Domesday Book

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Domesday Book

An ancient record of land ownership in England.

Commissioned by William the Conqueror in the year 1085 and finished in 1086, the book is a superb example of thorough and speedy administration, unequaled by any other project undertaken during the Middle Ages. Minute and accurate surveys of all of England were done for the purpose of compiling information essential for levying taxes and enforcing the land tenure system.The work was done by five justices in each county who took a census and listed all the feudal landowners, their Personal Property, and other information. The judges gathered their information by summoning each man and having him give testimony under oath. This is perhaps the earliest use of the inquest procedure in England, and it established the right of the king to require citizens to give information, a foundation of the jury trial.

Domesday was a Saxon word meaning Judgment Day, at the end of time when God will pronounce judgment against all of mankind. The name given to this record may have come from the popular opinion that the inquiry was as thorough as that promised for Judgment Day.

Two volumes of the Domesday Book are still in existence, and they continue to be valuable for historical information about social and economic conditions. They are kept in the Public Record Office in England.

References in periodicals archive ?
The set list read like a Doomsday Book from newies Seeing Red, The Death and Resurrection Show, and the infectious single Loose Cannon, to a selection from their 10 previous efforts, including War Dance Tension and the stunning Empire Song.
She became involved after the company dedicated one of its projects - creating facsimiles of the Doomsday Book - to her.
His poetry has a strong aural quality (colloquial language, vivid imagery, and strong, regular rhythm), which is effectively utilized in his experiments with dramatic monologue in A Doomsday Book (1965).
Ms Goodman said: "The heart of the issue is fastdisappearing green land within Birmingham and destruction of character of an area in Yardley first mentioned in the Doomsday Book - the only heritage area within the city awarded outstanding status by Birmingham Council in 1976.
Watford, first mentioned in the Doomsday Book, became a settlement in the 12th Century when the Abbot of St Albans, who owned the land, was given permission to hold a weekly market.
Award-winning science fiction author Connie Willis was recently inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame for such critically acclaimed novels as Doomsday Book (1992) and To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998).
The site was mentioned in the Doomsday book as part of the estates of William Fitz Ansculf.
PICTURED in April 1985, these school pupils were taking part in a history project to compile a Doomsday Book.
His achievements include winning the Battle of Hastings, commissioning the Doomsday Book and building the Tower of London.
A SMALL market town in Somerset,Yeovil was first recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086.
But when challenged about the letter, the councillor said: "The Troubles in Northern Ireland have been of your own making, there have been enough English soldiers killed in Northern Ireland to fill a doomsday book.