Window Tax was imposed by Parliament in 1696, replacing the Hearth Tax, to help meet the cost of reminting the damaged coinage. After 1792 houses with between 7 and 9 windows were taxed at 2 shillings, and from 10 to 19 windows at 4 shillings. In 1825 houses with less than 8 windows were exempt. The tax was finaly abolished in 1851. The following extract is taken from a volume in the British Library entitled: 'Cases Which have been determined by the JUDGES relative to the DUTIES on Houses and Windows and on Inhabited Houses'. Printed in the year MDCCLXXXII For ease of reading a modern typeface has been used but the original capitalisation and punctuation have been preserved.
CASE concerning a Surcharge made by the Surveyor of Windows
Borough of Stamford
Mr Howgrave was appointed Surveyor in 1762, and immediately after made a very diligent Survey in the Borough of Stamford, where he found several Houses undercharged, and the Commissioners allowed his several Surcharges; but Mr Howgrave having made a Charge of One Pound Ten Shillings upon the House inhabited by the Gaoler of this Corporation, for Eighteen Windows therein contained, Simon Peter Martin, the Gaoler appeared before the acting Commissioners on the 28th day of August last, and appealed to the Surcharge, which the Commissioners thought ought not to be in Charge, and determined in Favour of the Appellant.
Upon which the Surveyor declaring himself dissatisfied, and requiring a Case to be specially stated according to the Direction of the Act of Twenty-first of his late Majesty King George the Second; the same is stated, as it appeared to the Commissioners to be as follows.
The Gaol, which is very ancient, belongs to the Corporation of Stamford, by Grant from the Crown.
The Appellant has been Gaoler of the Borough of Stamford above Thirty-two Years last past, and never paid Window Tax, Land Tax, Highway Assessment, Church or Poor’s Rates whatsoever, for, or in Respect of the Gaol, or his Dwelling house,
The Appellant’s Predecessors never paid any of the Taxes or Rates above mentioned.
21st Sept. 1762 Thomas Taylor, Mayor
John Exton, Alderman,
Francis Moore, Alderman
16th July 1767
We are of Opinion, That the Determination of the Commissioners is wrong.