XV. Tithes and Tithe-Suits.
At the Dissolution, a book was given to Gawen Borrodaile, late
abbot and then rector, containing, among other matters, the
tithes of the Holm. The list we copy from Nicolson and Burn, ii,
177f., noting that the skep was normally 12 bushels, though the
size of the bushel varied, as appears later.
Sowterfield, 7 skeps and 3 bushels of big [inferior barley] meal,
Adlath [read Aldoth], 2 skeps and a peck of big.
New Cowper, 6 bushels of big meal.
Edderside, 6 skeps of the same.
Plasket-lands, 12 bushels of the same.
Tarnes, 3 skeps, 3 ½ bushels.
Fowlesyke, 3 skeps, 4 bushels.
Hielaws, 6 skeps.
Abby Cowbier, 5½ skeps.
Dubmill, 13½ bushels.
Mawbrugh senior, 6 skeps, 8 bushels and 3 pecks.
Mawbrugh junior, 5 skeps, 9 bushels.
Mawbrugh Beck, 15½ bushels.
Wolstye, 4 skeps, 4 bushels and a peck.
Blatterless [Blitterlees], 7½ bushels.
Silleth, 14s. in money.
Coats, two tenements uncharged.
Skinburnese, 7 skeps, 11½ bushels of barley.
Hayrigg, 30 bushels of meal.
Mireside, 7 skeps and 2 bushels of meal, and half a skep of barley.
Calvoe, 3 skeps and 2 bushels of barley, 1½ bushels of meal, and
3 skeps and 2 pecks of oats
Brownrigg, 3 skeps and 3½ bushels of barley, 5 bushels and 3
pecks of meal.
Sivill, 2 skeps and 2 bushels of meal, 6½ skeps of barley, 8
bushels of oats.
Sandenhouse, 4 skeps of meal.
Sandenhouse grange, 14 bushels of barley.
Newton Arlosh, 19 skeps, 1 bushel and 1 peck of barley.
Salt Coates, 22 bushels of meal.
Moss Side, 3 bushels of meal.
Rabie, 2 skeps and 9 bushels of meal.
Robert Chambre payeth yearly at Easter for all manner of tithe
at Raby Coat, 6s. 8d.
Raby Grange, one skep and 2 bushels of barley.
Acredale etc. [sic; i.e. the town-fields; see below].
"To this are to be added the following sums, several whereof
are not reckoned in the abbot's book otherwise than at the will and
pleasure of the rector; that is, as it seemeth, as he and the
parishioners could agree:—"
Bletterley (beside the meal as above), £5 3s. 5d.
New Cowper, £1 8s. 4d.
The tenants of Silleth, 14s.
Robert Barwis, 8s.
The Acredale tithe, 7s. or 12 bushels of big.
Thomas Chambre, 6s. 8d.
This was the substance of the book for a long while inaccessible
to the parishioners but necessary to us for the understanding of the
disputes which upset the Holm for many generations.
On the death of Gawen Borrodaile, Queen Mary granted the
rectory of Holm Cultram with the church or chapel of Newton
Arlosh and all manner of rents, tithes, oblations and offerings,
unto the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of
Oxford. The University at once leased the same to John Estwicke for 25 years; then to Roger Marbeck, and afterwards to Sir
Arthur Atye. These speculators, who had no interest in the
parish beyond getting the best returns for their investments, tried
from time to time to take advantages of the tenants; but as may
be inferred from the answers in chapter XIII the men of the Holm
were not to be imposed upon. The history of their resistance may
may be gathered from a calendar of the principal documents
which are preserved, dealing with the tithes.
1554. The university of Oxford and John Estwick to Stephen
[Gardiner], bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England,
… "Your said Orators before this time exhibited a Byll of
Complaynt in Chancery against Thomas Deves, John Borrodaile
and other Tenants … of Holm Cultram, the Tenor of which …
ensuethe. The late Abbot and Convent … were seized in their
demesne as of fee and in the Tithe Corne and haye and other
commodities and Emoluments to the said Rectorie belonging.
