Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Watch out, tax collectors - the next guy may not like the IRS

The extortions caused bitter complaints. The name of [King Henry's] bishop-chancellor appeared in a tax-collecting device called "Morton's fork," by which, in the words of Francis Bacon, "the sparing were to be pressed for money because they saved, the lavish because they spent." The brunt of the odium fell upon Henry's two over-zealous and unscrupulous lawyers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, who continually dragged out the most flimsy pretexts to fine and confiscate in the king's interest. One of the first popular acts of Henry's son was to execute this hated pair.

(from A History of England and the British Empire)

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