How to use the site
Charge and Discharge Accounting
For each lease for each property the database shows five annual rent figures: the arrears brought forward, the rent assessed, the rent collected, the arrears added, and the arrears carried forward. Not all of this information, however, appears in the early modern account books. Before the transition to income and expenditure accounting in the late 18th or 19th century, most corporate bodies, particularly those whose wardens or accounting officers served annual terms, used the charge and discharge accounting method. Each year the incoming officers charged themselves for the balance brought forward from the previous year, for the assessed rents or other income due during their accounting year, and for any arrears due from previous years; and they discharged themselves for all expenditure during their year to arrive at a notional balance. They then requested allowance for any unpaid rents during the current year, rents still in arrears from previous years, or irrecoverable debts. If these allowances were agreed, the total allowances would be subtracted from the notional balance to arrive at the actual balance to be handed on to the next year's officers. This accounting method means that neither the figures for rent collected (Rc) nor for arrears added (Aa) actually appear in the accounts. The only rent figures included are the rent assessed (Ra) and any arrears brought forward (Ab) or arrears carried forward (Ac). To arrive at the rent collected for each property during the year, the arrears carried forward, if any, must be subtracted from the sum of the assessed rent and any arrears brought forward, as in the following formulae:
The answer to that calculation gives the total rent collected during the year, which then has to be distributed between assessed rent, which is a known quantity, and any arrears added or paid according to the following formula:
If Ra > Rc, then Aa is a positive number, and the tenant is accummulating arrears. If Ra < Rc, then Aa is a negative number, and the tenant is paying off his arrears. If Ra = Rc, then Aa = 0, and the tenant is paying the exact rent due for the year.
Assuming that (Ac) in year 1 equals (Ab) in year 2, then the above formulae produce an accurate record of rents received and rent arrears added from year to year, even though these figures do not appear in the accounts. However, very occasionally arrears are written off as irrecoverable debts, tenant's improvements are credited against rent due, or some other anomaly occurs in the accounts. These events are normally explained and agreed in the allowances section of the accounts, and the arrears brought forward must be adjusted accordingly. In the rent data displayed on this website, these anomalies are always discussed and explained in the property comment for the year.
Before decimalisation of the British currency in 1971 and division of the pound into 100 pence, the British pound was divided into 20 shillings and each shilling was subdivided into 12 pence, making a total of 240 pence in the pound. As a result, throughout most of British history rents have been expressed in pounds, shillings, and pence. In 1577, for example, the annual rent for 136 Leadenhall Street in London was £1 13s.4d. In order to enable mathematical manipulation of these historic rents, however, the shillings and pence in all rents have been converted to decimal fractions of a pound, even though they are not expressed this way in the manuscripts. Thus, the Leadenhall Street rent of £1 13s.4d. appears as 1.667 in the database.
Users wishing to see the actual rent should use the table linked below to convert these decimal fractions of a pound back into shillings and pence.
Before the updating of the International System of Units (SI) in 1960 and the general adoption of the metric system of land measurement throughout the European Union, land in England and Wales was for centuries measured in acres, roods, and perches. An acre comprises a rectangular piece of land 66 feet wide and 660 feet long, as shown in the following diagram:
On the macro level there are 640 acres in a square mile (5,280 feet long and 5,280 feet wide) arranged in 8 columns, each column containing 80 acres 660 feet long and 66 feet wide, as shown in the second diagram:
On the micro level each of these 640 acres may be divided into four rectangular strips, each 16.5 feet wide and 660 feet long, called roods:
Each rood may be further subdivided into 40 squares, each 16.5 feet wide and 16.5 feet long, called perches. There are, therefore, four roods in every acre, each containing 40 perches, making a total of 160 perches in an acre.
Since the fields and plots of land in early modern estates are rarely laid out with such mathematical precision, most land measurements are expressed as a combination of acres (a.), roods (r.), and perches (p.). For example, the 1874 survey of Rose Court Farm on the Isle of Grain showed a total area measurement of 641a. 2r. 14p.
