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[tal-ij] /ˈtæl ɪdʒ/
Medieval History. a tax paid by peasants to the lord of their manor.
a compulsory tax levied by the Norman and early Angevin kings of England upon the demesne lands of the crown and upon all royal towns.
1250-1300; Middle English taillage < Old French taill(ier) to cut, tax (see tail2) + Middle English -age -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for tallage


  1. a tax levied by the Norman and early Angevin kings on their Crown lands and royal towns
  2. a toll levied by a lord upon his tenants or by a feudal lord upon his vassals
(transitive) to levy a tax (upon); impose a tax (upon)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French taillage, from taillier to cut; see tailor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for tallage

in medieval Europe, a tax imposed by the lord of an estate upon his unfree tenants. In origin, both the amount and the frequency of levies was at the lord's discretion, but by the 13th century tallage on many estates had already become a fixed charge. In England, from the late 12th century, tallage had become established as the name of a royal tax levied on estates in the king's possession and on boroughs. The latter produced the major revenue from the tax, London's contribution alone often amounting to more than one-third of the whole. King John (reigned 1199-1216) levied tallages frequently, and the practice was attacked in the Magna Carta (1215). From the late 13th century, when borough representatives began to be summoned to Parliament, parliamentary taxation of boroughs and of the king's estates began to be preferred to tallage. The last royal tallage in England was taken in 1312.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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