Calculating where a person should pay tithes could be complicated: what happened, for instance, when the lands from which a person gained income straddled more than one parish? In this case, brewer Giles Eustas of Highgate was summoned to the Consistory, probably because the parish priest of Finchley parish, Master John Bell, disputed the proportion of his tithes due to him. As was usual, tithe arrangements were governed by what was “commonly said” and believed, as well as by the customary practice. The land under dispute, Hornsey Park (sometimes called Haringey Park), was a manor of the bishop of London. See Edward Walford, Old and New London (1878), 5:428-37. According to VCH Middlesex, 6:55, the part of the bishop’s park that fell in Finchley was transferred to the bishop’s lordship of Hornsey in 1491 – perhaps as a result of this tithe dispute. If that was the case, it’s just possible that the bishop was slapping Bell, the rector of Finchley, down.
Eustas was mentioned in a previous case in the Consistory; a couple in a disputed marriage case, Thomas Hall and Denise Pogger, were said to have wished to flee to his house in Highgate to escape those who challenged the marriage. Eustas was a brewer and possibly operated an inn (he evidently also had some income from crops and animals by evidence of this case). Records indicate that from 1490 he lived in the “Cornerhouse” in Highgate, beside the High Street at the junction with South Grove. VCH Middlesex, 6:122-135. Giles Eustas’s will, from 1495, is printed in an appendix to Survey of London, vol. 17, The Parish of St. Pancras part 1: The Village of Highgate, ed. Percy Lovell and William McB. Marcham (1936), 138-48.
LMA, MS DL/C/A/001/MS09065, fol. 83rv
Responses personally made by Giles Eustas
Giles Eustas of Highgate, parish of Harringay [Middlesex], sworn etc. on the positions etc. To the first position, he believes that he is the rector of the parish church of Finchley [Middlesex] and thus is commonly said, held, and reputed. To the second position, he believes it and its contents. To the third position, it is improper and improperly conceived, although he believes that Master John Bell’s predecessors were in possession of the reception of tithes coming from within the boundaries and limits of the said parish. To the fourth and fifth positions, he admits their contents. To the sixth position, [he says] that the lands situated and lying within the park called Hornsey Park are situated and lie in the parishes of Harringay and Finchley, […] two-thirds as it is commonly said are situated within the parish of Harringay and a third within the parish of Finchley, which this witness firmly believed from the time of discretion and believes and in which he trusted and trusts. This witness has held these lands from the bishop of London [… for] the last six years continuously, from which assessment of both animal pasture and animal feed he has paid annually in money two-thirds to the rector of Harringay or to his substitute representative, and this witness has paid proportionately a third part of the tithes for those six years annually to the representative of the rector of Finchley at the time, sometimes to Sir Robert whose surname he does not know, the chaplain celebrating in that church and the representative of the said rector, and sometimes to Sir Richard, chaplain and representative of Master John. And as for this present year, this witness says that he will be ready to pay the tithes coming from a third part of the said lands to the rector of Finchley or his representative […..]. And he does not believe its other contents. To the seventh position, this position is imperfect and unsuitable, although he says that the true value by the year by common […] estimation of a third part coming from the said park amounts to two shillings, and thus he gave to Thomas Chamell for payment to the current rector. To the eighth and ninth positions, he says that last year the rector required this [witness] to pay him tithes from the said park, and this witness responded that he owed nothing because he had already paid his tithe-collector, and he does not believe their other contents. To the tenth position, he believes that it is indeed disputed. To the eleventh position, he admits its contents. To the twelfth position, he believes what is to be believed and does not believe what is not to be believed.
 “He” is presumably the Master John Bell named in the response to the third position; Eustas was certainly not referring to himself.
 Hornsey Park (sometimes called Haringey Park) was a manor of the bishop of London. See Edward Walford, Old and New London (1878), 5:428-37. According to VCH Middlesex, 6:55, the part of the bishop’s park that fell in Finchley was transferred to the bishop’s lordship of Hornsey in 1491 – perhaps as a result of this tithe dispute.