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Before Hastings

The Battle of Fulford Gate 20 September 1066

  • Edwin + Morcar vs. Hardrada
  • last all day 
  • total defeat to Anglosaxons. Losses to the North Ramy
  • If earls knew Harold was marching they would have waited
  • Hardrada attacked because he is a claimant to the throne
  • Viking 10,000 men vs 7,000 English. Show a massive threat
  • landed at Ricall 7,000 marched to York rest gurad the fleet
  • Battle fought in a ditch Viking trapped the English
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Before Hastings

Battle of Stamford Bridge

  • Harold in Bad situation either face Hardrada and leave the South unprotected or leave North and let Hardrada exert his power and wait for William. Harold faced Hardrada
  • Hardrada left thrid of troop+ armour since he thought Harold ont leave south
  • Harold surprissed the vikings he reached city then marched to Stamford
  • Harold used feigned retreats to break through Viking  ranks
  • Hardrada fatal arrow to the neck
  • A victory to English
  • Mat have affected the result in Hatings since army marched from north to south the fough. They were exhausted
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Battle of Hastings

  • Normans arrived 28 September - Pevensey
  • Built castle in Pevensey
  • Normans sent raider to get food and horses
  • Harold told the N Earl to get a fyrd army
  • William = early battle Harold= late battle
  • William had harrying to have early battle
  • English move down on 13th October and men exhausetd. For early battle William moved nearer to the English
  • English camped in Senlac Hill
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Battle of Hastings

  • Harold caught by surprise
  • Battle start at 9 am
  • Early in battle Gyrth and Leofwine died so fyrd has no commander
  • William used feigned retreat to break through shield wall
  • At some point in the afternoom they were able to break thorugh the shield wall
  • Start of the English down fall
  • Harold killed in battle
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Battle of Hasting

Tactics and Troops

  • Harold has 7000 or so fighting men . Huscarls and fyrd
  • English fough on foot
  • Huscarls well armend and trained
  • Fyrd not well armed fought with anything they can fight with
  • They formed a shiel wall
  • William brought horses into battle
  • Thousand fighting on horsbeack and fighting in sections. Each sections has leaders
  • Norman well disciplined and trained
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The course of the Battle

  • Shiel wall survived cavalry charge and rain of arrows
  • A cry said Will died. Some cavalry retreatd and fyrd followed. The Norman cut them off. This tactic of feigned retreat was used in battle and brike the shield wall
  • William fired longbows in the air english raised their shields Crossbowmen fired to their feet
  • Harold was killled with his army
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Why did William won the Battle?

  • Circumstance - Harold face two invasions at once and puts a strain in leadership
  • Harold's Mistake - He was lured by William for early battle while N earl are still gathering troops
  • Generalship - He was outgeneralled. He pushed his men to march south exhausting them. He could not adapt his tactic to feigned retreat. He cannot command his men to hold position. He did not think about using his archer 
  • Luck - The wind blew in the righ direction after the Viking invasion but he was well organised and eqipped
  • Holy war - God is on his side through the Papal Banner
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After Hasting

  • The Battle was on the 14 October
  • Normans stayed to bury their dead and left the English to rot
  • Years after William built monastery for the reparation of the sins and commemoration of the dead
  • The Higher up gathered in london including Edwin, Morcar, Stigand and Ealdred
  • Edgar the Atheling was procliamed King
  • After winnig the battle Wiliam went four places
  • Romney to avenge the death of the Normans the people killed
  • Canterbury since it is the spiritual center of England
  • Winchester since it is the capital and to secure the treasury
  • Dover since it is port and can bring more normans
  • He went London after this. Englis Morale are dimishing since God is on his side
  • No one would lead them to fight huscarls were killed
  • To get the people to surrender william fanned his men out and harried the outskirt of london
  • One by one the leader surrenders Stigand,  Edwin, Morcar, Edgar then Ealdred
  • William had a reasonable approach hey wre able to keep their land and position
  • Christmas day 1066 William was crowned Kings
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William I

William the Bastard

  • Son of the Duke of Normandy Robert
  • From a mistress and tanners daughter
  • Half Brothere Bishop Odo of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain
  • Married Matilda
  • Four Sons - Robert, Richard, Henry and William
  • Runs cross channel Kingdom
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Norman Rebellion

  • After coronation William had a concilitory approach as long as the dont do something bad they wont bother them
  • Stigand and Ealdred kept their offices 
  • N Earls kept position. Edgar either imprisoned or killed
  • Not remove land form English on 1066
  • Land of English dead were given to Norman supporters
  • After rebellions English lose land. Important rebellion: Northern and East Anglian
  • William started building castles. They would force the English for labour
  • Stone castles are primarily used for intimidating locals eg tower of London
  • Put people in dungeons and rumours of violence intimdates locals
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Eustace of Boulogne's 1067

