Shipton: dispute about tithe milk, 1725

*The text below comes from Arthur Clear, The King's Village in Demesne (1894), 52-3*

About 1730, a disagreement arose between the Rev. James Edmonds, the then Vicar of Winslow, and the inhabitants of Shipton, respecting "Tithe Milk." The ground of the Vicar's claim being, that as the inhabitants of Winslow had long been accustomed to pay a tithe of milk in kind, he maintained that he was also entitled to the same dues from the Township of Shipton. The document goes on to state that:

"The inhabitants of Shipton, —which is a Township within the Parish of Winslow—have, time out of mind, payed for their cow's com(m)on throughout the Feilds belonging to the said Township, to the Vicar of Winslow and Shipton, after the rate of tenpence for each cow's com(m)on per annum, throughout the said Feilds of Shipton, on St. Martin's Day; and that no other demands, within the memory of man, have been payed for Tithe Milk, or for any dues claimed for Cows' Com(m)on within the said Township.

The inhabitants of both Winslow and Shipton by custom, have payed for Easter offerings, twopence a head for everyone that is above sixteen yeais of age, and a garden-penny for every family in lieu of tithes in garden stuff; for every calf at the fall of it 4d.; but no tithe for colts has ever been payed or demanded. The Vicar has every tenth lamb yean'd in the Parish, which he is to take on St. Mark's day, if not otherwise agreed upon; and for sheep wintered in the fields of Winslow-cum-Shipton, every tenth fleece of wool to be taken at shearing time; and for sheep bought in after Candlemas, a groat per month for every hundred sheep so bought, and so in proportion for any lesser quantity.

On Hock Munday, [being the Munday s'night after Easter], they (Winslow, exclusive of Shipton), begin to pay to the Vicar the tenth meal of milk, and so continue to do till the first day of August, when the tithing time for milk ceases untill Michaelmas Day at night, and they begin again as before, untill the 11th day of November, called Martinmas Day, and then no more until the next Hock Munday."

How this dispute was settled does not appear; but in 1743, an Act of Parliament was passed for "Dividing and Enclosing the Common Fields in the Hamlet of Shipton," whereby the the Vicar of Winslow was allotted one close of Greensward, called Smithell Close, and other lands in Shipton, in lieu of tithe.

*The dispute actually began in 1725, although it may have dragged on until 1730. A writ was issued on 10 Jan 1725 in response to a complaint from James Edmonds now in the papers of the King's Remembrancer:*

**National Archives E112/931 no.72**

Summary of the complaint: James Edmonds was admitted vicar in June 1720. He claimed that the vicars enjoyed tithes of corn and hay from ancient inclosed grounds, and the small tithes of herbage, calves, sheep, lambs, colts, wool, pigs, milk, game, fowls, eggs, hops, furze, herbs, fruit and garden stuff. In Shipton there was a great common called the Cowpasture, and a great part of the adjoining field was enclosed from the beginning of February to May Day. Parcels of it were held by John Henley, William Elliott, Thomas Whiteaves, Thomas Whorrell butcher, and Richard Lowndes esq. the present impropriator of the rectory. They kept cows yeilding milk and had calves and kept dry cattle. Henley and Whiteaves kept bees from which they had honey and wax. Londes and Henley cut down furze. Lowndes kept sheep from which he had lambs and wool, cut hay in ancient inclosed grounds. Elliott in 1723 and Whiteaves from 1722 sheared sheep. Lowndes and Whiteaves kept mares from which they had colts. They claimed the tithes of hay and cattle belonged to Lowndes. There was no modus [i.e. cash equivalent] for payment of tithe milk for part of the year.

Summary of Robert Lowndes' answer, taken at Winslow 9 July 1725: He did not believe the vicar was entitled to any tithe of corn or hay. He had only a little piece of ancient inclosed ground of half an acre, yearly value 5s, in 1722 the tithe was worth about 2s. The Cowpasture contained 108 acres and did not belong to all the inhabitants. Two of the three common fields were inclosed yearly. After the grain was carried away they were laid open for pasturing cattle.

