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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

36.—Extent of Revenue from the Feudal Tenures

page 191

36.—Extent of Revenue from the Feudal Tenures.

It is observable that, whereas in the reign of James I. the value of these feudal profits had been estimated at £200,000, they were now estimated by the promoters of the commutation at only £100,000. It is difficult to account for this, on any other principle than that the Convention Parliament, feeling the weight and influence which they then possessed, were disposed to obtain as good a bargain as they could t. And it is to be remarked that the revenue, viz., the excise, which they substituted for that which was withdrawn, amounted to much nearer £300,000 u than £100,000, which, together with the revenue arising from the crown lands, would not bear so large a proportion to the whole public revenue at that time, as the revenue derived from land did to the whole revenue in the time of James I. But if the amount of revenue derived from land in the shape of various assessments, or land tax, imposed during this reign be taken into account, the proportion of the taxation falling upon land cannot at this time, I apprehend, be considered as smaller than it was in the reign of James I x. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the exact proportion of the amount of these assessments which was raised from land, there cannot, I apprehend, be a doubt that the proportion of that amount which was derived from land was considerable; indeed sufficiently large to make, when taken together with the crown lands revenue, and the revenue substituted for the feudal profits, the proportion of the whole public revenue derived from land quite as large as it was in the reign of James I.