Saturday 6 October 2012

Christ Church Oxford 1646-1653 (Part I)

Thomas Tyldesley 1612-1651 unhesitatingly declared his allegiance to King Charles I at the very outset of the English Civil War in 1642.  Indeed it is believed that Thomas Tyldesley was responsible for the first death of the conflict, with the shooting of Richard Perceval at Manchester.

One consequence of Thomas Tyldesley's loyalty was that Parliament moved to sequester his  estates for delinquency. This had knock-on consequences for other parties.  For example, Thomas Tyldesley was due to pay rent to Christ Church College Oxford in respect of the lease of the Tithes of Kirkham (the arrears of rent related to Kirkham, Goosenargh, Freckleton, Kirkham Carr, Kirkham Moore and Whittingham)

By 1649 Christ Church was owed £1,031 12s 1d with complaints that it was "much in debt" and that the buildings were "much out of Repaires". 

The surviving correspondence runs from 1646 to 1653 and a transcription was published in 1941 [FN1]. Here it will be split into five postings, of which this is the first: 
The Tithes of Kirkham.
G. clix, fo. 437; Cal. iii, 1943.
By Command of the Committee of Complaints touchinge the breach of Articles, I am to acquaint you with the peticion whereof the inclosed is a Coppy, beinge from the Governours and Students of Christ Church Colledge in Oxford, which the Committee have taken into Consideracion together with the articles upon which they ground their Complaint; and upon the whole matter It is their opinion that all and every the tenants of he said Colledge as well in the County of Lancaster and els where ought according to the said Articles of the said Treatie to pay all such reuenues and arreares of Rents and Revenues as are due from them unto the said Colledge Notwithstandinge any restraint or order of any Committee of Parliament to the contrary, Exeptinge such rents and revenues as have been alreadie taken and received by Ordinance of Parliament.
Of this the Comittee desire you to take notice and, because it soe much concernes the honour of Parliament to preserve the Articles of the treatie inviolable, that you will take care that the tenants of the said Colledge may not hereafter by any Comand from you bee hindred from the payment of theire rents accordinge to the said Articles. Haveing noe further comands at present I take leave to Remain
Your affectionate friend 
to serve you,
Robert Pye.
Westm'r 30 October 1646.
fo. 438. To the Hon'ble the Committee of Complaints touchinge the breach of Articles
The humble peticion of the Governours and Students of Christ Church in Oxford. 
That by the Articles concluded upon the Render of Oxford It is expressly provided on the behalf of your petitioners that they should enjoy the lands, tenements,houses, possessions, Rents and Revenues belonginge to them (Exceptinge such Rents and Revenues as had then alreadie beene received by the Ordinance of Parliament), free from Seguestracion and all other molestacions whatsoever for or under Collour of anythinge relating to the warr: Nevertheles your petitioners' tennants, takinge advantage of the troubles and of some orders from Parliament and Direcions from the Committees made before the said Articles for payeinge their Rents unto them and not to your petitioners doe detaine theire rents in theire hands and refuse to pay them to your petitioners which is (as they humbly conceive) contrary to the said Articles.
Their humble suite to your honours is that you wilbe favourably pleased to order that your petitioners may receive theire said Rents and all arreares thereof accordinge to the said Articles, notwithstandinge any order or restraint of any Committee according as hath beene granted to other Colledges of that University. And your petitioners as bound shall ever pray
George Morley in the behalfe of Christ Church in Oxon.  
fo 441. Honored Sirs,
Haveinge the opportunity of sendinge unto you wee take the boldnes to intreate your favour and helpe in a busines which very much concerneth the estate of that Colledge wherein wee are, by the favour of the Parliament, placed to take care of the Government thereof.
Wee find the Colledge much in debt, the buildinges much out of Repaires, the members much behinde in theire dues belonging to them. Wee take the bcMnes further to offer to your consideracion that now Colledges or publick bodies bein under Sequestracion, But that the Parliament have been pleased to provide for the Security of those rents and revenues: which Consideracions encourage us to send unto you the inclosed papers containing particulars of Great arreares due from Severale tenants of Christ Church in Oxon., whereof wee are members, some whereof as wee understand have been for their personall delinquency under Sequestracion. Our earnest request is that in regard theis Rents are for the Maintenance of Schollers in the University and that the present debts and wants of the Colledge are Exceedinge Greate, you will aford us your assistance as to soe much as is by your authority under Sequestracion that wee may have our arreares and rents Reserved unto us. Whereby you will much oblige your humble Servants
Christopher Rogers, Hen. Langley (and others). 
Oxon. March 21, 1648(-9).
To the Hon'ble the Comittee of Parliament for the County of Lancaster. 

fo. 439.
At the Countie 16 May, 1649.
Padiham in co. Lane.
Whereas severall Orders have been issued touching the arreares of rent due for severall yeares past forth of the tythes in Kirkham parish unto the Governours and Students of Christ Church Colledge in Oxford, which tythes, beinge in lease to Tho. Clifton, esq., and Sir Thomas Tildesley from the said Colledge, have beene sequestered for theire delinquencies, And for that it appeares that the arreares due to the said Colledge till the 25th of March 1648 Amounteth to the somme of one thousand thirtie one pounds Twelve shillinges and a pennie; And for that by the Articles agreed upon at the Surrender of Oxford, afterwards confirmed by Order of Parliament, of the 23rd of June, 1646 It was agreed upon amongst other thinges in the fourteenth Article that the Governors and Students of Christ Church aforesaid should enjoy all Rents, Priveledges, Lands, tenements, Revenues, debts, Goods and Chattells belonging to them freed from Sequestracion: It is therefore ordered that the Agents for Sequestracions shall out of the profits of the said tythes as the same shall be raised satisfie and pay unto the Governours and Students aforesaid soe much of the said arreares of One thousand thirtie and one pounds, twelve shillinges and a pennie as is due and in arreare out of soe much of the said tythes for the tyme as is now under sequestracion and shall continue the payment of such parte thereof for the future till further Order.
Rich. Shuttleworth 
John Starkie 
Nicholas Cunliffe 
Robt. Cunliffe

1. Lancashire Royalist Composition Papers Vol. VI, Part I: S-We, John Brownbill, Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, 95 (1941)