The Tenants … were accustomed to pay their Tythe … after
the measure and rate of the Carliell Bushell. After the said
Monasterie … came into the hands of … Henry VIII [he] did
grant the said Rectorie with the Tythes to the late Abbot [Borrodaile] … in place of such pension as the said Abbott should have
had . . The same late Abbott did usuallie take of the Tennants
… less measure of Tythe … than his predecessors did receive
and take to the old and ancient custom … and died twelve
monethes past or thereabouts … The Queen's Ma'tie that now
is [Q. Mary] … did grant the said Rectorie together with all the
Tythe Corne and haye to your said Orators … So its is, Right
Honourable Lord, that your said Orators have required of Thomas
Deves, John Borrodaile, Robert Peat, James Parkin, John Haton,
William Peathouse, Michael Mann and Robert Chamber of
Highlawes … such Tythe corne as they ought to yield … after
such measure, quantity and rate as they ought to pay according
to the custome aforesaid, yet that to doe They and everie of them
doe refuse … May it please your good Lordship to grant …
a writ of sub poena to be directed to the same persons, commanding them … personally to appeare in the Queen's Ma'tie's
Court of Chancerie on a certain day, then and there to answer to
the premises …"
" Upon exhibiting of such said Bill of Complaynt several writs
were served upon the forenamed persons … who contemptuously
disobeyed the same. Whereupon several writs of attachment
were awarded against them and nevertheless some of them have
… not appeared, by reason whereof your said Orators have been
compelled to sue for writs of Proclamation against them … and
thus your poor Orators have been put off from their rights the
space of one whole yeare . . and yet . . minding a Godlie and
quiett end of the said Suite … did of late upon their further
charge send the said John Estwicke … who hath made further
offer unto them as thereby your said Orators should lose more
than the third part of their verie dutie for the year past, wch offer
they refused … nevertheless they were contented that fower
Gentlemen of the Countrie there … appointed by the Lord
Dacre and the Bishopp of Carliel should … determine this
matter. Wherewith the said John Estwick though he be a
stranger in the said Countie … is verie well contented …
Lord Dacre and the Lord Bishop of Carliel have appointed John
Dacre, clerk, brother of the said Lord Dacre, Thomas Salkeld,
William Musgrave of Newton, Esquires, and Robert Ellis, gentleman … May it therefore please your good Lordship to grant
the King's and Queen's Majesty's commission to be by them
directed … finallie to determine the said controversie …"
The award of the said Commissioners after the hearing of
Estwick and the tenants, was—"That the Inhabitants … shall
pay unto the said John Estwicke … for every Bushel of Barley
16d. and every bushel of Tithe oats 8d. for the year last past …
at the feast of St. Andrew next in the Church of the Holme …
and from henceforth … pay … [the same rate] and shall be
… acquitted of all such Costs and Charges as the said University … and … Estwick have made or been put unto. And
… all … who heretofore have been accustomed to pay time
out of man's memory their Tithe corn in money shall pay the said
money . . at such days and places as they have been accustomed
to pay . . Dated October 8 ."
