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tallage(tăl`ĭj), Fr. taille, a type of feudal tax. In its origins tallage is not clearly distinguishable from aidsaids,
in feudalism, type of feudal due paid by a vassal to his suzerain (overlord). Aids varied with time and place, although in English-speaking countries aids were traditionally due on the knighting of the lord's eldest son, on the marriage of the lord's eldest daughter, and
..... Click the link for more information. (a type of feudal due), and in Germany it never developed beyond an occasional "voluntary" gift from vassal to lord. The French taille, which became widespread and varied according to local custom, was generally a tax levied by the king or lord on his subjects or on the lands or other property they held. In the 15th cent. the taille became a royal tax from which the nobility was exempt, and other privileged groups, including the clergy and the bourgeoisie, later managed to gain exemption. Thus the main burden of the taille, which had become the most important direct tax, fell upon the peasantry and was lifted only by the French Revolution. The English tax known as tallage, introduced by the Norman kings as a partial substitute for the DanegeldDanegeld
, medieval land tax originally raised to buy off raiding Danes and later used for military expenditures. In England the tribute was first levied in 868, then in 871 by Alfred, and occasionally thereafter.
..... Click the link for more information. , was levied by the kings and lords on their demesne lands (see demesnedemesne
, land under feudalism kept by the lord for his own use and occupation as distinguished from that granted to tenants. Initially the demesne lands were worked by the serfs in payment of the feudal debt.
..... Click the link for more information. ); under Richard I and John it became a common source of royal revenue. Included within the royal demesne were the chartered towns, which resisted the collection of tallage. London especially protested the tax, and the legality of the tallage collection in that city is a much-disputed historical problem. In 1297 a petition of Edward I prohibited tallage collection without the assent of barons, knights, and burgesses; however, this was not a statute, and the king did not cede his right to tallage. In 1312, London again resisted a tallage; in 1332 Parliament protested imposition of a tallage; and in 1340 Edward III, in return for a subsidy, made an agreement often interpreted as a promise not to collect tallage but apparently only a pledge not to violate old custom. As other means of raising money grew common, tallage disappeared in the reign of Edward III.