Tax returns and aliens in the 16th Century
Surviving tax returns for Bristol identify resident alien (foreign) taxpayers for the 1520s, 1540s, and the period from 1571 to 1590. They give the street or ward in which the taxpayer lived. In this case, it is interesting how few aliens were assessed and that their numbers had not increased significantly since the preceding century. Nor was there an alien ghetto: the small size of Bristol's alien community hardly allowed for the formation of a 'foreign quarter' in any case. The origins of these aliens offer few surprises. Most are French (including Bretons) or Dutch (including Flemings and Germans).