Nunn extracts from Suffolk Hearth Tax Returns 1674


Transcribed from the Suffolk Green Books, No. XI, Vol. 13, 1905.

The Hearth Tax can be seen as a basic, late seventeenth century census. It has its problems as a document, but I have included it as part of my Nunn study to identify areas where the Nunn name seems particularly strong in the county at that time (see map below). Please be aware that the author of the Green Book this has been extracted from admits himself that his index of names might be a little shaky, so this list may not be entirely accurate. It’s intended, really, as a guide. The head of household is named, but in some parishes, those ‘certified’ (i.e. people considered to be poor and therefore exempt from paying the tax) aren’t listed by name. This may have led to several people being missed off.

The number of hearths is an indication of wealth – clearly Mr. Nunn in the parish St. Mary Tower in Ipswich was fairly well-off with 12 hearths, but in other cases we see 4-hearth houses which were certified. These are presumably cottages with several families living in them (such as when we see “certified for three with…”). However, with only a name and number of hearths appearing in the document, we cannot assume too much.

Nunn is often seen as a particularly Essex and Suffolk sort of surname, but while 107 names appear in the 1674 Suffolk Hearth Tax returns, the Essex 1670 returns yield only eight (in Langley, Clavering, Belchamp St. Paul, Felsted, Foxearth and Ardleigh, two of which are on the Suffolk border). This may well suggest that if you lose trace of your Nunn ancestors in Essex before 1700, Suffolk might be worth investigating.

If you are interested in the Hearth Tax, The British Record Society is currently producing up-to-date transcriptions of the returns, and their books contain extensive essays about the topography and vernacular housing of each county, with photographs of houses still standing which appear in the returns. This certainly helps to illuminate the bald data given in the returns themselves.

This map shows the number of Nunn householders in each Hundred of Suffolk, as per the 1674 Hearth Tax returns. The figure in brackets refers to the number of parishes in that Hundred where a Nunn can be found. e.g. Babergh Hundred is 9 (7) – nine people and seven parishes. You can see from the map that, at least as far as the Hearth Tax returns go, the surname Nunn appeared more frequently in the western part of the county, concentrated around the central corridor (Blackbourn, Thedwastre, Hartismere, Thingoe and Babergh). It is found in all but three Hundreds in Suffolk, which are in the south-east of the county. Consider, though, that populations would vary across the county.


Tim Hoddy’s map of the Suffolk Hundreds, annotated with Hearth Tax statistics.


  • Bures Widow Nunn, certified for 2 with Widow Rutland
  • Cavendish Clement Nunn, 2 with Edward Newman
  • Lavenham Robert Nunn, 1. Total of 3 with Edward Randall
  • Lawshall Philip Nunn, 2 with Widow Hayward
  • Long Melford Roger Nunn, 4Isaac & Richard Nunn, certified for 3 with John Greene
  • Monks Eleigh Robert Nunn, 3
  • Shimpling Philip Nunn, 2. Total of 3 with Daniel Howe


  • Bardwell John Nunn, 1
  • Elmswell Robert Noune, certified for 3 with John Alderton
  • Hopton John & Thomas Nunn, certified for 3 with CandelWidow Nunn, certified for 3 with Smyth & Miles
  • Market Weston Robert Nunn, 2 with John Smyth
  • Stanton John Nunn, 2 with Goody Culmer
  • West Stow Philip Nunn, 2
  • Wattisfield Robert Nunn, 2Thomas Nunn, 3Unknown Nunn, certified for 3 with Goody Sturgeon & John Garnham


  • Brampton Robert Nunn, 3
  • South Cove John Nunn, 2 (demolished)Thomas Nunn, 2
  • Frostenden Widow Nunn, certified for 1
  • Huntingfield Mr. Robert Nunn, 9
  • Southwold Mr. Nunn, 5


  • Claydon Mr. Nunn, 2
  • Helmingham Mr. 4
  • Somersham Layte Nunn, total of 3 with Widow Cole. Empty. (perhaps “Layte” isn’t a first name but just means “late Nunn”)

Bury St. Edmunds

  • St James Thomas Nunn plus one oven = 5
  • St. Mary Mr. Walter Nunn, 4Widow Nunn, 10 with Mr. BuggMr. Rand [Randolph?] Nunn, 5Joseph Nunn, certified for 4 with William Norman & James Farrowe


  • Aldham Arnold Nunn, 2
  • Chelsworth Widow Nunn, certified for 3 with Widow Church & Widow Solman
  • Elmsett John Nunn, 3
  • Hadleigh Joseph Nunn, 3
  • Thorpe Morieux William Nunn, certified for 4 with John Goymer jnr & senr.


