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From a <cursory> View taken of Lands within the Forest of Weardale in the County of durham it appears that the Tract of Country so called contains by Estimation 70,400 Acres and from the most careful Enquiry and Strictest Examination, in it’s present State does not return annually to the Owners more than £3760. These Observations have been weighed and minutely attended to, so as on them to found fair Calculations from which it seems clear, that were those Lands divided and improved, The Return to the Owners would not be less than £42,861.1.8. It having been proposed to give the Rector a Compensation for his Tithe in Lands out of the commonable parts and stinted pastures and to charge the Old Inclosures with a Money payment. Considerations The Tithe payable to the Rector from the open Tracts, is chiefly Wool and Lamb; and it is probable that if those Lands are divided, Cultivation will immediately follow and that for some Years after the Division, the Animals that may pasture thereon and the Crops will not be of those Kinds to yield a Return to the Tithe Owner, equal to the present Tithe, But was the Rector to accede to a Compensation in Lands, the great Advantages to the Living are truly obvious; because, The Commissioners in founding the Ground of Claim for a Compensation must include Lands that are likely to be planted, and yield no Tithe, consider the improved Value of the whole and give such an Allotment as appears to them a full Equivalent. Thus the Rector would immediately (without Expenses) have his Allotment set out and Ring fenced; and as it is meant that a part should be sold to defray the Expense of Buildings, Subdivision Fences &c it would at the outset lett for its full improved Value which on the Ground of Calculation before mentioned, may fairly be said to stand thus. The annual Value in the present State £3760 and in the Inclosed & improved State 42,861.1.8 which is an Increase of Income of nearly twelve Times the present Value; but admit that one sixth of such Increase be the proportion to be sold for Subdivision Fences, Buildings &c and that one sixth more be considered for Exigencies (Chapels, Schools &c) which is certainly allowing in the fullest Manner, The Rector would receive without Risque, without Loss of Time, and without Trouble a Compensation at least Eight Times more valuable than the Tithe and in every Respect more likely to <increase>. 3rd January 1799
This document is the Minutes on Tithe referred to in, and enclosed with, Mowbray’s letter to the Bishop of Durham dated 3rd January 1799.