John Payne Gave All His Property Away Rather Than Pay Estate Tax When He Dies

I mentioned the case of John Payne, who wrote an address to British Quakers urging them to stop giving money to the government to pay for warfare, over two hundred years ago. He also put these principles into practice by going to extraordinary lengths to avoid taxes on roads, vehicles, buildings, and so forth.

I have since found another mention of him which indicates that his tax resistance continued literally until his dying day:

He died as he had lived, yet left nothing to his children! Not a penny of legacy duty [estate tax] fell into the clutches of a corrupt and extravagant government! But how? The whole of his property had carefully been conveyed, during his life and health, to his various offspring by deeds of gift.

This is very similar to how people avoid the estate tax today.


From the Monmouthshire Merlin:

The arrival at the Tredegar Iron Works of a company of Grenadiers, under the command of Capt. Cubitt and Lieutenant Davies, on from Swansea, in which neighbourhood they have been coquetting with Rebecca and her daughters, has delighted the inhabitants.…

Rhumnfy Turnpike Gate.

Arrangements it is understood, are in progress, by which the tolls hitherto paid at this gate will be entirely done away with. Although a natural anticipation, of a visit from that very incorrigible obstruction, ’Becca, might have induced this very prudent resolution on the part of those interested; yet, we believe this concession will be owing rather to a sense of justice, and what is due to the traffic hitherto so seriously interrupted on that road, than to any fears of the summary application of ’Becca’s playthings, saws, crowbars, &c., to the gates. Should our information be correct this circumstance will be hailed with satisfaction by all persons travelling that road. — Merthyr Guardian