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Brother John Dytton's
Computus : 1454-55

This single document, held in the British Museum, provides a great deal of very interesting material regarding the life of Malhamdale in the 15th century. It is the copy of the church receipts and expenses for the year 1454-55 which was sent to his Abbot at West Dereham in Norfolk.

Rev Baron

The Rev WRN Baron MA
Vicar of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham 1919-1928. Interested in local history, he also wrote the first guide for the church which was published in 1923

The document was discovered in the British Museum by the Rev Shuffrey, vicar of Arncliffe, on a trip to London. Having been told about it by his friend, the Rev Baron then set about translating John Dytton's Compotus from Latin. He serialised the result in the Parish magazine in the winter of 1921-2 and it was include in JW Morkill's history of Malhamdale.

The description for the John Dytton document in the Museum catalogue is as follows:

Add. 41048. Shelton Young Collection. Vol. CLX.
Transcript of the compotus roll of John Dytton, vicar of the church of "Kyrkby Malmighdall," i.e. Kirkby in Malham Dale, co. York, of church receipts and expenses, Easter 1454-Easter 1455, from the original, Add. Roll 32957. Ff . 13.

 

The Norfolk Connection
Although the lands in Malhamdale seem to have been principally divided between and farmed by the tenants of the Abbeys of Bolton and Fountains, the church was in the possession of West Dereham Abbey in Norfolk and collected the tithes.
In the year 1199, Adam, son of Adae de Giggleswick, being in possession of the manor of Kirkby, had gifted the parish church to the Abbot and Canons of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Our Lady at West Dereham, Norfolk. This order, also known as the Norbertines or White Canons, after the colour of their habit, were founded in 1120 at Prémontré, France by St Norbert and their first house was established in England around 1143. The order supplied the Kirkby Malhamdale parish with vicars from 1275, right up to the Reformation, the last appointed being John Downham who came to the parish in 1509.

W Dereham Abbey ruins

The church at Kirkby Malham survived the Reformation rather better than West Dereham Abbey, seen here about 1970

The Balance Sheet of Brother John Dytton, vicar of the Parish Church of Kyrkby Malimgdall, of all receipts pertaining to the said Church for the complete year, namely, from the Paschal Feast in the year of our Lord one thousand four hundred and fifty-four up to the same Festival immediately next following. And of expenses, payments and repairs done in that year and in the year following.

Receipts

Offerings at the Great Festivals

First, the same John declares for offerings at the Great Festivals : viz. on S. Michael's Day (Kept as a great festival because of the dedication of Kirkby Church to S. Michael the Archangel.) 6s.1d
Also on the Day of our Lord's Nativity 8s.4d
Also on the Paschal Day with the three days preceding 16s.

Total
30s.5d
Offerings in the Boxes of S. Mary and S. Sythe Also declares for offerings found in the Box of S. Mary 6d. In the Box of S. Sythe (Saint Sythe or St. Osyth, was an East Anglian Saint), 4s. 2d Total
4s. 8d.
Halybred Sylver (Halybred- Holy Bread, refers to little rolls of bread distributed to the congregation after the Sacrament.) The same declares for pence called Halybred Silver, namely on each Lord's Day throughout the year 1 1/2d. Total
6s. 6d.
Purification of Women.(Churching) The same declares for baptisms and purification of women for the whole year, namely, when a child is baptized 1/2d., when the mother is purified 2d., with the chrysom (white christening robe) Total
7s 4d
Marriages The same declares for marriages held within the said period, received, namely, for anyone at the Church Porch (Marriages took place in the Porch. When the ceremony was completed the bridegroom and bride entered the Church, where the Communion Service immediately followed) 8d., from which the clerk has 2d.
Also for candles at the altar 2d. each, with the offerings of those who are standing round.
Also at the end of the mass if the woman is purified 1d.
Total
14s 3d
Burial of the Dead The same declares for burials, namely, in offerings and for candles and nythwax (possibly an an old form of "Night Wakes", the custom of burning candles around the coffin) received for the year: namely, received for every candle burning round the bier at the time of the masses 1d.
Also for everyone coming to full age, that is to say, accustomed to be admitted to and receiving the Sacraments of the Church, when they die ought to pay 7d., and this is called nythwax
Total
18s 5d
Anniversaries (Celebration of the Sacrament on the anniversary of a death) Also received on Anniversaries for the whole year as 4d. Total
2s. 4d.
Mortuary fees (a kind of death duty, the heir had to hand over the best animal on the farm when a freeholder died).

