[The Royal Aid in Bristol, 1666.] Two Manuscript Assessments of 'three moneths Royall Aide mony' (land and goods) for 58 individuals, each signed by four mayors of Bristol: John Willougby, Walter Sandby, Sir John Knight and John Lawford.

[The Royal Aid in Bristol, 1666.] Mayors of Bristol: John Willougby of the Society of Merchant Venturers; Walter Sandby; Sir John Knight; John Lawford
Publication details: 
Both Bristol, 1666.
SKU: 21371

Ainsworth's 'Thesaurus' (1752) neatly defines 'The Royal Aid, or subsidy money' as 'tributum quod regi ex plebiscito in sumptus belli, &c. praestatur'. It was a one-off household tax, set by assessors and collected locally. (For further information see M. J. Braddick's 2013 paper 'Resistance to the Royal Aid and Further Supply in Chester, 1664–1672'.) The present two documents are each laid out in identical fashion, the two carrying different assessments for 'Land' and 'Goods' for the same 58 individuals. On each of the two documents the list fills up the right hand half of one side of a folio leaf with a central vertical fold. Both documents are aged and discoloured, with wear to edges and closed tears, but with very little loss to the text. Both documents are signed on the reverse by four mayors of Bristol: 'John Willougby, Maire | Walter Sandby | John Knight 1666 | Jon. Lawford:' The merchant John Willoughby was the serving mayor at the time of the assessment, and the three other men were predecessors in the post: Sir John Knight (1663), John Lawford (1664) and Walter Sandby (1658). For information on Knight (1613-1683), who served as a Commissioner for Assessment from 1660 to 1680, see his entry in the History of Parliament. Lawford (1609-1688) was Lord of the Manor of Tockington, Glos. Willoughby (b.c.1616), who gained notoriety for sentencing women to punishment by public ducking, served as Treasurer and Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers in the period before its involvement in the slave trade. (The Royal African Company of London had a monopoly on the trade between Britain and Africa until 1698.) ONE: Headed: '[Stg.?] Parish | An asseasemt: for three moneths Royall Aide mony at the ratg. of Nine pounds fifteen shillings Ninepence | Comenteing the 25th of March last past 1666'. A list of the names of 58 individuals, each one assessed with two columns apiece for 'Lands', 'Goods' and 'Totall'. For example: 'Thomas Gallowhill | [Lands] 03 | 04 | [Goods] 04 | 00 | [Totall] 07 | 04' and 'Mrs. Dollin Widdow [one of six widows in the list] | [Lands] 01 | 02 | [Goods] 01 | 02 | [Totall] 02 | 04'. Unusual entries in the list are: 'Richard Burgis for a Seller' and John Robbinson for a shop'. TWO: Headed: '[Stg.?] Parish | 1666 | An asseasemt: for three moneths Royall Aide mony by the last act of Parliaamt: for [Seven?] pounds Nine shillings p moneth Comenteing ye 25th march last past.' The same individuals in the other list, but different amounts.