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A tax in medieval Europe that was generally imposed by an estate owner upon his unfree tenantry and its amount and frequency varied. In England it was a royal tax from the 12th century onward, levied on boroughs and royal lands. It was condemned by the barons in Magna Carta in 1215 and became less important with the rise of parliamentary taxation, finally being abolished in 1340.

In France the “taille” was greatly extended in the 14th century to meet the expenses of the Hundred Years War, although, because it was the monetary equivalent of feudal service, the nobility and clergy were exempted from payment. The main burden of the taille, by now the most important direct tax, lay upon the peasants until it was abolished in the French Revolution.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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