After the award, the parishioners complained that "they did
not inform the Commissioners truly . . for that the last Abbot
being made Parson did entreat to have lesser measure in barley
by reason he kept not such a house of hospitality as when he was
abbot, and for that meal was not so vendible as Barley, by reason
it would not keep fresh so long." But the award held good under
Estwick's lease, which lasted until 1580, the rent paid amounting
to £100 12s. 4d. a year. A petition of the parishioners in 1580
to the Chancellor of Oxford, reciting that the 'oulde Leasse' to
Estwick ended on Lady day last, continues:—
"… Thos that was ffermours to him … mayd entry and
hath taken the same since, saving that there is a suite depending
betwixt us and them before or Lord Byshop of Carlyle ever sene
for half a year's tyeth payable after that yeare ended, wch should
have been for the paiment of this rent to you and is as yet unreceaved by or neighbour because he who is one of the ould
farmoures is or lerned Steward of or Courte and the poure dar not
with stand but keepe it unpayed ather to him or us. Now they
the ould farmoures hathe by [process ?] called £40 of the sume
beffore the Lord President of York for the same; desyring your
Worshippe of your helpe geven, seeing we the wholle parishioners
must paye the foresayd sumes at the day and tyme wch the sayd
Leasse appoynted, Whereby dureinge all the leasse of Mr. Estwicke
they were verye ill served for a Vickere, beinge sometyme two or
three yeares without any togeather and hadd non to teatch or
children nor no hospytalyte keped, therefor the popure of or parish
beinge in nombre one hundreth and XV and sometyme more,
wherof we now since or entre hath taken order, certayne of them
shall goe daily through or p'sh and gather the releaffe of them and
the rest, soe that there shall [be] no complaynt, and you have the
hundrethe poundes xiis. iiijd. payd by us at Michaelmas and on
every Ladye day by even payments, or within three monthes
after, saveing that you allow [of the] £100 12s. 4d. to the Viker or
assystant for the better serving of the p'sh and for the teaching of
o/r children vijl. yerely our of the same, … and or Skollemaster
hath but that, saving what they will grant him out of good will.
Our Viker is one of syense and or Skollmaster or assystant is one
of the Addamsons a Cambrydg man. Also ther is this yere about
Allhallowes day [? Lady day] last the greatt window that was
in the Est end of or Chancel blown down, stone beame and glasse;
desyring yor worshippes helpe geven or ellse it wilbe verye
chargeable to us. Also ther is a great lack of reparatyons wch
was left by the ould farmers, and out of the rest of or Church and
Chancell bourdes taken awaye wch wil not be bought for xx or
xxx poundes. And also there is sertayne bourdes taken out of
the Stalles of the Quire wch will not be mayd again for x poundes.
Also the Chancell is sore in decaye both by want of lead and
stoune wch is taken and carryed away by whom we knowe not,
but throgh their deffalt, desyring yor Worshippe to appoint
some Comyssion for to view of the same or otherways to yor
dysscresyon, soe as the same may be viewed and seanne by some
meanes. This is for Godes cause and we your powere farmours
shal daly pray to God ffor all yor good pleading (fn. 1) in learnyng to
the pleasure of God and to the greatt proffett of this or realme."
The University then leased the tithes to Dr. Roger Marbeck
for 21 years. In 1581, three parishioners—R. Chamber, H.
Stamper and R. Skelton—bought the lease of him for £400,
they paying the same rent and rating themselves as they thought
proper; but the troubles were not at an end.
According to the evidence of R. Smith, in the tithe suit of 1586,
the lease was now "put into a good chiste in the sayed churche
whereon four lockes were also hanged and Thomas Hardinge …
had the custodye of one of the Keyes … and the sayd Sixteene
persons the other three … Dyvers eville disposed p'sones there
dyd geve out that the same chiste … myghte be broken and …
some of the Sixtene p'sonnes … dyd kepe and preserve theym
[the writings] in some other place; after whiche some of the
compleynantes, as this deponent thinks … did open the sayd
chiste with intente … to have taken … the sayd Lease or
otherwise to have suppressed the same. Synce wch … the chist
and lease [are] removed to the house of Stephen Barwis, where
they do and may safely remayne. And Robert Smythe further
sayethe that John Haton, John Watson, Robarte Hewson and
John Parkin . . having done nothing but in p'formance of the
Truste in the Leasse . . have been greatly troubled … for that
at dyvers tymes there hayth bene great variance amongst the
parishioners touching the same … especially by the means of
Thomas Chamber, Heugh Askewe and seven scoure others who
denyed the authoritie of the said Sixtene persones … alledginge
that they were not lawfullye appoynted by the consente of the
parishioners, and pursued the suite againste them and Thomas
Hardinge and Robert Barwys who were nomynated by the
Sixteen persons to collect the Tythes (etc.) … Heugh Askew,
Thomas Chamber and Anthony Penrise, three of the complainants,
denyed to pay the same, for that it was alleged by some that the
appoyntment of the Sixteen men was not in lawe neyther could the
collectors serve in their owne names against p'sons wch dyd
witholde their tythes. Whereupon the said Thomas Hardinge
for his owne quiete dyd yielde upp such authoritie as he had.
