Frank and Caroline Thorn

Frank and Caroline Thorn (University of Hull) -
AHRC Research Assistants

Caroline holds degrees in Latin and in Medieval Studies, Frank in Latin and French. Caroline became caught up in Domesday when she responded to a request from John Morris, who was editing the Phillimore series, for Latinists and Palaeographers who were prepared to work from home, initially translating Domesday Book. Frank was drawn in later as a mapper and indexer because his experience on mountains ensured that he could give Grid References.

John Morris had begun with Middlesex and Huntingdonshire. As the counties became longer and more complex, the Thorns were found more work to do and, with John Morris’ health failing, they were promoted to county editors. In the end they edited 11 county volumes for the series, sub-edited one and worked on parts of the others. Although they were both intending to do something different after 1986, both were recruited for the Alecto project. Caroline went on to write on the marginal notes and signs in the Domesday manuscripts, to produce a new translation of Devon, to work on the translations of the other counties and to check the entire manuscript of Great Domesday. Frank was responsible for reviewing the identification of places, drafting the maps and writing an article for each county (except Lincolnshire) about its administrative topography. Since the completion of the Alecto project both have been writing a book on the Scribal History of Great Domesday Book, working on an edition of the Liber Exoniensis and contributing various articles to journals.

For the current project Frank and Caroline are revising the Phillimore translation and notes. They hope not only to systematize and tidy up the notes, but also to do a partial or full re-edit of some counties, especially the ones edited early on by John Morris which had minimal notes.