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Hearth Money Rolls 1660s

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The hearth tax was the first of a new wave of taxes brought in shortly after the restoration of King Charles II in 1662 and continued for 27 years until 1689. Collected twice yearly at Michelmas (29th September) and Ladys Day (25th March) copies of the returns of payments were sent to the exchequer and to the local Quarter Sessions.The first Hearth Money Act was passed in the Irish Parliament in 1662. It provided that 2 shillings should be paid on every hearth or ‘other place used for firing’. Arranged by county, parish and, usually, townland, the Hearth Money Rolls list the names of householders who were liable to pay tax at the rate of two shillings on every hearth or fireplace they had. Some people were exempt from the tax and, of course, others managed to evade paying it.The lists are not a complete record of every householder in a townland. Those exempt included persons living on alms, or persons not able to work, or persons who had a house or lands worth less than eight pounds p…