Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An ancient tax of one-fifteenth of the value of all personal property.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In English law. This was originally a tax or tribute, levied at intervals by act of parliament, consisting of one-fifteenth of all the movable property of the subject or personalty in every city, township, and borough. Under Edward III., the taxable property was assessed, and the value of its fifteenth part (then about £29,000) was recorded in the exchequer, whence the tax, levied on that valuation, continued to be called a "fifteenth," although, as the wealth of the kingdom increased, the name ceased to be an accurate designation of the proportion of the tax to the value taxed. See 1 Bl. Comm. 309.