which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Crich "Chief" rents paid to the Duke of Norfolk at Martinmas 1583

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 Chrich p toto ano on Martynmas 1583
  Georg Sellers for cheife of his lands p Ann 2s .. 2d ???
  Robt. Radford chiefe of Mr Pawle lands of Wakebridg p Ann ob  
  George Radford for cheife of Mr Babington lands p Ann 12d  
  John Frytcheley for cheife of ye lands I receveid from yerdeley p Ann 6s ..8d which is a*stooryd before amongest his rent    
  The cheif rent of wynster p ann 7d  
  Thomas Woodward and Robert Taylor for chiefe of Marmaduk Babington lands in Washington p Ann 30s .. 0d  
  Frances Rolston cheife 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 Poole cheif of his land p Ann
5s .. 8d  
  The same one pound pepers1  
  The common fyne of Chrich p Ann 2s .. 6d  
  John Kirkeland p Ann 6d  
  Raffe Wylcockson cheife p Ann 6d  
  Edmund Northedg cheife p Ann 3s .. 0d  
  Wm alseybrook cheife rent to ye Lea channtery 13s .. 4d  
  Vidua2 Awrom chiefe p Ann 2s .. 8d  
  Henrye Ammott cheife 20d  
  Andrewe Allen cheife 10d  
  Sum £5 0s 12d ob

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'.

Crich rents Martinmas 1583


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