To enable the construction of rent charts and the easy mathematical calculation of rent per acre, the roods and perches in the rent data on the City and Region site have been converted into decimal fractions of an acre. The 641 acres 2 roods and 14 perches in the Rose Court Farm example thus become 641.5875 acres in the rent tables. Users wishing to see the actual acreage should use the link below to convert these decimal fractions of an acre back into roods and perches.
Accessing the Data
Accessing the Data
Users can access the data held on City and Region through three different pathways – by Location, by Land Use, and by Land Owner.
Clicking on the ‘Location’ button takes the user to a map of the region under examination. Clicking on a location, such as ‘Cooling’, then takes the user to the appropriate property summary page.
Clicking on the ‘Land use’ button takes the user to a series of tabs listing properties by use. Properties with multiple land uses will appear in more than one category.
Clicking on the ‘Land owner’ button takes the user to a lists of properties sorted by Land Owner, in addition to a series of charts representing the data gathered by the project.
Once users have chosen a property, various navigation options are available.
Navigating a Property
Navigating a Property
Once users have chosen a property, various navigation options are available to them.
At the top left of this page is included the address for the property and the land use for the property (which links to the correct tab on the ‘Browse by Land Use’ page).
At the top right of this page is details of the landowner for the property, including (where available) an external link the website of the landowner.
In the middle of the page are up to six tabs (dependent on available material) which are:
This area contains a textual description of the property. Also located here aree links to the raw data associated with the property in .ods and .xls formats.
This area contains all the rental data for the property (see ‘Examining Rents’)
This area contains any statistical charts associated with the property. These can be expanded by clicking on the relevant thumbnails.
This area contains all the tenant data for the property (see ‘Examining Rents’).
This area contains an alphabetical list of all the property plans associated with the property. Clicking on a thumbnail will bring up a lightbox which the user can navigate using the tools in the left-most corner (or using relevant mouse commands). The data an archival reference for the plan (linking where available to the relevant online catalogue) are listed below.
This area contains an alphabetical list of all the building plans associated with the property. Clicking on a thumbnail will bring up a lightbox which the user can navigate using the tools in the left-most corner (or using relevant mouse commands). The data an archival reference for the plan (linking where available to the relevant online catalogue) are listed below.
Note: users are able to browse between tabs for a single Property without losing selections and enquiries made within each tab
City and Region provides users with a variety of tools for exploring the rental data.
From the 'Rents' tab (by default sorted by 'Date') the user can manipulate the data provided in a number of ways:
The dropdown box below the tab line allows the user to refine the data by property subdivision or tenant.
The data selector to the right of the dropdown box allows the user to restrict the dates for which data is displayed. Clicking on the column headers (for example 'Rent Collected') allows the user to sort the data by column value.
Clicking on data a view button in the 'Image' column will pull out a lightbox as a plan relevant to the data.
Clicking on data contained in the 'Rent Source' column will redirect the user to the catalogue entry for the archival source the rental data was extracted from.
Clicking on a 'Click to view' button in the 'Comment' column will pull out a descriptive comment relevant to the data.
The ‘Tenants’ tab is similar to the ‘Rents’ tab; however, here the user can see data relating to the ‘Landlord’, ‘Tenant’, and ‘Occupier’ for each property subdivision. The ‘Tenant Source’ here directs the user to the catalogue entry for the archival source for the tenant data.
As explained above in 'Navigating a Property', users are able to browse between tabs for a single property without losing selections and enquiries made within each tab.
Where do I start?
The information on this page is aimed at helping you to understand the City and Region website. There is no better way to learn, however, than by practice. . . . So once you have browsed through this page, begin your exploration of City and Region with the UK Grand Total. There you can experiment with the browse views before moving on to one of the simple collections, such as Langdon Manor Farm in the Parish of Faversham.