The Domesday Book contains a great many things, including the most comprehensive, varied, and monumental legal material to survive from England before the rise of the common law. This book argues that it can - and should - be read as a legal text. When the statistical information present in the great survey is stripped away, there is much material still left, almost all of which stems directly from inquest, testimony given by jurors impanelled in 1086, or from the sworn statements of lords and their men. This information, read in context, can provide a picture of what the law looked like, the ways in which it was changing, and the means whereby the inquest was a central event in the formation of English law. The volume provides translations (with Latin legal terminology included parenthetically) for all of Domesday Book's legal references, each numbered and organised by county, fee, and folio.
Table of Contents
Introduction: disputes and the inquest
Part I. Domesday Book and the Law: 1. The
inquest and the mechanics of justice
2. Living in the shadow of the law
3. Disputes and the Edwardian past
4. Disputes and the Norman present. Part II.
The Texts: Part III. Indices.