Lists of medieval Londoners who paid taxes survive mainly for national taxes, notably the lay subsidies, which were requested by the crown and had to be approved by Parliament. Because they were assessed at variable rates on the value of an individual’s moveables, lay subsidies offer a good indication of an individual’s wealth, although only those with an annual income above a certain threshold were assessed, which included perhaps one-third of the households in London for any one tax. None of the late fourteenth-century poll taxes survive for London.
The London Lay Subsidies of 1292 and 1319 Two Early London Subsidy Rolls, ed. E. Ekwall (Lund, 1951). Records the lay subsidy tax assessed on movable (personal) property in London in 1292 (801 taxpayer in 14 wards) and 1319 (almost 1900 taxpayers in all wards except for Vintry).The editor includes notes for each taxpayer that offer much additional detail on occupations, property-holding, and family connections drawn from other sources. Includes an extensive introduction that analyzes names for evidence on immigration and occupations and discusses the rates and coverage of the assessments. On BHO. See also E. Ekwall, Studies on the Population of Medieval London (Lund, 1956) for analyses of the dialect and origin of medieval Londoners based on the surnames in these and other medieval taxes.
The London Lay Subsidy of 1332 Muriel Curtis, ed., ‘The London Lay Subsidy of 1332,’ in Finance and Trade Under Edward III and the London Lay Subsidy of 1332, ed. G. Unwin (Manchester, 1918), pp. 35-92. A transcription and full analysis of the lay subsidy of 1332, a royal tax assessed at the rate of one-tenth of the value of the moveable wealth of individuals with sufficient wealth to qualify: about one-third of the city’s population probably paid the tax.
The London Lay Subsidy of 1411-12 ‘Lay Subsidy, temp. Henry IV [London, 1411-12],’ ed. J. C. L. Stahlschmidt, Archæological Journal, 44 (1887): 56-82. Transcription in Latin of TNA, E179/144/20, which lists the names and sometimes the occupations of taxpayers (including lords, religious houses, and other institutional landowners) and the value of their annual lands and rents, on which they were assessed at the rate of one-half mark per £20 annual value; only a small proportion of the city’s residents qualified for the tax. On ADS.
Southwark Poll Tax, 1381 Printed in The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, ed. Carolyn C. Fenwick, British Academy Records of Social and Economic History, new series, 27, 29, 37 (Oxford, 1998), vol. II. For analysis, see Martha Carlin, Medieval Southwark (London, 1996). The 1377 poll tax (which does not survive for London, Southwark, or Westminster) taxed all but the indigent 4d each, so it is the best demographic source available for medieval England. The 1381 poll tax helpfully listed occupations of most householders but was assessed at variable rates and more on households than individuals, while evasion was far greater than in the 1377 poll tax.
1436 Tax on Lands and Rents in London Sylvia Thrupp, “London Landowners in 1436,’ in The Merchant Class of Medieval London (Ann Arbor, 1948), pp. 378-88. List of the names (and sometimes the status or occupations) of Londoners who held lands and rents valued at £5 or more per year, along with a note on the location of their property and the assessment they paid. Based on TNA, E179/238/90.
Taxes on Alien Residents Anti-alien sentiment was very high in parts of fifteenth-century England, including London. The ongoing Hundred Years War and its costs were also factors. Special taxes were assessed on alien residents (that is, immigrants who were born outside of England) starting in 1440. Complete returns for all of the alien subsidies, as well as letters of protection, licenses to remain, oaths of fealty, and denization papers (mostly dating from the fourteenth century and early fifteenth century) are available in a searchable format at England’s Immigrants. See also the transcription and additional data collected in The Alien Communities of London in the Fifteenth Century: The Subsidy Rolls of 1440 & 1483-84, ed. J. L. Bolton (Stamford, Lincolnshire: Richard III & Yorkist History Trust in association with Paul Watkins, 1998).