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The Soap Tax


In the 13th and 14th Centuries, soap-makers had to pay tax on the soap they produced. After the Napoleonic Wars, this soap tax rose as high as three pence per pound. Tax collectors would lock the soap-boiling pans at night to prevent soap makers evading the duty on soap production. In 1853, the soap tax was abolished at a loss to the state of over one million pounds. By the 19th Century, soap became commonly used by most households.

"Soap consumed by a nation is an accurate measure of it's wealth and civilisation." according to Justus Von Liebig, a German Chemist at that time.

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