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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.
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.
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.
|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.
|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
|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.
|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
||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.
|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
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
|Anniversaries (Celebration of
the Sacrament on the anniversary of a death)
||Also received on Anniversaries for the whole year
|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,
Also for one cow which was the Mortuary fee of John Wyk's value
Also for one stirk which was the Mortuary fee of Hogekyn Sergentson's
wife, value 9s.
||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
£4 13s 4d
||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.
£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
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
The rest of the pigs geese cockerels flax and hemp are accounted
for under Lent-tithes.
||The same declares for Lent Tithes received in the
parish £9 0s 19d
£9 0s 19d
||The same declares for Corn tithe of Malgham £7
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
£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.
|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
|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.
|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.
|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
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
Also from Joan Kendall for one cottage in the same 18d.
Also for one toft in Dengarth, nothing, because it is not finished
|Farmers' Rents - Kyrkby
||Also from Thom. Calton for one toft with a croft above
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.
£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
Also from Agnes Sergentson for one bovate of land in the same, 5s.
|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
£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,
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,
Also from Will. Elryngton for two tofts with a croft in the same,
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.
£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
|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),
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.
£8 19s 8d.
||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.
|| 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
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.
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 .
|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
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
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
Also paid to the Lord Abbot at the feast of the Holy Trinity
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.
£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.
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.
||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
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.
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
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
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.
£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? 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.
for the web from the version printed in
PARISH OF KIRKBY MALHAMDALE"by
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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