commote

The word commote does not occur in Domesday Book though the type of territory it designates is readily identifiable.

The Welsh commotes in Domesday were those districts under Norman control but outside the jurisdiction of the
Hundred and subject to Welsh law and custom. The commotes lay to the west of Offa's Dyke and, in general, they represented recent English advances into Welsh territory. Although assessed for military service and taxation, their obligations were rated in carucates, not the hides of the English side of the border. Their Customs were described in several separate sections, in the Domesday accounts of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire.

The principal commotes described were
Archenfield, Ewias, and Gwent to the south; Cynllaith, Edeyrnion, and Ial in Shropshire; and Englefield, Rhos and Rufoniog in Cheshire. In addition, the English temporarily controlled the kingdom of Gwynedd (North Wales). Gwent was not named by name in Domesday Book, but Norman expansion into the area was marked by the castles of Caerleon, Chepstow and Monmouth.

There is a useful brief account of the Welsh march in H.C. Darby, Domesday England (1977); for more extended treatments, see J.E. Lloyd, A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest (third edition, 1939); R.R. Davies, The age of conquest: Wales, 1063-1415 (1987), and K.L. Maund, Ireland, Wales and England in the eleventh century (1991). The printed Phillimore edition for Herefordshire has two valuable notes on the Welsh border (Introductory notes 1-2).

See also
Wales.
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