The Sixteene Men newe chosen would deal with any other and
nomynate anye collector … nor meddle any more with the
same, considering how the Sixteen Men and Collectors weare
served … by reason whereof the sayd Robarte Smithe,
John Haton, John Watson, Robarte Heuson and John Parkine
being leassees, survivors in the sayd Leasse, were forced to take
some goode counsell for p'serving the sayde Leasse from
harme, and did agree that the raite of their tythe corne
should be eight pence a bushelle, being heretofore paid at
that raite. Therefore the Lessees dyd agree with Rowland
Skelton and Thomas Hardinge that p'shioners wch doe paye
tythe corne in money should repayre the sayd chancell (for
that they only have the benefitt of the sayd Leasse by having
their tythe corne at 8d. a bushell where before it hayth been 16d.)
… and should afterwards maynteyn the same dureing the sayed
Leasse. Further … R. Skelton and T. Harding, the yearly
tenth being £100 12s. 9d. [4d?] dewe to the University and the
Vicar's stipend (etc.) during the sayd Leasse and to kepe the
Tenants and the rait of 8d. a bushell whether they gayned or
losed by the sayed bargaine, and so saved the Leasse unforfeyted,
have entered bounde… to p'forme the said Covenantes and …
the parishioners have ever since payed their tythes saving the
sayed T. Chambers, H. Askew and A. Penrise, and they have gone
about to stirre upp newe troubbles tending to the forfeiture of the
Leasse …" The dispute was referred to Lord Scrope and the
Bishop of Carlisle; what was the award is not known, but letters
patent were taken out by the Archbishop of Canterbury to
compel its acceptance.
The forfeiture of the lease was more than a possibility. A
dozen years before the time when it would normally have ended,
the University was negotiating with a new lessee, Sir Arthur Atye,
knt., of Kilburn, co. Middlesex.
1595 July 12. Sir Arthur Atye wrote from London:—" I have
heretofore maid offer unto you that I would buye yor present
estaite in the Rectorie of Holme Cultram, or else that you, yf it so
please you, should buy myne, and to ye offer you have accorded
but very slender answer since, as I marvel… from men so wyse
as I take you to be, as appeareth by your letter of the 19th of
October 1589 and by soume speeches I then had with yr messenger
wch I yet well remember. This notwithstanding, to the intent
that my good will to you as tenants of the sayd p'sonage may
appeare and yt [that] yt ys yor owne fault yf you myse a further
conference therein when yr p'sent Lease is expired. You defyed
this gentleman my friende to talk with you in the matter. Now
againe to the sayd friende [I] resort and do mynd me to staye for
yr answer either by him or otherwise by Allhallowtyde next, and
in the meane tyme by cause I would not ofer you wronge in yor
estate nor would willinglye suffer loss in myne, I do hereby pray
you that you will shewe to this bearer both the Leases you have
since it came to the Universitys hand, as well yt [that] granted to
Mr. Marbeck as the former … I certainly assure myself that
yor tearme is already ended except you by shewing and sending
me copies of both Leases … shall shew me the contrary … .
Yr very loveing Friend Arthur Atye."
1595, Sept. 9. The tenants reply—" They will not consent to
shew any of their Leases to the bearer thereof viz. Henry Marwood
and one Mr. Lumleye unless they will shew the Lease wch Mr.
Atye haith claymed and their offer of a reasonable bond to be
taken by Mr. Atye his estait in the sayd Lease."
