Scope and Content

Tithe Redemption Committee 1921. Correspondence and statistical data.

Administrative / Biographical History

Tithes were originally payments in kind (crops, wool, milk etc.) comprisingan agreed proportion of the yearly profits of cultivation or farming. Theywere made by parishioners for the support of their parish clergy. In returnthe clergy maintained the chancel of the church and saw to the provision ofchurch worship. During the Reformation tithe-rights that belonged tomonasteries were confiscated by the Crown and granted or sold to variousowners known as lay impropriators. From this time, approximately one third ofall tithes became owned by lay people. Moreover, some clergymen andecclesiastical institutions leased the collection of tithes to laymen.

Parliamentary enclosure of land provided an opportunity to allot land to thetithe-owners in lieu of tithe. Over 60 per cent of the 3700 Acts passed between 1757and 1835 dealt with tithes in this way. The Tithe Commutation act of 1836converted tithes into rent charge payments based on the prevailing price ofgrain. New Tithe Acts, notably those of 1891, 1925 and 1936, dealt withchanged circumstances. Rent charges finally disappeared in 1936 whenlandowners began to pay an annuity over 60 years in order to redeem all titheby 1996.

William Beveridge 1879 - 1963

William Beveridge was educated at Charterhouse and Balliol College, Oxford.He was sub-warden of Toynbee Hall 1903 - 1905, and leader-writer on 'socialproblems' for the Morning Post 1906 - 1908. From 1905 to 1908 Beveridge wasa member of the Central (Unemployed) Body for London, and was also the firstChairman of the Employment Exchanges Committee. He was a member of the Boardof Trade 1908 - 1916 and Director of Labour Exchanges 1909 - 1916. DuringWorld War I he was Assistant General Secretary of the Ministry of Munitions(1915 - 1916) and Second Secretary in the Ministry of Food (1916 - 1918). In1919 Beveridge became Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Food. In thesame year he was knighted. He then retired from the civil service and wasappointed director of the London School of Economics (1919 - 1937). He thenmoved on to be Master of University College, Oxford (1937 - 1944).

During World War II he was Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Labour (1940)and was Chairman of the Social Service Inquiry (1941 - 1942) he producedSocial Insurance and Allied Services, a report prepared for governmentwhich proposed a social system 'from the cradle to the grave' for Britishcitizens. This report became known as the "Beveridge Report" and became theblueprint for the welfare-state legislation of 1944 - 1948.

Beveridge was Liberal MP for Berwick on Tweed 1944 - 1945, and was made 1stBaron Beveridge of Tuggal in 1946.

His publications include:

  • Unemployment: A problem of industry (1909)
  • Prices and Wages in England from the Twelfth to the Nineteenth Century(1939)
  • Social Insurance and Allied Services (1942) (Beveridge Report)
  • Full Employment in a Free Society (1944)
  • The Economics of Full Employment (1944)
  • Report on the Methods of Social Advance (1948)
  • Voluntary Action (1948)
  • A Defence of Free Learning (1959)


Two volumes

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Beveridge, Sir William, BaronBeveridge

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