THE DOMESDAY BOOK 1086 - Instructions and Extract
THE DOMESDAY BOOK 1086
Inquisitio Eliensis .
Domesday Book: Additamenta, p. 495. Latin.
[TR Introduction] The first
approach to a modern assessment roll or cataster is the well known Domesday Book.
The existing literature on this remarkable memorial is so extensive,
that it has not appeared advisable to quote largely from it. Our
first quotation contains the instructions issued to the Commissioners
who made the record. The second is a specimen return. There is
a wide variety in the returns, though certain factors recur constantly
in each statement. The survey is the most extensive document,
embracing as it does the entire area of England held by the Conqueror,
which we possess in regard to medieval times. It is important
to note how the feudal power as founded by William is no longer
dependent like the Empire of Charles upon the personal estates
of the crown, but brings the entire land under its influence through
the feudal dues, and thus paves the way for the modern state founded
upon the obligations of all its citizens.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLLECTION
OF THE DOMESDAY RETURNS.
Here is subscribed the inquisition
of lands as the barons of the king have made inquiry into them;
that is to say by the oath of the sheriff of the shire, and of
all the barons and their Frenchmen, and the whole hundred, the
priests, reeves, and six villains of each manor; then, what the
manor is called, who held it in the time of king Edward, who holds
now; how many hides, how many plows in demesne, how many belonging
to the men, how many villains, how many cottars, how many serfs,
how many free-men, how many socmen, how much woods, how much meadow,
how many pastures, how many mills, how many fish-ponds, how much
has been added or taken away, how much it was worth altogether
at that time, and how much now, how much each free man or soeman
had or has. All this threefold, that i8 to say in the time of
king Edward, and when king William gave it, and as it is now;
and whether more can be had than is had.
EXTRACT FROM DOMESDAY SURVEY OF
THE COUNTY OF NORFOLK.
Domesday Book ,
Vol. 2, pp 153-l54. Latin.
The land of Robert Malet.
Fredrebruge Hundred and half Glorestorp.
Godwin, a freeman, held it. Two carucates of land in the time
of king Edward. Then and afterwards 8 villains; now 3. Then and
afterwards 3 bordars; now 5. At all times 3 serfs, and 30 acres
of meadow. At all times 2 carucates in demesne. Then half a carucate
of the men, and now. Woods for 8 swine, and 2 mills. Here are
located 13 socmen, of 40 acres of land. When it was received there
were 2 r.,' now 1. At all times 8 swine, then 20 sheep, and it
is worth 60 shillings.
There is situated there, in addition,
one berewick, as the manor of Heuseda. In the time of king Edward,
1 carucate of land; then and afterwards 7 villains, now 5. At
all times 12 bordars, and 3 serfs, and 40 acres of meadow; 1 mill.
Woods for 16 swine and 1 salt pond and a half Then 1 r., and now
and 14 swine, 30 sheep, and 50 goats. In this berewick are located
3 socmen, of 10 acres of land, and it is worth 30 shillings. The
two manors have 2 leagues in length and 4 firlongs in breadth.
Whosoever is tenant there, returns 12 pence of the twenty shillings
Scerpham Hundred Culverstestun Edric
held it in the time of king Edward. Two carucates of land. At
all tomes there were 4 villains, and 1 bordar, and 4 serfs; 5
acres of meadow and two carucates in the demesne. Then and afterwards
1 carucate, now one-hal£ At all times 1 mill and one fish-pond.
Here is located 1 socmen of the king, of 40 acres of land; which
his predecessors held only as commended and he claims his land
from the gift of the king. Then and afterwards there was one carucate,
now 2 bovates, and 2 acres of meadow. At all times two r.[note:
word indicated by "r" has not been identified] ,
and 4 geese; then 300 sheep, now 300 less 12; then 16 swine now
3. Then and afterwards it was worth 60 shillings, now 80; and
there could be one plow. Walter of Caen holds it from Robert.
Heinstede Hundred. In Sasilingaham
Edric, the predecessor of Robert Malet, held 2 sokes and a half,
of 66 acres of land, now Walter holds them. Then 9 bordars, now
13. At all times 3 carucates and a half among all, and 3 acres
of meadow, and the eighth part of a mill; and under these 1 soke
of 6 acres of land. At all times half a carucate. Then it was
worth 30 shillings, now it returns 50 shillings.
In Scotessa Ulcetel was tenant, a
free man commended to Edric, in the time of king Edward of 30
acres of land. At that time 1 bordar, afterward and now 2. Then
half a carucate, none afterward nor now. It was at all times worth
5 shillings and 4 pence; the same.
From University of Pennsylvania.
Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original
Sources of European history, published for the Dept. of History
of the University of Pennsylvania., (Philadelphia, University
of Pennsylvania Press [1897?-1907?])Vol III:2, pp.6-7.
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(c)Paul Halsall August 1996