After a while Sir A. Atye got a lease for 30 years from Ladyday 1601 (fn. 2) at the same rent as before to the University but paying
£20 to £30 to the Vicar. In 1603 the tenants petitioned the king,
reciting their grievances, and received a gracious answer dated
July 11. Two days later Sir Arthur was bidden, "if God please to
easse his sickness" to stay proceedings until Michaelmas term.
At the Dissolution, a book was made up, as we have seen,
showing what each tenant had to pay in tithes. This book had
not been in the tenants' possession until on Dec. 17, 1603 Thomas
Chamber of Raby Coat bought it in London from "Auditor King
in his office," as the inscription therein records. With this to
support them the tenants held a meeting at Wolsty Castle and
agreed to join in a suit against the owners and farmers of the
1604, March 14. Thomas Chamber wrote to his cousin William:—" At my coming to York… I went to Mr. Dodsworth,
who took pains to peruse all our Petitions in the cause of Appeal
before the delegates at London, who after long conference and
deliberation thought it our best and safest course not to join in
any Examination of Witnesses by the Commission from the
Delegates to be setten upon before Palm Sunday next and was
advertized by Mr. Coston our proctor, and these are his reasons
… (1) The King's Majesty … did referr the Consideration
thereof to the Lord High Treasurer, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Lord Chief Baron and others … (2) The Lord
Treasurer acquainted Sir Arthur Atye therewith … (3) We
presented a Petition unto the Lord Treasurer in special against
Vicar Mandevile and Thomas Harding … and others … the
wch being shewn unto his Majesty by Sir George Henrie it was by
him signified unto the Lord Treasurer that … he should take
order therein … Whereupon his Lordship did recommend the
examinacion of the said complaints by his letters unto Sr. Rich.
Musgrave and Mr. Braithwaite, written as you know for that
purpose, wch being not delivered because of his absence and we
attending upon his return … Mr. Dodsworth doth think it will
be sufficient inducement for the Exchequer Chambers upon
Motion to take the cause again to that hearing and consequently
to stay the Delegates. This he thinketh the fittest for us, because
we follow therein the course directed by his Ma'tie, and would
have us therefore not to trouble ourselves for the examining of
any witnesses by this Commission … because Gibson, the
Register at Carlisle … may be used in this business, who dealt
hardly with you in transmitting the process from Carlisle to York
1604, March 29. The same to the same. "I pray you commend me unto all my friends and pray them to give their task
unto Rowland Chamber (my son) that it may be ready betwixt
this and Easter, or els all will be blank that we have done."
Sir Arthur Atye now caused proctors to exhibit a commission
against three of the tenants, Clean, Huddart and Shaw.
1604, April 24. John Clene and John Huddart to Mr. Coston,
counsel for the tenants:— "We received yr letter … that Sir
A. Atye bathe … brought a cause into the Delegates Court again
where he had gotten a Commission against William Chamber and
Thomas Chamber and us, but when the commissioners made
Examination of it… it was against us two onlye and John
Shawe wch is dead … Now so it is, Good Mr. Coston, that upon
Thursday, Fryday an Saturday before Palm Sundaye, wch dayes
the Comyssion was sat upon, we two, John Clene and John
Huddart, being verye aged, simpell, poore men, hapened both in
souche an extreme secknesse as neither of us was a bell to be at
Church where the Commission sat; and since it begun newe
sytatyons was publyshed upon Sonday ye xvth of this instant
Aprill 1604 and neither of us two being at Church that daye gat
not the coppyeat [capias] or sytation … We are to appear yt
day xv dayes yf yt be a Court Day … Therefore being aged
weack men haith sent this berrer to maik othe of or infirmities
and therefore requireth you to p'vide a Commissioner for the
taking of or Answer … and also for that we were not at ye
Commission sitting, thearby to have objectted such resonabell
matter as appeareth yt might have bene agaynst such necessarie
wytnesses as we understande weare sworne in ye behalfe of Sir
Arthur Atye … viz. Robart Barwyse of Souterfield, John Bell,
Thomas Hardinge, John Hardinge, Couthebart Studdham and
William Osmotherleye, men knowne to be of hard contensies
[consciences] and visius lyfe, as followeth:
"Depositions of the deponents.—Cuthbert Studdham, a backward p'son in all this neighborhead, as well a most slanderous
fornycator and for the same fact or offence was ponessed ackording to ye lawes by peanance in open church and walketh naked
from ye wast.
