Stent Rolls are assessments of the value of properties within burghs and were the basis on which taxation was levied. Stent Rolls usually list the owners of properties, and the amount of tax payable, but they do not pinpoint the whereabouts of properties beyond location in one of the four quarters of the burgh: the Footdee, Green, Crooked and Even Quarters. See below for a description of the quarters.
The earliest surviving Stent Rolls for Aberdeen in the City Archives date from the 1590s; later Stent Rolls survive for the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Three Stent Rolls have been indexed:
The 1669 Stent Roll has been indexed by the Aberdeen and North East Family History Society, and this index is available on their website. Additionally, one Stent Roll has been published: the 1608 Stent Roll is included as an Appendix to Volume 1 of Aberdeen Council Letters (ed. Louise B. Taylor, Oxford University Press, 1942).
Police Commissioner's Rent Rolls
The Rent Roll is a valuation of property held within the City of Aberdeen. Introduced by the City's Police Commissioners, its purpose was to enable a tax to be levied for "the better paving, lighting, cleansing and otherwise improving the streets etc; and for the removal and prevention of obstructions and annoyances". Commissioners were charged with drawing up a Rent Roll of properties estimated at or above 25 shillings of yearly rent.
The first volume, for 1795, has been transcribed and is available below and in the online catalogue.
The names of both the proprietors and the occupants of the properties are listed, along with details of their occupation, place of origin (when not resident principally in Aberdeen), and very often whether the property concerned is rented for residential or business purposes. The annual rental value of the premises is noted followed by the assessment made.
One of the earliest descriptions of the quarters is given in J A Ross Municipal Affairs in Aberdeen, 1889, page 115:
- "The Crooked Quarter runs from the top of the north side of Netherkirkgate taking in St. Nicholas Street and all the other parts of the Town west of the Gallowgate and Broad Street, including the west side of these streets, bounded on the south by the Green Quarter."
- "The Even Quarter commences at the east end of Park Street and runs along the west side of that street, the north side of Justice Street and Castle Street, the east side of Broad Street, Gallowgate, and Mounthooly, including all the intermediate streets."
- "The Footdee Quarter boundary commences at the east end of Park Street and runs along the east side of Park Street, the south side of Justice Street, Castle Street, the west side of Broad Street to Netherkirkgate, along Netherkirkgate to St Catherine's Wynd, crossing Union Street to Shiprow, along the east side of Shiprow to Market Street, thence along Market Street and the Quays to the New Pier."
- "The Green Quarter boundary runs along the west side of Shiprow, Union Street on both sides westwards from Shiprow and St Catherine's Wynd, south side of Netherkirkgate, Correction Wynd, Back Wynd to Gaelic Lane, along the south side of Gaelic Lane to Belmont Street and Union Street, Union Terrace to the Chapel there, thence to Diamond Street, Golden Square, Huntly Street, Summer Street to Little Chapel Street, taking in the south side of Little Chapel Street, Chapel Street to Union Street, Thistle Street to Victoria Street West, and bounded on the south by the Inner Marches."
In 1855 a uniform system of property valuation was established in Scotland and its records give the names of proprietors and occupiers along with the rateable value of each property. The rolls were produced annually and include every property for which there was a rateable value. See here for more information about the Valuation Rolls for Aberdeen City.
We also hold tax records relating to Aberdeenshire.