Definition of ship money noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


ship money

; NAmE
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a tax that English kings and queens traditionally collected from people living on the coast in times of war. In the 1630s Charles I used the tax to collect money without involving Parliament, at first on the coast and then all over England, by saying that there was a possibility of war. A group of people led by John Hampden refused to pay the tax, and in 1640 the Long Parliament made it illegal.