Posted by Captain Everett on March 15, 1998 at 21:54:23:
In response to Yet another question..., written by Rita J on March 15, 1998 at 12:50:08
] Thank you for your replies, Caroline and Captain Everett.
] My second question has to do with making a living.
] How did a clergyman support himself? Were there monies attached to a parish, or was one dependent on the collection plate?
] Thank you, again, for your patience.
I'm not entirely certain, but as I understand it the collection plate goes to the upkeep on the church, etc. It might include the wages of a curate, and other helpers. In some cases a stipulated amount might be made available to the clergyman.
For the Clergy of the Church of England, there were monies attached to the parish or "see." I pulled some figures out of Elie Halevy, A History of the English People in 1815, although they're dated to about 1833. On one end you have the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham at 19,000 pounds a year, and the Bishop of London at 15,000. On the other hand, there were some 4000 "livings". It is estimated that one-third of them did not exceed 150 pds, of which 1726 were in the 50-100 pnd range, and 1061 below 50 pounds. A clergyman could suppliment this in a number of ways. One is by taking on more than one church, in what was refered to as "accumulative benefices" or "pluaralities."
Others received additional monies from other sources. In the parishes of Wetherdale and Warwick, the Dean and Chapter of the see received tithes valued at 1000 pounds per annum, plus an equal sum in rent. However, he only paid the curate 50 pounds per year. Meanwhile, the "Dean and Chapter" of Carlisle earned 1500 pounds, but only paid the curate 18 pounds or 1 shilling per day (equal to the pay of a private soldier, and less than that paid to a worker). Of course, a curate could barely support himself on such an income, let alone a wife and family. Thus, it appears many took on duties at more than one church. Others also turned in part ot farming, or trade, such as weaving.
Unlike the C of E, the Nonconformists lacked support of the landed gentry and large manufacturers, so any income from the collection plate would be much smaller. Halevy supplied some figures for the Methodist (c.1796). He points out many earned below 60 pounds a year, often under 50, or even as low as 30 pounds. Again, they often had to fall upon their own resources. The Methodist did, however, have an organization to fall back upon. They could redistribute their money to support poorer districts. They had established amounts which a clergyman might lay claim to. The preacher himself was entitled to 12 pounds per year. He could also claim 12 pounds to support a wife, and four pounds for each of his children. If the particular church could not support him, the difference would be made up by the "connexion", or circuit.
Harold Perkins, The Origins of Modern English Society, 1780-1880 has some average incomes for 1803, in a table. He shows two levels of Clergy earning averages of 500 and 120 pounds per year. Dissenters had an income of 120 pounds. This could be compared to earnings of 800 pounds for lesser "merchants" and manufacturers, 500 for ship owners, 150 for tailors and shopkeepers, 75 for clerks and shopmen, 55 for artisans, 31 for labourers, as well as 30 for lunatics, 25 for debtors, 20 for pensioned soldiers, 16.4 for paupers, and 10 for vagrants.
I remain, etc.
- The whole 1803 table of estimated populations and family incomes The Mysterious H.C. 12:05:53 3/20/98 (1)
- Thanks, I was just considering entering all that data myself*nfm Captain Everett 11:59:22 3/21/98 (0)
- all those £ Caroline 13:27:40 3/16/98 (2)
- Figures reinterpreted Captain Everett 20:27:15 3/17/98 (1)
- Thank you, Captain Everett. This is great info. Very helpful. nfm Rita J 20:18:21 3/19/98 (0)
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