National taxation records are of particular value to historians, providing rare snapshots of the extent and distribution of wealth and population across an entire country and individual communities within areas of those countries. The hearth tax documents of the 1660s and 1670s provide one such detailed picture of the socio-economic and demographic structure of England and Wales. In addition, the information on hearths sheds invaluable light on elements such community structure, geographical and social mobility, administrative jurisdiction and developments in building and vernacular architecture during the later seventeenth century.
The Centre for Hearth Tax Research produces a detailed statistical analysis of each hearth tax return that it transcribes. This process produces data tables down to parish level and these are invaluable for understanding the structures and relationships of different communities within different areas of the county. The analysis undertaken by the Centre is largely concerned with household numbers and the percentages of households with certain numbers of hearths, but the raw data behind this analysis could also be used in many different ways.
The Centre for Hearth Tax Research is able to make additional raw data available to researchers for education purposes and if you are interested in working with and relating this data to your own interests, please contact us to discuss access options.