Domesday Book

With some initial reactions to William becoming king not being positive, (see here for more information on the riots and rebellions immediately after William was crowned), he wanted to make sure he knew as much as he could about the country he now ruled. He wanted to know who ruled what land, the population of each area and how much tax he was owed from them.

In 1086 he commissioned a survey to record who owned the land, how much it was worth, and how many people and animals lived on it - all the results were handwritten and compiled – creating Domesday Book!

Domesday Book is a magnificent record of many men's and women's lives. And also for animals, woods, churches and villages. And a lot else besides. For a local project - you can do your own research about people's lives after the conflict that you are studying!

Pictures of English History Plate XII - Writing in the Domesday Book



Only 8% of England's landed wealth was in the hands of native English when Domesday Book was made!