City of London Tithe Assessments 1638-72. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.].
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The tithes were a levy raised by the Church upon the population to fund its institutions. They were first instituted in the early middle ages, and originally called for the local parish to receive one tenth of the agricultural produce of each parishioner, or a similar proportion of the production 'output' for artisans, essentially acting as a tax on income. Tithes were initially paid in kind, leading to the construction of substantial tithe barns for the storing of goods received, but by the seventeenth century tithes had become a financial burden with sums of money paid according to the rent value of an individual's property (a situation that continued until 1836). All householders were liable to pay tithes unless the property they owned or occupied was specifically exempted due to some long standing custom or association with the parish.
The surviving tithe records provide useful information about householders within a given parish, information which is often amplified by records of tithe disputes which were commonplace in the middle of the seventeenth century. The tithe records for the London parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane and St Mary Le Bow are particularly useful as they provide not only the assessment of each individual's tithe responsibility, but they also provide the rent value of their property, providing a picture of the social composition of the parish (and further organising the information by street).
The assessments for 1672-1682 are derived from City of London Record Office, Assessment Box 45, MS 10. The data for All Hallows Honey Lane for 1638 is from Lambeth Palace Library MS. 272: Lists of inhabitants of London parishes 1638, fo. 32 All Hallows Honey La.