The history of England: Domesday goes digital
He has become known as Scribe A and was, by the standards of the 11th century, an educated man who could read and write Latin. Deduced from his writings, Scribe A was English, but probably worked for the Bishop of Durham, one William of St Calais, a member of what was the French elite ruling England. He was almost certainly a monk or held some other religious office, but little else is known about Scribe A, such as his real name, title, or status.
Most modern historians believe that in the late summer of 1086, Scribe A sat down and wrote the bulk of what was then called the Book of Winchester, now known as the Domesday Book. And despite the lack of detail about the man himself, Scribe A, with the dedication to detail worthy of any contemporary civil servant or accountant, gave succeeding generations an astonishing window into life in early medieval England.
He tells us who owns what and who works for whom. He tells us the names of all the villages and manors, and how many freeman, cottagers, bishops, priests, churches, castles, vineyards and villeins are there and how much they are worth and what land they own or farm and what taxes and dues they pay. It is as if the records of the Inland Revenue and the Land Registry were rolled together with the latest census returns into a medieval "Who Owns What and Where".
comments powered by Disqus
Edson T. Strobridge - 8/5/2006
What a wonderful tool for those of usinterested in Genealogy. Does anyone know how to access this work on the Internet?
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- For G.O.P., Support for Israel Becomes New Litmus Test
- Yale’s Beinecke Library Buys Vast Collection of Lincoln Photos
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- Role-playing history game gets students jazzed