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result of such survey that amount upon which the assessment ought to be made, as in other occupation of land ? I answer, possibly not; nay, probably not. The real value of tithes is by no means that which the incumbent can get by composition. He lets below the value. But is not land which is let below its value liable to assessment at its real value? Yes; but herein the cases differ—in that of the land, the assessment falls upon the tenant, who is benefited by the low rentof the tithe, the law lays it upon the incumbent, who is not benefited by the low rent; and hence arises the whole difficulty in the question, that the law itself occasions a dissimilarity in the two cases which it is not easy to obviate. In the case before us, E. has, I understand, 12001. clear, having been nominally rated, but not actually paying, The public purse for the poor &c. has therefore a right to an assessment of that property at its clear value, 12001.; and as the law authorizes an assessment on no other than the incumbent, there it must fall. This is the argument, and it is fair in some respects; and if he has engaged himself in any way, that if the rate which has been assessed nominally upon him should be paid by him, if payment should be at any time demanded, it will be difficult for him to elude it altogether; nor will the sessions find it easy, as the law stands, for they must assess him. Yet I think they may relieve him in the quantum. The argument on the public purse is to be answered thus : the amount is raised as the quotum in the land tax; so here the quotum which maintains the poor; not as in the property tax, a sum varying with the property assessed ; and therefore the poor purse has no claim upon a further assessment on any individual, while its full amount is secured. The demand of the poor purse, then, being set aside, have individuals a right to demand that E. be assessed to the whole value which he receives, and out of which he is to pay this rate ? Clearly not; for no other individual is assessed at that sum which remains to him from the produce of his lands, &c., after deducting expenses of cultivation &c., but out of which he is still to pay the rate; on the contrary, all are assessed at that sum which remains after paying rates and all; and therefore the incumbent is entitled to be assessed at that sum which remains after paying rates, which to him, if he receives a composition, are his whole expense; unless we were to enter into a calculation of his hazard of loss, tithe din and other small matters which ought properly to be allowed, but for which the clergy would be unwise to contend. When assessed on this principle, although his income will decrease as expenses increase, and so also will the landlord's rent decrease as expenses to the farmer increase, yet he will never be reduced to nothing, or even a loss, any more than the landlord; but if he be assessed at the sum paid to him, and the deduction for rates be not allowed, his living is 01. Os. Od., as soon as rates amount to ll., and beyond that it becomes a loss; while the landlord still continues in possession of rent, though reduced, for if there be no rent there can be no assessment upon it; but while it remained only a tenth of the produce instead of a fifth, fourth, or third, the assessment on that remainder at 60s. in the pound, instead of 50s., or 40s., or 30s., would produce the same money to the poor purse.
The following notes are taken from some papers forwarded by the Rev. P. N. Joddrell, to whose exertions in maintaining his rights against a most unfair assessment the whole body of the clergy are so much indebted. The judgment delivered in his case forms the grounds of the decision of the poor law commissioners in favour of the clergy.
1. A copy of the Case for the opinion of Sir James Scarlet. In support of the appellant's, Mr. Joddrell's case, it was proved by three very able land-surveyors, two of whom were large occupiers of land, that the fair average annual net profit of the farm in the occupation of James Ford (one of the persons complained of in the notice of appeal, as being underrated) was 1541. 78., after the payment of the corn rent to the rector; and they estimated the farm house in his occupation at 51. 108. a-year. And that the sum of 601., at which James Ford bore a proportion of three-eighths, to the value of his rateable property in said parish. It was proved also that Mr. Joddrell's tithe rent, 4521., out of which he paid ecclesi. astical dues to the amount of 61., thereby reducing his rateable property to 4461. ; and it was further proved, that if Mr. Joddrell were assessed at 1671. 5s. 6d. instead of 3681., he would then be assessed in the same proportion for the tithe rent as the saine James Ford was assessed for his rateable property. Similar evidence was given to shew that Elizabeth Bull (another farmer who was mentioned in the notice of appeal) was in like manner underrated in proportion to Mr. Joddrell. The several witnesses underwent a very particular examination from the court as to the details of their valuation, and no objection whatever was made to any of them ; and the chairman of the sessions expressed a high opinion of the character and capability of the several wit. nesses produced by the appellant, Mr. Joddrell. No evidence whatever was given on the part of the respondents; but the evidence on the part of the appellant, Mr. Joddrell, stood wholly uncontradicted or invalidated ; notwithstanding which the court of quarter sessions inade a reduction of one-sixth only on the assessment made on the appellant, thereby reducing the assessment on him to 3061. 138. 4d.; whereas it appeared, by the most satisfactory, nncontradicted evidence, that it ought to have been reduced to 1671. 5s. 6d., wherefore he is still too high rated by the sum of 1391. ls. 10d.
