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Oxfordshire Contributors to the Free and Voluntary Present to King Charles ll, 1661

Transcribed by Gwyn de Jong; Edited by Jeremy Gibson.

A5, 76 pages, ISBN: 978-1-906280-34-5.

This nationwide quasi-tax was one of the first attempts by Parliament to raise money for the King on his restoration. Although it was voluntary, most of the better-off did contribute. The money was collected, in the form of promises or cash, generally in towns on market days, during the autumn of 1661.

With the better known Hearth Tax following a year later, the Free and Voluntary Present tends to be neglected. However, bearing in mind the inaccuracy of all such seventeenth century lists, it is valuable to have the opportunity of comparing the widely varying spelling in roughly contemporary records. This can often reveal mis-readings and outright mistakes, In any case, the people listed are far from identical, revealing some of those whose names are missing from the later tax returns.

The Oxfordshire part of the List, of around six thousand contributors [TNA E179/255/5], has been transcribed, arranged by Hundred and parish, indexed and edited.

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