The same declares for Mortuary fees received for the same period. And first, for one horse which was the Mortuary fee of Thomas Malgham, value 26s. 8d.
Also for one mare and foal which was the Mortuary fee of Thomas Jackson, myller, value 8s
Also for one cow which was the Mortuary fee of H. Tomson's wife, value 7s
Also for one cow which was the Mortuary fee of John Wyk's value 7s
Also for one stirk which was the Mortuary fee of Hogekyn Sergentson's wife, value 9s.

Total
57s. 8d.
Tithe lambs. The same declares for seven score and seven tithe lambs sold to John Wynsouer and his fellows at 8d. each lamb, total £4 13s 4d
It works out at this because in each score of lambs they have one lamb over for luck
Total
£4 13s 4d
Tithe Wool. Also declares for fifty four stone and three fleeces of tithe wool received in the parish and sold to Henry Robyson at 1s 6d per stone, total £4 0s 6d. Total
£4 0s 6d.
Tithe pigs, geese,and cockerels

Also for 3 1/2 tithe pigs received for the same period 16d. and one tithe kid 6d
Also for 12 1/2 geese received in the parish 2s 1d, and for 28 cockerels 14d.
Also for tithe eggs received in readiness for Easter 12d
Also for flax and hemp 22d
Also for wax remaining over in church at the end of the year 2s 4d.
The rest of the pigs geese cockerels flax and hemp are accounted for under Lent-tithes.

Total
10s 3d
Lent Tithes. The same declares for Lent Tithes received in the parish £9 0s 19d Total
£9 0s 19d
Corn tithes The same declares for Corn tithe of Malgham £7 13s 4d
Also for tithe of Hawnleth . . £1 0s 0d
Also for tithe of Calton .. £4 13s 4d
Also for tithe of Ayrton .. £6 0s 0d
Also for tithe of Scothorp . . £4 6s 8d
Also for tithe of Otterburn .. £4 6s 8d
Also for tithe of Kyrkby . . £1 6s 8d
Total
£30 6s 8d
Rents of Assize - .Calton.
(Rents of Assize were fixed charges similar to quit rents.)

The same declares for Rents of Assize from Sir Richard Hammerton for his lands at Calton 7s:
Also from Thomas Malgham Esq. for his lands in the same 28s
Also from H. Preston for his lands in the same 21d
Also from John Dyxon for one toft near the Tithe Grange in the same and half an acre of land, &c. 16d.

Total
38s 1d.
Rents of Assize. - Ayrton Also from William Nunfrere for one messuage and one bovate of land in Ayrton 4s 5d.
Also from John Smyth for one messuage and two acres of land in the same 18d.
Total
5s 11d
Rents of Assize. - Scothorp Also from Thorn. Stakhous for one messuage and one bovate of land in Scothorp 18d.
Also from T. Malgham for one toft and one rood of land near the Tithe Grange in the same 1d.
Also from W. Elryngton for one toft and one rood of land formerly John Deaconson's, which were formerly John de Scothorp's 1d.
Total
20d
Rents of Assize. - Hawnleth Also from H. Hartlington for one toft in Hawnleth, formerly T. Deaconson's 1d.
Also from Isabell S'gentson for one toft and two acres of land in the same, formerly T. S'gentson's 1d.
Also from T. Dykson for one toft and three roods of land formerly Matilda Elsewyk's 2d.
Total
4d
Rents of Assize - Staynford Also from Richard Tempest for one toft (dwelling house) and three acres of land in Staynford, which formerly belonged to Thomas son of Adam Pymson 6d.
Also from the same Richard for one messuage and one bovate of land with pasturage for two hundred ewes, 3s
Total
3s 6d
 
