Robin Fleming. Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. xix + 548 pp. $95.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-521-63038-2.
Reviewed by Emily Zack Tabuteau (Department of History, Michigan State University)
Published on H-Law (August, 2000)
The Inquest Came Before the Book
No one living knows Domesday Book better than Robin Fleming, a professor of history at Boston College. Indeed, it may well be that, in the nine centuries since it was compiled, no one, including its compilers, has known the work better. In Domesday Book and the Law she concentrates on the non-statistical information --specifically the legal information -- that the inquest produced. In so doing, she emphasizes the importance of the process by which the Book was compiled: often, "we are so intently focused on the written word that we forget about the clamoring noise of oral culture, a thing that cohabited with textual culture in the eleventh century, and indeed overshadowed it. Our fixation on the iconic text of Domesday Book is clear evidence of this: so interested have we become in the great survey and in the written sources hidden beneath it, that we have forgotten about the Domesday inquest" (p. 34). Fleming brilliantly resurrects the inquest itself, to demonstrate that "the inquest rather than the book became the means through which the whole of the tenurial revolution (much of which had been accomplished without written order or public sanction) came clearly and finally into every man's view, and it was the way in which the Conquest was at last fitted snugly and publicly within the law" (pp. 34-35).
The book is divided into three parts: an introduction followed by an essay, "Domesday Book and the Law," which constitute the interpretive part of the work (pp. 1-85); a calendar of all the entries in Domesday Book that Fleming has identified as having legal content (pp. 87-437); and three indices to the calendar -- of personal names, of place names, and of subjects (pp. 439-548). Though obviously related, these parts are distinct and need to be discussed separately.
It has long been recognized that one of the concerns of the compilers of Domesday Book was to record disputes over possession that were troubling local relations in various parts of England in the two decades after the Norman Conquest. The presence at the end of the sections devoted to a number of counties of entries titled "Clamores" (claims) made that obvious. Fleming, however, contends that the whole of the survey is pervaded by questions of disputed possession and disputed rights, that these were as important to the effort of compiling the survey as was making a record of the riches of the land of England, and that many such disputes were settled during the inquest, which in itself therefore constitutes a stage in the development of English law. "The argument that stands behind this book is that Domesday Book can and should be read as a legal text" (p. 5). It "is the most comprehensive, varied, and monumental legal text to survive from England before the rise of the Common Law" (p. 5). Indeed, the Domesday survey in itself constituted a stage in the early development of the law of Anglo-Norman England, and the Book not merely recorded but actually created rights: "the Domesday inquest itself was the crucible in which a new, hybrid Anglo-Norman law was forged" (p. 6), because "the common sources and causes of dispute, displayed again and again during the Domesday inquest, helped to clarify the thinking of royal administrators and local jurors, and helped to standardize and routinize their settlement. It is at the inquest itself that we should look for the rapid evolution of a clearer set of legal norms and principles concerning succession and possession" (p. 77).
The elucidation of these ideas is relatively brief, but it is nonetheless scintillating. Fleming demonstrates that the Domesday inquest drew upon an Anglo-Saxon tradition of using "combined courts" to "maintain the peace, provid[e] warranty, and settl[e] disputes" (p. 13). The coming together of large numbers of men --no doubt the largest number ever yet assembled in English courts --in the meetings that provided the information collected in Domesday Book was a formative experience: "The recounting of the new tenurial order in public under the gaze of such a polyglot and socially variegated company and in the language of the law must have done much to legitimate and enroot twenty years of settlement and predation" (p. 17). The jurors, however, were not dispassionate purveyors of facts. They were subject to pressures of lordship, and lords whose men were well represented among the jurors had a distinct advantage: the disputes in which they were involved were likely, if their actions had not been excessively flagrant, to be settled in their favor.
Testimony was given by jurors from hundreds, jurors from shires, and individuals, many of them named in the survey. While no type of informant had a monopoly of the provision of a particular sort of information, hundreds were the usual source of information about tenurial arrangements, antecession, appurtenances of manors and misbehaving reeves, while most information about grants and about seisin came either from shires or from individuals. Shires, not surprisingly, are the principal source of information about misbehaving sheriffs. (These emphases are the subject of Figures 1-4 on pp. 41-43, though a simple table of percentages would probably have illustrated the point more clearly than these figures do. Indeed, on the matter of the sources of information about reeves and about churches, what is said on p. 41 appears to be contradicted by the bar graphs in Figure 2.)
