Tithes were a tax of one tenth of the produce of the land. This was originally paid by the parish for the upkeep of the church and its clergy. This situation was complicated by the dissolution of religious houses in the sixteenth century. Many of them had been given by benefactors the right to collect tithes in particular parishes.
The right to collect tithes was then sold off along with the monastic property, and passed out of the hands of religious bodies into the possession of laymen. Such owners were known legally as 'lay improprietors'. The tithes of the parish of Doncaster passed in this way into private hands.
Disputes over the assessment and collection of tithes, often fuelled by the hostility of Nonconformists to a church tax, were resolved by the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836. This allowed tithes to be changed into a fixed money payment, and involved the making of an award which identified the landowners and the property which they owned. The majority of awards were made in the decade after 1836.
The history of the subject is covered by Eric J Evans, Tithes and the Tithe Commutation Act, 1836 (Bedford Square Press, 1978). A copy is available at Doncaster Archives.
Tithe awards have a similar use for local and family historians as enclosure awards in identifying names and landholdings. They also have the advantage of dealing with all the land in a parish, which is not always the case with enclosure awards.
ORIGINAL AND COPY TITHE AWARDS 1838-1859
|Place||Date of Award||Original or Copy||Is a Map Available?|
|Adwick le Street||1846||original||yes|
|Adwick upon Dearne - see Wath|
|Brampton Bierlow - see Wath|
|Clifton, Crookhill and Butterbusk||1840||original||yes|
|Conisbrough, Firsby, Woodlaithes, and Flanderwell||1858||original||yes|
|Cowick - see Snaith|
|Hellaby - see Stainton|
|Hoyland see Wath|
|Kirk Bramwith and Moss||1843||original||yes|
|Snaith and Cowick||1840||original||yes|
|Stainton with Hellaby||1840||original||yes, Hellaby only|
|Swinton see Wath|
|Thorpe in Balne||1843||copy||yes|
|Wath upon Dearne etc.||1841||original||yes, Adwick upon Dearne only|
|Wentworth see Wath|
|Whitgift||(1847)||original, map only||yes|