Rents of Assize Total
62s 6d
Farmers' Rents - Malgham The same declares for farmers' rents.
First from John Walker for one toft and two acres and a half of land in Malgham 6s 8d.
Also from Joan Kendall for one cottage in the same 18d.
Also for one toft in Dengarth, nothing, because it is not finished building.
Total
8s 2d
Farmers' Rents - Kyrkby Also from Thom. Calton for one toft with a croft above Westbank 4s.
Also from Will. Elryngton for one messuage in which he dwells, with three bovates of land and two tofts, viz., one toft called Myttonhows and one toft called Jacksonhows, 13s 4d.
Also for one close called Hogardgarth, 18d,
Also the Hallgarth with a garden against the Wollehows.14d.
Also the ympegarth (Hempgarth) 2d.
Also one garden on the east side of the Churchyard, 16d. All that the said William holds in Kyrkby, 18s 4d.
Also from Will. Sprott for one messuage and one bovate of land in the same, 5s 6d.
Also from W. Monk for one messuage and one bovate of land, 6s 8d.
Also from T. Paxton for one messuage, and three bovates of land, 11s 6d Also from John Hynne, now in the hands of H, Robyson, for one messuage and three bovates of land, I2s.
Also from H. Robyson for one messuage and two bovates of land now in the hands of T. Calton, 10s.
Also from H. Monk for one messuage and divers lands in Scosthorp Fields in accordance with the indentures 7s 4d.
Also from Agnes Paxton for one cottage with a garden, 2s.
Also for 18 acres of pasture in Kyrkby called the Anam (contraction of Avonholme -the meadow by the water) 5s 4d.
Total
£4 2s 8d
Farmers' Rents - Hawnleth Also from John Deaconson for one messuage and three bovates of land in Hawnleth, 16s.
Also from John Pecok for one messuage and two bovates of land in the same,10s.
Also from Agnes Sergentson for one bovate of land in the same, 5s.
Total
31s
Farmers' Rents - Ayrton Also from Will. Porter for one messuage and two bovates of land in Ayrton, I2s.
Also from Richard Parker for one messuage and three bovates of land in the same with a garden belonging to it, 20s.
Also from Will. Pawson for one garden planted round with trees, 6d.
Also from Robt. Preston for one messuage and three bovates of land, 18/-. Also from John Nayler for one messuage and four acres of land called Walrenhows, now in the hands of Henry Tomson, 8s 4d.
Also from William Elryngton for a tithe of hay in the same called Myrhey, 6s.
Total
£3 4s 10d
Farmers' Rents - Scothorp Also from Will. Mydlow for one messuage and two bovates of land in Scothorp, 14s.
Also from Will. Uttyng for one messuage and two bovates of land with one toft, where Magot de Potterton lately dwelt, 14s 6d.
Also from Will. Atkynson for one toft with a croft and one bovate of land, 8s.
Also from T. Mydlow for one bovate of land called Bull Oxgang, 6s.
Also from Richard Arnald for one messuage and two bovates of land, 14s.
Also from Will. Hogeson, myller, for one messuage and two bovates of land, and one toft with a croft, 16s.
Also from John Harryson for one toft with a garden, 2s.
Also from Jankyn Johnson for one bovate of land, 5s.
Also from Richard Tomlynson for the neighbouring bovate of land, 6s.
Also from Will. Elryngton for two tofts with a croft in the same, 40d.
Also from the same Will, for a bovate of land and one sheep pasture called Schulbrad, 10s.
Also for three closes in the same, called Newclose, Oxon pasture, and Myddyll close with the Bankys and the Spring, 6s 8d.
Total
£5 6s 6d.
Farmers' Rents - Otterburn Also from Thos. Pethnoll for land in Otterburn, I2d.  
 