In the course of the narratives they recounted about disputed possession, these men illuminated many things. By commenting frequently on whether a local court had seen a royal writ confirming possession of land, they emphasized the importance of such writs. This, in turn, makes clear that royal writs were becoming more important than they had been earlier in securing local rights and, therefore, in organizing local legal business. "The amplification of royal power within regional assemblies can be attributed, in part, to the tenurial crisis unleashed by the Norman settlement" (p. 33). Fleming pays less attention to another method of verifying possession -- the naming by a tenant or a local assembly of the "liberator" of the land, the person who had delivered seisin to the tenant - but numerous references in the calendar indicate the importance of this practice. (See the entries in the Subject Index, I.6, under "delivered.") Charters, however, were not important: In the many disputes about the fate of lands originally granted to or by churches before the Conquest, "it was either royal writs or communal memory, rather than old chirographs, that protected the property given, loaned, or mortgaged to thegnly benefactors" (p. 61). The only exception is the bishopric of Worcester.
It is interesting that, whereas Fleming's earlier book, Kings and Lords in Conquest England (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, 1991), argued, in effect, that antecession was by no means the only - or even the most important -- principle on which lands were granted out after the Conquest, this book restores antecession to a central place, although "the vagaries of Old English lordship and the scramble by thegns and sokemen for lords after the Conquest caused the settlement to be less regular and clear-cut than antecession on its own would have been" (p. 74). The "adjudication and resolution [of the resulting disputes] at the inquest may have been a first step towards the genesis of a new, streamlined lordship in England which more tightly bound together personal, jurisdictional, and territorial lordship, collapsing them into the compact honorial rights that were to become ubiquitous in the twelfth century" (p. 75). Moreover, "the very great honors forming and consolidating during the first decade of the Conqueror's reign were probably not sufficiently organized and administered to have solidified into sturdy honorial blocks, ... and ... this fragility of new tenurial configurations was the source of tension and dispute. In 1086, however, the exposure of this problem, coupled with the demand that tenants-in-chief survey their own estates as the first step of the inquest, and with the careful organization of landholdings by tenancy-in-chief in Domesday Book, [meant that] honors became hardier tenurial units ..." (p. 82: "meant that," or some equivalent phrase, is dropped from the sentence).
In sum, the discursive part of this book is a brilliant exposition of the formative role of the Domesday inquest and, to a lesser extent, Domesday Book, in the creation of the Anglo-Norman legal system. In parts it is suggestive rather than conclusive, for some of its contentions could not be fully demonstrated without detailed study of the law after 1086, but that would have gone far beyond the compass of Fleming's study. Certainly, from now on, all work on Anglo-Norman legal history will have to take Fleming's ideas into account; and I am persuaded that her contentions are likely to be proved substantially correct. The essay is a breathtaking achievement.
By far the largest portion of the book is the calendar of 3217 legal passages in Domesday Book. In the notes to the essay, Fleming cites these passages by their numbers in the calendar, preceded by the letter F; and it is likely that in future we will all be referring to the Domesday entry for the matters at issue in the famous trial at Penenden Heath as F899, to the bishop of Exeter's use of charters to prove his church's right to Crediton as F360, to Bishop Wulfstan's proof of the church of Worcester's right to Alveston by prior judicial decision and royal writs as F1567, and so on. The calendar is organized alphabetically by county, except that all thirty-two counties in the Exchequer Domesday (counting the land between the Ribble and the Mersey as a county) are calendared before the three counties in the Little Domesday (Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk). Just as it contains much more information about the material wealth of the individual counties, so it turns out that Little Domesday is much more detailed about legal matters, nearly half the entries in the calendar (items 1795-3217) coming from those three counties. Each entry includes both the place where the entry occurs in Domesday Book and the number under which it can be found in the most commonly used recent edition of Domesday Book, the Phillimore edition, in which each county constitutes a separate volume (or occasionally two volumes). The fee under which the entry occurs and the place to which it refers are also given. The entry itself consists of a translation of the legal material with significant Latin words and phrases given in parentheses in the text.
In compiling the calendar, Fleming defines 'legal' broadly. All legal complaints in the text are here, as are notices of inquest testimony, legal customs, and annexations. So, too, are references to legal transactions such as grants, sales, mortgages, and warranty, as are all specific references to antecession and forfeiture" (pp. 6-7). The calendar actually goes beyond this list, especially in also including entries that refer to the making of the inquest itself. Like the essay, the calendar is a great achievement; and it demonstrates conclusively how large is the number of entries in Domesday Book in which legal matters occur. Although the essay is primarily concerned with disputes, however, by no means all -- not even a majority -- of the entries concern disputes.
