Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, Land Commission, 1903-1919
Board of Agriculture, Land Commission, 1889-1903
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
Subject to 30 year closure
Immediate source of acquisition:
Tithe Redemption Commission , from 1940
For further information about the records of the Tithe Commission see Tithe Records in the Public Record Office, (Public Record Office Information Leaflet 41).
Administrative / biographical background:
In the early nineteenth century, tithes (payments made by parishioners for the support of their parish church and its clergy) were still payable in kind (ie in actual produce) in the great majority of parishes in England and Wales. They were a source of growing discontent on the part of those who paid them. The government therefore decided on the compulsory commutation of tithes throughout the country: this was effected by the Tithe Commutation Act 1836. In principle, the Act substituted, for the payment of tithes in kind, monetary payments known as tithe rentcharges, similar to the corn rents which were already payable in many parishes under a local Enclosure Act. Three Tithe Commissioners were appointed and the process of commutation began.
Once commutation had been completed, the principal duties of the Tithe Commission were to administer redemptions, altered apportionments and mergers of tithe rentcharge, and several Acts were passed to facilitate these operations.
The Tithe Act 1936 abolished all tithe rentcharges still payable on land immediately before 2 October 1936 and replaced them by terminable tithe redemption annuities payable for 60 years ending on 1 October 1996 unless redeemed or otherwise extinguished in the meantime. These annuities were to be paid to the State by those who had formerly paid tithe rentcharge. The 1936 Act also compensated the former tithe-owners out of Government stock. The Tithe Redemption Commission was set up with the duty, inter alia, of collecting the redemption annuities on behalf of the State. In 1960, the functions of the Tithe Redemption Commission were transferred to the Board of Inland Revenue.
City of London parishes were, generally speaking, excluded from the operations of the 1836 and later Tithe Acts; uncommuted tithes in these parishes were extinguished under the City of London (Tithes) Act 1947 c.xxxi (10 and 11 Geo. 6).
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