Thursday, January 30, 2014

England Under The Norman and Angevin Kings 1075-1225

Say what?  Angevin Kings?   England under Angevin Kings?  The Norman name is well known...but Angevin?

Well here it is.  A broader view of the early English world.  A book by Robert Bartlett entitled none other than "England Under The Norman and Angevin Kings 1075 - 1225".

According to Bartlett (p. 22), "The territorial realignment of the years 1150 - 4 was one of the most sudden and far-reaching ever to affect the political map of twelfth-century Europe."  England and the wider world is the theme under the Norman conquest and the rulers that were to follow. [William I to Henry III]

It is a hefty book, some 772 pages.  It serves well as a reference, but is easy reading on a variety of significant subjects that dealt with the world of what was to become England.  Chapter topics include:

 1. Political Patterns
 2. England and Beyond
 3. Lordship And Government
 4. The Aristorcracy
 5. Warfare
 6. The Rural Foundations
 7. Towns and Trade
 8. The Institutional Chruch
 9. Religious Life
10. Cultural Patterns
11. The Course of Life
12. Cosmologies

For the genealogist it deals with "Naming Patterns" (p. 535) during this period of English life.  A good topic for those who are tree climbing out these branches.

This text appears to be part of "The New Oxford History of England", Clarendon Press, Oxford,  first published 2000.  General Editor, J.M. Roberts.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Domesday Book

Hostile takeovers can be a messy thing.  The chief executive officer, operating officers, along with the board of directors, can make a number of changes to the new acquisition.  A complete inventory is often necessary to understand the holdings and materials contained within.

It was William I [chief executive officer] who wanted to "inventory" his new "acquisition".  It was certainly a "hostile takeover", and things were getting quite complication by 1086.  The Anglo-Saxons had organized their holdings into shires and the like [an existing administrative system] and things like resources, raising money, laws, customs, and taxes were getting out of hand.  It was Christmas 1086 that William had enough of this and ordered high-ranking and trusted men [operating officers] to scatter about and collect a host of data about this new acquisition of 1066.  Within two years this "inventory" was put together and came to be called "The Domesday Book".

A useful text, edited by Thomas Hinde, is an excellent way to begin to understanding this unique book of English history.

For the genealogist, this gives in one source, an alphabetical listing of the English counties involved in the Domesday book. It gives the land holders (a kind of census) and much of the context of the data obtained.  This list the names of the shires and who was responsible for the land which surrounded each.  There is a list of the major Domesday landholders, and a historical summary of each county.

For me, it was helpful in understanding the context of my own families connections during this hostile takeover.  [Even found documentation of my own family in the Shropshire area!]  Lots of fun it is.

The book is titled: The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now.  Editor: Thomas Hinde, Hutchinson, 1985. [ISBN 09 161830 4]