Tithe, from the Anglo-Saxon "teotha", meaning "tenth", was an early form of taxation in which
peasants gave one tenth of their produce to the church. The right to receive tithes was passed to
the English churches by King Ethelwulf in 855, with legality confirmed by Westminster in 1285.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII led to the transfer of many tithe rights to
secular landowners, and subsequently in the 1530s to the Crown.
With the 1836 Commutation Act tithes ceased, to be replaced by a rent charge decided by a
Tithe Commission. The decline of large landowners led tenants to become freeholders; In
Langham this led to considerable resentment and unrest between villagers and the Vicar of
Oakham Heneage Finch which was reported in the "Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury".
The rent charges paid to landowners were converted by the 1936 Tithe Act to annuities paid to
the state through the Tithe Redemption Commission. Payments were transferred in 1960 to
the Board of Inland Revenue and the 1977 Finance Act finally brought them to an end.
The Tithe Files are a valuable resource for people interested in local history.
The Village History Group has now completed the creation of a fully searchable 1841 Langham
Parish tithe map and linking to its data. The files and instructions are in Adobe Acrobat format
and can be either used on-line or downloaded to a PC for your own use. The map is fully
scaleable allowing you to see very small geographical areas and property. These files are for
personal use and study purposes, please contact the secretary of Langham Village History
Group should you wish to widen its use.
Langham Village History Group ~ © 1996 - 2022