A smoke penny was paid by each inhabitant at Easter in satisfaction of the tithe of wood and furze burnt in their houses. A penny was paid at Easter in satisfaction of the tithe of fruit and garden stuff except apples, pears and walnuts. [*These points are also made by Whiteaves et al.*]

Lowndes' titheable produce in 1722:

- His little orchard containing half an acre produces about a quarter load of grass worth 5s, tithe 6d (same in 1723, 1724).
- The ancient close late Glenisters contains 5 acres, worth £6 p.a., tithe 12s. Edmonds took a tenth of the hay.
- The ancient close late Kirbys contains 2 acres worth 50s p.a. and was grazed that year (also 1723, 1724).
- He kept 5 cows in the tithing time which produced 400 gallons of milk worth 4d/gallon. The tithe milk of each cow was worth 2s 8d. In the rest of the year they might produce 400 gallons. The tithe milk of each cow milked out of tithing was worth 2s 8d.
- 4 calves that year were sold at 10 days old for 16s, tithe 1s 7¼d
- 2 other calves were calved and sold out of tithing for 16s, tithe 1s 7¼d

He sent his servant to ask Edmonds to take the milk. Edmonds would not have it but such satisfaction as Lowndes or his wife was pleased to pay. Lowndes paid him a guinea at Easter when not more than 6d was due.

- 80 sheep, whose tithe wool was 8 fleeces worth 6s 8d which Edmonds received in kind
- 4 lambs were produce, tithe 3d

In 1723:

- Glenisters was grazed for most of the year, produced a load of hay worth £1 5s, tithe 2s 6d.
- He kept 5 cows, milk same quantity as previous year (also 1724).
- 6 calves were sold as sucklers for 20s at 10 days old, tithe 2s.
- He kept 16 sheep which were shorn, wool worth 12s 6d, tithe wool 15d.
- 7 lambs worth 10s 6d, tithe 1s 4¼d
- 3 pigs worth 4s 6d, tithe 5½d, 1½d due to Edmonds
- Paid a garden penny

In 1724:

- 10 loads of hay from Glenisters worth £7 10s, tithe 15s, which Edmonds received in kind.
- 5 calves, one kept for a cow, the others sold for 16s, tithe 1s 8d
- 16 sheep shorn, wool worth 12s 6d, tithe 15d paid in kind.
- 4 lambs worth 8s, tithe 9¾d, 2d due to Edmonds.
- At Easter 1724 and 1725 he paid Edmonds a guinea each year
- He cut 600 faggots of furze at Shipton Varnom to be burnt in his own house, value 42s, tithe 2s 2½d
- He cut 850 small furze faggots to burn a small quantity of bricks for his own use, value 55s, tithe 5s 6d.
- He had small quantites of bees, received no honey or wax.
- He will pay £2 2s 11d for fruit, herbage and garden stuff.

Witnesses [*signed*]: Nicho: Merwin, Tho: Edlin, Tho ?Prickett

Answer of Thomas Whiteaves, Thomas Wurrall, John Henley and William Elliott

[Summary] The vicars receive tithes of hay but not corn from ancient inclosed grounds. Shipton Cowpasture contains 108 acres and only those with land there have right of common. The adjoining common field is not inclosed as suggested. Two of the three common fields in Shipton are inclosed yearly, one about Hollontide called the Wheat Field, one about Lady Day called the Bean Field. The third lies fallow. When the corn is carried away, the fields are laid open in common for depasturing cattle.

Henley and Elliott have held land mainly in Shipton from which they had milk, calves, fruit, herbs and garden stuff. They did not keep dry cattle. Henley had bees and furze, Elliott had sheep, wool and lambs.

