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By Sandra Raban

This can be the 1st accomplished examine of the 1279-80 hundred rolls, some of the most vital resources for later 13th century England. Raban places the rolls of their historic context, seems on the approach within which the inquiry was once performed and questions even if it used to be conceived as a moment Domesday. according to the newest wisdom of the returns, it will be an quintessential operating instrument for historians.

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New York, 1974), 100–1. 26 Crook, Records, 189–91; Treharne, Baronial Plan, 203. 27 R. D. thesis, 2000, 75–6. An Inquiring Culture 21 England, into ‘liberties and rights belonging, in the time of Henry III, to the king’s demesnes’. This first inquiry covered some of the same ground as the one commissioned by Edward himself a few months later, but did not tackle the question of corruption which formed the main thrust of its successor. Evaluating its scope presents the usual problem of assessing what proportion of the original returns the few surviving rolls represent.

16. 14 E. M. Hallam, Domesday Book through Nine Centuries (London, 1986), 42. 15 Ibid. 42–4, 50–1, 77, 95–7. 44 A Second Domesday? survey compiled in the late eleventh century for this type of question. It is therefore quite possible that either the king or his officials saw the need for a more up-to-date record and one which would include information about the vexed issue of franchises. There is nothing in the immediate political context of 1279 to throw light on how the inquiry was conceived, although there is plenty to suggest that its findings would have been useful.

In so far as one can tell, the commissioners did not proceed county by county. 29 Given the fragmentary nature of the evidence, it is unlikely that these rolls represent the full scale of the work undertaken, but given too the rather desultory way in which the commissioners operated in Somerset, it is equally unlikely that they could have completed their full assignment by the time the much larger inquiry was commissioned in October. How far the two inquiries can be seen as part of the same process is debatable.

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