"William Osmotherley, an extreme extortyoner by his unresounable toll or moulter, taken at his myll [Dubmill] … (fn. 3)
"Robart Barwys a blode threstye fellowe of layt accused and
tryed and standeth upon his pardon and good behaviour.
"John Bell his servant a great droncard and as well a fornicator
and hathe a Bastard with another woman then his wyfe.
"Thomas Hardinge, a most quarreling person and a great
broker and p'curer of this unnecessaire suite and many others …
"And John Hardinge a lyck quarreling fellowe and a prinsepill
present with his coussin John Hardinge, sonne to ye forenamed
Thomas Harding, in ye slaughter of Rychard Glaisters and for the
same faickt fled and was not to be found. An unlawfull agreement was maid with ye said Glaisters Father and frende but as
yeat ys no satisfaction to ye king for want of his subject; and
also this John Hardinge younger brother named Xtopher Hardinge
and being his sarvent; upon Wednesday being the xviij day of
this instant April 1604 hathe bournt and waysted all ye holl
Church and Chancell of Holme Cultram and for the same sacke is
fled and cannot be found. As well as for ye said John Hardinge
being sarvent unto or wecked Vicker Mandeville was by some
p'shioners forbidden to unrype and breck open ye leades of or
church as he did, but he would not be forbidden, answering his
Mr. Vicker Mandeville had so commanded him …
"And this is all that we can shewe you for our defence against
ye depositions. This, good Mr. Coston, we most heartylie pray
you by yr Best and Learned Counsell advyze to be done for us and
yr fees you shall receive by this berrer … ."
Signed with their marks.
Happily for them, the Chamber family conducted the business
with more discretion. Sir Arthur Atye died about this time, but
the famous Tithe-suit of 1604 was nevertheless instituted by John
Bain, Rowland Chamber and 112 of the king's tenants of Holm
Cultram, plaintiffs, against the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars
of Oxford, Sir Arthur Atye (deceased) his executor Lancelot Atye,
Thomas Harding, Edward Mandeville [vicar], and Henry Baynes
[mayor of Carlisle], defendants.
The plaintiffs stated that they had always, except for a time
and by special agreement, paid tithes thus:—some in money, with
their rents, namely Thomas Chamber, £2 16s. 1d. (fn. 4) and for all
tithes due 6s. 8d.; Robert Hodgson, 10s. 6d.; Rowland Chamber,
14s. and Hugh Askew, £1 15s. 4d.; some in kind, paid by the
Abbot's bushel of 8 gallons. The University required them to
pay by the Carlisle bushel, which they said contained 20 gallons or
even more, as it varied from time to time.
To this Atye answered that William and Thomas Chamber were
outlawed [he had in fact just been prosecuting them]; that before
and after the Dissolution "they paid tithe in kind or in any
variable manner, sometimes barley-meal, sometimes money, as
they could agree"; that disputes in Gawen Borrodaile's time, in
2 and 3 Philip and Mary  and in 1579 had been settled in the
sense on which Atye based his claim.
Mandevile and Harding replied that they were only attorneys
and servants to Atye; the decay of the chancel and the fall of the
church-tower [which of course belonged to the owners of the
rectory and had been alleged by the plaintiffs to be their fault]
they charged to the plaintiffs, who were then lessees of the tithes
and responsible for repairs, and that the vicar's action in rebuilding the chancel with the proceeds of the sale of the ruins was in
obedience to the directions of the University dated June 20, 1602.
