On the commutation of vows and tithes.
Their aim was to abolish all villein-service, and to wring from their lords the commutation of all manorial customs and obligations for a small rentfourpence an acre was generally the sum suggested.
The ministers are supported by a sustentation fund formed of voluntary contributions, the rents of seats and pews, and the proceeds of the commutation of the Regium Donum made by the commissioners under the Irish Church Act 1869.
Gradually, however, doubtless by way of commutation of excommunication and of penance, temporal penalties were added, as scourging, banishment, seclusion in a monastery, fines.
In general Grattan supported the government for time after 1782, and in particular spoke and voted for the stringent coercive legislation rendered necessary by the Whiteboy outrages in 1785; but as the years passed without Pitt's personal favour towards parliamentary reform bearing fruit in legislation, he gravitated towards the opposition, agitated for commutation of tithes in Ireland, and supported the Whigs on the regency question in 1788.
The governor is ex officio a member of the court of pardons, and his affirmative vote is necessary in all cases of pardon or commutation of sentence (see below).
The method of recovering rent charge under the Commutation Acts was distraint where the rent charge is in arrear for twentyone days after the half-yearly days of payment, and entry and possession with power of letting if it is in arrear for forty days, and arrears for two years are so recoverable: this power of distress and entry extends to all lands occupied by the occupier of the land whose tithe is in arrear as owner or under the same landlord; but no action lies against the owner or occupier of the land personally.
Besides the tithes dealt with by local acts as already mentioned, certain other kinds of tithes are outside the scope of the Commutation Acts, namely, tithes of fish and fishing, personal tithes other than tithes of mills, and mineral tithes, unless the landowners and tithe-owners consent to make a parochial agreement for commutation before the confirmation of an apportionment after a compulsory award in such parish.
This board may allow commutation or diminution of sentence for good behaviour, meritorious services or exemplary conduct.
Of these, the first in date and importance is the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836.