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Hayling Island Priory

 Hayling Island Priory was probably founded by the monks of St Swithuns in Saxon times. Other sources describe them as the monks of Winchester.  Hayling island was held by queen Edith  at the time of the Norman conquest and she may have endowed a religeous order on the island if there was not one already.  Both Hayling island and Chewton Mendip were owned by Edith in 1066 but assigned to the abbey of Jumièges by 1086. The Doomsday book describes that Jumièges held about half the island of Hayling with overlordship of the rest by the gift of William I but this was contested by the monks of St Swithun.
 The south coast of England was vulnerable to attack from the French and Hayling suffered during the many wars between England and France. Worse was to happen in 1324-1325 when a significant part of the island and the priory were submerged by the sea.
 1340 saw the beginning of the 100 Years war and the suppression of the alien monasteries when Jumièges lost control of Chewton Mendip and Hayling Island.  Some records suggest that Chewton Mendip was put under the control of Hayling Priory but the whole island was said to have been submerged during that year.
 More flooding occurs in 1346 and about half the population died of the Black Death. The last disaster was shared by Chewton Mendip but it is reasonable that Hayling Priory may have utilised or extended the chaplains quarters at Chewton Priory described in 1241 as an alternative to their threatened headquarters
 The rev Nicholas Uske appointed in 1350 is the first vicar  of Chewton Mendip to have Hayling island specified as his patron. Other records show that Nicholas Uske exchange a living in Bristol for Chewton Mendip. Tithes were collected on land holdings which was relatively easy to collect. The ‘small tithes’ due to a vicar included a percentage workmen’s wages which were not as valuable and more difficult to collect.
 No dates are specified for the tenure of Thomas Symth de Lymyngton or Robert Colney but it is known that Chewton Mendip and Hayling Island were awarded to support a new monastery in Sheen in 1414.
 The Hayling island link may explain how the Taswells became involved with Chewton Mendip becuse that family had links with that part of Hampshire.
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