Military state

  • Created by: mrevv
  • Created on: 18-02-20 10:00

The feudal system

  • England tended to expel earls like Tosig instead of fight them like William did. 
  • William- tenants in chief- tenants using subinfeudation
  • Oaths made all bindings legal and formal.
  • Since he had conquered all of England William owned everything.
  • He started to introduce the knight tax quickly/slowly depending on sources
  • Apart from Harold's land, William gained feifs after death or confiscation and its redistribution depended upon past customs and the circumstances.
  • Many quotas were based on pre-conquest obligations- one man or payment per 5 hides.
  • Feudal service became the scutage tax to buy mercenaries instead. 
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  • Barons, bishops, abbots, earls and archbishops were tenants in chief.
  • William's inner circle of 11 had 1/4 of all land- tenants in chief had 3/4. The church had 1/4.
  • His inner circle included William fitz Osbern, Roger of Montgomery, Odo of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain. Land was given for knights (servitium debtium). 
  • Around 4-5k men could be raised, the church was exempt.
  • Tenants could give knights fiefs or let them live in his household.
  • Elite knights worked for lords such as fitzOsbern, who annoyed William since he had too many men. Private armies also started to develop in elite houses. 
  • Symbolic acts such as oath taking, dubbing and giving armour and arms made a knight a vassal.
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  • First act at Hastings was a to build a castle.
  • Motte and bailey used an earth mound, wooden tower, ditch and wooden palisades.
  • Exeter, York, Durham, Lincon, Nottingham and Cambridge had castles.
  • The Welsh borders used castles to penetrate it. Geopolitically important locations..
  • This concentrated troops, created seiges instead of open battles, and gave unorganised rebels a disadvantage. Important magnates were given castles- fitz Osbern at York.
  • Opressive stratergy, 80 by 1100, mostly built by demolishing homes. 
  • Signalled psychological opression and permenance 
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  • All William's men wanted land- 5-6k soliders.
  • Knight's service was added into the existing thegn-housecarl agreements.
  • Feudalism was adapted from existing concepts. Harold had gathered a fjord.
  • Barons had to build castles on their land and protect it. But, William controlled thier building.
  • Odo of Bayeux had land next to the coast. His more loyal followers had more important areas.
  • Primogeniture had not developed yet, but land was often kept in families.
  • William kept control with 17% of the land, worth £12.5k. 
  • He wanted to stop earl rebellions like Godwine's.
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