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Home > Local History > English Town Rankings - 1662 (Based on Number of Hearths Taxed)

English Town Rankings in 1662
Rank Town
1 Norwich
2 York
3 Bristol
4 Newcastle
5 Exeter
6 Ipswich
7 Great Yarmouth
8 Oxford
9 Cambridge
10 Canterbury
11 Worcester
12 Deptford
13 Shrewsbury
14 Salisbury
15 Colchester
16 East Greenwich
17 Hull
18 Coventry
19 Chester
20 Plymouth
21 Portsmouth
22 King's Lynn
23 Rochester
24 Lincoln
25 Dover
26 Nottingham
27 Gloucester
28 Bury St Edmunds
29 Winchester
30 Sandwich
31 Maidstone
32 Leeds
33 Leicester
34 Northampton
35 Chatham
36 Ely
37 Chichester
38 Gateshead
39 Southampton
40 Derby
41 Ludlow
42 Warwick


This table is based upon the figures of Mr. C.A. Meekings, of the Public Record Office. According to Hoskins, "The figures relate to taxable hearths only but are all comparable with each other. They also relate to administrative areas. A number of places included a country district which might be of considerable size, such as York or Shrewsbury. A number of other places had liberties and precincts within their built-up area which lay under the jurisdiction of surrounding hundreds. If these adjustments are made, some changes in ranking follow: thus York becomes 3rd, Canterbury 8th, Chester 16th, and so on. But the exact placing of his [or her] town is again a matter for the local historian, who will know what to include and what to exclude. It ought to be said, too, that the local historian who is working on one town must examine all the surviving hearth tax assessments for his [or her] chosen place, above all those that include the names of those who were exempt for one reason or another. Only in this way will he [or she] get a complete picture of his town. In my experience the assessments for 1670 and 1674, where they survive, are among the most valuable of all."