One can quibble with the details in some instances. An occasional entry seems scarcely more evidently legal than any other entry in the whole of Domesday Book. F90, for example, reads: "King Edward held two and three quarter hides of land in Compton. Now it is held by King William. Henry de Ferrers holds the woodland" (p. 99). A brief comment might help in cases like this: here, perhaps, the inference is that Henry had usurped control of the woodland.
Sometimes the grounds for inclusion or exclusion of a Domesday passage in the calendar are difficult to figure out. Pretty much at random, I picked the Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire entries to check against the Phillimore edition and found a fair number of anomalies. Despite Fleming's statement quoted above, all references to antecession are not here. (For what should count as specific references to antecession, see the Phillimore, Buckinghamshire, B-2 through B13, 1-7, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, etc.) A few entries in the calendar seem to be included primarily because they say that someone "could not sell" his or her land (or "grant" the land or "withdraw") without permission. This is clearest if one compares Phillimore for Cambridgeshire 18-7, where Toki cannot sell, which is F192, with 18-8, where Toki can sell, which is not in Fleming's calendar: the only significant difference between the two entries is whether Toki can sell. For the same sort of contrast, compare also Phillimore, Cambridgeshire, 26-2, which is F201, with 26-3, which is not in Fleming. For other Cambridgeshire entries which appear to be present only because someone could not sell see F188, 190, 219, 229, 233, 251. It would have been impractical to calendar the much more numerous Domesday entries in which tenants are said to have the right to alienate without permission, but why are the other forty-three Cambridgeshire examples of tenants who cannot alienate not calendared? (See Philllimore, Cambridgeshire, 1-15, 1-20, 5-5, 5-7, 5-10, 5-11, 5-17, 5-19, 5-27, 5-37, 14-1, 14-3, 14-15, 14-16, 14-34, 14-36, 14-63, 14-66, 14-80, 14-82, 25-3, 26-4 through 26-7, 26-9, 26-11, 26-12, 26-13, 26-16, 26-23, 26-27, 26-50 through 26-55, 30-3, 41-3, 41-5, 41-6, 41-8.) All eight parallel Buckinghamshire entries also are not calendared (Phillimore, Buckinghamshire, 3a-2, 4-43, 14-30, 21-3, 21-4, 21-6, 21-7, 22-2). Again from Cambridgeshire, F203, 205 and 249 appear to be included because, although the tenant could sell, "the soke remained" with the lord; but another eighteen or nineteen similar instances are not included (Phillimore, Cambridgeshire, 3-4, 5-40, 7-5, 14-17, 14-27, 14-30, 14-57, 14-64, 21-4, 22-3, 22-4, 22-8, 26-19, 26-27, 27-1, 32-8, 32-12, 32-22, and possibly 38-5, where the tenant "could withdraw whither he would with the [soke]"). One might also quibble that entries should be included which say that a free man who holds three virgates in Risborough, "although he could sell, ... nevertheless served the Sheriff" (Phillimore, Buckinghamshire, 1-3) or that three thegns who held St. Peter's of Westminster's manor of East Burnham before 1066 and "could sell" nonetheless owed a yearly customary payment to the monastery of Staines (ibid., 7-2). The last Cambridgeshire entry concerning the land of Hardwin de Scales (Phillimore, Cambridgeshire, 26-57) must have been omitted by sheer inadvertence: it reads, in full, "In the same village Hardwin held 2 acres of the Abbot's land, for which he did not have a patron (advocatus) or deliverer (liberator); but he appropriated it in the Abbot's despite (super abbatem), as the men of the [h]undred testify," a statement which meets Fleming's criteria for inclusion to a tee. (See Fleming's subject index, I.6, p. 511, under "liberator," and IX.3, p. 541, under "hundred, men of.")
One of the notable things to emerge from the calendar is the degree to which different information is recorded for different counties. Thus, the jurors of Devonshire seem to have been unusually interested in territorial rearrangements. A remarkably high percentage of all the entries for this county say something like "[a] half virgate, which a thegn held freely TRE, has been added to this manor" (F353, p. 127). More than half of the references I noted to tenure "in parage" -- seventeen -- also come from Devon and another eleven come from Hampshire (6) and Somerset (5). The concentration of references to tenure "in alod" in Hampshire is even more striking: twenty-seven of the thirty I noted come from that one county.
