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The Rent Audit. »

Pub June 11832. by John Harris. StPauls Church I

N° 7.

Page 162



covenants, in which the landlord is naturally disposed to take sufficient care of himself. Without going too much into dry matters, I will just say, that the principal covenant on the landlord's part is, to let the tenant have unmolested possession of the farm during the term granted; and this is an engagement from which he can in no way free himself; even though another should offer him ten times the


The conditions on the part of the tenant are many, and sometimes grievous, yet such as men will consent to, for the sake of obtaining what they are apt to think at first will be a good business. He agrees to give so much money per annum in quarterly payments;he undertakes to farm the land in a certain way; to keep the house and buildings in repair; to manure to a certain extent; -to

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pay a heavy penalty, if he shall break up a pasture without leave. He engages, generally, not to cut the grass a second time in the season. Sometimes he is restricted from growing potatoes and from selling hay. He is forbidden to cut down the smallest timber tree. Sometimes the lease gives to the landlord extra powers of raising rent, and enforcing penalties.

And suppose the farmer cannot pay his rent on the rent day? The landlord then may distrain for it; that is, he can put a bailiff on the premises, and, after five days, he can seize any part of the property, and sell it to pay himself. The worst of it is, that he can also seize and sell the property of any other person which happens to be on the spot at the time. I have heard an amusing story of a certain squire, who sent a bailiff to distrain for rent :

171 the bailiff, looking over the fields, espied a remarkably fine parcel of black cattle, which he seized and sold without enquiry. It happened, however, that these were the landlord's own beasts, which had accidentally strayed thither!

The clergyman comes next: his claims are called tithes, or tenths. The case is this: the Church of England being by law established, it became necessary to appoint and support its ministers. Custom and law have, for many ages, given a tenth part of the produce of the land to the clergy, for the performance of their duties. This portion they may may take either in kind, that is, the tenth sheaf of corn, the tenth calf and lamb, the tenth measure of milk, the tenth egg; or they may agree to an equivalent, or composition, which perhaps amounts to five or six shillings an acre.



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