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Parish 34

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment




Date on Map

Scale of Map



9 chains

John Martin Valuer

Manston is the parish neighbouring to Child Okeford and was probably surveyed at the same time. It is one of the smallest scale maps that he did and has no particular features of note. The original and copy maps are similar although there may have been a problem with the original map as it bears three “received in tithe commission” stamps bearing the dates, November and December 1840 and 3rd June 1841. The copy map bears a single stamp for June 3rd 1841. Aneurin Owen made the award for the usual reason – the seven years average composition did not represent a fair assessment. Unusually he mentions that “all the lands of the said parish are subject to the payment of all manner of tithes in kind.”

This may have been the official view but in fact there is a somewhat darker back story to events in Manston. These are mentioned in Henry Kaines’s Journal transcribed by Peter Shirley and available on the Manston OPC website. It appears that the tithes in Manston were at one time paid for by a monetary composition. In 1807 however Kaines, a local farmer, “Began Setting out the tithes of all the lands in my occupation in Manstone “ as the Rector Richard Clavill[e] had , according to Kaines reneged on a verbal agreement over the composition. ‘Setting out’ his tithe is shorthand for saying the tithes were collected in kind. Kaines had quite literally to gather together a tenth part of his wheat , his barley, his hay , his livestock and so on for delivery to the Rector. This was of course the traditional way of paying the tithe but it was an expensive and inconvenient way of paying them for all parties. Most Rectors and farmers preferred to pay a monetary composition.  It appears that Kaines was not the only one to have had a problem with the Rector who according to Kaines took the tithe in kind across the greater part of the parish. Clavill died in 1817 and Kaines was not complementary about him implying that although agricultural prices in the decade had been particularly good Clavill had frittered them away. Clavill was in debt at his death and an ecclesiastical court ordered Kaines [as Churchwarden] to pay his creditors from the income of the benefice. After Clavill’s death payment in kind continued until the tithe commutation.

Kaines mentions that in 1799 the Earl of Uxbridge paid £101 for a small bridge over the Manston Brook. This was at least convenient for accessing the church and Manston House but it led no further. The tithe map is of interest to the inhabitants of Child Okeford as there is, as yet, no direct road connection between the two parishes. A rough track , drawn as two hatched lines = = = joins the bridge with what is today Manston farm but this was not a highway in the modern sense but a rough track. Given the propensity of the brook to flood across the road here today, it is likely that in the winter months the area was a quagmire and in all likelihood impassable.

The tithe map also shows the Plough Inn which, during the Covid outbreak, was being rebuilt and thus still survives although it has not yet reopened. It is good to see it has not changed its name in the intervening one hundred and eighty two years.

There are two entries relating to Manston in the diaries but they may have nothing to do with the commutation. It is possible they relate to poor law work. Both appear in the 1845 diary

Accounts August 1845

Received of Mr Dashwood on a/ of Manston Rate £29 4 9d

Accounts September 1845

Received of Mr Evans Boveridge Almshouse Manston Rate £2 19s

Mr Dashwood has not been found as he does not appear in the commutation or the 1841 or 1851 censuses.

In 1660 Thomas Hooper endowed and built 3 almshouses in the hamlet of Boveridge just outside of Cranborne “by which three single persons, particularly old servants and tenants of the family have been paid £6 1s 4d a yearly.”[1]. How he came to acquire the land at Manston which in 1660 was known as Over Thatcher’s Lease is not known; the land itself amounted to 30 acres and was apparently sufficient to keep the almshouses going over several centuries.

List of Commutations under the Tithe Commutation Act

1 Boswell E The Civil Division of the County of Dorset 1833.