Articles of Inquiry

The Inquisitio Eliensis, a satellite text, contains what purport to be the articles of inquiry of the Domesday Inquest. Although these so-called articles were almost certainly put together after the Domesday survey had been completed, they do provide a useful interpretation of what questions the commissioners must have asked. These were, in a slightly modified form:

  • what is the name of the manor?

  • who held it in the time of King Edward?

  • who holds it now?

  • how many hides are there?

  • how many plough teams belonging to the lord?

  • how many plough teams belonging to the peasants?

  • how many villagers in the manor?

  • how many cottagers?

  • how many slaves?

  • how many freemen?

  • how many Freemen?

  • how much woodland?

  • how much meadow?

  • how much pasture?

  • how many mills?

  • how many fish ponds?

  • how much has been added or taken away?

  • how much was it worth?

  • how much is it worth now?

  • how much did each freeman have then?

  • how much does each freeman have now?

  • how much did each Freeman have then?

  • how much does each Freeman have now?

All this to be given for three dates: at the time of King Edward, when King William gave it, and now. And if more can be had than is had now.

These Articles are often cited as evidence of the nature of the Domesday Inquest and its principal concerns though they were almost certainly a post-Inquest construct, as argued by David Roffe, Domesday: the Inquest and the Book (Oxford, 2000).