• Created by: mrevv
  • Created on: 19-02-20 14:55


  • The chancellor did writs for William from 1069, normally before becoming a bishop.
  • Robert Flambard, Odo's priest, became keeper of the great seal then a bishop regent..
  • He became rich enough to buy the bishopric of Durham.
  • He would have visited shires, collected taxes and overseen justice as William II's regent.
  • 1070, writs in English and Latin. After, just Latin.
  • English officials were phased out for Normans.
  • William 2 published around 15 writs a year- Henry 41.
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English nobles

  • Edwin and Morcar kept thier earldoms and let Edwin marry his daughter.
  • Gospatric and Waltheof ruled in the North- if a thegn had not fought at Hastings they could keep thier land. Others had to buy it back.
  • England was safe enough for Mathilda to be crowned in 1068, attended by English and Normans such as Edwin, Morcar, fitz Osbern and Montgomery.
  • After rebellion in the North Wiliam was reluctant to restore English nobles.
  • 13/1000 tenants in chief were Enlgish in the Doomsday book.
  • The 4-5k thegns had vanished.
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  • Described 13k towns, villages, hamlets and 30k manors.
  • Who owned the land under Edward, its value and property. Surveyed the public then checked by local shires between Christmas 1085 and August 1086.
  • Speed shows the efficiency of the English land system and the Norman fear. 
  • No contemporaries explained why it took place.
  • It could have been to reform the geld system or help post-conquest redustribution.
  • It would also help administration for reallocating confiscated land or inheriting land.
  • Raised when a Scandinavian army was imminant, William needed to know where and what resources and men were available.
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Land tenure

  • Soliders were offered land- William owned the whole of England now.
  • Doomsday book describes subinfeudation and the terms of letting land.
  • Odo got Kent, fitz Osbern the Isle of Wight, Montgomery Shropshire.
  • More loyal lords got strategic territory, like the Sussex rapes divided to 5 magnates.
  • 1/3 of England was redistributed, fiefs were given and changed.
  • Much land was taken illegally. Robert fitz Glbert took stole three manors.
  • Churches such as Ely monestary were plundered too, even by Odo. 
  • William made them return property to the church- chaos from ownership probably helped cause the Doomsday book for legal judicial reasons and to stop disputes.
  • Everyone had to swear loyalty to William as the ultimate source of tenure. 
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New Earldoms

  • By 1086, half of all land was held by 200 Normans.
  • Earl Hugh of Chester had 300 manors and £800 a year.
  • Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria were divided up. East Anglia followed after the rebellion.
  • The new earldoms were smaller and focussed on defending vulnerable parts of the kingdom.
  • William's magnates had less power than Edward's. 
  • William had twice as much land as all of his men put together and a £12.6k income
  • He could arrest Odo in 1082 (Unlike Godwine) who was imprisoned in Rouen. 
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Bishop Odo

  • Odo was William's half brother, bishop of Bayeux. 
  • He contributed 100 ships to the invasion and fought with a club at Hastings.
  • As earl of Kent he was tenant in chief adn earned £3k a year.
  • He wss hated for his ruthlesness in Kent and served as William's regent. 
  • 1082, he went on an unauthorised trip to Italy and was arrested.
  • He was released after William's death and joined a coalition trying to make Robert of Normandy king of England. William Rufus defeated him and exiled Odo.
  • Odo then went on the First Crusade with Robert but died on the way in 1097.
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The Norman aristocracy

  • Continuity between the Thegns and Knights- they had horses, armour, weapons and loyalty to a lord in a very similar manner. Land could still be granted for loyalty. 
  • Knights had stronger bonds to thier lords than thegns and they could work in households. 
  • Knights were more military orineted than thegns- housecarls had been thier euqivalent.
  • Edward's England was more peaceful so thegns had other duties to the community.
  • Thegns received thier land for life through gifts- they could be given land for 'three lives' through a charter and 'book land'. 
  • Knights got land by hereditory means. Primogeniture started to be normal. 
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Change and Continuity

  • Replaced the members of aristocracy, not the system.
  • William gained more loyalty than Cnut since he gave land, not gold.
  • Knights would marry the widows of thegns to secure power.
  • Much of William's laws codified existing Anglo Saxon customs.
  • Language, culture and law was shared between the groups. 
  • The Scandinavian conquest introduced earls and housecarls- England became European.
  • All sheriffs were Norman- they presided shire courts, collected tax, repaired castles, gathered armies, taxes, transported treasure, enforced writes.
  • Hugh of Buckland, Norman sheriff of eight counties. Lords like Odo had their own courts. 
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