1841 Tithe Survey
In 1841 Welcombe had its last tithe survey. Tithes were originally a tax which required one tenth of all agricultural produce to be paid annually to support the local church and clergy. After the Reformation much land passed from the Church to lay owners who inherited entitlement to receive tithes, along with the land.
By the early 19th century tithe payment in kind seemed a very out-of-date practice, while payment of tithes per se became unpopular, against a background of industrialisation, religious dissent and agricultural depression. The 1836 Tithe Commutation Act required tithes in kind to be converted to more convenient monetary payments called tithe rentcharge. The Tithe Survey was established to find out which areas were subject to tithes, who owned them, how much was payable and to whom.
The 1841 tithe survey calculated the area of land in the parish as 1,552 acres, divided into:
- 713 acres of arable land
- 269 acres of meadow and pasture
- 171 acres of woodland
- 448 acres of common land (including roads)
The sum of the areas above exceeds the total 1,552 acres. Although it is not made explicit in the tithe document, it is possible that some of the defined types of land was common and therefore included again in the amount shown as common land.
Three people received rentcharge income from tithes:
- Rebecca Hockridge (from 45 acres): £6
- Humprhey Burrows (from 20 acres): £3
- William Hedden (from 'all remaining tithes'): £155
As described above, payment was generally made in money although the tithe document lists the amount that was payable in produce:
- Wheat: 155.727 bushels
- Barley: 276.21052 bushels
- Oats: 397.57576 bushels
A bushel is 8 gallons of produce.
Below are the tithe documents for reference.