To this William and Thomas Chamber replied that they were
not outlawed; that Atye's lease began on Lady day 1600, not in
1601, and they traversed the award between Borrodaile and the
tenants. The agreement on Estwick's lease was not to pay in
corn, but 16d. a bushel of barley and 8d. for oats; it left the
custom as before. The fall of the steeple was in Mandevile and
Harding's default, they being farmers of the parsonage, "and the
new buildings are not so strong as the former."
To the charge as against the mayor of Carlisle, Henry Baynes
answered that the Carlisle bushel formerly contained 20 gallons;
he had made new measures, a bushel of 16 gallons and a halfbushel of 8; "the Plaintiffs may use which they like best," but
the city and most of the county desired the continuance of the
ancient measure. The tenants say they tendered arrears to Atye
at 8 gallons the bushel, but suits were prosecuted for these tithes
in the Consistory Court of Carlisle and yet they never paid in
kind. They say that Harding took part with Atye in revenge
because they had sued him, "and he would have his mind eased
against them, although his own children did repent it." They
referred to the suit in Borrodaile's time; Lord Wharton's award
then was that those who paid 12 bushels should pay 11, and so on,
but after the full measure of the bushel of Carlisle, sealed then by
the mayor, and "in clean and dight [winnowed] corn, by view of
four indifferent men, two or three of every town." They assert
that for 60 years past the Carlisle bushel had been 16 gallons, and
that it was twenty or thirty years since barley and oats had been
seen to be sold by the bushel heaped up.
During the winter of 1604–5 several of the Holm men were in
trouble at London, as we learn from the petition of John Barnes,
Stephen Barwis, Robt. Stockdale, John Huddart and John
Biglands representing the tenants against Lady Atye and others;
Sir Arthur being dead. In spite of his death six had been
arrested, "whereof none are partie, but John Bigland and Barnes
appearing, they have continued 13 days in the Fleet, lying on the
Boards, and not till yesterday one of these was enlarged. Barnes
with the other and the residue, very poor men, most humbly
pray they may be admitted to be bound over for another to pay
that shall be decreed against them." The endorsement is—
"Move this matter in Court, for I cannot alter my order without
publick motion." And on Feb. 7, 1604–5, it was ordered that
Stephen Barwis (?) prisoner in the Fleet at the suit of the Lady
Atye, be discharged, with his costs in coming to London, if he be
no party to the suit; but he was to be examined before one of the
Barons of the Court upon interrogatories to be exhibited by Lady
Atye, who has more witnesses to examine, who are to appear
before Mr. Baron Savile in the country during the vacation.
John Barnes also, the petition prays, and the rest of the
prisoners, ought to be enlarged on surety to pay if the decree
goes against them.
In the end the tenants made good their prescription to pay a
modus decimandi or money in place of tithe hay and corn; but
they had to pay certain mixed tithes, such as lambs, geese, calves,
foals, pigs, hens and fish. On Feb. 24, 1609, Dame Judith Atye,
widow of Sir Arthur, appointed Rowland Skelton, senior, of
Angerton, (fn. 5) her attorney and receiver of all tithes in sums of
money or bushels of corn and meal in arrear, unpaid for the last
1618. This Rowland Skelton was afterwards agent to Sir
George Dalston of Daiston, who took over the tithes in succession
to Lady Atye. Skelton's land at Angerton became a prey to
inundation; he handed it over to his son Rowland Skelton junior,
who refused to pay tithe for the portion become valueless. Suits
in the ecclesiastical court at Carlisle followed, Sir George maintaining the ancient rights. Counsel's opinion was taken and on
August 12, 1618, Mr. Serjeant Humphrey Damport advised on a
motion of compromise by which the defendant tenants agreed for
quietness' sake to pay a certain sum towards the costs already
incurred, which Sir George accepted.
1624, June 10. No. further action having been taken by Sir
George, the case was dismissed with 4 marks costs to defendants.
