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Long Sutton [Somerset]

Parish 49

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment

Long Sutton



Date on Map

Scale of Map



6 chains

John Martin

Kings Sedgemoor

6 chains

John Martin

There were two good reasons for Martin to be involved with the parish – the Earl of Ilchester who owned a substantial amount of land and William Jennings who owned about thirty acres. It also neighboured Somerton where he was also commuting the tithe. The parish was inclosed in 1814 but Kain give no attribution to the map. Of the £632 rent-charge the majority went to the impropriate rector of the parish William Earl of Burlington who happily was also the largest landowner in the parish. Nearly 200 acres were subject to a modus of 5 farthings per acre.

There was a Quaker community at Long Sutton and Martin had previously worked there in 1821 valuing their estate. The first account of Quakers in the parish was in 1662 and they soon established a meeting house there. The Quaker movement had long objected to paying the tithe, for they saw no reason to maintain the established church and it’s ‘steeple houses’. When Charles II succeeded to the throne he had Oliver Cromwell’s body dug up and his head stuck on a pike on London Bridge. The founder of the Quakers, George Fox is said to have stood underneath the head fist raised declaiming that “This is the price you pay for not abolishing the tithe”. True or not it is a good story.

Quakers were forbidden to pay the tithe and were expelled from their community if they did and numerous Quakers had died in prison for their beliefs. In these days a debtor could be jailed for failing to pay. A number of work rounds had been passed into law [for tithe less than £10 the tithe owner could simply go and take the goods from the Quakers land. As Quakers were sworn to non violence the bailiffs were not usually met with any resistance. Sadly there is no way of identifying which lands they occupied.

This is a two part map the first is the parish proper and the second a part of Kings Sedgemoor which was in the parish. As with the tithe maps of other Somerset parishes the houses in the settlements are usually backed by orchards. There is only one rather enigmatic entry from April 1845

24th March 1845

Pd Mr Apps for re Engrossing 17 Skins [sic] of the Long Sutton Apportionment £2 2s 6d

The apportionment ran to 44 pages but was submitted on the usual paper form.

List of Commutations under the Tithe Commutation Act