Letter from Earl Beauchamp to Revd Wathen
Transfer of Great Malvern Tithe to Guarlford in1866
Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire dated 1904 refers to the transfer of the Great Malvern Tithe to the new parish of Guarlford; a significant source of income for a small parish church.
An original letter relating to this event from Frederick Lygon (1830 - 1891) 6th Earl Beauchamp to Revd J B Wathen was recently found in the village. Here is a transcription made by the Guarlford History Group.
Letter from Earl Beauchamp to Revd J B Wathen re payment of the Great Malvern Tithe to the new Guarlford parish.
Envelope (torn) on front reads "Transference of Rectorial Tithe Lord Beauchamp to the Rev J B Wathen Barnards Green.
At that time Barnards Green meant the commons alongside the main road and postal address for Guarlford Village.
The letter consists of two folded sheets of notepaper written on both sides making eight small pages of which seven were used.
Sheet one (Page 1)
'Madresfield Court Gt Malvern' Nov: 23 1866
Dear Mr Wathen,
I am much obliged by your offer to send me the Gazette, but Mr Chalk had forwarded me a copy at the same time with that sent to you. I send herewith a letter which I have received from the Bishop explaining the steps proper to be taken.
You will then become a corporation sole and as such capable of receiving a conveyance of the Tithe.
I have accordingly instructed my solicitor (Messrs Walford, 27 Bolton St, Piccadilly London W.) to put himself in communication with the Eccl Commissioners and to prepare the conveyance for Execution. When this is done it will be well to put in force the District Church
Tithe Act of 1865 which I will send for in a few days & you will then be Rector of St Mary's Guarlford.
Owing to some misapprehension on the part of Mr (Labrice?) the Great Tithe of Malvern was not collected last April. That which was then due belongs to the estate of my late brother and I have desired him to collect it without delay. It has been usual hitherto for the tithe to be collected but
once in the year. I have ordered Mr Labrice to acquaint the tithe payers it will henceforth be collected half-yearly & all that is due from April 1 in the present year will become (yours?). I enclose a memorandum of the tithes and the deductions made in the year 1865. I think its probable that some of these may be reduced i.e. Income Tax and Ch: rate, as I suppose that the parishioners of St Mary's Guarlford will not be liable to any Church rate
Sheet two (Page 1)
made henceforth at Great Malvern except for the purpose of repaying money borrowed on the rates, but that is a lawyer's question. The payment to Mr Skinner of £10 per annum is called "the Almoner's Tithe" and is an ancient charge on the Rectory of Gt. Malvern. I am sorry to have you at such length, & I hope that in a very short time the whole
arrangement may be completed.
Very truly yrs
P.S. I have spoken to Genl Wilmot upon the Bishop's suggestion as to Queen Anne's Bounty, and he approved.
I do not know if the accompanying "Presentation" is sufficient or not.
Editor's note: the Revd James Skinner (1818 - 1881) mentioned above was the first vicar of Newland and warden of the Beauchamp community (1861 - 1877). In 1860 Newland had been separated from the parish of Great Malvern to enable the incumbent of Newland also to be the warden of the newly built alms-houses.