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The Domesday Book

The Domesday Book is a statistical survey of England ordered by William the Conquerer in 1086. It was an attempt to record the landed wealth of the country, in a systematic way, to determine revenue owed to the King.   By listing and accounting for each church and lay estate in England William strengthened his position over all nobles, churchmen and tenants of the land.   The survey was carried out by groups of officers called legati who visited each county and conducted a public enquiry.    The questions asked at each town were known as the Inquisitio Eliensis and supplied the information from which the Domesday Book was compiled.   The term Domesday is a corruption of Doomsday (the day of judgment) because the records compiled were irrevocable.

Original Text

IN BERHAM HVNDREDO Fulbertus tenuit de episcopo BERHAM.

Pro VI solins se defendit.   Terra est XXXII carucarum.

In domino sunt III caruce.   Et LII uillani eum I cotariis habent XVIII carucas.   Ibi aecclesia.   Et unus molinus de I solidos et IIII denariis.   Ibi XXV piscariae de XXXV soldis, IIII denariis minus.   De auera, id est servitium, LX solidi.De herbagio XXVI aolidi.   Et I acrae prati.   De pasnagio CL porci.

De isto Manerio dedit episcopus unam bereuuicham HERBERTIN filio Ivonis, quae uncatur HUHAM.   Et ibi habet I carucam in dominio.   Et XII uillanos cum IX carucis.   Et I acras prati.

De eodem quoque Manerio dedit episcopus OSBERNO PAISFORERE I solin.   Et II molinos de L solidis. Et ibi est in dominio I caruca.   Et IIII uillani cum I caruca.

Totum BERHAM, T.R.E. ualbat XL libras.   Quando episcopus recepit, similiter.   Et tamen reddebat ei C libras.   Modo, per se BERHAM ualet XLlibras.   Et HUCHAM, X libras.   Et hc quod OSBERTUS habet, VI libras.   Et terra cuiusdam RANNULFI militis ualet XL solidos.   Hoc manerium tenuit STIGANDUS archiepiscopus; sed non erat de archiepiscopatu; sed fuit de dominica firma regis E.

English Translation

In Berham Hundred Fulbert holds of the Bishop Berham

It anwsers for 6 sulings.    There is the arable land of 32 plough teams.

In demesne there are three teams and 52 villans with 20 cotars have 18 teams.   A church there - and a mill of 20 shillings and four pence.   Twenty-five fisheries there of 35 shillings less than four pence.   From average, there is service, 60 shillings.    From herbage, 26 shillings, and 20 acres of meadow.   From pannage 150 hogs.

From this manor the bishop gave one berewick which is called Huham to Herbertin, son of Ivo, and he has there one team in demesne and 12 villans with 9 teams, and 20 acres of meadow.

From the same manor the Bishop gave one suling to Osborn Paisforere and 2 mills of 50 shillings, and there is one team in demesne there and 4 villans with one team.

The whole of Berham in time of King Edward was worth 40 pounds.   When the Bishop received it likewise and yet it used to render him 100 pounds.   Now by itself Berham is worth 40 pounds and Huham 10 pounds and this which Osborn has six pounds and the land of one Ranulf a knight is worth 40 shillings.   Stigand the Archbishop held this manor but it was not of the Archbishopric but it was of the domesne farm of King Edward.

Explanation

Barham Hundred relates to a measurement common in southern and eastern England at this time.   It was related to the payment due from the county to the treasury  to call out the "fryd", the Anglo-Saxon version of a Home Guard.

Odo, Bishop of Bayeux held the manor directly from the King.   Fulbert held it directly from Odo.

There was deemed to be arable land to employ 32 plough teams.   Fulbert held 3 of these for the land he farmed.   Holding their land were 52 peasant farmers (villains) and 20 cottagers (lower, economically, than villains) who had 18 plough teams.

There was a church and a mill of which the annual profit was 20s 4d (about 1.02 in today's money).   There were 25 fisheries of an estimated annual value of 34s 8d (about 1.73).   The tenants undertook carrying for their lord which was valued at 60s 0d (3.00).   Herbage - non permanent meadow - from which a hay crop could be taken.   Pasture or routing for hogs was worth 150 hogs annually.

A barley farm on an outlying part of the manor called Hulham (probably Ham on the western end of the parish) was held by Herbert, son of Ivo, requiring 1 plough team for the land he farmed himself.   12 villains held their land from him and this required 12 plough teams.   There was also 20 acres of meadow.

A third part of the manor was held by the Bishop of Osbern Paisforere with 2 mills worth 50s 0d (2.50) annually.   Osbern farmed enough land to occupy 1 plough team and his villains also had work for 1 team.

The tax value is summed up as that, at the time of Edward the Confessor, it was worth 40.   When the Bishop received it the value was unchanged and yet it rendered him 100.   By itself Barham is worth 40 and Hulham 10 plus the land worked by Osbern 6.   A knight - Ranulf also held land worth 2.

Barham had thus appreciated in value from 40 in 1066 to 58 in 1086 - but Odo had, one way or another, managed to extract 100 from the manor.   Odo was a hard landlord and it can be certain that no tears were shed when, in 1088, all of his property was confiscated and passed to the See of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Canterbury thus became Lord of the Manor!