Whiteaves and Wurrall held land in Winslow tything. Whiteaves had cattle, milk, fruit, herbs, garden stuff, bees, calves, sheep, wool, lambs, 1 colt. Wurrall had milk, 2 calves. He sold one cow the day she calved, the other the day after. Another cow calved in 1724. He kept several dry cattle in 1723-4.

Tithes are due for wool, colts, furze not growing in the Cowpasture which is sold and not burnt, geese, apples, pears, walnuts and other fruit not growing in gardens.

The tithe milk in Winslow tything is the tenth "evening and morning meales milke in kind" from the evening of Hock Monday to Lammas Day and from the evening of Michaelmas to Martinmas. No tithe milk is paid in kind for the residue of the year, but the vicar receives all the milk of each cow milked on Hock Monday evening and the morning following, Michaelmas evening and the morning following, the morning and evening of Lammas Day and Martinmas. He receives the tenth penny of what each calf is sold for which is calved in Winslow tything between the morning after Hock Monday and Lammas Day, and between the morning after Michaelmas and Martinmas. 4d is payable by each inhabitant on Martinmas as a modus for the tithe of calves calved at other times or weaned for rearing.

10d[?] per acre in the Cowpasture is paid to the vicar at Martinmas as a modus for the tithes of milk, herbage and furze growing in the Cowpasture.

If a parishioner has 10 lambs or pigs, the vicar receives one. If they have 9, he receives one and pays back ½d. If they have 8, he receives one and pays back 1d, etc. If the parishioner has 6 lambs, he pays the vicar 3d, if 5 he pays the vicar 2½d, etc.

At Easter, there are due to the vicar 3 eggs for every cock and drake, two eggs for every hen and duck.

The vicar has refused to accept these payments.

John Henly has occupied an orchard in Shipton tything containing 1½ acres, and grazed it but not mowed it. He had 9 acres in the Cowpasture. In 1722:

- He kept 6 cows in the Cowpasture from 10 May to Lammas Day, then in the common fields and his orchard.
- They produced 840 gallons of milk @4d per gallon. The tithe milk was worth 4s 8d per cow.
- On Martinmas Day 1722 he paid 7s 6d (10d per acre) for tithes of furze in the Cowpasture and milk in Shipton tithing.
- He had 6 calves worth £4 10s. The tithe was 9s of which he paid 6s.
- He had 20 bushels of apples, and paid 3s for the tithe.
- He had one tithe of bees from which he took up a quart of honey worth 15d, tithe 1½d.

In 1723:

- He had 6 cows, kept as in 1722, which produced milk as in 1722.
- On Martinmas Day he paid 10d per acre for each acre in the Cowpasture
- He had 5 calves worth £3 10s, tithe 7s. The vicar accepted 5s.
- He had 10 pecks of apples worth 20d, tithe 2d. The vicar's manservant refused to take the tithe. Henly's wife gave the vicar instead "a cupple of chickens worth about 1s 2d and delivered them into his own hands in sattisfaction of such tyth fruit which very much exceeded the value of such tyth fruit and which he accepted for that year".
- He had 1 hive of bees, from which he took up [illegible amount of honey] and 3 oz of was worth 3d "the tyth thereof was not worth one farthing and sent it the complt for tyth of the honey and wax thereof and for ye former year two tenth part thereof which was more than the value for tyth of ye honey and wax for both the said years 1722 and 1723".
- He cut in the Cowpasture 100 furze faggots worth 6s 8d to sell, tithe 8d.