  • He wants Dover to acrry out revenge for the Fracas
  • Dover was given to Odo and Eustace was enraged
  • He waited for William to go to Normandy and when he did he gathered boulognians but Odod Crushed it
  • When William is away he leaves regent to take care of the country Odo, Matilda, and William Fitz Osbern

Eadric the Wild's 1067

  • rebellious English thegn
  • gathered welsh and tried to capture the town of Herryfird
  • William gathered and army crushed it and Eadric ran away
  • William crushed rebellion by swift and decisive miltary action 
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1068 Harold's mother Gyrtha

  • Lost herson 3 in Hasting, on e on Stamfor and one is held hostage
  • starts a rebellion in Devon and captured Exeter
  • William sieged Exeter for 18 days. The city gave in
  • Gyrthda was not executed and fled to Scandinavia

Harold's Son

  • Harold has pleny of sons. They live with edith Swan neck 
  • They went to Ireland and there they gathered an army
  • They tried to capture Bristol
  • William used collaborators. he askes the Bristolians to rise up against Harold sons
  • The English drove them back to Ireland
  • landowners thought if they help they will keep land or william threatened them
  • Eadnoth the Staller is a collaborator
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Northern Rebellion

  • Started with fallout between N Earls
  • Morcar removed and changed to a Norman Eral who is unpopular to people
  • Rebelled against Comines and chased and set fire to the house he is hising form
  • William did not take this lightly
  • N rebel allied with Swegn since they have viking descent. Edgar the Atheling involved and invited the Scots
  • They captured York and this stirrep up other rebellions
  • William marched to Nottingham and harried everything on their way to York 1069
  • When they got to York he killed all male and livestock and left the kids and women to starve
  • This crushed the rebels
  • He bribed the vikings
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East Anglian 1070-1071

  • led by Hereward the Wake a dispossessed English thegn
  • he did this to avenge the death of his brother
  • King Swegn came back William bribed him
  • Edwin + Morcar was also present
  • At first they cannot beat them because of the terrain it is full of quicksand. The normans sink with their armour
  • William resorted to a witch putting a curse
  • They were betrayed by the monks of Ely by lettig the Normans in
  • Morcars surrendered, Edwin was killed by his follower and hereward disappeares.
  • William built Ely Cathedral to show his power and intimidate people
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Revolt of the Norman Earls

  • William offered a place in the Norma cnourt for Edgar the Atheling. He is not a threat anymore.
  • led by Ralph de Gael, Roger de Breteuil, Waltheof Eral of Northumbria
  • Lanfranc was the regent at the time
  • Roger was caught in Herefordshire by Norman troop under the Abbot of Evesham
  • Odo forced Ralph to retreat to Norwich and flee to Brittany
  • Cnut arrive too late looted coastal towns
  • Ralphs soldier were castrated and blinded
  • Roger was imprisoned
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Norman Earls

Why did the 1075 Rebellion break out and what were the consequences?

 -Cnut wanted plunder and anything else that resulted from rebellion.

-Roger was the son of William FitzOsbern, W’s right-hand man. In 1071 FitzOsbern was killed fulfilling W’s vassal duties to King Philip of France, in battle at Cassels. W divided the family lands between the sons (William de Breteuil got Norman lands, Roger got the English lands). Roger wanted more land than he had been given. Roger was also of a different generation than W, and felt no loyalty to W as his father had done (intergenerational conflict was common in Norman times).

-Ralph had held land under Edward, and felt W had deprived him of it.

-Waltheof had initially been advanced by W, but felt he was losing favour and influence at court.

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-David Crouch has described it as ‘an aristocratic protest riot’ – not a serious attempt to destroy W.

-it meant W could not trust his barons, or the younger generation who had not been through the 1050’s with him (what if FitzOsbern had not died?).

-W’s methods (esp. Waltheof’s execution) were seen at the time as excessive.

-Viking threats were still potent

-W had more land to take now; to ensure there were not more ‘overmighty’ earls, W had the Earldoms of East Anglia and Northumbria split up

-There was not a general feeling in England for supporting rebellion against the rightful king.

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Northern Rebellion

How W dealt with the Northern Rebellions

 -Law and order – the ‘Murdrum Fine’ – if a Norman was killed, the Hundred where he died had to provide payment for the family, or hand over the killer.

