Tract Against Tithes

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 1156
  • Dates of Creation
      18th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      243 x 183 mm. 1 volume (32 folios); Binding: bound in red buckram by Bramhall and Menzies.

Scope and Content

An apparently unpublished tract against tithes, entitled: Locusts devouring a Poor-man's Pottatoe. Or Pottatoes tythed by the Christian Clergy of the Gentiles. In which is shewed, that Tythes were due only under the Dispensation of the Law to the Jewish Clergy, and are not now payable by any Gospel - Grant, or Indulgence whatsoever to our Ecclesiasticks... Unto which is added A View of our present Establish'd Church of England, as it may be understood from St John's Vision of the Seven Churches of Asia, Rev.: 3, 14-22. Writt by a Country-Ploughman, no Dissenting Sectarist; but a profound Lover of the Truth. Arranged in six chapters (folios 1-26); the appendix (folios 27-32v), Touching the present State of our English Church, as extracted from the Revelation, ends imperfectly. Original pagination 1-64.

Administrative / Biographical History

Tithes were originally payments in kind (crops etc.) comprising an agreed proportion of the yearly profits of cultivation or farming, and made by parishioners for the support of their parish church and its clergy. At the dissolution of the monasteries, not only much church land but in many cases also the accompanying rectorial tithes passed into lay ownership. These tithes became the personal property of the new owners or lay impropriators. Usually a vicar continued to have spiritual oversight of the parish and to receive its vicarial tithes. The payment of tithes was a cause of endless dispute between the tithe owners and the tithe payers. In addition, Quakers and other non-conformists objected to paying any tithes to support the established church. By the eighteenth century the complex legislation surrounding tithes began to have a detrimental effect on the growing numbers of farmers working for agricultural improvement. Tithing was seen as increasingly irrelevant to the needs of the community and the developing agricultural industry. In 1836 the Tithe Commutation Act was passed, under which money payments were substituted for payments in kind all over the country.

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the John Rylands Library by Francis Buckley esq., MA, BCL, JP, in November 1945.


Description compiled by Jo Klett, project archivist, with reference to .

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1937-1951 (English MS 1156).

Related Material

Francis Buckley also donated to the John Rylands Library English MS 970, Diary of William Edward Rawlinson (ref.: GB 133 Eng MS 970), and English MS 1088, Wedanayaga Sastry: Certificates and Testimonials (ref.: GB 133 Eng MS 1088).

Geographical Names