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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/525
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1692-1950
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2057 production units.
Name of creator(s): Land Tax Commissioners


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first assessments of 1692-3 were made under the terms of an "Act for granting to their Majesties an aid of four shillings in the pound for one year for carrying on a vigorous war against France" [4W and M c.1, 1692/3]. The Act specfied that real estate and personal property, that is buildings and moveable property as well as land, were to be taxed. It nominated, for each borough and county in England and Wales, the local commissioners who were to supervise the assessments and local collection.

The tax was voted annually, usually in the spring, until 1798 when it was transformed into a permanent tax, but was redeemable on a payment of a lump sum. It was levied on a number of different bases: as a pound rate between 1693 and 1696, as a four shillings assessment supplemented by a poll tax in 1697 and, from 1698-1798, on the system whereby each county or borough was given a fixed sum to collect. In 1949 redemption became compulsory on property changing hands and in 1963 all unredeemed land tax was abolished.

The assessors for each county are listed in the annual Acts of Parliament, until 1798. The sums collected for the counties of London, and Middlesex (and the City of Westminster) appear, until at least 1760, to have been passed to the Chamber of London and subsequently to the Exchequer.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Land Tax Commissioners for the City of London, including a number of administrative papers (see Ms 11295-315, 11318-20) and also a fine run of assessment books for the City, 1692/3-4 and 1703/4-1949, arranged by wards (Ms 11316-317D). The run of assessments are particularly valuable as they predate those for most counties, which only survive from 1780, when duplicate returns had to be lodged with the Clerk of the Peace.

The Tower Division of Middlesex covered the area to the east of the City of London including Hackney, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Shoreditch, Wapping, Norton Folgate, Poplar, Stratford, Bow, Mile End, Bethnal Green and Stepney. The records comprise land tax assessment books arranged by parish.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

CLC/525-1: City of London; CLC/525-2: Tower Division, Middlesex.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The City of London records were donated to Guildhall Library by the Land Tax Commissioners for the City of London in 1964, and they were catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff in the same year. The assessors for the Tower Division of Middlesex were based for a number of years in Broad Street in the City of London and the records of the division were presented to the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library before ca. 1946. They were catalogued at various dates by members of Guildhall Library staff.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further (incomplete) records of other hundreds and divisions in the City and Middlesex see LT/85, LT/92, ACC/1174, ACC/1299, COL/CHD/LA/02 and LMA/4263. Further records concerning the land tax for London and Middlesex are held with The National Archives.

Publication note:

An information leaflet on using the land tax assessments, with details of the (varying) information recorded and a number of problems in the use of the assessments is available online at: (accessed August 2010).

See also London Rate Assessments and Inhabitants Lists in Guildhall Library and the Corporation of London Records Office (1968); a copy of which, annotated to date, is held in the LMA Information Area.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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