The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Domesday Book

  • F. W. Maitland
Reference work entry


Domesday Book is the name which, at least since the 12th century, has been borne by the record of the great survey of England made by order of William the Conqueror. Apparently the decree for the survey was issued at a moot held at Gloucester at the midwinter of 1085–86, and the work was completed in the course of the following year. Royal commissioners (legati) were sent into each shire with a list of interrogatories, to which they were to obtain sworn answers from local juries. Their procedure seems to have been this – they held a great shire moot, at which every hundred or wapentake of the shire was represented by a jury, while every vill was represented by a deputation of villagers. From each hundred-jury they obtained a verdict about all the land in the hundred, the villagers being at hand to correct or supplement verdicts, while ‘the whole shire’ was also present, and from time to time appeal could be made to its testimony. The statement thus supplied was

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. W. Maitland
    • 1
  1. 1.