Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4298
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: MIDDLESEX TITHES
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.08 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Parish of Hendon | Church of England
Originally, tithes were payments in kind (crops, wool, milk, eggs and so on) comprising an agreed proportion of the yearly profits from farming, and made by parishioners for the support of their parish church and its clergy. From early times money payments began to be substituted for payments in kind, a tendency further stimulated by enclosures, particularly the Parliamentary enclosures of the late 18th century. Enclosures were often made in order to improve the land and its yield, and had they proceeded without some arrangements respecting tithes, the rectors, vicars and lay owners of the tithes would have received an automatically increased income, as indeed they did when cultivation was improved without preliminary enclosure. One object of the Enclosure Acts was to get rid of the obligation to pay tithes. This could be done in one of two ways: by the allotment of land in lieu of tithes, or by the substitution either of a fixed money payment or of one which varied with the price of corn (hence the name corn rents applied to payments in lieu of tithes). The limits of the land allotted, or of the land charged with a money payment, were generally shown on a map attached to the Enclosure Award.
Statutory enclosure was a purely local affair, prompted by local landowners. Although much of the country was covered, in 1836 tithes were still payable in the majority of parishes in England and Wales. In 1836, the government decided to commute tithes (that is, to substitute money payments for payments in kind) throughout the country. The Bill received Royal Assent on 13 August 1836; three Tithe Commissioners were appointed, and the process of commutation began. Although the Tithe Act 1836 is a long and complicated piece of legislation, the underlying principle was the simple one of substituting for the payment of tithes in kind corn rents of the same sort as were already payable in many parishes under the authority of a local Enclosure Act. These new corn rents, known as tithe rentcharges, were not subject to local variation, but varied according to the price of corn calculated on a septennial average for the whole country. Existing corn rents were left unaffected: they continued to be paid according to the varied provisions of the local Acts which created them. The initial process in the commutation of tithes in a parish was an agreement between the tithe-owners and landowners or, in default of agreement, an award by the Tithe Commissioners. Generally the next stage was the apportionment of payments, and the substance of the preceding agreement or award was then recited in the preamble of the instrument of apportionment.
In most cases, the principal record of the commutation of tithes in a parish under the Tithe Act 1836 is the Tithe Apportionment. Most apportionments follow the general pattern set out in the instructions which were issued at the time. The standard form of apportionment contains columns for the name(s) of the landowner(s) and occupier(s) (because until the passing of the Tithe Act 1891 the payment of tithe rentcharge was the owner's liability); the number, acreage, name or description, and state of cultivation of each tithe area; the amount of rentcharge payable, and the name(s) of the tithe-owner(s). The apportionment opens with a preamble reciting the names of the tithe-owners, the circumstances in which they owned the tithes, and whether the amount of rentcharge to be apportioned was the subject of an agreement between the landowners and the tithe-owners or of a compulsory award made by the Tithe Commissioners. The preamble usually contains, too, statistics as to the area and state of cultivation of the lands in the tithe district; the extent of the land subject to tithes and of lands, if any, exempt on various grounds from payment of tithes; and the area covered by commons, roads and so on. It concludes with a statement showing the respective numbers of bushels of wheat, barley and oats which would have been obtained if one-third of the aggregate amount of rentcharge had been invested in the purchase of each of those commodities at the prices prescribed by the Tithe Act 1837. The detailed apportionment of the aggregate tithe rentcharge then follows. A rentcharge is set out against each unit of charge, termed a tithe area. The amount of the charge is the par value, not the amount actually paid, which varied from year to year. The annual value of tithe rentcharge was ascertained and published yearly, and tables were issued from 1837 onwards which enabled the precise payment due to be calculated for the par value of any amount of rentcharge.
Source: The National Archives Domestic Information Research Guide Number 41: Tithe Records (available online).
Scope and content/abstract:
Apportionment of rent charge in lieu of tithes in the parish of Hendon, with plan, 1741-1903.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement:
Conditions governing access:
Available for general access.
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copyright to the records rests with the City of London.
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Immediate source of acquisition:
Deposited in 2001 (B01/036).
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: July to October 2009