which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Crich "Chief" rents paid to the Duke of Norfolk at Martinmas 1582

Transcribed by Dr Alan Wilcockson

Chief rent is an annual sum payable on some freehold property common in North West England, but found throughout the UK. Despite its name it is not a rent.

Ground rent is a regular payment required under a lease from the owner of leasehold property, payable to the freeholder. A ground rent is created when a freehold piece of land or a building is sold on a long lease.

The annual Chief rent was due at Martinmas, which was on 11 November.

Red text shows words or letters of which I am not convinced.


Cheife rents belonging to the
Manor of Chrych & toto ano

Georg Sellers for cheif of his lands p ann   2s 2d ? pyd
Robt. Radford for chief of Mr Pawle lands of Wakebrydge p ann   ob    
George Radford for cheif of Mr Babington lands p ann     12d  
Johne Fritcheley for cheif of ye land  I received from yerdeley p ann 6s 8d which is **stooryd amongst ye rent he payeth        
The cheif rents of Wynster p ann   7s 0d  
Thomas Woodward and Robert Taylor cheif of Marmaduke lands & p ann in Washington   30s 0d  
Frances Rolson cheif p ann   5s 8d  
Thomas Radford cheife p ann   5s 0d  
The chief rent of Ible p ann   5s 6d  
Marmaduke Babington for cheife of Collington p ann   14s 0d  
Jerman Pawle cheif of his land p ann & one pounde of peppers1   5s 8d  
The common fyne of Chriche p ann   2s 6d  
John Kerkland cheif p ann     6d  
Raffe Wylcockson p ann     6d  
Edmond Northedy p ann   3s 0d  
Wm Alstybrock for cheif rent to ye Channteryof Lea p ann   13s 4d  
Vidua2 Awrom cheif   2s 8d  
Henrye Ammott cheif     20d  
Andrewe Allen cheif p ann     10d  
5.0.12d Sum £5 0s 12d  

1Historically pepper has been very valuable and equivalent to money. In 408 AD Alaric, King of the Visigoths, demanded a large price for sparing the besieged city of Rome. The tribute included fine garments, gold, silver and three thousand kilograms of pepper. Merchants of Venice would bribe tax collectors with a pound of pepper. King Ethelred collected a tax from ships that landed at Billingsgate in the form of bags of pepper. In France a pound of pepper was enough to free a slave. In Germany a nickname for the rich was 'pepper sacks'. When the ship Mary Rose, which sank in 1545, was raised from the sea-bed nearly every sailor's body was found to have a bunch of peppercorns in his possession.
Pepper was considered as a more stable form of currency than money! In England a pound of pepper was a commonly accepted form of rent from land tenants. The term "peppercorn rent” started off meaning that such a contract was taken very seriously based on the cost of a given weight of peppercorns per year. In later years, when pepper became cheap, a custom of handing a single peppercorn to confirm a tenancy came into existence. When Prince Charles became the Duke of Cornwall he received a pound of pepper as part of his tribute.

2 Vidua is a widow.

'Sheffield City Council, Libraries Archives and Information: Sheffield Archives R333/IM/RW. Reproduced with permission from His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, DL and the Director of Culture, Sheffield City Council'.

Chief rents for Crich in 1852 Martinmas


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