Why did they call it the Domesday Book?
Why is it called 'Domesday'? The word 'Domesday' does not appear in the book itself. A book written about the Exchequer in c. 1176 (the Dialogus de Sacarrio) states that the book was called 'Domesday' as a metaphor for the day of judgement, because its decisions, like those of the last judgement, were unalterable.
Introduction. The Domesday Book - compiled in 1085-6 - is one of the few historical records whose name is familiar to most people in this country. It is our earliest public record, the foundation document of the national archives and a legal document that is still valid as evidence of title to land.
He needed to find out who owned land, and how much wealth every person had, so he could tax them accordingly and raise the necessary funds. To do this, he sent out his supporters to survey the country. This detailed record of England was called the Domesday Book.
Domesday Book, the original record or summary of William I's survey of England. By contemporaries the whole operation was known as “the description of England,” but the popular name Domesday—i.e., “doomsday,” when men face the record from which there is no appeal—was in general use by the mid-12th century.
The Domesday book gave the names of King William's friends and even listed the number of pigs on a piece of land. But it was not like a modern census. It did not give the names of all the people. It listed the heads of each household, but left out Londoners, monks, nuns, and anyone living in castles.
Norman surnames still exist today. Names such as French, (De) Roche, Devereux, D'Arcy, Treacy and Lacy are particularly common in the southeast of Ireland, especially in the southern part of Wexford County, where the first Norman settlements were established. Other Norman names, such as Furlong, predominate there.
The book also lists 28,000 slaves, a smaller number than had been enumerated in 1066.
Originally the books were kept in Winchester, which was the capital of England in Norman times. But today they are kept in the National Archives in Kew, only going out on loan on very special occasions. It didn't get the name 'Domesday' until a century after its completion, because of its definitive nature.
The king's body was left lying naked on the floor, while those who had attended his death scuttled off clutching anything and everything. Eventually a passing knight appears to have taken pity on the king and arranged for the body to be embalmed – sort of – followed by its removal to Caen for burial.
Traditionally, historians have pegged the date of completion for the Domesday Book as 1087. This puts it about one year after William decreed his survey but just before he sailed off to die (quite ignobly) in Normandy while defending his kingdom from the French.
Can you read the Domesday Book?
For a more detailed introduction to Domesday, and England at the end of the 11th century, when Domesday was compiled, consult our online Domesday exhibition. The original Domesday Book itself can no longer be consulted except in very rare circumstances.
The Domesday Book helped King William maintain control throughout his kingdom. He was able to see which of his barons owned land throughout England and he could raise taxes easily because he knew how much each village could afford to give.
William died after his horse reared up during a 1087 battle, throwing the king against his saddle pommel so forcefully that his intestines ruptured. An infection set in that killed him several weeks later.
No one yet knows how people held land in 1066 or 1086, nor how much wealth was distributed between them. This is mainly due to logistical difficulties – the sheer scale of Domesday Book, its layout, and the challenge of differentiating people with the same names has prevented scholars from working this out.
In 1086, King William I (the Conqueror) wanted to find out about all the land in his new kingdom: who owned which property, who else lived there, how much the land was worth and therefore how much tax he could charge, so he sent official government inspectors around England to ask questions in local courts.
To record the value of each estate (land owned by an individual). To introduce a new system of taxation on each estate that allowed the king to raise more money from all landholders quickly.
The Normans had also been Christian for a long time. When William of Normandy conquered England, he believed that it was important for the churches to come under Norman control, and for priests to take a lead in transforming the country into an Anglo-Norman territory.
The Norman ruler of England began in 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy, invaded and defeated Harald Godwinson. This was the last successful invasion of England, and all English monarchs since have descended from him.
The continental Saxons are no longer a distinctive ethnic group or country but their name lives on in the names of several regions and states of Germany, including Lower Saxony (which includes central parts of the original Saxon homeland known as Old Saxony), Saxony in Upper Saxony, as well as Saxony-Anhalt (which ...
William banned the slave trade and in some cases freed slaves, to the extent that by the end of his reign their number had fallen by 25 per cent. By the early 12th century, slavery in England was no more.
Why did the Normans ban slavery?
The Normans abolished slavery after information collected for the Domesday Book close Domesday Book The book recording all the land and property in England that was the result of a survey completed on the orders of King William I in 1086. had revealed that about 10 per cent of the people were enslaved.
The new archbishop was soon urging his pupil to abolish the slave trade and the Conqueror complied. It was at Lanfranc's insistence, explains William of Malmesbury, that the king 'frustrated the schemes of those scumbags who had an established practice of selling their slaves into Ireland'.
Domes·day Book ˈdümz-ˌdā- ˈdōmz- : a record of a survey of English lands and landholdings made by order of William the Conqueror about 1086.
Hundreds were the main administrative subdivisions of a county, with a significant role in financial, military, judicial, and political matters, centred upon the Hundred court, which met monthly. Its voice is often heard in Domesday.
In the medieval period Domesday was also known as the Winchester Roll or King's Roll, and sometimes as the Book of the Treasury.