by Jon Malings

"Small Rents" are just that, minor sums of money due, on a yearly basis, to the Manor estate. They are, typically, things like perpetual ground rents, quitclaims and all manner of other ancient means of extracting money for the benefit of the Lord of the Manor.

The Cartwright Small Rents books C(A) 6006 span the years 1750 to 1809. The accounts for each year occupies around 6 pages with 20 entries per page.  Each entry shows a name, arrears of rent, yearly rent due, amount paid and arrears owing at the end of the year. There is also a column headed "Tax" containing very few entries, and a final page showing the reconciliations for the year.

It's not feasible, and probably of small value, to transcribe all the entries for all the years. As we have very little information about the inhabitants of 18th century Deddington, Mary Taylor visited the Northampton Records Office for me and transcribed the year 1755, or, more properly, October 10th 1754 to October 10th 1755.  This may seem like an odd date for rents to become due, it was originally Michaelmas Quarter Day, September 29th. England adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, which necessitated losing eleven days from the old Calendar. To make life easier for all concerned, many yearly payments simply became due eleven calendar days later than originally agreed. One well-known example is the English Tax year, which used to end on Lady Day, March 25th, but now terminates on April 5th, all so that taxpayers did not feel cheated in 1752 when the year had eleven fewer days in it than normal.   

Hugh Stilgoe paid the highest yearly rent: £1 19s. 0d.  Busby Churchill paid the least: ½d. Even so he managed to be one year in arrears, but cleared the debt and the current year's rent with a payment of one penny.

The pages for 1754/5 contain the following surnames:  

Allibone, Austen, Aris, Apletree, Barrett, Baseley, Baylis, Bennett, Benson, Bignill, Butcher, Carter, Coles, Castle, Chamberlin, Churchill, Crouch, Davis,Dolley, French, Fennimon, Forkes, Fox, Franklin, Grey, Griffin, Harris, Hawten, Hoare, Hollier, Hopcroft, Hunt, Hutton, Hanwell, Hele, Hiorns, Kening, Kilby, Knib, Ladd, Lane, Lovedrene, Lyne, Matthews, Malyns, Ordway, Parish, Parsons, Price, Priest, Pritchard, Rand, Stilgoe, Sturch, Shelton, Shepard, South, Taylor, Treadwell, Turner, Wells, Wheatly, Whetton, Wise, Woolgrove, Wyat.

Click HERE to view a transcription of the 1754/5 entries in PDF format.