You are requested to advise the appellant whether the magistrates were justified in refusing to amend the rate according to the evidence.
According to this statement the magistrates were wrong. (Signed) J. S. 2. An Abstract from the Valuation of three surveyors of one farm in the parish of Yelling,
as a groundwork for an assessment of Mr. Joddrell's Tithe. It appears that they calculated the state of the farm (about 350 acres, 1 rood, 9 poles,) thus, with every item set down, the result only being given here.
The Rent was 2041, Os. Od. 14591. 188. Od. Labour, &c. 8591. Ils. 0s. Corn rent 93 6 6
Corn rent 93 6 6
297 6 6
5 Rents £1459 18 0
£1486 12 6 Further remarks :
Net profit, as above, 5071. 08. 6d
Farm house 15 0 0
£522 6 The farmer was assessed at the sum of 2261. to of 5221. Os. 6d. Mr. Joddrell's tithe was worth 4461., and at ya would be rated at 1951. 2s.6d.
whereas he was rated at 3681. which is 172 17 6 too high.
£368 0 0 3. Some cases sent by clergy to Mr. Joddrell for his advice and opinion, with his remarks
“ The rector's tithe composition and glehe are worth a little more than 2001. per annum, for which he pays poor rates amounting to about 301. per annum; he appears to be rated more than twice as much as any other rate-payer of the parish."
Vol. XIII.- March, 1838.
According to the opinion of the poor law commissioners he is overrated, and will therefore receive the benefit resulting from my cause.
Take a living of £300 per annum, as being about the average value of livings. Deduct one-fourth 75 for outgoings, &c.
Take one-half 112 10s. which is the sum which ought to be rated. Suppose 4s. rates to be collected in the year; this living would have to pay about 221. 8s., whereas, according to the statement of the above extract, this living of 3001. would have been forced to pay 45l. per annum, which is more than double his share. Take the Yelling living, £450
Deduct one-fourth 112 10s. for outgoings, &c.
Remains £337 10
Take one-half £168 15, which is the sum that ought to be rated. Though the outgoings do not amount to 1121. 10s., yet the sum total, 1681. 15s., is a little more than the three eminent land-surveyers fixed upon to be Mr. Joddrell's fair and just proportion, according to the other rateable property in his parish, 1671.68., and which they proved in the court of quarter sessions, by producing at the same time minute particulars of their valuation, in which they gave the farmers a liberal allowance for their expenses &c. in cultivating their lands.
The foregoing mode of rating all tithes would come sufficiently near, with this difference, for lands that let at 20s, and under, deduct one fourth ; but for rich lands that let for 30s. and upwards, deduct one-third, for outgoings, &c. And I am persuaded that any eminent land-surveyors, whom the poor law commissioners may please to appoint, will find this to be a good plan to adopt, as coming as near as possible to an equitable mode of rating composition for tithes in general.
To sum up these calculations, it will be found that the clergy ought to be rated upon only one-third of the sum total of their composition, for them to be upon a just and equal footing with the farmer ; indeed, even that is too high. To corroborate the truth of these remarks; besides the opinion of the three land-surveyors, the commissioners for Yelling inclosure, who knew what proportion my tithes bore to the other property in the parish, gave me only
25l. -year to pay poor rates, which some years amounted to near 100l.; and Mr. Bircham, one of the commissioners appointed by the landlords, told me I ought not to have paid one-fourth of that sum.
4. Some further remarks on Mr. Joddrell's case. Mr. Noland, upon the Poor Laws, in his first vol. page 227, had very great weight with the Court of King's Bench.—“Let it be supposed," said he,“ by way of example, that the true principle for dividing the annual produce of a farm between landlord and tenant is, after deduction of all expenses, each should take one half, and that the annual average of this moiety is the rack rent stipulated to be paid; it is obvious that if the farm is assessed on its rent, the occupier is rated for only half of the actual value of the land, while the clergyman, and those that occupy tolls, coalmines, &c., are rated at the full value of the profits, or in a twofold proportion.
“ This is the opinion of the three eminent land-surveyors employed by me. It is usual, in making valuations of land, to divide the gross produce of the land into four parts, two of which are set against the labour, seed, rates, and expenses of cultivation, and the other two are divided between the landlord and tenant. In addition to the rent, therefore, there is a net annual profit, calculated to be equal to the rent paid. Rent is only so much of the actual value of the land as the tenant can afford to pay his land. lord, deducting the expenses of cultivation, the interest of capital laid out by the tenant, and a reasonable remuneration for trouble and time. The rent, therefore, is the landlord's profit. The reasonable remuneration is the tenant's profit. Both of these form the productive value of the land to be rated. To prove this, the rent paid to the landlord forms a criterion of the tenant's profit, because it is supposed that the fair principle of dividing the annual produce of a farm between landlord and tenant is, that, after deducting all expenses, each should take one-half, and that the annual average value of this moiety being the rack-rent stipulated to be paid, and which moiety only bitherto was charged upon the tenants for rates instead of the whole; which whole the Court of King's Bench have decided to be a fair adjustment. This respects good land; but in that of indifferent, stiff clay land, like Yelling, the produce ought to be equal to five rents, in their opinion, one for the landlord, one and a half for the tenant, two and a half for labour and expenses. "- See Bell's Weekly Messenger, May 7th, 1832.