                        - ‘Frankpledge’ – men would have to guarantee the good behaviour of each other, or suffer collectively.

 -Confiscation of land – often to royal demesne land, which by 1071had grown to 14,000 manors worth £11,000 (double that of Edward).

 -bribe the Danes to go away

-Force – ‘The Harrying of the North’

     -W took his army to the North and physically crushed rebellion wherever he found it. It caused huge hardship and thousands died of his ‘scorched earth’ policy of destruction and killings.

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Why did W use such methods?

The Harrying of the North has been seen by some historians as a ‘war crime’, or at least excessive cruelty on a beaten people. It gave the Normans a reputation for brutality. However:

-W saw the rebels as traitors rebelling against their rightful king, necessitating punishment

-rebellions in 1067-8 had to be crushed by force

-W realised that his efforts at building a consensus between English and Norman govt had failed, so he had to use force

-W had to crush Northern independence and bring it in line with the rest of England

-W had to deprive the Vikings of supplies, support  and shelter

-W probably regretted the loss of life and destruction (as a pious man), but reasoned that it was necessary, and that God allowed him to act that way towards traitors. Orderic has W say on his death-bed that he ‘became the barbarous murderer of many thousands both young and old, of that fine race of people’ [this sounds like wishful thinking on Orderic’s part].

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The 1088 Rebellion

 Rufus faced rebellion when his brother Robert Curthose, uncles Odo of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain plotted to overthrow him. They were joined by Geoffrey Bishop of Coutances, Eustace of Boulogne, Roger of Montgomery Earl of Shrewsbury, Robert of Mowbray Earl of Northumberland, Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk, William of Eu, and Rufus’ friend, William of St Calais Bishop of Durham. These were very powerful and influential men who posed a tremendous threat to Rufus’ early rule.

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Rufus responded by:

      -appealing to the English to help against Norman barons (in return for lifting restrictions earlier placed on them)

     -summoning the Select Fyrd to fight for him (from a pool of about 14,000 men)

     -relying on subordinate commanders eg Earl of Chester to deal with rebels in the

      North and West

    -picking his enemies off one by one as they sought refuge in castles. He took

     Rochester castle, where Odo fled to exile in Normandy. He took Pevensey and Tonbridge, and Robert of Mortain fled back to Normandy. Robert Curthose’s fleet never landed. William of St Calais was tried as a temporal ruler, and lost his lands.

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   -Rufus was King of England, but was not Duke of Normandy, and so could not control its use as a base against his rule eg exile of Odo etc.

   -Rufus could not control Curthose, who would cause problems and attract malcontents against him. Robert was always a rival to the throne.

   -Rufus could not control Church opinion or deal with every baron with force.

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The 1095 Rebellion

 Rufus faced the last rebellion of his reign when Robert of Mowbray Earl of Northumberland, Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger of Lacy, and William Count of Eu plotted to kill Rufus and replace him with Stephen Count of Aumale (one of W’s great-nephews, and a pliable man). They felt Rufus was too harsh and interfering with the baronage, wanting someone they could control instead.

 Rufus dealt with this rebellion by:

-capturing Robert of Mowbray in his castle at Bamburgh, putting him on trial and imprisoning him (he was not released until 1125).

-capturing William Count of Eu, who elected for trial by combat. He lost, and was blinded and castrated.

-the others and their minions were variously fined, mutilated and imprisoned.

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By 1100, Rufus had shown that he had the mentality and means to confront any rebellion against his royal authority. He was greatly assisted by 1st Crusade (which took Robert Curthose and Odo of Bayeux with it), and the incompetence of the rebels ranged against him. However, his government was well organised, rich, and prepared enough to see off the threats to him.


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1066-1100   Viking Threats

[It is tempting to see Viking threats as ‘foreigner invasions’, but under Cnut, Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut, England was part of an Anglo-Danish monarchy. Therefore, there were many in the former Danelaw areas who were not averse to the idea of Scandinavian overlordship. Also remember that Normandy had Viking origins.]

1066 – Harald Hardrada invaded, won at Gate Fulford, but was defeated at Stamford Bridge.

1069 – Danes take part in Northern rebellion.

1070 – Danes take part in East Anglian rebellion.

1075 – Danes take part in Earls rebellion.

1085 – Danes threaten invasion.

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Viking threats were potent because:

-ship-borne raiders/ invaders were extremely difficult to defend against due to their mobility.

-even if Swegn or Cnut were not serious about invading, they potentially could do so.

-W and Rufus had to provide men and resources to defend against Viking assault, and were a contributory reason for both the Harrying of the North and Domesday Book.

-sections of the population could welcome them as overlords/ kinsmen.

