Paying the Rent

When possible, it's usually best to lock in rates early.
Earlier this October, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, London paid its rent to the Queen. The ceremony proceeded much as it had for the past eight centuries. The city handed over a knife, an axe, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails to Barbara Janet Fontaine, the Queen’s Remembrancer, the oldest judicial position in England. The job was created in the 12th century to keep track of all that was owed to the crown.

In this case, the Remembrancer has presided over the rent owed on two pieces of property for a very long time—since 1235 in one case, and at least 1211 in the other. Every year, in this Ceremony of Quit Rents, the crown extracts its price from the city for a forge and a piece of moorland.
Heck of a deal, huh? Only one small detail:
No one knows exactly where these two pieces of land are located anymore, but for hundreds of years the city has been paying rent on them.
Well, it could turn out that they're somewhere important. Best to keep up the payments just in case.


Tom said...

Suddenly I'm saddened that my high school counselor never mentioned Remembrancer as a career option.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, I suspect the Corporation of London does NOT want Her majesty's government looking too closely at the current value of those properties. On the other hand, I don't know what sort of capital gains tax Parliament might want to demand.