> >>> David
> >> Legacy duty was a tax paid from 1796 onwards on legacies of more than
> >> 20.
was a "death duty"
> >prior to 1796 and if so what amount triggered it?
> A number of sites refer to a "death tax" or "probate tax" commencing
> in England in 1694.
this is quite different. The church of England proved wills till 18589, and an
inventory was made of goods (which 'came from God', not land which came
from the monarch). A charge was made on the amount declared, payable to
th3e Bishop or his official. To avoid this, nonconformists would sometimes
deed gtheir property over to their heirs during their lifetime.
The legacy duty was imposed by the government, gto finance the War, and
it was charged on a sliding scale according to the beneficiary's degree of
relationship to the testator. Illegitimate children counted as 'strangers in
blood, and paid the full rate. You will sometimes see the bequest made 'free
of all duties', meaning the executor, for the estaqte, paid this before handing
over money to the legatee.
Author of The McLaughlin Guides for Family Historians
Secretary, Bucks Genealogical Society