About the hearth tax
The hearth tax was levied between 1662 and 1689 on each householder according to the number of hearths in his or her dwelling. The administrators were required to compile lists of householders with the number of their hearths according to county.
Early demographers and political arithmeticians, such as Gregory King (d. 1712), recognized that returns to the hearth tax were a rich store of data, but it was not until the late 1960s that modern historians really focused on the value of the hearth tax for a range of enquiries. Historians have continued to draw upon it to assess distributions of population and the divisions between rich and poor in national and local contexts, and in association with other sources it can also be used to assess vernacular architecture, life cycles, population movements, patterns of employment, kinship and the family, and early modern local government jurisdictions.