By: Joseph Jacobs
A tax arbitrarily imposed upon a community, which was made collectively responsible for the entire sum. This tax was frequently levied on the English Jews during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. A tallage of £60,000, known as the "Saladin tallage," was levied on them, for example, at Guildford in 1189, the ostensible object being the crusade then being prepared against Saladin. Another tallage, of 10,000 marks (£6,666 13s. 4d.), which was probably levied at an earlier date, is also referred to. It is reported that John tallaged the Jews in 1210 to the extent of 60,000 marks (£40,000). There are likewise records of tallages under Henry III. of 4,000 marks (1225) and 5,000 marks (1270). Important tallages were made by Edward I. in the second, third, and fourth years, (£1,000), and in the fifth year (25,000 marks), of his reign. These taxes were in addition to the various claims which were made upon the Jews for relief, wardship, marriage, fines, law-proceedings, debts, licenses, amercements, etc., and which they paid to the English exchequer like their fellow subjects, though probably on a larger scale.
It has been claimed that the loss of the income from the Jews was the chief reason why Edward I. was obliged to give up his right of tallaging Englishmen in general.
- Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England, pp. 325-326;
- M. Schwab, Documents sur les Juifs d'Angleterre, in R. E. J. xi. 268-270;
- Jacobs and Wolf, Bibl. Anglo-Jud. p. xvi.