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 ?
But because the Domesday Book can still be used in British courts for property disputes, online access is probably worth a whole lot more.
The National Archives said that site visitors can read about how and why the Domesday Book was made and will be able to search a place name and locate the index entry for that village, town or city.
The geographical location of almost all estates is known, and often there is a wealth of local information about an estate, as well as information from the Domesday Book entry.
Lordships and baronies are some of Europe's oldest titles, dating back to the Domesday Book, which recorded a land survey for William the Conqueror in 1086.
Combining the Domesday Book data with a variety of auxiliary assumptions, Snooks estimates the GDP per capita for England in 1086, finding it "about the same as that for India in the mid-nineteenth century" [p.
The National Archives has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from the Domesday Book to newly released government papers.
We know the links went back to before the Domesday Book, when Lepton was one of four townships that together made up the parish of Kirkheaton (along with Moldgreen and Whitley Upper), he continues, "and as Rector I am Patron of Lepton (which means I have rights in relation to the appointment of its Vicar).
For instance, St Peter's Church is mentioned in the Domesday Book and Harborne was more of a farming community then.
VISIT The town is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
He is mentioned in the Domesday Book as being the owner of a manor and church - St Cuthbert's.
In 1086, the Domesday Book reveals that most of what is now Wales was not under the control of the Norman king of England, only odd towns on the border like Monmouth and Chepstow, appear in Domesday Book.
It was in1086 that the area of Esmedune (which we now know as Smithdown) was listed in the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror.