Remembering the window tax years

Taxes of any kind have never been popular. For example, did you know that Income tax was a “temporary” measure introduced to help pay for the Napoleonic wars? It’s not only the type, the Poll Tax, or Community Charge as Margaret Thatcher wanted to call it was so unpopular it created rioting in the late nineteen Eighties but this was just the same as when it was first introduced in the late Middle ages, in one celebrated action the local Mayor trying to introduce it was beaten with his own wooden leg. Another was the Ship Tax, introduced by the worst King we’ ve ever had Charles the first. He tried to tax local ports and harbours so that he could maintain a fleet for their protection but the populace were not fooled and knew full well it was to support his and his courts lifestyle. When he tried to extend it to inland places as well it was one of the many reasons for the English Civil War. However one of the worst and most unjust was the much derided and blighted Window Tax.

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It was all the idea of King William the third. He was something of a surprise King being from the Netherlands and he was invited to become the King of England after the Stuarts had made such a terrible job of it. The country was in no mood to accept taxation of its income after what it had been through over the last one hundred years but the Crown needed more and sharpish.

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The tax was simple. The more windows that you had the more you have to pay. In some ways it was a pretty good idea. When you consider how rich the owners of say Hardwick Hall (pictured) were you would expect them to pay a little extra over some poor crofter with only 2. As a result it became very common to see the sides of buildings bricked up ready to be knocked out again when the tax was hopefully removed.

However, the tax was unpopular with pretty much all members of society calling it a tax on air and light. The government listened and repealed the tax in 1851. Thankfully this means we can have as many windows or Aluminium Bifold Doors as we want in our properties.  This is great news as more and more people want to bring as much natural light into their homes as possible and the bifold shop have a large range of aluminium bifold doors that will do just this for you.

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