A page from Domesday Book, the survey of lands which was drawn up on the orders of William the Conqueror in 1086

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A page from Domesday Book, the survey of lands which was drawn up on the orders of William the Conqueror in 1086.  The page begins with the lands of William de Warenne and the entry for the Borough of Lewes. 

(The National Archives and Alecto)

 

The entry translates as follows :

 

THE BOROUGH OF LEWES TRE [in the time of King Edwards] rendered 6l4s1 ½d from rents and from tolls. There King Edward had127 burgesses in demesne. Their custom was, if the king wished to send his men to patrol the sea without him, they collected from all the men, whosesoever land it was, 20s , and those who were in charge of the arms in the ships had those.

 

Whoever sells a horse in the borough gives to the reeve 1d and the buyer [gives] another; for an ox ½d ; for a man, wherever he may buy him within the rape, 4d. A man who sheds blood pays a fine of 7s4d. A man who commits adultery or rape pays a fine of 8s4d , and a woman as much. The king has [the penalty from] the adulterous man, the archbishop [from] the woman.

 

From a fugitive, if he is retaken, 8s4d.

 

When the mint is renewed, each moneyer gives 20s.

 

Of all these, 2 parts were the king's and the third the earl's.

 

Now the borough renders in all [as much] as [it did] then and 38s in addition.

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