© 2017 John Lucas


A little about the Tithe system would not go amiss. As previously mentioned education as we know it was non existent, a basic accounting system was essential. With the use of fingers, units of ten were manageable. Tithe was basically one tenth, so for every ten units of say grain the peasant farmer produced he would be required to surrender one to the Abbey. Large 'Tithe Barns' were erected to store the produce until it was required by the Abbot. This simple system was applied to many other everyday activities. When  grain was taken to be milled the miller would keep one in ten bags as his charges when goods were taken into the local town to sell there was a charge to pass through the town gates (another one tenth). Application of this system avoided the need to put any monitory value on goods; In any case coinage was of such high value it was useless for the poorer population.

Based on this accepted system it would be highly reasonable to suggest that the tithe collector was also paid at the rate of 10%; a very profitable occupation for these times. It must be stressed that the job came with huge responsibility. Failure to collect or keep the collected goods secure could result in very severe penalties. The Abbey was responsible for upholding law and order, and very rarely showed Christian tolerance.