8. HACKNESS, QUASI-CELL OF WHITBY
Although the name of Hackness is so closely
associated with that of the monastery of Whitby,
both its relation to the post-Conquest Benedictine
monastery and its history are somewhat obscure.
William de Percy gave to the re-founded
monastery not merely the site at Whitby on
which the earlier house had stood, but also the
church of St. Peter at Hackness, and certain
land there, which in the Domesday Survey is
spoken of as the land of St. Hilda. (fn. 5) When
Prior Reinfrid was accidently killed at Ormesbridge he was buried at Hackness.
It would seem, though there are discrepancies
in the dates, that Prior Serlo and the monks left
Whitby for Hackness (fn. 6) owing to the depredation
by robbers, who hid themselves in the woods in
the daytime, and the over-sea pirates who
ravaged the monastery at Whitby. They do not
seem to have remained very long at Hackness,
and Serlo died about 1100 at Whitby. There
is no doubt that some of the monks remained at
Hackness and that afterwards there was a certain undetermined number of Whitby monks
there; but, in the common acceptance of the
term, Hackness cannot be correctly spoken of as
a distinct cell, such for instance as was Middlesbrough. It had no separate government under
a subordinate prior, and its accounts were entered
in the compotus rolls of the abbey with those of
the other manors and granges. It was, in fact,
part of the corporate body of the monastery of
Whitby under the direct government of the
abbot and convent, and was never a separate
subordinate establishment, dependent on the
parent house, as a cell is generally understood to
have been. It is spoken of as a manerium, (fn. 7) and
not a cell, as Middlesbrough is. Unfortunately
its subsequent history is a blank, all that is
known is that a certain number of the Whitby
monks generally resided there. Burton says
their number was probably determined by the
abbot, (fn. 8) and it is said elsewhere that at the
Dissolution there were four monks at Hackness. (fn. 9)
||Young, Hist. Whitby, 257.
||Dugdale, Mon. Angl. ii, 634, no. 2. They began
to construct a monasterium at the church of St. Mary
Hackness (not St. Peter's) also granted by William de
Whitby Chartul. 746.
||Burton, Mon. Ebor. 83.
||Dugdale, Mon. Angl. iii, 634.