Money for common purposes was raised from time to time, as necessity demanded, by the imposition on Hanse merchandise of poundage dues, introduced in 1361, while the counters relied upon a small levy of like nature and upon fines to meet current needs.
In this irritated temper they took up the question of tonnage and poundage, and instead of confining themselves to the great public question, they called to the bar some custom-house officers who happened to have seized the goods of one of their members.
The raising of tonnage and poundage without a parliamentary grant was declared illegal.
At the Restoration the Irish parliament granted an hereditary revenue to the king, an excise for the maintenance of the army, a subsidy of tonnage and poundage for the navy, and a tax on hearths in lieu of feudal burdens.
In the early 12th century Earl Robert de Ferrers constituted Uttoxeter a free borough, and granted to the inhabitants freedom from all tolls, tonnage, poundage and other exactions.