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THE RADNORSHIRE LAY SUBSIDY OF 1543-1545 BY M.A.FARADAY PREFACE The Subsidy Act of 1543 1 was passed in the second (1543) session of the Parliament of 1542-44 in order to finance the war against Scotland. The preamble to the Act rehearsed Henry VIII's claim to the throne of that country. This was the first subsidy granted since Wales had been 'shired' in 1541 following the 1536 Act of Union. 2 Hitherto Wales had not been subjected to parliamentary taxation because it was subject instead to the system of'mises' levied by the 'marcher lords'. By 1536, however, many of these lordships had fallen into the hands of the king. When the 'shiring' was completed, it became administratively practicable to include the whole of Wales in the system of parliamentary subsidies. Wales was therefore included for the first time by the 1543 Subsidy Act by the simple procedure of not repeating the explicit exemption which had appeared in earlier subsidy acts. S.31 stated that exemptions removed in 1543 could be re- instated for future subsidies, but, in the case of Wales, this never happened. The subjects of charge were the net value of goods and the annual value of land, on an alternative rather than aggregated basis, on whichever produced the higher tax-charge. 'Goods' included coin, plate, merchandise, harvested (but not growing) crops, livestock, household contents, jewellery and debts receivable less bad debts and debts payable (s. 1). 'Land' included land held in fee simple and fee tail, life tenures, leases, copyholds, as well as rents, annuities, fees and corrodies. Every individual with at least 20.s worth of goods or 20.s a year from land was chargeable, except the clergy for their ecclesiastical incomes or wealth. All corporations and fraternities (except churches and chapels) were charged on their lands and goods at double the rates applicable to individuals. Aliens were charged at double the rates imposed on the king's subjects and had also to bear a poll tax if not otherwise chargeable; there appear to have been no chargeable corporations or aliens in Radnorshire in 1543-5 (ss. 1,2).