Occasionally, the translation of a passage could be improved. I am especially perplexed by the translation's consistent failure to differentiate by spelling between seisin and seizure, which, while they are expressed by the same verb in Latin, are very different in meaning. Both meanings are normally spelled 'seis--.' Usually, one can tell the difference from the sense of the sentence. It is possible, however, that the writers of Domesday Book sometimes, at least, tried to express the difference by using the active form of the verb (saisiuit) for seizing and the passive (fuit saisitus_) for having seisin or being given seisin. Contrast, for example, F1770, 2220, and 2422, with F1056, 1190-92, 1209, 1558 and 1677. The distinction, if it exists, was not consistently used. See F1517, 1525, 1527 and 2962. If it was sometimes made, however, the translation sometimes misses the difference. See, for example, F427, 2047 and 2924.
In F492, "Roger Bushell holds it" needs to be added after "TRW." The Phillimore translations are preferable to Fleming's for parts of F2847 (Suffolk, 6-191, "Edric had full jurisdiction over [the men of] the Bishopric; that is, what the Bishop ought to have had"), F2886 (Suffolk, 7-64, "before Roger Bigot acquired land in Suffolk"), F2898 (Suffolk, 7-121, "The men of the [h]undred now have this land assessed at 48s; but it formerly paid, and they [now] pay," six pounds) and F3099 (Suffolk, 37-5, "by a delivery and for land "). Other questionable translations include the following: absque placito et lege should be "without plea and law" rather than "... or law" (F98); debuerit eam dare should be "ought to have given it" rather than "was said to give it" (F846); se audisse sed non vidisse neque inter fuisse should be "they had heard this but had not seen it and were not there" rather than "they had heard but not seen this, and had not been there"(F869); sicut via eam dividit should be "as the road divides it" rather than "because the road ..." (F 1473) ; reclamat liberatorem should be "claims him as deliverer" rather than "claims him for livery" (F2731). In F2336 and a good many succeeding entries in Norfolk and Suffolk, clauses like fuit liberata frederio pro terra ad perficiendum manerios suos should be "was delivered to Frederick to complete his manors" (or "make up his manors," as in the Phillimore edition, Norfolk, 8-117), rather than "to make his manors." F 2384 should read, "Roger claims them as his fee" rather than "Roger vouches them from AEthelwig's fee." In F2724, "before he could forfeit" should be "before he forfeited." In F2834, "as did the freemen" should be "and he holds the freemen." F3026 should read, "Ranulf Peverel claims half this land and says that it was delivered ...." In F51, "away through force" should be "away from him through force." In F136, "It" should be "They." In F600, "and" after "Vikings" should be omitted. F1569 should read, "King Edward and his sons for his soul." F1864 should read, "and were commended" rather than "but." F1878 would be better rendered, "Ingelric attached these men to his hall." In F1898, "who" should be "whom." In F2501, "only" should be omitted after "commendation." In F2659, "cannot be" should be "cannot do." In the last sentence of F2708, "which" should be "who." In F3156, "burgess's" should be "burgesses'." Curia is sometimes translated "hall," but would better always appear as "court." The translation of seminabilis as "for seed" is awkward (F483); so is capitale manerium as "caput manor" (F1029 and elsewhere). So is the whole last sentence of F1265. The abbreviations non, non fr, and r non f, which occur occasionally in Norfolk and Suffolk, are awkwardly expanded fecit non retornam rather than non fecit retornam. "Only" is often misplaced in ways that confuse the meaning of passages, especially when the idea is that someone held no more than the commendation of some free men. See F1071, 1659, 2423, 2591, 2633, 2646, 2648, 2661, 2685, 2688, 2714, 2717, 2721, 2727, 2733, 2735, 2738, 2792, 3005, 3214.
The utility of any work like this obviously depends largely on the quality of its index, and the temptation with this work is to spend more time discussing the indices than anything else in it. The indices are notable for three reasons. First, they contain only references to the calendar. There is no index to the first eighty-five pages of the work. This is lamentable.
Second, there is not one index but three. Although the practice is relatively rare, it is logical and useful to separate the indices of names (personal and topographical) from the subject index; and there is no doubt that, given the complexity of what is being indexed here, the decision to create separate indices was wise. Both indices of names are comprehensive and excellent. Laypersons with titles are indexed under their titles rather than their names (all the kings together, all the earls togethers, etc.), which I found a bit disorienting. Prominent ecclesiastics are indexed under their churches, but cross references enable one to find them if they are mentioned in the text without their affiliations. Fafiton (F856) is indexed only under R, for Robert Fafiton, in the index of persons; and there are a few minor inconsistencies of alphabetization. So far as I could tell, without checking every single possible item, the index of places is flawless.