In 1724:

- He kept 6 cows, as in 1722-3. They produced milk as in 1722-3. He paid 7s 6d in lieu of tithes for the Cowpasture.
- He rented from John Henley the younger 1½ acres more in the Cowpasture to keep another cow. John Henley the younger paid the vicar 15d, the modus due.
- The cow produced 140 gallons of milk, tithe 4s 8d.
- He had 6 calves worth £3 18s, tithe 7s 9½d. The vicar accepted 6s.
- He had 12 bushels of apples and 3 bushels of pears worth 12d per bushel, tithe 1s 6d.
- He had half a peck of walnuts worth 10d, tithe 1d. The vicar did not come to take the tithe. His wife "carried the complt a cuple of very good pulletts worth about 2s 4d which was more than the value of such tyth fruit but at Martinmass last the complt mencioned again the said tyth fruit though this deft was sattisfied he owed him nothing he [Henley] then offered to pay him any money whatsoever that he would ?take for his demands from this deft or to that ?effect but since that time this deft pulled out of his pockett [
*illegible*] laid it down before the complt and bid him take what he would of it to give himselfe sattisfaction but the complt refused both times to take any money being well sattisfied he was fully paid as this deft veryly beleives " - He took up one hive of bees from which he had a pint of honey and 1½ oz. wax [tithe illegible].
- He cut 300 furze faggots in the Cowpasture, tithe 2s.

William Elliott occupied two orchards in Shipton tything containing 2 acres "and no other ancient inclosed grounds which this deft hath yearly grazed and not mowed"

In 1722:

- He kept 6 cows in the Cowpasture from 10 May to Lammas Day, then in the common fields and orchard.
- They produced 840 gallons of milk @4d per gallon. Tithe milk of each cow 4s 8d.
- At Martinmas he paid the vicar 10d for each of 9 acres in the Cowpasture in lieu of tithes of furze and milk.
- He had 6 calves worth £3 15s, tithe 7s 6d. The vicar accepted 12d per calf.
- He had 48 bushels of apples worth 48s, tithe 4s 9¾d. He agreed to sell to one Mr Pooll, who would not take them, but the vicar would not take his tithe in kind, so Elliott paid him 9s "for fear of being troubled by him".

In 1723:

- He kept 5 cows in the Cowpasture from 10 May to Lammas Day, then as in 1722.
- They produced 600 gallons of milk at 4d per gallon, tithe milk of each cow 4s 8d.
- He occupied 7½ acres in the Cowpasture and paid 10d per acre in lieu of tithes of furze and milk.
- He had 5 calves worth £3, tithe 6s. The vicar accepted 12d for each calf.
- He had 30 sheep and 30 fleeces worth £1 2s 6d, tithe wool worth 2s 3d "which this deft hath not paid the complt because he refused to accept the same".
- He had 30 bushels of apples worth 40s, tithe 4s which he paid in kind.

In 1724:

- He kept cows on 7½ acres as in 1723. He offered to pay 10d per acre in lieu of tithes of furze and milk.
- He had 4 calves worth £3, tithe 6s, which the vicar refuses to receive.
- He ahd 49 bushels of apples and 1 bushel of pairs @8d per bushel, worth 34s 2s, tithe 3s 5d. He "gave notice to the complt to take the tyth thereof whose [man?] came and tooke the tyth of codlins and windfalls and this deft was alwayes ready to [have] paid the full tyth of all the rest of the fruit not tythed which he had in that year which was worth about 3s 4d".

Thomas Whiteaves had an orchard of 1/8 acre whose grass was eaten by his cattle.

In 1722:

- He kept 3 cows in Winslow tything from Hocktide to Lammas and Michaelmas to Martinmas which produced 200 gallons of milk @4d per gallon. Tithe milk of each cow worth 2s 2½d.
- From Lady Day 1722 to Hocktide and from Lammas to Martinmas and to Hocktide 1723 they produced 59 gallons @4d. The tithe milk of each cow was worth 7¾d.
- He had 3 calves, of which one was sold for 6s, tithe 7d. The other two were fatted and sold out of the tithing times for 40s, tithe 4s.
- The vicar received the milk "according to the usuage within the said tything of Winslow" [see above] and was satisfied.
- He kept 87 sheep in the tything of Winslow. Tithe wool was 8 fleeces and 2¾ lbs of wool worth 9s, which the vicar received in kind.
- He had 4 or 5 lambs worth 7s 6d, tithe worth 9d, and paid the vicar 4 or 5 halfpence.
- He had a colt which he kept for husbandry.

