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Local Studies: Tithe Map Collection
Local Studies: Tithe Map Collection
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Copies of tithe maps and apportionments for the City of Manchester area. The original maps are held at Lancashire Record Office or Cheshire Record Office. Please note the centre of Manchester is not covered by these maps.
Local Studies: Tithe Map Collection
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Tithe maps and apportionments were drawn up following the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836. Traditionally tithes were a local payment in kind of one tenth of the produce of land and levied for the upkeep of the local church and clergy. A landowner would therefore give the incumbent of the parish church eggs, wool, wheat, etc. With changes in tithe ownership and more extensive land enclosure, however, payment in kind was increasingly converted into a fixed sum of money. By the 19th century, there were wide variations in the method and level of payment of tithes across the country. Disputes were frequent, tithe payments were devalued by inflation and, increasingly, parishioners resented the payment of tithes. Resentments had a number of causes: tithes increasingly were paid to laymen, Nonconformists objected to supporting the Established Church and many powerful landowners viewed the payment of tithes as a restriction on innovation and growth. The Act replaced payments in kind with a rent-charge levied in accordance with the value of land and in proportion to the price of corn. Tithe apportionments are documents recording the acreage subject to tithe, the names of all tithe owners and their tenants and the rent-charge due on each plot or parcel of land in the township in question. Each plot is given a number relating to its position on an accompanying map. Within a township a number of plots would be recorded for which no rent-charge was due. Typically, these include such features as roads, rivers and canals. The tithe map shows where each plot numbered on the apportionment is located. Guidelines for the production of these maps were drawn up, but these were generally ignored. Nevertheless, dwelling houses are generally coloured red, other buildings black, while trees are usually drawn to indicate woodland and water features are coloured blue. Roads are generally coloured pale yellow and are included, along with such features as canals, even when not subject to tithe. The maps were produced locally and had to be approved by the Tithe Commissioners. Three maps were produced - an original map held at the Tithe Commission and now at The National Archives, and two copies - one for the parish and one for the diocese.
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