Norman Conquest 1086

Domesday Book is the oldest government record held in The National Archives. There are two Domesday Books – Little Domesday and Great Domesday, which contain a lot of information about England in the 11th century. In 1086, King William I (the Conqueror) wanted to find out the value of his new kingdom: who owned which property, where they lived, how much the land was worth and the amount of tax he could raise. He sent his own government commissioners around the country to ask questions in local courts and gather information. These books reveal how land ownership changed with the Norman Conquest and how William increased his control over England. (Catalogue refs: E 31/2/1, E 31/2/3);

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