from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In England, a tax imposed on inhabited houses, established about 1695. It was repealed in 1834, but reimposed in place of a window-tax in 1851. Also house-tax.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
When the dog returned from the baker's shop, he used to be regularly served with his dinner, and went peaceably on house-duty for the rest of the day.