“The third class of income (according to amount) is that of the farmers, or persons engaged in agriculture. It is usual, in good times, to assume that the amount of this income is three rents; now, one of these rents goes to the landlord, the second of these three rents is expended in the wages of labour. The plain result is, that one rent only remains to the farmers; the annual income of this class is the same as that of the landlords.
“ In Yorkshire, some land-surveyors, in valuing of farms of arable and pasture land, have divided the valuation into three parts--one-third rent, one-third outgoings, one-third tenant's profits. One correspondent observes, that as to the farmers being considered as having no assessable property distinct from the landlords is an absurdity which the legislature did not countenance in their adjustments of the income tax. Both parties then paid in their respective proportions; and the only difference between that case and the poor-rate assessments is, that in the latter what the landlord pays is not apparent, being a deduction from the rent which he would otherwise receive, and which the farmer, who is assessed only upon that rent, pays for him, whilst he himself is excused altogether; whilst in the former each of the two parties had his separate charge, and paid accordingly. In assessing Mr. Joddrell, the overseers appear to have entirely overlooked the circumstance, that, as rector, he stands, with relation to the corn rents, in the situation both of landlord and tenant, and have therefore rated him upon the total amount which he receives both as landlord and tenant; whereas they have rated the occupiers in the parish only as tenants. If Mr. Joddrell is to be rated for his receipts both as landlord and tenant, there should be added to the sum on which the occupiers in the parish are assessed, the amount which the landlord receives as rent; then both parties would be on equal terms.
COMMUTATION OF TITHES. [As the following letter, although on a different subject, affects the
interests of the clergy, it is added here as being more likely to
obtain attention.] SIR,- In the very extraordinary petition of the inhabitants of Stratton, which you have given us at the conclusion of your February Magazine, it is observed, “ that it will require a paid accountant to calculate the variation in the rent-charge, according to the price of the decimal parts of a bushel;” and as the matter is not without importance to the clergy, it seems right to explain it. The inutility of converting the rent-charge on each estate into bushels and decimals of a bushel was pointed out to the commissioners by myself and others, immediately after the original act was passed; and by the amended act, § 4, its necessity is entirely superseded. But still the value depends on the price of corn; and in order to deterinine it, Mr. Drinkwater Bethune devised a method which is published in Mr. White's edition of the statute. It is, however, rather abstruse; and perhaps the following will, from its facility, be preferred :
d. The conversion price of wheat, 7 04 Barley, 3 11} Oats, 2 9 The “ Gazette" price, 1838, do. 6 63 ditto 3 111 ditto, 2 84
Now suppose the rent-charge to be 11., and that one-third was expended in wheat at the conversion price; the question is, what is its value at the “Gazette” price? A similar question must be asked in the other two cases; and the result will be as follows:
1954 · 999 That is, the value of every pound sterling in the rent-charge is reduced to 198. 5 d. The application is easy ; but as the calculation would be troublesome, when the payers are numerous, a Table accompanies this letter.
Yours, &c., S. B. Table for reducing the Rent-charge payable in lieu of Tithes according to the
“ Gazette" price, Jan. 13, 1838.
N. B. The writer of this letter has already published this table in a country newspaper.
FOX'S ACTS AND MONUMENTS.-No. X.
Any one who has read the preceding letter, will, I am sure, most wil. lingly forgive a digression ; for it was very dry, and I am only afraid that the menace of continuation which it contained may prevent some readers from looking at this letter at all. Those, however, who have the courage will allow me to make a digression, which I am led into by circumstances that have only just occurred. They lead me to bring forward a part of Fox's work which I have not noticed (though it is one of the first that met my eye in the new edition) because it comes under the class of forged and spurious documents; and that is a matter which I wish to see discussed by the gentleman who is pledged to vindicate Fox's correctness before I say anything about it.
But really I feel less scrupulous about this than I did, now that nearly seven months have elapsed without the publication of a single page.* If the work is to proceed at this rate, it will be a long while before we get the prefaces and vindication ; and all the while, some things which many persons believe to be falsehoods, and which have been openly challenged as such, are quietly circulating by thousands,
Since I wrote the above the fifth volume has been published after an interval of just seven months.