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Medieval Sourcebook:
Domesday Book:
Hecham, 1086

The Domesday Book of 1086, undertaken so that the conquering Normans could assess the extent of the wealth they had available, ended up as one of the most extensive land surveys of the middle ages. This is the account of one village in Essex..

Peter de Valence holds in domain Hecham, which Haldane a freeman held in the time of King Edward, as a manor, and as 5 hides. There have always been 2 ploughs in the demesne, 4 ploughs of the men. At that time there were 8 villeins, now 10; then there were 2 bordars, now 3; at both times 4 s 1, woods for 300 swine, 18 acres of meadow. Then there were 2 fish ponds and a half, now there are none. At that time there was I ox, now there are 15 cattle and I small horse and 18 swine and 2 hives of bees. At that time it was worth 60s., now 4f-. 1 Os. When he received this manor he found only I ox and I planted acre. Of those 5 hides spoken of above, one was held in the time of Kind Edward by 2 freemen, and was added to this manor in the time of King William. It was worth in the time of King Edward 10s., now 22s., and William holds this from Peter de Valence.


from J.H. Robinson, trans, University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, published for the Dept. of History of the University of Pennsylvania., Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1897]. Vol III: 5, 3-4


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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(c)Paul Halsall Feb 1996