Mr. Conolly of Ireland has brought forward a motion
for abolishing the tax upon HEARTHS, in this kingdom, and the Irish Ministry
will not oppose it.
This tax has ever been hateful to the subjects of the
English constitution, and the subject is again revived- we will give the history
of the tax with all its adventures.
In DOOMESDAY-BOOK, compiled by order of William I. we
read of a tax called fumages or fuage, which common people termed smoke
This tax was paid by custom to the King, and was rated
upon every chimney in a house.
EDWARD, the Black Prince, after his successes in
France, in imitation of the English custom, imposed a tax, one florin upon every
hearth in his French dominions-as appears in the twenty-third volume and four
hundred and sixty-third page of the Modern Universal History, and in Spelman's
Glossory under the word Fuage.
In the fourteenth year of the reign of CHARLES THE
SECOND, it was enacted by Parliament, that all houses liable to church and poor,
should pay two shillings for every hearth, and this was granted as an hereditary
revenue to the king for ever.
By subsequent statutes for the more regular assessments of
this tax, the constable and two other substantial inhabitants of the parish, to
be appointed yearly, or the surveyor appointed by the crown, together with such
constable or other public officers, were once empowered in every year to view
the inside of every house in the parish.
But upon the revolution, hearth-money was abolished by
a statute, passed in the first year of King William and Queen Mary, the preamble
of which is curious, for it declares-that hearth money is "not only a great
oppression to the poorer sort, but a badge of slavery upon the whole people,
exposing every man's house to be entered into, and searched at pleasure, by
persons unknown to him; and therefore to erect a lasting monument of their
Majesty's goodness in every house in the kingdom, the duty of hearth-money was
taken away and abolished."
In IRELAND, hearth-money is at this day more oppressive
than ever it was in ENGLAND, and the Minister will acquire a well earned
popularity by his not opposing its annihilation.
Lieutenant Mackenzie and Cornet Gillespie were tried on the 14th
instant at the assizes at Maryborough in Ireland for the murder of William
Barrington, Esq. the one having been principal and the other second. The
prosecution was conducted with the utmost candour by the relations of the
deceased, and the prisoners were both honourably acquitted, it not appearing
that there was the least malice prepense in any of the parties, and that the
duel was the consequence of a dispute, which, according to modern and
unchristian principles made it necessary.
CHARLES DILLON LEE, Esq. has claimed the title of
Vicount Dillon and Baron of Gallen and Caftello (or Castello), in the county of
Roscommon, by virtue of his Majesty's reference, which the Irish Peers have
ordered to a Committee.
The notorious Prince of pick-pockets, Barrington, is at
present in Dublin, and has begun to exercise his profession. Lady Clanwilliam's
gold watch, and a few other Dublin articles are already in his possession.