Total Farmers' Rents :
£13 13s 2d
  Total Rents of Assize and Farms £17 16s 8d
  Sum total received £73 13s 8d


Payments

Expenses and Payments From which the same John begs to be allowed for his stipend for the year £6 13s 4d.
Also paid to the Lord Archbishop for Roman Pence, (tax on a Parish towards the maintenance of the Holy See at Rome), I2s.
Also paid to the same for synodals (Money paid to Bishop for consecrating Holy Oil for anointing the sick.) at Easter and Michaelmas, 4s.
Also paid to the same for half his subsidy granted to him by the clergy in synod, 15s 4d.
Also paid to the Lord Archbishop for procurations (Money paid at Episcopal Visitations) 7s 6d. For expenses in connection with the same, 10d.
Also paid to Master Will. Smert for his fee, 6s 8d.
Total
£8 19s 8d.
Rents returned Also paid to the Lord Earl of Northumberland (Chief Lord of the fee) for land in Kirkby, 11s 1d.
Also paid to Harry Hartlyngton for one toft in Kirkby, 8d.
Also paid to the same for land in Hawnleth, 4s 4d.
Also paid to Lord Fitzhugh for default in answering at his court in Ayrton, I2d. Also in respect of homage, 20d.
Total
18s 9d.
Church Expenses Also for five loaves and two flagons of wine bought against the Easter Festival, 2s 1d.
Also for bread and wine brought for the Church for the whole year, 22d. Also for eight pounds of wax bought for the whole year, 4s 4d.
Also for Holy Oil and Chrism, 4d
Also for Oil for the lamps in the choir, 6d. Also for Incense 2d.
Also for Straw for the Church at the Great Festivals, 9d.
Total
10s 1/2d
Fees Paid

Also paid to Sir Thos. Harryngton for his fee 9 qtrs. 6 bus. wheat value 10d. per bushel— total £3 5s, also paid to Richard Banaster 20s
Also paid to the Clifford Bailiff at different times 28d. also to the Wapyntak Bailiff 12d.
Also to T. Calton and T. Cromack for their work in connection with various negotiations on various occasions 5s 8d .

Total
£4 14s
Carriage on Tithe

Also paid for carriage of grange tithe of Calton to William Malgham as part payment on 8s, 4s 4d.
Also paid to Robt. Swyr and his fellows for carriage of tithe from Otterburn 5s also paid to Wm. Hogeson for carriage of grange tithe from Scothorp 6s 8d.
Also paid to divers men for collecting tithes of lambs and wool 22d.
Also paid to H. Dodall when he came to take the rents for his trouble on divers occasions 2s 2d.
Also paid to another man of Ric. Banaster for the same 7d. also for the feeding of those who came on any business connected with the church at divers times 14d.
Also on expenses in going to Mr. Harryngton for divers services for these two years and onward and on gifts to the same and to his men 14s 10d. Also for providing a chaplain for the church during the absence of the Vicar on divers occasions 16d.
Also on expenses incurred in connection with the Bull Oxgang 4s 11d. Also for collecting straw at Malgham at the time of threshing the grange tithe at the same 16d.
Also payments made at divers times at divers places for church business for two years and onward, and on gifts to divers people the above written notwithstanding, which cannot well be written down in detail 29s 2d.

 
 
Total of all expenses
£18 15s 10d.
  And thus the receipts exceed expenditure by £54 17s 9d from which £54 17s 9d the same vicar truly paid to the satisfaction of the Lord Abbot as is shown below :—  
Payments made to the Lord Abbot

First, paid to the Lord Abbot in cash at the feast of S. Michael £8 10s 11d.
Also to the same by the hands of Edward Bowre 61s 4d.
Also by the hands of Thorn. Cromok 40s. also paid to the Lord Abbot for one horse which was the mortuary of Thos. Malgham 26s 8d.
Also paid to the Lord Abbot at the feast of the Holy Trinity 22s 8d.

Total
£16 19d
 

Also paid to Brother John Downham for his stipend for three terms, Purification of Blessed Mary, S. Peter ad Vincula. Purification of Blessed Mary 26s 8d. also for his keep for the whole year and two days 61s-.
Also paid to Wm. Wynsover according to the agreement 13s 4d.
Also paid to Wm. Sergentson and Wm. Hogeson for the same 16d.

