Trinity Church on Wall Street is the oldest Episcopal parish in New York. It was founded with a grant of land from King William III in 1696. The royal charter stipulated rent of “One Pepper Corne” per year to be paid to the Crown. This was a formality, of course, and was never asked for or paid.
In 1976, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II toured the United States as a gesture of good will during the bicentennial of American Independence. On July 9 she visited Trinity Church. The Reverend Ray Parks, who was rector at the time, presented her with 279 pepper corns representing 279 years of back rent.