Ellerton Tithes


Ellerton Priory were granted the church and rectory of Ellerton by William FitzPeter in the first decade of the thirteenth century, and it remained with the Prior and Convent until the Dissolution. No evidence has yet been found that they leased out the rectory.

From the Valor Ecclesiasticus we know that prior to the Dissolution the Prior and Convent held the following:

Issues of the rectory of Ellerton appropriated to the said Prior and his successors, yearly, 40s.

Issues of lambs and wool each year £4 13s. 4d.

Oblations and petty tithes with the profits of the Lenten Book each year 53s. 4d.


In the suppression documents of Ellerton Priory two surveys were made. In the second survey (11 Dec., 30 Henry VIII.) the site of the Priory was valued at 10s., and records a fishery in the Darwent worth 12d. Total (with farms of tithes of North banke in Aughton, of Ellerton and Estcottingwith), 27l 8d. (Paper Surveys, p. 401.).

On the 9th March, 1539/40 John Herbert of Ellerton was granted the site of Ellerton Priory, Ridding Grange, certain tithes in Aughton, and the rectory of Ellerton and EstCottingwith [L&P 15, Aug. Book 212, f.70b]. Herbert had been the 'keeper' of Ellerton Priory during its dissolution [L&P 13 pt. 2 entry 1172, pages 486-7]. In 1546 he was appointed to be the bailiff and collector of all the former lands of Ellerton Priory [L&P 21 pt. 1, Aug. Book 236, f.158b]. Herbert had his lease renewed on the 17th Feb, 1561/2, for 21 years.

In December 1571, Herbert's lease was terminated, 10 years into his 21 year lease. The reasons for this are not currently known, and a new 21 year lease was then granted to Richard Greames alias Gares. Again, the grant was more descriptive:

(1) the tithes of corn (tenant named) in Estcottingwith belonging to the Rectory of Estcottingwith and Ellerton,

(2) the tithes of corn and hay of the demesne lands of Ellerton Priory and the tithes of wool and lambs and other small tithes and oblations in Ellerton late occupied by the Prior and convent of Ellerton,

(3) lands (named), the profits of the Lent book of Estcottingwith with the oblations and privy tithes there and the tithes of hay of Northbanke, parcel of the Rectory of Aughton, once of Ellerton Priory.

(4) the whole Rectory of Estcottingwith and Ellerton,

(5) lands (tenant named) in Ellerton,

(6) lands (tenant named) next Fosse Milles, parcel of the Manor of Clifton, once of the Monastery of St. Mary by the walls of York,

(1) - (6) from the termination of a lease by patent, 17 Feb., 3 Eliz., to John Herbert of the same, by the name of (a) the tithes of hay of Northbanke in Aughton, the oblations and profits of the Lent book of Aughton, Spaldington, Willowtofte, Seton, Lathom and Le Rydinge Grange, the tithes of hay of a meadow in Estcottingwith in Aughton, the tithes of wool, lambs, hemp, flax and privy tithes of Estcottingwith, and the Rectory of Ellerton and Estcottingwith, (b) lands in Ellerton and (c) lands next Fosse Milles, for 21 years from Michaelmas then last at yearly rents of (a) £9., (b) 14s. and (c) 12s.,

The Greame's and Gare's lease was terminated 10 years into their lease, and a new 50 year lease (for services) was granted to Sir Robert Constable, the queen's servant, dated the 5th August, 1581.

Sir Robert's lease was terminated in 1589, and the rectory of Ellerton and Estcottingwithe was finally sold by the crown, and granted on the 11th February, 1589/60, in fee simple to Henry (Hastings), earl of Huntingdon, for services.

At some point, probably before 1610, the rectory of Ellerton and East Cottingwith came into the hands of Sir Hugh Bethell (died 1610), as we find that in 1614 Hugh's daughter and sole heir, together with her husband, Sir John Wray, conveyed the rectory to Sir Hugh's nephew, Walter Bethell, (see the Feet of Fines section). The will of Sir Hugh has been checked, and although he mentions the rectory of Aughton he does not mention the rectory of Ellerton and East Cottingwith, which was probably conveyed to Grisell on her marriage, to hold as trustees, in tail male, until Walter came of age.

We know from two cases in the eccesiastical courts of York, that in 1562/3 William Kirkby was the farmer of the tithes of Ellerton; and in 1569/70 Hugh Bethell was the farmer of the tithes.

From the Will of Hugh Bethell, who died in 1611

I will that my said loving wife shall have and enjoy all other my lands in Ellerton which I purchased of the late Queen's majesty of famous memory, Queen Elizabeth, during her widowhead, doing no waste.

I do also give to my said loving wife the tythes of corn and hay, wool and lamb, with all other tythes within the parish of Ellerton as well great as small with offerings and oblacions of the town of Aughton during her widowhead she paying to the Kings Majesty the yearlie rent of fower poundes ten shillings yearlie for the free farm of the same.

Commonwealth Survey of 1651

During the Commonwealth Survey held at Beverley on the 25 November 1651, it was reported by the Commissioners that the tythes of Ellerton were the inheritance of Sir Hugh Bethell and were worth six and twenty pounds yearly. 

Lambeth Palace Library, COMM XIIa/17, page 366.

Tithe Commutation of 1843

The main records for tithe commutation under the Tithe Act of 1836 are the Tithe File, Apportionment, and Map.

Tithe File

IR 18/12518

The tithes file contains all the correspondence and meeting minutes that the Commissioners generated in discovering to what extent commutation had already taken place. The Ellerton file has been heavily ‘weeded’ in the early twentieth century.

Tithe Apportionment

IR 29/41/64

The tithe apportionment began with a copy of the Tithe Award, and the confirmation of Tithe Award for Ellerton was dated 13 July 1843.

Briefly, it stated that Charles Howard, an Assistant Tithe Commissioner, had been appointed to ascertain and award the rent-charge in lieu of tithes for the township of Ellerton Priory.

Howard had several meetings with the landowners and titheowner and considered all the ‘allegations and proofs’ submitted to him, and estimated that the amount of land in Laytham that was subject to the payment of tithes amounted to 100 acres, 3 roods and 33 perches, of which 83 acres and 13 perches consisted of arable land, and the remaining 17 acres, 3 roods and 20 perches comprised meadow or pasture.

The residue of the land in Ellerton, some 2,452 acres, were exempt from tithe payments by the provisions of the Enclosure Act of 42 Geo. III (1802).

Howard had valued the annual rent-charge in lieu of tithes at £74, and found that the representative of the late Sir Christopher Bethell Codrington Baronet was the Improprietor of all the tithes.

There then followed a schedule of all the landowners and occupiers of land, the field names and reference to the tithe map, the state of cultivation, the area, and the amount of rentcharge apportioned to the land.

Landowner Occupiers Key A R P
Thomas Buttle In hand 222, 223 7 1 0
John Carr William Hazlewood 76 0 0 32
Rev. Wm. Earle, Vicar of Aughton Robert Wilkinson 335, 341 6 0 34
William Richardson Thomas Walsh 100 0 1 0
William Wright Robert Wright 101 0 0 10
John Watson In hand 96, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 219a, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321 87 0 38
  Total   101 0 34

Tithe Map

IR 30/41/64