Taxation of £40,000

Forasmuch as the king's majesty, being informed of the preparations making for arms in sundry parts of Europe and that [Elizabeth I], his dearest sister and cousin, the queen of England, for the respect thereof and the better surety of her estate, [has raised] some forces and drawn them towards the frontiers of this realm and for the more readiness, as well for the resisting of all foreign invasion as [for] the repressing of the thieves and broken men, inhabitants of the countries nearest the borders of England, grown insolent upon the opinion that wars shall arise between the realms, which his majesty looks not for, whereupon his highness, his nobility, estates and a good number of his barons, convening together in the month of February last, and having maturely deliberated thereupon, thought fit that some reasonable forces waged should be prepared and sent to the borders for the better resisting of all foreign invasion and repressing of the said thieves and disobedient subjects; and for support of the charges and expenses to be made in that behalf, the estates then convened willingly granted a taxation of £40,000, which was then appointed to have been lifted and paid by the said three estates at four terms by equal portions, namely, upon 1 April, 1 May, 1 June and 1 July 1581; and if any foreign war should happen in the meantime, the said whole taxation to be paid all together within one month after the charge, as at more length is contained in an act made thereupon. And because the same took no execution, the first day appointed for payment being past, his highness, in consideration thereof, has been moved to assemble of new a certain number of the principals of the said estates, who, convening and considering that the same occasion for the which the said tax was granted yet continues, as also some disobedience and rebellion shown of late by sundry of his majesty's own subjects, the said thieves and other disorderly people on the borders, continuing likewise in their thefts, plundering and other enormities, and small obedience given to his highness's officers and wardens, so that albeit there be not yet any direct foreign invasion, yet the former preparation at the frontiers remains and daily increases, through which his majesty will be forced to maintain a great number of waged men, as well for resisting of all foreign invasion, if any shall be attempted, as for repressing of the disobedience of his own subjects, grown insolent upon the same occasion; for which purpose, the said estates have thought fit, concluded and ordained that the said whole tax shall be paid as follows: that is to say £20,000 upon 1 May 1581; and in case that any foreign invasion shall happen to be in the meantime or shortly thereafter, or otherwise that the like disobedience and appearance of trouble foreign or within this realm shall continue as it does presently, that other £20,000 in complete payment of the said whole tax be paid and lifted upon such form, manner and under such pains as are contained in the former act, as well for the principal as relief.

  1. NAS, PC1/10, p.550-1. Back
  2. Slight water damage to manuscript responsible for small gaps in text. Back