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Domesday Book

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Important Facts about the Domesday Book - 1086

  • The document is also known as the Doomsday Book, the Book of Winchester and the Great Survey
  • The Middle English spelling of Domesday is Doomsday

  • The document was first held in Winchester and then moved to Westminster
  • What is the Domesday book? It was a survey, or census, commissioned by the Norman Conqueror King William I, of his newly conquered lands and possessions in England. It was intended to document "What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of land in England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were worth". This great survey enabled the Normans and William the Conqueror to administer England and levy taxes
  • Key Dates relating to the event: The survey was completed in 1086
  • When was the first draft of the Doomsday Book completed? The first draft was completed in 1085 and the document was completed by 1086
  • Key People relating to the event: William the Conqueror commissioned the great survey
  • Why the great Domesday Book was famous and important to the history of England: William the Conqueror ordered this Norman survey of all the lands and possessions of England in order to assist with the Norman administration of England and impose relevant taxes. It also enabled William the Conqueror the ability to ensure that all landholders and tenants swore allegiance to him - a major requirement of feudalism or the Feudal System
  • It was first referred to as the Domesday book in the 1300's
  • Why was the Domesday survey given this name? The English gave it this title as a clear Biblical reference to the last Day of Judgement as there was no appeal against the survey, it became the law of the land
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