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Annual Rent and Tithe Audit, 1823

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The Christmas 1823 Rent Audit was held at South Stoneham House.


AUDIT[1]. -The Fleming Estate, Tuesday, the 23rd of December, 1823, being the rent-day of our worthy County Member John Fleming, Esq, A large party of tenants were invited to dine with him, at his hospitable mansion, South Stoneham House. After being plentifully regaled on substantial old English fare, Mr. Fleming rose, and addressed them in a neat and appropriate speech, in which he observed, that his greatest wish was, to see them all satisfied, comfortable, and successful, in their husbandry pursuits; and in order to facilitate their interest as far as in his power lay, he should now make a further reduction of £20 per cent, in their rents. We should indeed be trifling with the feeling of our readers were we to attempt to describe the manner in which the announcement of this truly philanthropic act was received.

AUDIT[2].- John Fleming, esq. M.P. held his Annual Rent and Tithe Audit at Stoneham on Tuesday, the 23rd of December, 1823, when to his numerous and respectable tenancy he made a general abatement of 20 per cent. He afterwards presided at a sumptuous dinner, when he entertained them in a style truly old English and where his courtesy and kind heartedness failed not to win the affections of everyone present. After the cloth had been removed, he congratulated his guests on the improvement which had manifested itself generally in the price of agricultural produce. Since he had met them last year, in that room he had,, in his place in parliament, voted for a reduction of one half of the assessed taxes and which had since taken place, and he was not without hope of a further relief from the same quarter. He trusted, not only for his own sake, but for the welfare of all, that with good management, such savings might be made in poor rate, and in the various out-goings of the farmer, and would once more secure to him a fair remuneration for his skill and capital. He then expressed the kindest interest in the prosperity of all his tenants, and his desire, at all periods, of meeting the times by due abatements, it is almost unnecessary to add that he sat down amidst the applause and admiration of the recipients of his bounty and hospitality. It was delightful to witness that kind feeling between landlord and tenant which has been so often deplored as extinct. We beheld a distinguished individual seated in the baronial chair of his ancestors, uniting to great influence, all the fascinations of personal courtesy, in urging his hospitalities on a grateful tenantry; and will venture to affirm that a happier rent-day has not been known in the county for many years. Farmers, may have some ragged points of character about them, raising perhaps from their retired mode of life; and as a better educated body than formerly, they are doubtless more impatient under every shade of tyranny; but let them once feel that their landlords and their government are anxious only to exercise over them a mild patriarchal sway; and they will quickly prove, that a more attached, devoted, moral, loyal body of men than the present race, never existed in any country, or in any times. We are indeed proud to chronicle that, we have not a more popular landlord in the county than its Representative in Parliament whose noble conduct on this occasion, furnishes the subject for the present article.


  1. Southampton Herald, 29 Dec 1823
  2. Hampshire Chronicle, 29 Dec 1823
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