TITHE MAPS AND APPORTIONMENTS
These documents are invaluable for the history
of villages, properties, families, agriculture and landscape
and Wales in the period, 1837 – 1852. They were created
as a result of the abolition of the payment in kind of tithes,
that is one tenth of annual income, to the church by the Tithe
Commutation Act of 1837 and the replacement of this practice
by the payment of a money rent. In order to work out how much
tithe rent each owner and occupier of any property should pay,
a detailed map and accompanying schedule or apportionment had
to be drawn up. Tithe maps and apportionments are therefore ‘one-off’ documents,
providing a detailed and invaluable snapshot of a parish at
a fixed date between 1837 and 1852.
There are a few places in the county, principally in the far
north of the county, which were tithe free. This is because
the soil was too unproductive to yield a reasonable return.
Each piece of land or property has a reference
number, drawn on the map itself, which is also recorded in
schedule. Against each reference number in the schedule, the
following details are recorded: name of the landowner, name
of occupier or tenant if applicable, description of property,
acreage given in acres, roods and perches and finally the amount
of rent charge calculated as payable. The reference numbers
are not arranged in numerical order but grouped under the landowners’ names,
which are listed alphabetically. Tithe maps are usually at
a large scale of 6 chains (1 chain = 22 yards) to 1 inch.
WHERE TO FIND TITHE MAPS
Only three copies of the tithe map and apportionment
were produced for any one parish: one for the Tithe Commissioners
themselves, one for the diocese and one for the parish. The
Tithe Commissioners’ copies are now at the National Archives,
Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
The diocesan copies for Staffordshire and northern
Shropshire are at the Lichfield Record Office and form
part of the diocesan records. These are the main series of
and maps available locally. See www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives for information about opening hours.
The Staffordshire Record Office holds the parish
copies of tithe maps only where they have been deposited
at the Record
Office by the parish in question. See www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives for
information about opening hours.
"Tithe Surveys for Historians" by
RJP Kain and HC Prince, published by Phillimore, 2000,
(ISBN 1 86077 125 4)