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Toller Porcorum

Parish 55

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment

Toller Porcorum



Date on Map

Scale of Map



6 chains

John Martin

In the decades prior to the Tithe Commutation Act one of the aims of the agricultural improver’s had been to abolish the tithe, an aim they had failed to achieve: the power of the tithe as ‘property’ was simply to big an obstacle to be overcome. The tithe could be ‘redeemed’ by a one off payment equivalent to twenty to twenty four years worth of rent-charge but few people had the money to do that. The ownership of the land and the ownership of the tithe were of course separate but there were occasions when the landowner and the tithe owner were one and the same person, known as lay impropriators. Providing they were freeholders, the act enabled them to “merge” the tithe due from that land with the freehold of the land. Whalley [1] is clearly in favour of this should the circumstances arise; for one thing it extinguished the tithe from that land forever which had the effect of increasing the value of that land.

It cannot always have been an easy calculation to make. The land had a limited profitability which was eroded by any rent or tithe that the occupier owed. By ridding himself of the tithe the landowner could increase the rental value of the land but this would, initially at least, have been cost neutral. What he gained on the rent he had lost on the tithes. Moreover the right to claim the tithe being a separate legal estate to the land itself he could have sold the land and yet retained the rent-charge.

The details of what ‘merger’ entailed is not clear but presumably meant adding a note to the deeds that tithe to the value of £x had been extinguished, implying that the land was worth £x more than similar land in the parish where the tithe had not been extinguished. Lay impropriators were not that common, at least in Martin’s commutations, and it must have been a relatively rare occurrence that the free or copyholder of a particular piece of land also owned the ‘freehold’ [or estate in fee simple as it is called technically] of the tithes, but this was the case in Toller Porcorum.

The agreement includes a clause,

Whereas Thomas James Willis Fleming of North Stoneham in the county of Southampton is seized in possession of an Estate in fee simple of the tithe of Corn Grain Hay wool and lambs arising from the lands and hereditaments mentioned in the second schedule hereunder written Now he the said Thomas James Willis Fleming hereby declares it to be his will and intent that the said tithes shall henceforth be absolutely merged and extinguished in the freehold and inheritance of the said lands.”

Willis owned over five hundred acres in the parish.

Overlooking Toller Porcorum

The map is unremarkable and the diary entries mainly refer to the collection of the fees. The figures in red are the approximate amount of rent-charge apportioned to that particular farmer. It is not clear from this precisely how the rate of expenses was calculated.

17th March 1845

Pd Robert Way serving Toller Notices to pay Commutation Rate 2s 6d

7th April 1845

Toller Porcorum Tithe Commutation Attending at the Old Swan Inn at Toller receiving Commutation Expenses.

The pub closed in the 1990’s

April 1845

Pd Expenses at Toller 3s

Received part of Toller Rate £20 7s 6d

Received Mr John Popes Toller Commutation Expenses £10 13 0d

Mr J Wallbridges £1 5 0d

Mr J Tucker £1 12 6d

= } £13 10s

Received Mr Bynghams Toller C Rate of Expenses £17 10 0d

Received Mr Ezekiel Popes Toller Rate £27 12 0d


£2 16s

£4 2s 8d



12th May

Received of Mr Allen Popes Toller Commutation Expenses 12s

£1 18 5d

Received of Mr Jon Neale his Toller Commn Expenses all but 17s 6d

Received of Mr Chapman and Mitchells Toller Commn Rate £1 8 0d

Received of Mr Farwell Duke of Clevelands Toller Rate Pd Check Devon and Cornwall Banking Company £11 17s 6d

Received of Mr John Pope his Toller Rate £19s 1d

£2 3 3d

£3 11 6d

£22 15 5d

£38 2 9d

5th June 1845

Attending to Workpeople [sic] and went to Kingcombe [part of T. Porcorum] Commutation Expenses

List of Commutations under the Tithe Commutation Act

1 The Tithe Act and the whole of the Tithe Amendment Acts G H Whalley 1848