PortCities London

The Customs Service

The need for a reliable tax

The revenue problem

Medieval kings faced the same problems that trouble governments of today - how to raise enough revenue to pay for such things as administration and defence. Despite a bewildering range of taxes, rulers were nearly always short of money.

Most taxes were difficult to collect, and people were not keen on paying. Unpopular taxes could lead to unforseen consequences, particularly where there was already general discontent.

Tax revolts

King Richard and his Council go down the Thames in a barge to confer with the rebels.
View full size imageKing Richard meeting the rebels