1722, Aug. 16. The parishioners requested counsel's opinion
from William Gilpin (fn. 6) on the tithe question as it then stood, to
which he replied under the above date at great length. He recited
the facts already stated, and alluded to the tradition of Abbot
Gregory's demanding tithes for Newton Arlosh in order to
maintain a curate, though, he said, "I doubt the story will still
remain in the dark," and cited the Rental of 29 Henry VIII
(Gawen Borrodaile's book) to show that tithes were very variously
paid, or unpaid, by different occupiers. But freeholders and
customary tenants had generally paid all tithes great and small in
some form or other; and indeed no lay person could evade doing
so unless they had paid something in lieu thereof or had been
discharged by act of parliament. His opinion was, in short, that
the tenants who had paid tithe, great and small, or moduses
[money payments] or customary rates in lieu thereof could not
hope to be discharged, because the ancient payment was evidence
of the liability; and the mere omission of explicit mention of
certain tithes in the Rental of 29 Henry VIII did not prove that
such tithes were not paid of old.
1784, April. When the acredales or ancient commonfields were
enclosed, the lessees and collectors of tithe modus, Richard
Lothian, Isaac Lightfoot and Joseph Barnes, demanded tithe on
this land now presumed to be under regular cultivation. Forty
one tenants entered into agreement to defend one another against
prosecution, and elected as their trustees for seven years Osmotherley Barwise and Robert Sibson of Mawbray, John Parkin
of Edderside, John Johnson of New Cowper, John Tindall of
Southerfield, Joseph Langcake of Aldoth, Isaac Reay of Highlaws, John Wilkinson of Gillbank and Jeremiah Barwise of Nook;
pledging themselves to pay only the ancient modus for the
acredales, namely 1s. 10d. per annum every two years in twelve,
according to the accustomed rotation of the rivings or divisions of
1802, March 29. Fifty-one tenants agreed that, if Joseph
Wilkinson should get a final verdict to compel them to pay as
demanded, they would not plough any part of the acredales but
that which would be in course to plough, during the term of his
lease. And no further action was taken for the time.
1806. At the enclosure of the commons, a clause in the act
exempted the pasture-land from tithe for 8 years. The first crops
were reaped in 1811 and 1812. In January 1813 a suit was commenced by the University, but was not prosecuted.
1833. The University instituted upwards of 20 suits in the
Exchequer Courts at Westminster against over 200 defendants,
suing them for tithes. Answers from 65 of these set up certain
moduses and exemptions. But in March 1839 the defendants
applied to the Tithe Commissioners to interfere. A preliminary
meeting was appointed for June 15, 1840, before Mr. Rawlinson
as Commissioner. The tenants offered the University £200 a
year in lieu of all tithe, or otherwise 1 1/2 of all commons. The
University at first suggested £800 then £1000 a year, including
costs of both parties in a trial which threatened and proved to be
long and expensive. The tenants then offered £600. Ultimately it was agreed to give £900 a year, each party to pay its
own expenses; a larger sum than would have been required if the
tenants had come to terms with the tithe-holders before the
enclosure of the commons. At the hand of the Crown the rent
has not been increased a penny, while the tithe has increased
nine-fold; and not only so, but the care of the poor, formerly
paid by the abbey out of the tithe, is thrown upon the inhabitants
For this trial the copyholders elected as Committee: Messrs.
R. Barnes of Wolsty Close, Robert Peat of Seaville, John Steel of
Southerfield and John Grainger of Southerfield. The first meeting
before the Tithe Commission took place in 1840; on Sept. 6, 1847,
it was agreed to accept Mr. Rawlinson's award, given Dec. 31,
1847; after which the land had to be valued and mapped and
the amount of tithe per acre fixed. The last meeting to accept
accounts was held Feb. 19, 1851, and the bills of costs paid by the
committee amounted to £5,668 1s. 2d., which was raised by eight
rates extending from 1839 to 1850. At the conclusion, Mr.
Barnes and Mr. Grainger were each presented with a Silver Tea
and Coffee Service for their Work on behalf of the District.