 windows, and 1s for every window in a house with 20 or more windows. Now, when you look at old houses and see a bricked up window, it begs the question whether it’s a result of a re-design at some point, or were the previous owners simply avoiding the window tax?!

What we have here is basically a list of names of the occupiers of the houses, the name of the house and the amount of tax paid. It appears that all the properties on this list only paid the basic rate of 3 Shillings. The document is in a remarkably good condition for its age and the handwriting is quite clear. Documents such as these are invaluable for researching house history, along with other sources held at Anglesey Archives, such as land tax records and censuses. The Window Tax was abolished in 1851, 154 years after it was introduced.

To see the document in more detail please see the attachment below.

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