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Tax collecting from medieval peasants

In medieval times and before, tenants of land were required to pay an annual fee, known as a farm, to their landlord. The name arose because in early times tenants of farmland used to pay their rent in kind - both crops and animals

When successsive English Kings appointed a Lord of the Isles or Warden of the Isles for the Channel Islands, this was not always looked on as an administrative role, but a means of providing the recipient with an income from the landowners in the islands who were looked on as the King's tenants.

The Lord or Warden would collect what was due to the King and was expected to pay a mininimum annual farm to the King out of these revenues, retaining the balance for himself. Those Lords and Wardens who were highly favoured would be able to retain all revenues.

The farm (ferme) varied considerably from time to time, either because of different rates of exchange, or more likely because the value of the islands themselves had changed. War made them poorer. In 1342 the King ordered a reduction for Warden Thomas de Hampton, whose farm, fixed in peacetime, was unattainable after war.

Wardens and their fees

This list shows the fees payable in livres sterling by some of the early Wardens.

Period Warden Farm
1242-1252 Drouet de Barentin 175 livres
1242-1252 Richard de Gray 200 livres
1275-1277 Otto de Grandison 250 livres
1331 Pierre Bernard de Pynsole and Laurens de Gaillard 500 livres
1332-33 Thomas Wake of Liddell 500 livres
1335- Guillaume de Montagu and Henry de Ferriers 250 livres
1341 Thomas de Hampton 250 livres
1354-57 Guillaume Stury 200 livres
1332-33 Thomas de Holland 200 livres
1343 Guillaume de Cheyny 300 livres
1362-67 Edmond de Cheyny 175 livres
1367-73 Gautier Hewet 175 livres
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