On This Day: 27 June 1694

On this day in 1694, Thomas Bowrey committed to pay a £100 voluntary subscription toward the carrying on the War against France and paid the first £25 (£3,335 today). Today’s single printed form is a great example of the importance of fully interrogating each document.

An 1694 Act of Parliament had imposed a tax on beer, ale and other Liquors as well as upon Tunnage of Ships and Vessels to raise funds for the war but the same Act had also made provision for individuals to voluntarily Advance the Summ of Fifteen Hundred Thousand Pounds.

Why would people pay a tax voluntarily? What subscribers were actually doing was purchasing a government bond attracting 8% p.a. interest. More than this, the Act also established the Bank of England. So much in a small slip of paper – only another 4,999 to go …


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