The third noteworthy characteristic of the indices is the organization of the subject index, not alphabetically but topically. The result is interesting -- but also maddening. To put the matter bluntly, although the concept behind the organization is creative and potentially illuminating, to carry it out in practice would probably have taken as much work as either of the other parts of the book, perhaps as much as both of them put together; and the index as it stands has not received anything like that much effort. Even in its perfected form, it would have been more useful if it had an index of its own. In the highly imperfect form in which it exists, it is more frustrating than usable.
Subjects in the subject index are organized under eleven headings: Transactions; Agents; Antecessors and Successors; Hundreds, Wapentakes, and Pleas; Law and Justice; Legal Transactions involving Companions, Lords, Peasants, Women, and Families; Means; Offenses; Testimony; Testimony and Memory: Times other than TRE and TRW; and Written Word. Under each heading are between two and fifteen subheadings. Testimony, for example, is divided into "Nature of testimony," "No testimony," and "Who gave testimony." Actual subject entries with references are subordinate to the subheadings. "Nature of testimony," for example, begins with "affirmed," "assented," "attested," "bore," "brought," "concerning another shire," and so on. These entries themselves often have subheadings: in I.2 ("Claimed"), for example, "claims noted in" has two sub-entries, of which one ("marginalia") has five sub-entries itself. (In what follows, I am not going to try to use a separate word for each of these many levels.)
There is a table of contents to the headings and subheadings on pp. 506-7 that is of considerable assistance to one trying to guess where an item might be indexed. Nonetheless, the index is extremely difficult to use. Things show up in very odd places. "Castle," for example, is under "Other miscellaneous legal notions" (p. 526), hardly where one would think to look for it.
Remarkable things are not indexed. Because they caught my attention, I was particularly struck by the absence of entries in the index for alods, parage, and the attaching of one piece of property to another (when this was not by way of usurpation). Other matters not indexed include priest-land (e.g., F848; reeveland and thegnland are indexed), hunting (e.g., F692), and such types of persons as housecarls (e.g., F76, 796, 1200, 1207, 1951), soldiers (e.g., F2157), radmen (e.g., F699, 744, 1671), burgesses, goatherds (e.g., F635), and swineherds (e.g., F694, 1808). Only a few minor entries concerns thegns and only one concerns knights. A few life estates are mentioned under specific tenants, but what appears to be the general entry for them consists of the subheading ("length of grant or sale," itself divided into "for one life" and "for three lives") to the heading "specific terms of grants, leases, sales, etc." which is part of Subject index I.6 ("Granted"). This heading (pp. 512-13) is, indeed, as close to an index of types of tenure as the index ever gets, though it is quite a jumbled list and does not include references to feudal tenure. There are, moreover, no entries in the index for the omnipresent verbs "have" and "hold." Nor is there a general collection of all references to inheritance.
As the preceding example suggests, the organization of entries in the index is often baffling. Some matters are over-indexed. F1643, for example, is one of three entries under "arranged (constituit)"; it is also the sole entry under the sole subheading of "arranged," namely, "arrangement (constitutio)" and the sole entry under the sole subheading of "arrangement," namely, "of ancient times." (For all this see Subject index, I.1, p. 507.) F516 does not need to be in two consecutive entries ("added to manor" and "attached to manor") under "individuals or places holding rights to" hundreds and wapentakes (p. 522). There is an almost complete overlap between the subheading "redeemed from" in I.7 (p. 514) and the subheading "redeemed" in I.9 (p. 515). Every heading in the section "Proof" (V.9, p. 529) is also somewhere else in the index, with an almost identical list of references: "oath," "ordeal," "judicial battle" and "surety" are identical or almost identical to lists on pp. 524-25 (in V.3, "Oath, ordeal, pledge and surety"); "proved" and "proof" differ by only one entry from the same items on p. 526 (in V.4, "Other legal procedures and customs"); the whole complicated entry under "warranty" is identical to the same entry on p. 535 (in VII.6, "Warranty") down to the absence of a comma between the references under "no warrantor." Similarly, there are few differences between "seal," "writ," and "no writ" in VII.4 (p. 534) and the same listings in XI.1 (p. 547).
