In medieval times and before, tenants of land were required to pay an annual fee, known as a farm, to their landlord. The name arose because in early times tenants of farmland used to pay their rent in kind - both crops and animals.
When successsive English Kings appointed a Lord of the Isles or Warden of the Isles for the Channel Islands, this was not always looked on as an administrative role, but a means of providing the recipient with an income from the landowners in the islands who were looked on as the King's tenants.
The Lord or Warden would collect what was due to the King and was expected to pay a mininimum annual farm to the King out of these revenues, retaining the balance for himself. Those Lords and Wardens who were highly favoured would be able to retain all revenues.
The farm (ferme) varied considerably from time to time, either because of different rates of exchange, or more likely because the value of the islands themselves had changed. War made them poorer. In 1342 the King ordered a reduction for Warden Thomas de Hampton, whose farm, fixed in peacetime, was unattainable after war.
Wardens and their fees
This list shows the fees payable in livres sterling by some of the early Wardens.
|1242-1252||Drouet de Barentin||175 livres|
|1242-1252||Richard de Gray||200 livres|
|1275-1277||Otto de Grandison||250 livres|
|1331||Pierre Bernard de Pynsole and Laurens de Gaillard||500 livres|
|1332-33||Thomas Wake of Liddell||500 livres|
|1335-||Guillaume de Montagu and Henry de Ferriers||250 livres|
|1341||Thomas de Hampton||250 livres|
|1354-57||Guillaume Stury||200 livres|
|1332-33||Thomas de Holland||200 livres|
|1343||Guillaume de Cheyny||300 livres|
|1362-67||Edmond de Cheyny||175 livres|
|1367-73||Gautier Hewet||175 livres|