-they provided a supporting role in so many rebellions, even as nuisance value.

-they had to be bribed to go away, which was expensive – this had a huge knock-on effect on royal resources, taxes and govt. structure.

 Viking threats disappeared because Rufus seemed strong, Cnut died in 1086, and the opportunities were less (eg the 1088 and 1095 rebels did not seek Danish help).

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Land Holding

W had to reward his followers who came over with him in 1066. He had promised land  to his knights (money to the mercenaries), transferred from the thousands of dead English thegns killed at Stamford Bridge/ Hastings.

However, he had to ensure the system would:

-still function with Normans instead of Englishmen

-still provide troops/ taxes

-cope with an Anglo-Norman absentee king (cross-Channel kingdom)

Thus, the landholding system was changed by a tenurial revolution, which was an on-going one, starting in 1066 and continuing into 12th century. 

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Land Holding

Historians have debated whether W really did change much by introducing Feudalism, or changed little, by continuing English landholding practices. [European historians see feudalism as about how society operated; English historians see it as power structures, land and knights]. Change did take place, but at different speeds at different times in different places, eg  Essex it was quick, Yorkshire it was slower.

[During Cnut’s reign, a time of another foreign king and nobility, there was no corresponding land change as there was under W].

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Land Holding

How W’s land tenure revolution took place:

-when land came onto the market eg death of the landholder

 -when land was confiscated by the king eg after rebellions

-whether the king needed extra revenue

-whether the king was at odds with the Church eg Rufus

-whether the king needed to reward someone

-whether the king needed to control land for strategic reasons eg Sussex ‘Rapes’

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Land Holding

W’s tenurial revolution changed:

-nature and composition of society ie, ranks and immigration

-nature/ role of kingship

-military system

-economy ie trade, farming etc

-culture ie, language, architecture etc

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Land Holding

  • The King is the only freeholder of land everybody else are tenants
  • 1086 20% is Royal Demesne
  • 25% Church
  • 50% Barons and 25% of this is to 10 elite barons
  • 5% English
  • There are only 13 English Tenants in chief compared to 200 Normans. The other tenants became peasants
  • All lands of barons are scattered all over the country not concentrated in one place to prevent them getting to powerful
  • Royal demesne are the best and richest land richer compared to the land of two elite barons
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Land Holding

How the Tenurial Revolution Proceeded

Land re-distribution took legal, semi-legal, and illegal forms, shifting away from the English towards the Normans:

 -Legal Re-distribution – royal grants (writs) gave land to individuals, then parcelled out to people lower down the chain through further charters eg land granted to abbeys then given to individual knights.

 -Semi-legal re-distribution – where a landowning widow forced to marry a knight, or a child heir taken as a ward of an earl or the king. Although the letter of the law was observed, it was not fairly gained. W gained a lot from this.

 -Illegal re-distribution – where Normans took land regardless of true ownership.

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Land Holding

Consequences of this were:                                                                                                                                              -50% of land was in the hands of 90 Tenants-in-Chief (nobles), but 25% of land in England was run by 11 men.               -W would run land when nobles went back across the Channel to see their Normandy estates                                               - W confiscated land after every rebellion eg Odo’s land in 1082                                                                                          -W had doubled royal land by 1087 (by uniting original Crown land with all of the other estates he confiscated)

-few landowners were English by 1087: some were able to recover land taken from their families by royal service or payment

-all land seizures were protested in the courts – led to increased machinery of justice/ bureaucracy to deal with it

-earls, sheriffs etc could corruptly take a % when negotiating land cases (Odo did this)

-W did not take land from the Church directly (but from their tenants), though Rufus did

-W broke up old earldom power structures piecemeal

-land was held in parcels, not one big block eg Robert of Mortain held land in 20 shires

-colonisation of areas which were politically sensitive eg Marches, Cumbria, was either (rarely) supervised by the king (Rufus in Cumbria), usually by local lords; expansion into Wales carried out by younger, landless sons of Marcher lords, looking for land of their own. Both W and Rufus wanted client kings in Wales and Scotland, not royal land they couldn’t control.

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Land Holding

William Introduces feudalism in England. Providing fighting men for the King based on land holding. Fief/ feudo land

The basic concept of feudalism was where the king (as top landlord) gave out land to his vassals, the Tenants-in-Chief (the barons). In return for this, they did him homage, where they promised to serve him either militarily (providing knights etc), or some other service. They would be enfeoffed The Tenants-in-Chief would then subinfeudate, granting some of their land to vassals who would also swear homage and do service. Sometimes the service was changed to money rents or fees, eg scutage payment instead of military service. they would be sub enfeoffed.