Elsewhere, items that ought to be together are separated. While "arrangement" appears as a subheading of "arranged," "concordia" (defined as "settlement") is separated by a dozen lines from "agreed (concordavit)" (p. 507). Entries under "restored, should be/ought to be" ought not to be separated from those under "should be/ought to be returned" (I.9, p. 515). On p. 508, ten entries under "calumnia" are six lines ahead of five entries under "in calumnia." Why is "homicide" a different listing from "killing"? (Both are in VIII.4, "Offenses," on p. 537.) Why, under "county" (in IX, "Testimony," on p. 541) is "all the" a different listing from "whole"?
Finally, some items are not always indexed, most conspicuously references to peasants in VI, "Legal transactions involving companions, lords, peasants, women, and families," where the heading "Peasants" is item 10, on pp. 531-32. It is quite understandable if entries here are deliberately not complete, for there are, of course, peasants throughout Domesday Book. I gave up, myself, on trying to add all the omitted references to freemen and sokemen. At the least, however, the user of the index should be warned that only select items are indexed in this section; and even so, there is inconsistency about what is included. Under "freemen," the subheading "killed at Battle of Hastings" (p. 532: too interesting to omit, I agree, though hardly a "legal transaction") consists of only one entry (F2685), but I noted two others (F658, 3061) plus one in which a freeman "died with [Harold] in battle," which certainly sounds like Hastings (F3212). F1289 certainly should be indexed under the "illegal activity" of "freemen"; and in F1521 a freeman sold land. These should be indexed under "sokemen": F806, where they paid customs; F808, where a sokeman served as the king's reeve; F837, where sokemen made claims. F1553 includes among the customs of the borough of Lewes what amounts to a tax on the sale of men. F3011 appears to refer to a burgess of Ipswich who is a slave. On other subjects, I found the listings notably incomplete for warranty and being (or not being) able to do what one likes with one's land.
To reiterate what I said earlier, the concept behind the subject index is creative. In theory, it might serve as a tool of analysis in itself. In practice, however, it does not work. Constructing the index this way is tantamount to doing the research for a book. I hope that Fleming will write that book; but for the purposes of the current book, a much simpler. more obvious index of subjects --in which the reader could have simply looked up "castle" under C or "oath" under O -- would have served better. As it stands, the reader has to guess where a subject will be indexed and cannot, short of reading the whole 42-page index, be sure that he or she has found all the references to a subject -- or, indeed, be sure that a subject is not indexed.
Given this enterprise's complexity, the typographical errors are remarkable for their rarity; but there are, inevitably, a few. I noticed the following that are of moment. In F472 and F815, the first TRW should be TRE. In F561 TRW should be TRE. In F911, the first TRE should be TRW. In the Latin phrase at the end of F900, qui needs to be inserted after regis. In F1074, line 3, "has" should be "have." In F1264, prosicuum should be proficuum. In F2181 (line 20), "messuage" should be "messuages." In F2608, "Edmund son of Payne" should be "Edmund fitz Payne," twice. In F2655 (line 2) and F2673 (line 2), "commendation" should be "commended." In F2708, "legate which" should be "legate who." In the last line of F2723, hund' needs to be added after teste. In the headings to F2765-68, "of" needs to be added before "which." In F2906 (line 6), Leofric Osgeat should be Leofric Snipe. In F3009 (line 2), the second "sokemen" should be "sokeman." In F3105 (line 2), "as a manor" needs to be added after Falkenham, and in line 3, "were" should be "was." On p. 454, under "Godwine," "brother of" should be "brothers of." On the same page, "Godwine, Earl" is italicized for no apparent reason. On p. 457, under "King Edward," 80-5 should be either 85 or 79-85. On p. 525, the entry "destrained" should be eliminated; "distrained," with the same reference, is in its correct alphabetical place. Under "(revocavit)" on p. 535, 1846 should be 1946 and 2996 should be 2995. Under "charters" on p. 547, 3500 should be 3000. Something is wrong with note 71 on p. 46, which reads, "See above, pp. 73-4." Unfortunately, pp. 73-4 below do not seem particularly relevant, but neither do 13-14, 23-24, 33-34 or 43-44 above.
No review of this book should end with a list of typographical errors, however. Instead, it should end on a note of celebration, for Fleming has produced a work whose analytical section provides food for much thought and whose calendar provides the material for the further consideration to which this valuable contribution to scholarship will inevitably lead.
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Emily Zack Tabuteau. Review of Fleming, Robin, Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England.
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