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Tithing

 A tithing was the smallest unit in the Saxon system of local government. Ten families would group together for mutual support and protection. A Tithing was responsible for supplying ten fighting men when needed. Ten tithings formed a Hundred, at least in theory. A ‘family’ consisted of more than the parents and their children, there were also a number of slaves who worked the land but were not allowed to bear arms or get involved in any decision making process.
 A Tithing man was appointed who was originally responsible for law and order as well as collecting the rent or dues paid to the lord, the taxes paid to the king and tithes paid to the church. The parish later became the more important organisation but tithings remained until the Victorian era introduced the modern parish councils. Chewton Mendip used to consists of five tithings.
 Town. This shows the Saxon origin of the concept, Ton was the Saxon for village. Most of the village of Chewton Mendip fell within the Town Tithing.
 East End. This was on the eastern part of the parish boundary and the name is still used. It mainly borders Emborough and Ston Easton.
 West End. This was on the western part of the parish boundary and the name is still used. It mainly borders Litton.
 Middlesex. Another name that shows the Saxon origin, it sprawled up to Priddy.
Widcomb. This area was a detached tithing of Chewton Mendip from the medieval period up to the Victorian era when it briefly became a parish in its own right but later became part of West Harptree and Hinton Bluett. The spelling was later changed to Widcombe.
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