Inventory of the Returns for Taxation Purposes, 1692 - 1845

Fonds Specifications


Biographical history
The earliest reference to the submission of returns of persons and possessions appears in the Journal of 12 October 1672 and concerns free burghers only. Further instructions in this regard were traced in an act of 28 February 1800, being applicable to all residents of the Colony inclusive of free blacks, persons of mixed race and other Khoekhoe. On 3 January 1805 further instructions on the submission of annual returns were issued.
An editorial of 9 September 1829 in the South African Commercial Advertiser mentioned the inaccuracy of the returns compiled initially for tax purposes. Legislation and reminders to compile the returns more accurately were issued, inter alia in 1830 and 1838.
The annual returns of the various outlying districts were apparently compiled by the field - cornets of the different wards who subsequently submitted them to the magistrate of the relevant district. He in turn compiled one return for the district from the particulars thus obtained. Returns of field - cornets are also available in magistrates' archives and the earliest archives of municipalities contain returns of wardmasters. No original return for the 17th century has remained preserved in the Cape Town Archives Repository. Such returns are, however, available in the National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague in the section "Koloniale Archief", series "Brieven en Papieren Overgekomen van de Kaap".