Catalogue description Records of the Tithe Commissioners and Successors

Details of Division within IR
Reference: Division within IR
Title: Records of the Tithe Commissioners and Successors

Records (otherwise in TITH) relating to the computation, collection and administration of tithe rentcharges and tithe redemption annuities in England and Wales.

Correspondence files of the Tithe Commission and successors are in IR 18. Minutes of the Tithe Redemption Commission are in IR 89. Registered files of the Tithe Redemption Office are in IR 65

Tithe apportionments are in IR 29, with accompanying tithe maps in IR 30 and IR 77. Special awards are in IR 106

Records of the Royal Commission on the Tithe Rentcharge (1934) are in IR 101

Other records are as follows:

  • Altered apportionments of corn rents, in IR 107
  • Certificates of capital value, in IR 95;
  • Certificates of redemption of corn rents, in IR 108;
  • Certificates of redemption of tithe rentcharge by annuities, in IR 102;
  • Corn rents index, in IR 103;
  • Orders for apportionment in IR 94, with district record maps in IR 90;
  • Ordnance Survey maps, in IR 93 and IR 105;
  • Overlap orders, in IR 96;
  • Particulars submitted by owners of tithe rentcharges, in IR 110;
  • Records of Ascertainment, in IR 104;
  • Registers of alterations to tithe apportionments, in IR 117;
  • Registers of certificates of redemption of tithe rentcharge by lump sum, in IR 109;
  • Registers of confirmations of Tithe Instruments, in IR 118;
  • Special apportionments and deeds of special charge, in IR 97;
  • Unregistered records, in IR 137.

The following abbreviated designations are used in the catalogue:
B = Borough
C = Chapelry
D = District
Ex-P = Extra parochial
H = Hamlet
L = Liberty
Lp = Lordship
M = Manor
P = Parish
Q = Quarter
R = Rectory
T = Township
Ty = Tithing

Date: 1805-1979
Related material:

Files regarding the custody of tithe documents are in HMC 4

Legal status: Public Record(s)

Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, Land Commission, 1903-1919

Board of Agriculture, Land Commission, 1889-1903

Board of Inland Revenue, Tithe Redemption Office, 1960-1976

Copyhold, Inclosure and Tithe Commission, 1851-1882

Home Office, Land Commission, 1882-1889

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Land Commission, 1919-1936

Tithe Commission, 1836-1851

Tithe Redemption Commission, 1936-1960

Physical description: 25 series
Publication note:

For further information about tithe records, see Tithe Records (Public Record Office, Domestic Records Information Leaflet 41).

Administrative / biographical background:

Prior to 1836, tithes (payments made by parishioners for the support of their parish church and clergy) were payable in kind in the majority of parishes in England and Wales. The Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 provided for monetary payments, called tithe rentcharges, to replace the payments in kind. Tithe Commissioners were appointed to administer the Act. Legislation passed in 1851 authorised the appointment of commissioners to perform the functions of three commissions (the Tithe Commission, the Copyhold Commission and the Inclosure Commission) under the joint title of the Copyhold, Inclosure and Tithe Commission. Under the Settled Land Act 1882, its functions passed to the Land Commission, under the Home Office. From 1889, the Board of Agriculture and successors took responsibility for administration of the Tithe Acts.

Difficulties in the administration of these Acts led to the setting up of a Royal Commission on Tithe Rentcharge. Its report in November 1935 led to the Tithe Act 1936. The principal effect of this statute was the replacement of tithe rentcharge and extraordinary tithe rentcharge by terminable tithe redemption annuities, and the compensation of tithe owners out of government stock (3% Redemption Stock 1936-96), funded by annuities payable over sixty years. The Tithe Redemption Commission was set up to administer the 1936 Act and inherited most of the surviving tithe functions from previous legislation: determining, apportioning, collecting and managing the annuities; and the apportionment of annuities on division of land. It also administered corn rents resulting from commutation before the Tithe Act 1836; and corn rent annuities converted under the Tithe Act 1918; and liability for chancel repairs. Certain obligations placed upon the Tithe Redemption Commission were modified under the Tithe Act 1951.

The Tithe Redemption Commission was dissolved and its functions transferred to the Board of Inland Revenue under the Tithe Redemption Commission (Transfer of Functions and Dissolution) Order (Order in Council, 20 November 1959). This Board created a Tithe Redemption Office which, on 1 April 1960, .took over the functions and staff of the Tithe Redemption Commission. It thus became responsible for the collection and administration of tithe redemption annuities in England and Wales, which work was organised on a functional and subsequently on a regional basis.

The Finance Act 1977 extinguished all subsisting tithe-related payments, apart from chancel repair liabilities. The Tithe Redemption Office was closed, and the principal records transferred to the Public Record Office.

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