Coldingham clock and watch tax records for 1797

I’ve just put online my notes from the Coldingham clock and watch tax records of 1797. Only the returns for some parts of Scotland survive for this tax, and generally only the wealthier members of society are mentioned in it, because of the cost of buying a clock or a watch. But if you’re lucky enough to find relatives in there it’s a useful tax return. At Coldingham the men and one woman who appear in the 1797 clock and watch tax list were generally either wealthy farmers, landowners, or the local minister.

Having studied these records quite extensively in the past in Edinburgh I have grave doubts about how complete the clock and watch tax records are for some other parts of Scotland even where there seem to be surviving returns. It looks as though some only cover the rural parts of parishes, and not burghs. But that isn’t a problem in Coldingham, where it looks as though the return covers the whole parish. Sadly there are no surviving returns for Roxburghshire, and so nothing for my other one-place study, Melrose.

Author: vivdunstan

Academic historian, genealogist, former computer scientist, and Doctor Who fan.

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