In 1723:

- Between Martinmas 1722 and 1723 he kept 7 cows within the tything of Winslow which produced in the tything times in 1723 950 gallons of milk @4d. Tithe milk of each cow worth 4s 6¼d.
- Out of tything times they produced 192 gallons of milk @4d. Tithe milk of each cow worth 10¾d.
- Between Martinmas 1722 and 1723 he had 8 calves, sold for £7, tithe 14s.
- He kept 39 sheep in the tything of Winslow. Tithe wool of 39 fleeces worth 30s was 3s. He "sent to ye complt [to take] the tyth thereof who sent for answere that this deft might sell his own wooll and leave the complts wooll which was done and the same remains still in this defts house to be delivered to him on demand and this deft hath often desired the complt to take ye same tyth wooll and the complt promised to take the sd tyth wooll and make no future demand on this deft or to that effect".
- He had no lambs.

In 1724:

- He kept 6 cows in the summer and 5 in the winter, with produced 588 gallons of milk in the tything times @4d per gallon. Tithe milk of each cow worth 3s 4d.
- Out of tything times the 5 cows produced 294 gallons of milk. Tithe milk of each cow worth 1s 11½d.
- At the beginning of the year he had 5 calves calved within the tything times, sold for £4 10s. Tithe 9s. "He agreed with the complt for ye tyth milk ariseing in ye said tything times in that year and for tyth calfe at 3s each cow and calfe which this deft hath often offered to pay but the complt refused to accept it but tooke of this deft 5s only in part thereof".
- Between Martinmas 1724 and Lady Day 1725 he had three other calves out of tything times, sold for £3 ?s 6d, tithe 7s.
- He and his son kept 8 sheep in the tything of Winslow. Tithe wool 16 lbs worth 7s 6d; tithe worth 9d.
- 1 lamb, for which his son paid ½d for the tithe.
- He gathered no fruit in 1722-4 except half a bushel of walnuts each year worth 15d, tithe worth 1½d which he paid in kind
- 1 bushel of apples in 1724 worth 20d, tithe worth 2d.
- He had one hive of bees, fromwhich he had 2 quarts of honey worth 2s 6d.
- He had 2 incalved cows.

Thomas Wurrall had no ancient inclosed grounds, no milk or fruit.

In 1723:

- He had 2 dry cows.
- He had [?] calves worth 3s 4d each.
- He had 2 dry cows from Lammas Day for 8 weeks in the common fields
- 3 cows depastured in the common fields after Lammas, which calved. He sold one the same day and two the day following. He had 3 pints of "busting milke" worth ¾d

The defendants "do insist on the pecuniary payment aforesaid in leiw of tythable matters and things yearly growing and ariseing in the said common called the Cowpasture". They agree there is due in vicarial tithes "the sum of 1s 9d from this deft Henley and amounting to ye summe of 13s 7d from this deft Elliott and amounting to ye summe of £1 4s 5d from this deft Whiteaves and amounting to ye summe of 5s 10d from this deft Wurrall". For garden fruit, herbs and other garden stuff, if the court does not establish the modus, "this deft Henley submitts to charge himselfe with the summe of £3 11s 4d for ye value of ye tythes thereof And this deft Elliott submitts to charge himselfe with the summe of £2 14s 8d for the value of the tyth thereof And this deft Whiteaves submitts to charge himselfe with the summe of £1 1s 6¾d for the value of ye tythes thereof And this deft Worrall submitts to charge himself with the sume of [blank] for the value of the tythes thereof".

Sworn at Winslow 9 July 11 George before us

[signed] Nicho: Merwin

Thos Edlin

Tho ?Prickett

[signed] John Henly

Wm Elliott

the marke of Thos X Whiteaves

Thomas Worall

*See also: *