which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Crich "Chief" rents paid to the Duke of Norfolk at Martinmas 1587

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 dewe ? ? ? at Martenmas 1587  
  George Sellers for cheife p Ann 2s .. 2d
  Robt. Radford chiefe p Ann of Mr Pawle lands of Wakebridg ob
  George Radford cheife of Mr Rabington lands p Ann 12d
Unclear text Richard Fritchley for cheife of his lands received from wardley p Ann  
  Thomas Woodward and Robert Taylor of Washington for chiefe 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 ye cheife of Collington p Ann 14s .. 0d
  Jerman Pawle cheif p Ann
Item more cheife one pound pepers1
5s .. 8d
  The common fyne of Chrich p Ann 2s .. 6d
  John Kirkeland p Ann 6d
  Raffe Wilcockson cheife p Ann 6d
  Edmund Northrdy cheife p Ann 3s .. 0d
  Wm Lea cheife to ye Lea channtery 13s .. 4d
  Vidua2 Awrom chiefe p Ann 2s .. 8d
  Henrye Ammott cheife 20d
  Andrewe Allen cheife 10d
  The cheife rentt of winttr p Ann 7s

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 ACM /S /118. Reproduced with permission from His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, DL and the Director of Culture, Sheffield City Council'.

chief rents martinmas 1587 Crich


Home| Genealogy Index | Non Church Records