In 1692, Parliament approved a new tax on personal estate, public offices and land to raise money for the war against France. The records of land tax, as it came to be known, are an important source for genealogists and historians and give details for each parish of annual rentals, names of proprietors, names of occupiers, brief descriptions of property (only from c.1825), and the sum assessed. An Act of 1798 allowed property to be exonerated (i.e. freed from tax) by payment of a lump sum. This process was also known as land tax redemption. From this date the column for the sum assessed is divided into two sections for property "exonerated" and "not exonerated".
The introduction of electoral registration in 1832 meant that Quarter Sessions no longer retained land tax records. Assessments after that date are to be found in the archives of firms of solicitors acting as Land Tax Commissioners.
Details found within this collection include (where available):
- Year of Residence
- Given Name and Surname of Occupier
- Given Name and Surname of Owner
- Parish of Residence
Parts of this description have been taken from the Bedfordshire Archive website. You can find out more about their collections on this page.