Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


English Medieval Legal Documents Database

A Compilation of Published Sources from 600 to 1535

The Domesday Book

The original manuscript of the Domesday Book is in the PRO. It has "had several variant names - Liber de Wintonia, Rotulus Wintoniae, Scriptura Thesauri Regis, Liber Regis, Liber Judicarius, Censualis Angliae, Angliae Notitia et Lustratio, Roulis Regis, Liber de Thesauro, Exchquer Domesday. As originally compiled, it was in two volumes. In the first were 382 folios dealing with thirty counties, and it is sometimes called Great Domesday. The second is a smaller book, though it has 450 folios. It treats of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and is called Little Domesday." (Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925 at p.110)

The accounts given by Domesday Book of various counties have often been edited, and many are accompanied by translations. A list of the most important local studies can be found in Graves.(Graves, Edgar B., and Charles Gross, comps. A Bibliography of English History to 1485: Based on The Sources and Literature of English History From the Earliest Times to About 1485 by Charles Gross. Oxford, Eng.; New York: Clarendon Press, 1975 at pp.465-8) The Herefordshire Domesday is listed below as an example of these local studies. A discussion of some of the surveys which were compiled as a result of the Domesday inquisition can be found in vol. 2 of English Historical Documents.(Douglas, David C., Dorothy Whitelock, George W. Greenaway, Harry Rothwell, A. R. Myers, and C. H. Williams, eds. English Historical Documents 10 Vols. in 11. New York: Oxford University Press, 1953-1977.1042-1189'', vol. 2 1042-1189,ed. by David Douglas at p.865) Maxwell has an extensive list of the texts, translations and commentaries on the Domesday Book, including analyses by county.(Maxwell, William Harold, and Leslie F. Maxwell , comps. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 8 Vols. 2nd ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955- at pp.91-7) Other local inquests and surveys carried out by the exchequer between 1066-1200 are also listed in Graves.(Graves, Edgar B., and Charles Gross, comps. A Bibliography of English History to 1485: Based on The Sources and Literature of English History From the Earliest Times to About 1485 by Charles Gross. Oxford, Eng.; New York: Clarendon Press, 1975 at pp.471-3) For early printed editions of the Domesday Book, see Winfield. (Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925 at pp.110-2)