  • Brome John Nunn, 3Widow Nunn, certified for 2 with Widow BuckenhamWilliam Noone, certified for 2 with George Buckenham
  • Eye Edward Nunne, 2Simon Nunn, certified for 2Simon Nunn, certified for 2 with Widow Taylor (Hamlets of Sutton & Langton)
  • Palgrave Stephen Nunn, 2 with George Clarke
  • Stuston John Nunn, 3Martin Nunn, certified for 2 with Dor. Church
  • Wortham Thomas Nunn, certified for 2 with Widow Shuckford


  • Hoxne Lyonell Nunn, 3
  • Kelsale Francis Nunn, certified for 1, total of 3 with Henry Pickny
  • Weybread Benjamin Nunn, 2
  • Worlingworth Mr. Nunn, 3


  • St. Mary Tower Mr. Nunn, 12
  • St. Matthew Robert Nunn, 2
  • St. Mary Stoke George Nunn, certified for 2Unknown Nunn, certified for 4 with Finch, Kettle & Mastris


  • Lakenheath Widow Nunn, 2 with William Haverland


  • Brandiston Thomas Nunn, 1. Total of 3 with William Garnham
  • Kenton Jospeh Nunn, 2. Total of 3 with Mary Jackson
  • Kettleborough Edward Nunn, 3 with Robert Peirse & Ann Stocke
  • Woodbridge John Nunn, 3Rose Nunn, certified for 2. Total of 4 with John Gardiner


  • Carlton Colville Thomas Nunn, 2Richard Nunn, certified for 3 with Thomas Dowrey & Samuel Basye


  • Benhall John Nunn, 5
  • Saxmundham Unknown Nunn, certified for 3 with Helinge & Russell


  • Denston George Nunn, 4John & Ralph Nunn, 3 with Philip Worledge
  • Lidgate Unknown Nunn, certified for 4 with Haylocke, Redgwell & BradfordUnknown Nunn, certified for 5 with Leech, Redgwell & Everard
  • Wickhambrook Robert Nunn, 2 with John Edgar


  • East Bergholt Thomas Nunn, certified for 1William Nunnes, certified for 1


  • Stowmarket Widow Nunn, certified for 1 with Widow Vincent


  • Beyton Thomas Nunn, 5
  • Bradfield St. George Ralph & Thomas Nunn, 4Ralph Nunn, certified for 2 with Elizabeth Ridnall
  • Drinkstone John Nunn, certified for 3 with John Warren & John Steward
  • Felsham Mr. Nunn, 5 (he also has one house, empty, in Gedding, with 4 hearths)
  • Pakenham Martin Nunn, 8William Nunn, 3
  • Rattlesden Edward Nunn, 3 with William Warren
  • Rougham William Nunn, 3 with John Knocke
  • Stanningfield John Nunn, certified for 2 with Edmund Foreman & John HamontMichael Nunn, certified for 3 with John Keen & George AvisWidow Nunn, 2


  • Hawstead George Nunn, 2. Total of 3 with Anthony SparkeRobert Nunn, 2Robert Nunn, 3Widow Nunn, certified for 3 with Widow Albons & Widow Robinson
  • Risby Robert Nunn, certified for 3 with Roger Cole & George Spicer
  • Great Saxham Unknown Nunn, certified for 3 with Ballard & Smyth
  • Whepstead Henry Nunn, 4John Nunn, 3 with Joseph Hunt & Oliver WiffinMr. Nunn senior, 4Widow Nunn, 4 with Giles Frost

    Unknown Nunn, certified for 4 with Wiffin & Hall

    Robert Nunn, 3


  • Ashfield-cum-Thorpe Daniel Nunn, 3
  • Framsden Elizabeth Nunn, 2 with John Taylor


  • Bungay Mr. Richard Nunn, 4John Nunn, 3
  • St. Margaret’s, Ilketshall Mr. Nunn, 7