top of page

Tithe Award for Rylstone


Policy background


As stated in the on-line GenGuide:


'The Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 allowed tithes (tenths) to be converted into cash payments. These payments were known as Tithe Awards (also known as apportionments or schedules) and were based on land values and the price of corn. Tithe Commissioners administered and collected the payments. Tithes had been levied on people from Anglo-Saxon times and entitled the church to one tenth of their annual revenue or produce. By the early 19th century the tithe system had become unwieldy and unpopular, so the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 converted tithes into cash payments. Finally in 1936 tithe rent charges were abolished.In the majority of cases three copies of the award were made. One for the parish, one for the diocese and one for the Tithe Commission. The award provided details of landowners and occupies within each tithe district usually based on the parish boundary.The tithe award also has a reference number to an accompanying large scale tithe survey map of the parish showing what land was occupied as well as features such as houses, parish boundaries and field names. Maps that met the rigorous standards set by the Tithe Commissioners were classified as 'first class' whilst those classified as 'second class' varied in quality and scope'.


Text of the Tithe Award for Rylstone, 1839 

(with modern punctuation added to aid understanding) 


'Whereas an agreement for the Commutation of Tithes in the Township of Rilston in the Parish of Burnsall in the West Riding in the County of York was on the twenty first day of October in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine confirmed by the Tithe Commissioners for England and Wales of which agreement with the schedule therein comprised the following is a copy.

Provisional Articles of Agreement for the Commutation of the tithes of the Township of Rilston in the Parish of Burnsall in the West Riding in the County of York pursuant to the Act for the commutation of tithes in England and Wales made and executed at a meeting of the land owners and tithe owners duly called and holden in the said township and adjourned and holden by adjournment on the seventeenth day of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine, and since perfected by and between the Reverend William Bury Rector of both Medieties of the said parish and owner of all the tithes and moduses in lieu of Tithes in the Township of Rilston except the tithes of corn of the first part The Most Noble William Spence Duke of Devonshire Impropriator of the tithes of corn within the said Township of the second part and the several persons owners of land within the said township by whom or by whose agents duly authorize in that behalf these presents are executed and the interests of which landowners in the lands of the said township is not less than two thirds of the lands therein subject to tithes of the third part.


The estimated quantity of land in statute measure and subject to tithes within the said township is three thousand and fifty acres three roods and thirty nine perches or thereabouts, which is cultivated and follows that is to say:


Arable land                                5 acres

Meadow and pasture           2095 acres 1 rood 13 perches

Wood land                             101 acres 1 rood 18 perches

Common                                849 acres 1 rood 1 perch.


A farm or tenement called the Rilston Hall Demesne Farm the property of the Duke of Devonshire and containing about 805 acres now in the occupation of William Blake is covered from underof any tithes in kind by payment of an annual Modus of three pounds six shillings and eight pence to the rector of the said parish.


The following Moduses or Prescriptive Payments are payable to the said Rector in lieu of the following tithes throughout the whole of the said Township (except Rilston Hall Desmesne); that is to say one shilling and eleven pence in lieu of the tithes of hay and five pence for every milk cow commonly called a new cow and one penny for every cow which has not had a calf within the year commonly called a far cow or trip in lieu of the tithes of milk.


And it is hereby agreed that the annual sum of seventy pounds ten shillings and eight pence (one half thereof to be apportioned in respect of one Mediety, and the other half in respect of the other Mediety of the said parish). By way of rent, charges subject to the provisions of the said Act, shall be paid to the said William Bury as rector of the said parish and his successors instead of all the tithes of the lands of the said township subject to tithes (except the tithes of corn and grain) and instead of all the moduses prescriptive or customary payments and the Easter offerings to which he is entitled.


And that the annual sum of two pounds by way of rent charge, subject to the provisions of the said act, shall be paid to the said William Spencer, Duke of Devonshire and his heirs and assigns instead of the tithes of corn and grain of the said township.


In witness whereof, the said parties to this agreement or their agents in that behalf duly authorized in their names and on their behalf have hereunto subscribed and set their respective hands and seals at the place and time in that behalf above mentioned and at the respective times mentioned in the attestations hereunto written or hereupon endorsed'.


Definition of 'mediety': a half or moiety especially of an ecclesiastical benefice having more than one incumbent.

Definition of 'moiety': each of two parts into which a thing is or can be divided such as,

'the tax was to be delivered in two moieties'.

Definition of 'modus': the immediate manner in which property may be acquired (as by occupation or prescription) or the particular tenure by which it is held. 


The Tithe Award for Rylstone was obtained from the North Yorkshire County Record Office.

Map of Rylstone township Tithe Award showing land owners 
Map of Rylstone Tithe Award showing the land use
bottom of page