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The tithe accounts, 1842-1952

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 December 2023

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Summary

By the terms of the Tithe commutation act, 1839, the traditional tithes paid in kind were commuted to a cash payment, which was fixed at £5575, to be distributed in the proportions shown below. The tithe amount was calculated by deducting £85/14/l3A in prescriptions, which did not fluctuate, and then calculating the value of the remainder (£5489/5/1OV4), according to the seven-year average corn price, as this was calculated every January on the London corn exchange and published in the London Gazette. The prescriptions were then added to this adjusted amount to give the total available for distribution, whereupon a sum of£100 plus expenses (of which the most important was the periodic purchase of a new tithe book) was deducted for the tithe agent's salary. (This was increased to £110 in 1893, but expenses were then paid out of the increased sum.) The net amount was then distributed according to the base sums listed below. The crown received the tithes for the ancient abbey lands ofRushen. The curate ofStJude 's received one-eighth of the tithe for Andreas, as he was officially attached to that parish. The rectors of Bride andBallaugh each received three-eights of the full tithe of Andreas, or threesevenths of the reduced tithe. The remainder was divided into fifteen equal portions and distributed to the fourteen vicars, with the fifteenth portion deposited in the clergy widows ‘fund. From 1889 an education rate was also levied on the sum to be distributed.

The act took effect at Easter (11 April) 1841, though the first tithe year ran from 1 October 1840 to 30 September 1841, with the agent's report due between 20 January and 20 February 1842. It was then read and approved at the following convocation, when the sums were distributed to the clergy concerned. This pattern continued for over a century, and receiving the annual tithe account became one of convocation's most important functions. By the provisions of the Tithe act, 1946, the system was discontinued after 30 September 1951, so that the convocation received the final full tithe account on 22 May 1952. At that time there were still a few tithes which (for various reasons) remained unredeemed, and a tithe account of sorts continued to be given for some years, though it had little meaning, and the committee set up to oversee it was finally discharged in 1981.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

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