Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

JULY 24th

On this day in history in 1851, Parliament repealed the infamous Window Tax.

The ‘Window Tax’ of 1696 was imposed on houses. Rates varied depending on how many windows there were in the house. Many householders bricked up windows to avoid charges and new houses were built with fewer windows. In Edinburgh, whole rows of houses, which still exist, were built without any bedroom windows. The tax was despised because of the broad definition of ‘window’ which included any hole in the wall. It was described as a tax on ‘light and air’ and was considered to be a blight on the nation’s health.

Sadly the repeal did not prevent major cholera epidemics which ravaged the country in 1853-1854 and 1866.

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