The Tenurial System in England pre-1066 – land was held according to commendation (personal loyalty to a lord), or sake and soke (land in return for service/rent). Some land in England was allodial (there was no landlord – it was owned outright, or at least no-one disputed ownership). Bookland was the norm, where land was held in a contract for 3 generations.

This meant that pre-1066, land was held by different methods – it was not feudalism. This also meant that the king was not the ultimate landlord.

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Land Holding

Some aspects of Feudalism:

- Servitium Debitum quota of knights

-Tenants-in-Chief could provide 5,000 knights (in theory)

-Honour courts of the Tenants-in-Chief dealt with feudal disputes

-Feudal incidents

Relief- when a baron dies and leave a land the heir need to pay an inheritance tax

Wardship - if the heir is a minor. They live the king and all revenue from the estate will go to the king until they reach the age od adulthood. The king can lower or raise this depending on the money he gets

Marriage dues - when a baron want her daughter to marry a noble. They need to pay this tax, the wedding and dowry

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Land Holding

  • If there are no heir the land goes back to the king
  • 3 types of tenure - miltary, praying for souls andreward for professional job
  • Feudalism is a system of loyalty and material benefit the ultimate benificiary is the king
  • Primo geniture the eldest son gets the estates
  • The king can take the barons land if he broke the oath. The king would pass an Act of Attainder
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Land Holding

Domesday Book

  • Spring 1086
  • Due to a viking threat William needs to know how much military forces he could raise
  • England was divided in 7 circuits and 7 commisssions was sent
  • The surveyors would have a trial. Those who claim land would provide witnesses. Some people would bribe witnesses so trial by ordeal was used

Reasons for The survey

  • Military - 1085 W learnes about the Viking invasion. He needs to know how much he can recruit by feudalism and if he needs to raise the tax to pay the fighting me
  • Sorting out landholding chaos - He would give the same piece of land to the same people. Barons steal land from other barons. Odo stole land from Lanfranc caused the trail at Pimenden heath 1075. King sided with Lanfranc
  • White wash Harold out of HistoryEly inquiry. Who held what land on King Edwards reign then W. it doesnt mention Harold
  • Oath od Salisbury Barons swore allegiance to the king 1st August 1086
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Land Holding

It was carried out by noble commissioners (who were sent to parts of the country they had no ties with) in 7 circuits, and divided into 2 books:

-Great Domesday (carried out in W’s lifetime) - all of the English counties except for Northumberland and Durham, and:

-Little Domesday (carried out after W’s death) – Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. It is more detailed than Great Domesday.

(most big towns/ cities are also missing eg London)

 According to the Ely Inquiry and AS Chronicle, the questions the commissioners asked were:

-name of the manor, who held it TRE, who holds it now, how many hides, how many ploughs in the [lord’s] demesne, how many ploughs belong to men, how many villeins/cottars/slaves/ freemen/ sokemen, how much woodland/ meadow/ pasture, how many fisheries/ mills, what it used to be worth, what it is worth now

-all recorded for: i)Edward’s time ii)when W gave it  iii) now (1086)

-noted whether it could pay any more tax -the information was then sworn to be accurate by the priest, reeve and 6 villagers

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Land Holding

What Domesday shows about Norman colonisation

-few towns are mentioned, but Domesday shows that for Southampton, traders came over from Normandy to settle. Jewish traders had settled from Rouen.

-the top level of society was exclusively Norman by 1086. This had not been W’s original intention in 1066, but the result of rebellions and land confiscation. However, underneath this, few Norman settlers made much of an impact lower down the scale (although as these people were less likely to leave written records, it may just be a lack of evidence).

-Women could be landholders, but were put under pressure to marry

-the largest landholding of an Englishman by 1086 was 312 hides (of Edward of Salisbury, who got it for royal service)

-Englishmen held land for 2 reasons – either as surviving kinsmen of Edward eg Edgar Aetheling, or for royal service eg Alric the Cook

-landholding had changed before with the Danish invasions

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Land Holding

-few of the great barons from 1066 held land by 1086 – they were dead eg FitzOsbern, or lost it eg Odo of Bayeux

-the Manor – the manor was either a village, or a collection of villages run as an economic and administrative unit, eg sokeland (where the lord had jurisdiction over land, but did not own it). It depended on the region eg East Anglia had complicated landholding arrangements, the North had cultural and topographic constraints. The manor grew more important as time went by.

- It shows the English are dispossessed of their land

The Domesday Book was not a population census, so it is impossible to know much about who the people really were.

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