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More about the Tithe Map and Apportionment

Origins of the Tithe custom ] Types of Tithe ] The Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 ] The Tithe Surveys ] The Tithe Map and Apportionment ] The Tithe Map and Apportionment (Continued) ] [ More about the Tithe Map and Apportionment ] The Tithe Survey of Swansea ] The Tithe Survey of Swansea (Continued) ] Swansea in 1838 ] More about Swansea in 1838 ] Tithe Plan Parcel Numbers (1 to 48) ]

In practice, some features as portrayed on the map can be rather confusing, particularly the relationship of field boundaries and the layout of fields and tracks. If in doubt the reader should always refer to the relevant Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, which although of a later date will often help to confirm the presence or shape of a feature. The apportionment is a roll of parchment sheets which are quite large (approximately twenty-one inches by eighteen inches). Some readers may have come across them in a microfilm form from which a reduced copy will fit nicely onto A3 size paper. The apportionment forms were all printed in London by the same firm so that a standard of uniformity is maintained throughout all of the surveys (perhaps as many as two hundred and seventy thousand sheets!) dealing with England and Wales.

The first section of the apportionment contains a statement of the articles of agreement; unless the award was imposed. The articles are always worth reading for they will usually contain some very useful information concerning the local circumstances. The Swansea agreement gives place name information which is not referred to on the tithe plans, nor indeed on subsequent Ordnance survey plans; perhaps the names fell out of use in the years 1830-1870. The schedule is the second part of the apportionment which lists the tithe parcels, owners and occupiers. This is by far the most important. As with the maps, the schedule is divided into two sections, one dealing with the rural area of the parish, and the second covering the town itself. The bulk of the interesting information is contained in the first section (pages 1 to 70 of the schedule) in which most parcel numbers are referred to by name giving a wealth of information on the geography of nineteenth-century Swansea. In total there are over three thousand tithable parcels of land in the Swansea schedule, illustrating the diligence, care and attention needed by the Commissioners, surveyors, and valuers in the execution of their duty. The value of an historical source is dependent in large part on its accessibility to the public. The Public Record Office at Kew and the National Library of Wales both have a considerable store of historical records relating to Swansea. however, the relative remoteness of these repositories can be a bar to their consultation. Happily, the tithe records can be easily consulted in microfilm form at Swansea Central Library and readers can also obtain copies of both the apportionment and maps.




The View for Sunday October 15 2000

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