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Protestant (Established) Church

Tithes The peasantry banded together to resist tithes. "Wallstown Massacre" in 1832 only one of pitch[ed?] battles, 4 men killed & many wounded. 1838 - passed an act converting tithes into a rent charge payable by the landlords at 75% of former tithe rate. The clergy found it easier to collect, the landlords collected 100%; all the tenants got was the knowledge that they were paying for heresy second-hand. - Inglis, St. of Ire ., p. 188     Tithes - Collecting Shortly before the tithes were commuted it was stated officially that in a single parish in Carlow the sum owed by 222 defaulters was 1 farthing each, and that a very large proportion of the defaulters throughout the country were for sums not exceeding 1 shilling. Under these circumstances, the clergy farmed out their interests to tithe-proctors, who often exercised extreme harshness and became more hated than any other class in the country. - The Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland, W. E. H. Lecky (1876)1

1838 - Land Tax substituted for tithe


Collection was generally in the hands of tithe proctors who acted agents of the clergy, or tithe farmers, who bought the right of collection & made what profit they could. Both classes were noted for their extortionate methods, against which the cotter or small farmer could do little to protect himself; and his sense of injustice was increased when he saw the wide pasture lands of the grazier go free (since the tithe of adjustment had been abandoned), while his own potato garden & patch of corn had still to bear the burden.

- J. C. Beckett, The Making of Modern Ireland, p. 177

In theory the tithe was a permanent charge upon the land, which should have been taken into account in the assessment of an equitable rent; in practice, most Irish landlords exacted the utmost that the land would bear and, so far as the tenant was concerned, the tithe was an unjust additional burden... Resistance was common in most parts of the country but it was not until the 1830s that it was organized as a regular campaign on an almost nationwide scale.

- Ibid., p. 294-95

A concerted & determined refusal to pay the tithe, beginning in Leinster in 1830, spread rapidly over a great part of the country. The normal legal processes by which a defaulter could be compelled to pay were almost useless in the face of united opposition, even when that opposition was passive; when there was a threat of violence large forces of police & military were called in any many areas were plunged into the "Tithe War."

- Ibid., p. 309

It was not until 1838 that the Tithe Act was at length passed, & it was concerned only with the method of assessment & collection. Tithe was to be converted into a fixed rent-charge, calculated at 75% of the nominal value of the tithe, and responsibility for payment was to be transferred from tenant to landlord. The consequent elimination of the tithe-proctor & the tithe-farmer made an enormous improvement in the situation, & it ceased to be a popular grievance.

- Ibid., p. 318-19



1 William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland. London : Saunders, Otley, 1861 (editions exist for various years).