Monthly Archives: Apr 2017

Broadhempston Tithe Apportionment 1841

The tithe was an annual payment of an agreed proportion (originally one-tenth) of the yearly produce of the land, which was payable by parishioners to support the parish church and its clergyman.  Originally tithes were paid ‘in kind’ (wool, milk, honey, fish, barley etc).  By 1836 tithes were still payable in most of the parishes in England and Wales, but the Government had decided on the commutation of tithes—in other words, the substitution of money payments for payment ‘in kind’ all over the country—and the Tithe Commutation Act was passed in 1836.

A survey of the whole of England and Wales was undertaken over a period of about 10 years from 1836.  This established the boundaries of land, acreage of fields, and states of cultivation.  From the survey, parish or district tithe maps showing all plots subject to tithe were produced.  When the overall value for the tithe in a parish or district had been determined, the tithe rent-charge was apportioned fairly among the lands of differing quality and various uses in the parish.  The Tithe Apportionment, linked to the map, was drawn up as a result.


Extract from the Tithe Map of 1841

Note the prevalence of orchards, the scatter of farms, and groups of cottages near the church and by the New Inn (now the Coppa Dolla).  In 1841, there were about 400 people in 60 houses and cottages in the parish.  In contrast, in 2001, there were 550 people in 180 houses and cottages.

Update as of November 2017: Devon County Council have published a full transcription of Broadhempston parish as part of their Tithe Apportionment Project, together with a high quality map.