Letter – 6 July 1760
The Right Honble the Earl of Fauconberg
Date-stamped: 9 [July] and place stamped: EASING / WOULD
Remains of black wax seal
My Lord Newborough 6th July 1760
Last Tuesday Mr Sterne went along with me to Sutton in order to give his Assistance
in Settleing the Rentals and Assessmts, which was not agreed to till that Day, and I have Inclosed
Sent your Lordship every Freeholders Seperate Rental (with the Assessmt: at 3d p pound) as it was
then Agreed to, and the Small Tenants of 20s and under are left out as they are all of ’em poor
people, in order to save them the Expense of the Window Duty —
Sutton: Sterne was one of the Commissioners for the Land Tax for the township of Sutton and in that capacity signed the annual statements of the amounts each individual was required to pay.
20s and under: under an Act of Parliament of 1432 (10 Hen. 6, c. 2), it was necessary to hold a freehold worth forty shillings in order to have a vote. The poor tenants referred to here are not entitled to vote.
Window Duty: there was no income tax at this point in British history. A window tax had been introduced in 1696 under William III and was intended to be relative to the taxpayer’s wealth based upon the standard of his accommodation. When the tax was introduced, it was levied in two parts: a flat-rate house tax of 2 shillings per house and an additional variable tax for houses with more than ten windows. Dwellings with between ten and twenty windows paid a total of four shillings, while those above twenty windows paid eight shillings. The number of qualifying windows changed in 1766.