Tenures Abolition Act 1660

Tenures Abolition Act 1660

The Tenures Abolition Act 1660 (12 Car. II, c.24) was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of England passed in 1660. The long title of the Act was "An act for taking away the Court of Wards and liveries, and tenures in capite, and by knights-service, and purveyance, and for settling a revenue upon his Majesty in lieu thereof". It is sometimes known as the Statute of Tenures. Passed in 1660 by the Convention Parliament shortly after the English Restoration, the Act replaced various types of military and religious service tenants owed to the Crown with socage, and compensated the monarch with an annual fixed payment of £100,000 to be raised by means of a new tax on alcohol. It completed a process that had begun in 1610 during the reign of James I with the proposal of the Great Contract. The Statute is best known because of its constitutional significance in terms of the shift away from feudalism. It is also important because of the establishment of a new type of tax - the excise - and the machinery to collect it. Section 3 of the Act repealed the acts 32 H. VIII.c. 46. and 33 H. VIII. c. 22 thereby abolishing the Court of Wards and Liveries, established in 1540, which had been responsible for revenue collection under the feudal tenure system. It was also the first Act (section 14) to impose an excise duty on tea ['Book 1, Ch. 14: From the Restoration to the Fire', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 210-30. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=46731. Date accessed: 07 March 2007.] , as well as on coffee, sherbet and chocolate; the duty was placed on the manufactured beverage, and not the raw tea or coffee, treating it in much the same way as beer or spirits.


*"The Law & Working of the Constitution: Documents 1660-1914", ed. W. C. Costin & J. Steven Watson. A&C Black, 1952. Vol. I (1660-1783), p.2-4
*'Charles II, 1660: An Act takeing away the Court of Wards and Liveries and Tenures in Capite and by Knights Service and Purveyance, and for settling a Revenue upon his Majesty in Lieu thereof.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 259-66. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=47272. Date accessed: 05 March 2007.

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