Stored in the Archives are over 450 boxes of papers given to the Museum over the years. The papers were donated and often represented research by individuals interested in the history of their part of Wiltshire.
Handwritten in ink in 1635 is a list of Ship Money Tax raised for the Government of Charles the First, from all the taxpayers of the Kingsbridge Hundred in North Wiltshire (including Swindon, Royal Wotton Basset, Clyffe Pypard, etc.).
The Government at the time used the Tax to bypass Parliament and was raised over the following three years. It was unpopular and was one of the reasons that led to the Civil War.
Although signed at the front by H N Goddard, checking the Victoria History of Wiltshire showed that the actual person responsible for raising the Tax was the High Sheriff in 1635, Francis Goddard – a task that the Justices of the Peace refused to assist in!
A final point is that the paper was donated to the Museum in 1900 by no less than Canon Edward Hungerford Goddard, who was Librarian of WANHS at the time.
A list of ship money tax payers in 1635 from all the villages in Kingsbridge Hundred, Wiltshire