ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2005-08 > 1124273377
From: Ruth Aylett <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Moiety for excise officers help pls.
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:09:37 +0100
Go back far enough and all taxes worked like this: the Crown did not
have employees to collect it but farmed it out to private individuals
in return for a share of the proceeds. Of course this provided plenty
of opportunities for collecting more than had been asked for and
defrauding the Crown, which I suppose was why the Inland Revenue was
eventually set up.
In the case of Excise Officers I guess the idea was that the legal
share would be greater than the average bribe to turn a blind eye..
> John Pink in his book "The Excise Officers and their duties in an
> English Market Town - Kingston Upon Thames 1643-1973" has a quote from
> another book "Reminiscences of a Gauger" by Joseph Pacy (pub 1875)
> which says:
> "Officers shared in the proceeds of Excise fines and seizures"
> This seems to indicate that it was part of the conditions of service
> of an Excise officer at the time and so, in your case, the Excise
> officer was asking for no more than he was entitled to.
> I would presume this was a way of ensuring that Excise officers were
> diligent in their duties and would do their best to prevent evasion of
> taxes in order to boost their legal income.
Ruth Aylett Professor of Computer
Mathematics and Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK Tel: 44-131-451-4189 Fax:
http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/ "Life is beautiful"