Treatise of Taxes and Contributions (1899)

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A

TREATISE

OF


Taxes & Contributions.

Shewing the Nature and Measures of

Crown-Lands.
Assessements.
Customs.
Poll-Moneys.
Lotteries.
Benevolence.
Penalties.
Monopolies.
Offices.
Tythes.
Raising of Coins.
Harth-Money.
Excize, &c.

With several intersperst Discourses and Digressions concerning

Warres.
The Church.
Universities.
Rents & Purchases.
Usury & Exchange.
Banks & Lombards.
Registries for Con-
veyances.
Beggars.
Ensurance.
Exportation of Money.
Wool.
Free-Ports.
Coins.
Housing.
Liberty of Con-
science, &c.

The same being frequently applied to the pre-
sent State and Affairs of

IRELAND.


London, Printed for N. Brooke, at the Angel in Cornhill. 1662.

 

NOTE ON THE "TREATISE OF TAXES."

 

The Treatise of Taxes and Contributions is the earliest of Petty's economic writings. Since it mentions[1] Graunt's Observations, published in January, 1662, as "lately made," and inasmuch as Petty was in Ireland before the end of October[2], the Treatise was probably composed in the early months of 1662. About this time Petty, relieved from his political anxieties, returned with vigour to his scientific pursuits[3]. He experimented with the Double Bottom, and wrote, in addition to the Treatise, his Discourse concerning the Making of Cloth, his Apparatus to the History of Dying, and a paper on shipping[4].

The precise date of the publication of the Treatise is not known. If we take the phrase[5] "a parliament most affectionate to his [Ormond's] person" as an allusion to the gift of £30,000 voted to Ormond by the Irish House of Commons 4 March, 1662[6] and acknowledged by him in a letter from Whitehall 19 April, we may well believe White Kennett's assertion[7] that the Treatise first appeared in May, 1662. If, on the other hand, we note Petty's statement that its birth "happened to be about the time of the Duke of Ormond's going Lord Lieutenant into Ireland," we shall place the publication nearly two months later. It appears, however, that Ormond's departure, postponed by the King's marriage until the beginning of July, was originally planned to take place in April[8].


  1. P. 27.
  2. Letter to Sir Robert Moray, Roy. Soc. MS. Letter Book, P, i, p. 11.
  3. Fitzmaurice, 104—107.
  4. Birch, History of the Royal Society, i, 65, also Bibliography, 7, 28.
  5. P. 9.
  6. Polit. Anat., ch. ix.
  7. Kennett, Register and Chronicle, 703.
  8. Carte, Ormond, ii, 257.
 


 

Contents

The Treatise contains the following chapters:

The Preface 5
The Index (provides a very extended list of issues discussed) 11
Chap. I - Of the several sorts of Publick Charges. 18
Chap. II - Of the Causes which encrease and aggravate the several sorts of Publick Charges. 21
Chap. III - How the Causes of the unquiet bearing of Taxes may be lessened. 32
Chap. IV - Of the several wayes of Taxe, and first, of setting a part, a proportion of the whole
Territory for Publick uses, in the nature of Crown Lands; and secondly, by way of
Assessement, or Land-taxe.
38
Chap. V - Of Usury. 47
Chap. VI - Of Customs and Free Ports. 54
Chap. VII - Of Poll-money. 61
Chap. VIII - Of Lotteries. 64
Chap. IX - Of Benevolence. 65
Chap. X - Of Penalties. 67
Chap. XI - Of Monopolies and Offices. 74
Chap. XII - Of Tythes. 77
Chap. XIII - Of several smaller wayes of levying Money. 82
Chap. XIV - Of raising, depressing, or embasing of Money. 84
Chap. XV - Of Excize. 91