American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A tax paid in lieu of military service in feudal times.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In feudal law:
- n. A tax on a knight's fee or scutum: same as escuage.
- n. A commutation for personal service.
- n. historical A tax, paid in lieu of military service, that was a significant source of revenue in England in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Eng. Hist.) Shield money; commutation of service for a sum of money. See escuage.
- Middle English, from Medieval Latin scutagium, from Latin scutum (" shield") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Medieval Latin scūtāgium, from Latin scūtum, shield; see scutum. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It is in connexion with this expedition to Normandy that there first appears in the reign of Henry II the financial levy known as "scutage" -- a form of taxation destined to have a great influence on the financial and military history of England, and perhaps even a greater on its constitutional history.”
“a sum of money known as scutage (_shield-money_) in lieu of service.”
“Toulouse, upon which he accompanied him, and though it seems to be untrue that the impost of "scutage" was called into existence for that Occasion (Round, "Feudal England", 268-73), still Thomas undoubtedly pressed on the exaction of this money contribution in lieu of military service and enforced it against ecclesiastics in such a way that bitter complaints were made of the disproportionately heavy burden this imposed upon the Church.”
“The term "scutage" may be roughly translated "shield money," and, as the word implies, it was a tax assessed on the knight's fee, and was in theory a money payment accepted or exacted by the king in place of the military service due him under the feudal arrangements.”
“I suppose taxation can be thought of as scutage, that is, pay the Govt to do things that you, as an individual, don’t have the time, inclination, wherewithal, etc. to do, or to get out of doing something otherwise obligated.”
“[Footnote 19: This was the first occasion of the feudal tax called scutage being levied in England.”
“Concessions to the barons: reform in the exaction of scutage, aid, and relief, in the administration of wardship and in the demands for feudal service; writ of summons to the great council to be sent individually to the great magnates, collectively proclaimed by the sheriffs to the lesser nobles (i.e., knights).”
“Royal finance: (1) nonfeudal revenues: Danegeld, shire farms, judicial fines; (2) the usual feudal revenues: relief (inheritance tax on great fiefs), scutage (paid in lieu of performance of knight's service).”
“No scutage not aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom, except for ransoming our person, for making our eldest son a knight, and for once marrying our eldest daughter; and for these there shall not be levied more than a reasonable aid.”
“No scutage nor aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom, except for ransoming our person, for making our eldest son a knight, and for once marrying our eldest daughter; and for these there shall not be levied more than a reasonable aid.”
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