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Hearth Tax Digital

Hosting organisations
British Academy Hearth Tax Project & Centre for Hearth Tax Research and Zentrum für Informationsmodellierung - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ZIM-ACDH)
Responsible persons
Andrew Wareham and Georg Vogeler

Hearth taxes were levied in medieval and early modern Europe, notably in France and the Low Countries, but were not levied in the British Isles until the late seventeenth century. Following the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, the hearth tax was levied in England and Wales from 1662 until 1689 (it continued to be collected in Ireland until the early nineteenth century). It was charged according to the number of fireplaces in dwellings, and it was collected twice each year at one shilling per hearth. It was also levied in Scotland in 1691 with collection lasting until 1695. The hearth tax provides a remarkably rich series of records on population, wealth distribution and poverty in a period of key political, social and economic change.

The project publishes the records from this tax collections as an assertive edition (Vogeler 2019) combining a transcription of archival sources with a database in RDF based on a CIDOC-CRM compatible data model of taxation. The project uses the GAMS infrastructure and organises the data as transcripts or database records, makes selected datasets available as maps, allows users collecting single entries or entry groups into their own data basket for download as spreadsheets, and offers an extendes search with constraints on area and amount of hearths. Full text search includes “paratexts” to the core taxation entries.

The project is an ongoing cooperation between the British Academy Centre for Hearth Tax Research at Roehampton University, London, and the Zentrum für Informationsmodellierung - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz, supported by the University of Roehampton and the British Academy.