Domesday Book ( Latin; Liber de Wintonia " The Book of Winchester ").
Completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.
It was written in Medieval Latin. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the
The assessors' reckoning of a man's holdings and their values, as recorded in Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal. The name
"Domesday Book" came into use in the 12th century. So it is written in the Dialogus de Scaccario
for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to ... its
sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book 'the Book of Judgement' ... because its decisions, like
those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable.
Dialogus de Scaccario
Domesday Book encompasses two independent works: "Little Domesday" (covering Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex) and "Great Domesday" (covering much of
the remainder of England and parts of Wales—except for lands in the north which later became Westmorland, Cumberland, Northumberland, and the
County Palatine of Durham). No surveys were made of the City of London, Winchester, or some other towns, probably due to their tax-exempt status.
"Little Domesday" – so named because its format is physically smaller than its companion's – is the more detailed survey, down to numbers of
livestock. It may have represented the first attempt, resulting in a decision to avoid such level of detail in "Great Domesday"
After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men.
Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out 'How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the
king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire.' Also he commissioned them to record in
writing, 'How much land his archbishops had, and his diocesan bishops, and his abbots, and his earls;' and though I may be prolix and tedious,
'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.' So very
narrowly, indeed, did he commission them to trace it out, that there was not one single hide, nor a yard of land, nay, moreover (it is shameful to
tell, though he thought it no shame to do it), not even an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine was there left, that was not set down in his writ. And all the
recorded particulars were afterwards brought to him
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