MC:PR30/4/MS1 Papers on South Petherwyn (now Petherwin)
Papers which were once found wrapped up in a folder inscribed “Papers relating to Dr. Shaw’s dispute as to the Great Tithes of S. Petherwyn”. They were evidently found within Magdalen itself, since they have been placed into a guardbook which looks like others which date from the early 20th century. “Dr. Shaw” is John Shaw (D. 1764–71; F. 1771–1824), who became vicar of South Petherwyn (today usually spelled “Petherwin”) in 1796. To judge from the nature of this package’s contents, it was kept by Routh. The advowson of South Petherwin, in Cornwall, was given to the University of Oxford by Mary I in 1554.
See MC:PR30/1/C2/4 Fol. 17 for a letter from Shaw to Routh.
No. 1: Letter from J. Bartlam (address, Alcester) to Martin Routh, 17 June 1794. Bartlam understands that John Shaw is a candidate for the vacant living of South Petherwyn. He hopes to persuade his brother to support Shaw, but would like to be sure whether the living is indeed to be vacated, and, if so, whether Shaw really wishes to apply for it.
No. 2: Letter from Septimus Collinson (Provost of Queen’s 1796-1827; address, Holwell) to Martin Routh, 7 Jul 1795. Collinson is unable to support Shaw for South Petherwyn, because he has promised his vote elsewhere.
No. 3: Unfinished letter from an unnamed correspondent (address, Sandwell), presumably to Martin Routh, 12 Jul 1795. The writer regrets that, because he has not yet taken his MA, he cannot vote for John Shaw.
No. 4: Letter from Thomas Burgess (1756–1837; Bishop of St. Davids 1803–35 and of Salisbury 1825–37; address, Winston) to Martin Routh, 16 Jul 1795. Burgess agrees that, if he is able to vote, he will vote for John Shaw.
No. 5: Draft letter from Martin Routh to an unnamed addressee, 8 Feb 1796. Routh notes that the University is going to draw up a lease of the great tithes of South Petherwyn to the vicar there for 75 years, at a rate of £250 a year. They wish to insert a clause that, if John Shaw lives in the parish, he will get some of the rent, but if not, all the tithes will go to the University. Routh notes that Shaw’s predecessor only paid a rent of £100 a year on the tithes, and that Shaw is unhappy at the change in his situation.
No. 6: Letter from James Buller (address, Wimpole Street) to Martin Routh, 12 Feb 1796. Buller agrees to discuss Shaw’s case with the Bishop of Exeter.
No. 7: Letter from John Shaw (address, British Museum) to Martin Routh, 17 Feb 1796. Shaw fears that the Bishop of Exeter has been brought onto the side of the Delegates of the University against him.
No. 8: Letter from Francis Bedford (address, South Petherwyn) to John Shaw, 28 Apr 1796. Bedford looks forward to meeting Shaw at Launceston, and taking him to South Petherwyn. He hopes that Shaw will win his battle over the tithes.
No. 9: Letter from John Shaw (address, South Petherwin) to Martin Routh, 5 May 1796. Shaw, writing from his parish, is angered to find that the Delegates have leased his vicarage without telling him. He asks Routh to see what is going on in Oxford.
No. 10: Letter from John Shaw to Martin Routh, 9 May (year not given; 1800?). Shaw is about to set off for Cornwall, but before doing so reports that he has been asked to put in words for Jenkins and Selwood for Demyships (these could be references to Samuel Selwood or Sellwood, D. 1800–7 & F. 1807–19, and to Henry Jenkins, D. 1803–27; F. 1827–31, and Master of MCS 1812–28).
Fols. 11–12: Notes by Martin Routh on Mary I’s letters patent which granted the rectory of South Petherwyn to the University, and whether the University is currently infringing its terms.
No. 13: Valuation of the vicarial tithes of South Petherwyn, undated (c. 1796?).
No. 14: Printed circular protesting that the current valuation of the vicarial tithes of South Petherwyn has overestimated their value.
No. 15: A copy of No. 14 above in Routh’s hand. The presence of several corrections on this document suggests that Routh wrote it himself.
No. 16: Notice from John Wills, Vice-Chancellor, that a meeting will be held to seal a lease to Digory Warne and others of the great tithes of South Petherwyn at a rent of £250 a year.
No. 17: Draft petition, in the hand of Martin Routh, to the Vice-Chancellor, asking him to give fourteen days’ notice of the day when he will bring the lease of South Petherwyn before Convocation. The petition includes the names of signatories.
No. 18: Undated message to Routh giving notice of a date when the lease of the tithes of South Petherwyn will be discussed.
No. 19: Printed open letter, undated, to the members of Convocation on the South Petherwyn tithes. The writer is interested in the question of whether it is legal to lease the great tithes to the vicar of the parish.
No. 20: Printed pamphlet, dated 11 March 1796, by John Shaw, in which he sets out his case in the dispute with the University over the South Pertherwyn tithes.
No. 21: Printed handbill, dated 13 Mar 1796, proposing a compromise over the South Petherwyn tithes.
No. 22: MS draft in John Shaw’s hand of No. 23 below.
No. 23: Printed handbill giving an account of John Shaw’s further dealings with the Delegates over South Petherwyn.
No. 24: Another copy of No. 23, now with an extra paragraph dated 16 Mar 1796.
No. 25: Printed notice from John Eveleigh, Provost of Oriel 1781–1814, dated 16 Mar 1796, in which he protests at a record of a conversation involving himself and John Shaw.
No. 26: Printed copy of a report from Council, dated 2 July 1796, on the South Petherwyn tithes. This concludes that the vicar of the parish is not restrained from taking a lease on the tithes of the parish where he is vicar.
Return here to the introduction to this section.