Posted by TheFallen on May 08, 2003
In Reply to: Daylight robbery & window tax posted by Julian on May 08, 2003
: Does the phrase "daylight robbery" really originate with an old English tax on windows?
I'd never thought of that. It's certainly true that in 1696, William III of England introduced a type of property tax that required owners of houses with more than six windows to pay a levy. This tax apparently persisted up for over 150 years until 1851. You can still see older houses in the UK which have windows bricked up to reduce the window total to six or under, which was a legitimate way of avoiding the tax.
However, I've always presumed that the phrase "daylight robbery", meaning a shockingly bold robbery, sprang from the fact that the figurative crime was committed in broad daylight, rather than at the dead of night.