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Landowners (1)

Engraving East Meon 19th Century

This engraving of Meon is one of a book of engravings found in the attic of a villager.

Farming was dominated by the tripartite structure of landlord, tenant farmer and labourer, complicated in East Meon by the continuing ownership of the land by the Diocese of Winchester, and by the thousand-year old requirement that one-tenth of all produce be paid either as ‘rectorial’, or ‘greater’ tithes’ to the bishop, or as ‘lesser’ or tithes, to the vicar. As we have seen, since the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the diocese had been obliged to ‘let’ most of its lands to private landowners, and many of these had purchased the rights to be paid the greater tithes; the vicar of East Meon still received the lesser tithes, which represented a considerable contribution to his income. The parish of East Meon continued until the third quarter of the century to include the tithings of Steep and Froxfield, whose chapels were staffed by curates; the vicar of East Meon still received tithes from both communities.

Link to Bereleigh 1784 – 1840