Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tithe is an incorporeal hereditament payable by the inhabitants of a parish for the support of the Church, and generally payable to the parson, and is the tenth part of the increase yearly arising and renewing (1) from the profits of the lands, (2) from the live stock upon lands, and (3) from the personal industry of the inhabitants. The first species of tithe is known as predial, and consists of corn, grass, hops, wood, and the like; the second, mixed, as of wool, milk, pigs, etc., consisting of natural products, but nurtured and preserved in part by the care of man; the third, personal, as of manual occupations, trades, fisheries, and the like. The distinction between predial and mixed tithes is that predial tithes (so called from praedium, "a farm") are those which arise immediately out of the soil, either with or without the intervention of human industry, and mixed are those which arise immediately through the increase or produce of animals which receive their nutriment from the earth and its fruits. Personal tithes are so called because they arise entirely from the personal industry of man. In addition to this distinction, tithes are divisible into two classes, viz. great and small: the great tithes comprehending generally the tithes of corn, peas, beans, hay, and wood; and small tithes all other predial, together with all mixed and personal, tithes. Tithes are great or small, according to the nature of the things which yield the tithe, without reference to quantity. Thus, clover-grass made into hay is of the nature of all other grass made into hay, and consequently is a great tithe; but, if left for seed, its nature becomes altered, and, like other seed, it becomes a small tithe. The Tithe Commutation Acts have substituted a yearly rent-charge varying in amount for tithe. By the Tithe Act, 1891, it is payable by the landowner to the titheowner. Every contract between landowner and occupier made after that Act for payment of it by the occupier is void; and the occupier has ceased to be bound by any such contract made before that Act, being liable however, to repay to the landowner such sum as the landowner has properly paid on account of tithe rent-charge to the titheowner. When the rent-charge was in arrear for twenty~one days, the remedy was, until 1891, in every case by distress on the land; but the Tithe Act, 1891 (54 Vic., c. 8), has effected a great change in this respect. By that Act, in the ordinary case of land being let by the owner to a tenant, the remedy of distress by the titheowner is abolished; and recovery through a receiver, appointed by the County Court of the district, is substituted, where the land is in the occupation of the landowner, in which case an officer of the Court may distrain for it. The landowner, also, in case of a contract before the passing of the Act (March 26, 1891) binding the occupier to pay tithe, may recover by distress on the occupier any sum he may have paid the titheowner on account of tithe. By the same Act (sec. 8) a remission of tithe rent-charge for any one year, exceeding two-thirds of the annual value of the land out of which it issues, may be obtained from the County Council, as in the case of landlord and tenant.