Total
£5 2s 4d
  Also paid on one occasion to Robt. Husband for arranging matters at Dereham 40d.
Also to T. Cromok for the same 8s.
Also for shoeing one horse sent to the Lord Abbot at the same time aid.
Also paid to Robt. Swyr for the same 8s.
Also allowed to the same Robt. for a mare by order of his Lordship 4s.
Also to H. Fawseth for the same 40d.
Also allowed to the Vicar for going to Dereham twice 10s.
Total
38s 5d
  Also allowed to the same Vicar for Will. Elryngton £5 14s 8d.
Also allowed to the same Vicar for repairs done for the same Vicar, &c. :—first, for repairs to the Tithe Barn at Otterburn, for watlyng bought and put on, for thakke bought and put on, and wallyng, all reckoned together 12s 2d.
Also for repairs to the Tithe Barn at Malgham in winter time which was damaged by rooks and jackdaws, the repairs have been disputed by T. Malgham, 32d.
Also to the Tithe Barn at Calton 8d.
Also for repairs to the Tithe Barn at Scothorp 6d.
Also for repairs to the Tithe Barn at Hawnleth 2s 4d.
Also for repairs to the dwelling house lately John Hynne's 7s 11d, towards which repairs John paid 3s 4d and thus it is clearly 4s 7d.
Also for boards for making the doors of the said house, and the houses of Thorn. Paxton and Ric. Arnald 22d.
Also for repairs to the barn of Will. Myller and the house of Will. Uttyng, 40d.
Also for making a Sled for carrying stones 2d.
Also for repairs to the dwelling house of Thorn. Rakys in Ayrton and the barn of Thorn. Paxton in Kyrkby done at the same time :— First for Wrytnot, namely, for 22days one man carpentering up to the first Sunday in Lent counting it at 4d. a day, also from the first Sunday in Lent : total 7s 4d. And further for 50 days for one man carpentering counting it at 5d. a day, total 21s.
Also for Will. Elryngton and John Cook for the oversight of the same carpenters 6s 8d.
Also paid for watlyng brought for the said houses and for another building, viz., the barn of the said Raks :— First to the Abbot of Sallay for 4 loads bought 20d., and for carrying and felling 2 loads of the same 2s 4d.
Also for 4 loads bought from Milrakys Clyf 28d., and for filling and beryng owt 2s.
Also for carrying same 3s.
Also paid for thakke bought of T. Rakys, and watlyng and thakkyng 2 houses entirely, viz., his said dwelling house in Ayrton and the barn of the same house 18s 4d.
Also for thakke bought and carriage to the barn of Th. Paxton in Kyrkby 8s.
Also for rydding old houses in Ayrton aid.
Also for delving and carrying to the said house 6d.
Also for wallyng the said house 4s 6d. Also for sawing timber for the said house 4s 5d.
Also for carriage of timber from Kyrkby to Ayrton for the said house 20d.
Also for expenses on services rendered at the erection of the said house in Ayrton 8d.
Also at the erection of the house of T. Paxton 4d.
Also for drink given to the carpenters and for basyng the said houses, that is to say, for laying great stones under the foot of the Crokk 4d.
Also allowed to the same Vicar for the heavy damage and for loss to the great detriment of the good of the Church by reason of the Law suit with T. Malgham, viz., in the matter of the Tithe Barn at Malgham £4 8s 4d.
Also for the Tithe Barn at Calton 40s.
Also for the Tithe Barn at Ayrton 26s 8d.
Also for the Tithe Barn at Scothorp 57s 10d.
Total
£10 12s 10d.
 

Also allowed to the same Vicar for sundry debts discharged in connection with the above dispute, none of which debts can be recovered by the said Vicar £9 17s 6d

AND thus the Total is £54 17s 9d, and it balances

£54 17s 9d



If you use the What is it Worth Today? External Website logo website you will see that Brother Dytton actually collected around £30, 486 in today's currency, but 1454 was an exceptionally good harvest year so his tithe portion would be larger, but prices generally lower. Try examining some of the other sums and rates of pay using this website, the results are quite interesting.

Formatted for the web from the version printed in
"
THE PARISH OF KIRKBY MALHAMDALE"
by JW Morkill

Originally published in 1933, this important local history work has now republished in support of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham, Restoration Campaign. Copies of this limited edition are still available see the order page for ordering details and pricing.



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