Shipton: dispute about tithe milk, 1730

The text below comes from Arthur Clear, The King's Village in Demesne (1894), 52-3

About 1730, a disagreement arose between the Rev. James Edmonds, the then Vicar of Winslow, and the inhabitants of Shipton, respecting "Tithe Milk." The ground of the Vicar's claim being, that as the inhabitants of Winslow had long been accustomed to pay a tithe of milk in kind, he maintained that he was also entitled to the same dues from the Township of Shipton. The document goes on to state that:

"The inhabitants of Shipton, —which is a Township within the Parish of Winslow—have, time out of mind, payed for their cow's com(m)on throughout the Feilds belonging to the said Township, to the Vicar of Winslow and Shipton, after the rate of tenpence for each cow's com(m)on per annum, throughout the said Feilds of Shipton, on St. Martin's Day; and that no other demands, within the memory of man, have been payed for Tithe Milk, or for any dues claimed for Cows' Com(m)on within the said Township.

The inhabitants of both Winslow and Shipton by custom, have payed for Easter offerings, twopence a head for everyone that is above sixteen yeais of age, and a garden-penny for every family in lieu of tithes in garden stuff; for every calf at the fall of it 4d.; but no tithe for colts has ever been payed or demanded. The Vicar has every tenth lamb yean'd in the Parish, which he is to take on St. Mark's day, if not otherwise agreed upon; and for sheep wintered in the fields of Winslow-cum-Shipton, every tenth fleece of wool to be taken at shearing time; and for sheep bought in after Candlemas, a groat per month for every hundred sheep so bought, and so in proportion for any lesser quantity.

On Hock Munday, [being the Munday s'night after Easter], they (Winslow, exclusive of Shipton), begin to pay to the Vicar the tenth meal of milk, and so continue to do till the first day of August, when the tithing time for milk ceases untill Michaelmas Day at night, and they begin again as before, untill the 11th day of November, called Martinmas Day, and then no more until the next Hock Munday."

How this dispute was settled does not appear; but in 1743, an Act of Parliament was passed for "Dividing and Enclosing the Common Fields in the Hamlet of Shipton," whereby the the Vicar of Winslow was allotted one close of Greensward, called Smithell Close, and other lands in Shipton, in lieu of tithe.

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Copyright 30 July, 2015