Domesday, or Doomsday

The name Domesday Book - Doomsday in earlier spellings - was first recorded almost a century after 1086. An addition to the Domesday manuscript probably made between 1114 and 1119 calls it the Book of Winchester. Between that date and 1179, it acquired the name by which it has since been known. No less a person than the Treasurer of England recorded then that 'This book is called by the native English Domesday, that is Day of Judgement' (Dialogus de scaccario (1950), page 64; (1977), pages 96-99). Like the Last Judgement, the treasurer explained, the decisions of Domesday Book were unalterable: 'as from the Last Judgement, there is no further appeal'.

For more detail on the name and later reputation of Domesday Book, see Elizabeth M. Hallam, Domesday Book through nine centuries (1986).