Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England

Overview

Domesday Book contains 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. Stripped of its statistical information, Domesday Book contains a remarkable amount of legal material, almost all of which stems directly from inquest, testimony, or from the sworn statements. This information, read in context, provides a picture of what the law looked like, the ways in which it was changing,...

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Overview

Domesday Book contains 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. Stripped of its statistical information, Domesday Book contains a remarkable amount of legal material, almost all of which stems directly from inquest, testimony, or from the sworn statements. This information, read in context, provides 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Robin Fleming's lively and engaging examination of Domesday Book makes it clear, nonetheless, that the survey, and the thousands of local insights that informed it, still have a great deal to tell us about the early years of the Norman Conquest. Fleming's work will most certainly generate a 'clamour' of its own among scholars. But the book will require all who read it to think much more deeply than they have done to date about the ways in which post-Conquest lords depended on the machinery of Anglo-Saxon local government and the rich legacy of Anglo-Saxon law when they undertook the overthrow of the kingdom that William I won from Harold Godwinson in 1066." Cynthia J. neville, Canadian Journal of History

"This is an important and very remarkable book." J.C. Holt, Albion

"This work...provides much of interest to social, economic, legal, political, and even religious historians." Katherine Fischer Drew, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Fleming's discussion...is sensitive, extremely well-informed, and intelligent." Speculum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521528467
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/18/2003
  • Pages: 572
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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.

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