This section covers data on government spending, tax revenues and public sector debt. Medieval fiscal data is available back to 991 with a payment of £10,000 of Danegeld recorded in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle.  The pipe rolls and Exchequer accounts then supply much of our knowledge of fiscal data through to the late C17th when the data obtained from Parliamentary Reports begin.  The latest official data based on the Public Sector Analytical Tables start in 1946 and are made available here given their long back run.  The Bank’s Millennium dataset contains summaries of much of this data.  Links are made to various recent research datasets on spending, revenue and the national debt such as the European State Finance Database and the work of Wilkie and Cairns, and Ellison and Scott on the National Debt and its structure. Publications such as Pember and Boyle’s British Government Securities in the C20th and various Parliamentary Reports are also provided.

All files are pdf, unless otherwise stated. File sizes greater than 25MB are indicated.

Government Spending and Revenue

Much of what we know about fiscal spending and revenue from the late C17th comes from a Parliamentary report prepared by H.S. Chisholm, the Chief Clerk of the Exchequer, in 1869. This available online in the HathiTrust digital archive alongside a useful historical report from the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
Chisholm's report however is known to contain inaccuracies and misses some elements of public sector finances.  Professor Patrick O'Brien's thesis from 1967 discusses some these issues and how they affect the estimates of public borrowing in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.  With thanks to Professor O'Brien this thesis has been digitised as part of this project and is available in the Oxford University Research Archive. Also available in HathiTrust is Kirkaldy's study of Government war finance between 1914 and 1921.
The National Debt

Two Parliamentary reports in 1891 and 1898 provide a complete history of the National Debt from 1694 to 1890. Pember and Boyle's volumes covering the National Debt in the C20th are available in the Articles and Periodicals Section.
This section contains a list of periodicals such as Pember and Boyle's volumes on the national debt in the C20th. Please select from the drop down list.
British Government Securities in the Twentieth Century - Pember & Boyle - 1st edition 1945 No File
British Government Securities in the Twentieth Century - Pember & Boyle - 1st Supplement Mar 1948 No File
British Government Securities In The Twentieth Century Pember & Boyle - Second Edition 1950 No File
British Government Securities In The Twentieth Century Supplement 1950-1976 No File
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