The Tithe Map: Apportionment
Each field or parcel of land is identified on the map by a reference number, keyed to entries on the apportionment document which lists the owner, occupier, area, brief description, state of cultivation, and the rentcharge apportioned to it; this extract is taken from the Town Hall copy discussed below.
Sample from the copy of the apportionment kept at the town hall, Biddulph.
“Numbering began at the north west corner of the parish (Whitemoor) and the present A527 Congleton to Tunstall main road was used to divide the parish in half. Numbering continued southwards to the west of the road through Marsh Green, Gillow Heath, Bradley Green (the present Biddulph Town), New Pool, Hay Hill to Brown Lees. Then at the southern tip of the parish the numbering started to the east of the main road working back from Mill Hayes through Knypersley, Braddocks Hay, Biddulph Moor, Ox hay, The Grange, The Hurst, Biddulph Old Hall, Overton, Biddulph Park and Biddulph Common.”
The Field Names of the Parish of Biddulph. D.R.Johnson
In 1979 Derek Wheelhouse, Chairman of Biddulph History Society, transcribed this apportionment. Hours of painstaking work resulted in a typed list of landholders and occupiers in addition to the name and acreage of each plot for the parish of Biddulph. This was duly deposited at Biddulph Library along with a copy of the Tithe Map, also produced by the then Biddulph Historical Society. This has become a valuable resource for both local and family historians. The present Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society was motivated to update this original research and to convert it to a database to be made available on the internet. What follows is a brief discussion of the processes involved.
The 1979 numerical list was transcribed on to a database and cross-checked against the town hall document. The data base can be viewed as both a numerical list of plots and the associated details and as an alphabetical list of occupiers. The amount of rent charge apportioned and payable to either the Vicar or John Bateman is not included in the transcription. There are some issues with the copy of the apportionment. Firstly, there are 19 instances where the same plot number has been used twice. There is even one plot number that was used three times (1343). There are also 24 instances where a number is not accompanied by any details. Where this has occurred, correct details, where available, have been added from the certified copy kept at Lichfield. Another issue lies in the transcription of field names. For example, in the copy, plot 1945 is described as ‘Ripers Croft’. However, look at that same plot on an 1830 sale plan of the Hurst Estate and it appears as ‘Pipers Croft’. Go further back to the plan of William Richardson’s Moorhouse Estate of 1775, and again the plot is shown as ‘Pipers Croft’. It is intended that an additional column, highlighting such differences, will be added to the data base in the future. All of this serves to emphasise the importance of checking the original source.
To save space the following abbreviations have been used in transcribing the land use column:
a = arable
m = meadow
p = pasture
w = wood
Numerically assorted apportionment: Plot numbers followed by a letter appear at the end of the list.