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Tithe Records: A brief description.

Following the enclosure acts of the late 18th and early 19th centurys, the age old method of tithing
(ie paying one tenth of all harvested produce to the church) had become unworkable.

This gave rise to the tithe commutation act of 1836 whereby land owners would henceforth pay an
agreed yearly rent charge. During the succeeding years Tithe Commissioners would visit each parish
in order to evaluate and decide the new levels of rent charges.

The information gathered was subsequently written into a book (the apportionment). Meanwhile a detailed drawing was produced showing the location of all individual properties within the parish.

Tenents names, field names, details of dwellings etc were hand written into the book together with
the names of landowners.

For todays family historian the English tithe awards can provide an exellent resource as they contain
very accurate lists of owners, occupiers and tenents. Most tithe awards also include the rent value of
the land along with it`s purpose or use at the time.

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The 19th century quill handwriting styles of the commissioners and copyists can vary to a degree, even within a single document.  Therefore utmost care was taken in transcribing the names for Lambourne.

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Last Updated: 15th september 2002   Phillip Reeves 2002