By Sandra Raban

This can be the 1st entire examine of the 1279-80 hundred rolls, the most vital resources for later 13th century England. Raban places the rolls of their ancient context, appears to be like on the method during which the inquiry used to be performed and questions even if it was once conceived as a moment Domesday. in keeping with the most recent wisdom of the returns, it will be an integral operating instrument for historians.

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It is the resulting surveys which invite comparisons with Domesday Book and raise questions as to the motives of the crown in commissioning such an ambitious undertaking. Ink continues to be spilt over the purpose of the 1086 survey and how far Domesday Book itself was part of the original plan. The reasons for collecting the information recorded in the 1279–80 hundred rolls are equally, if not more, elusive. It is fortunate that the initial commission survives, although it does not throw much light on the question.

Bémont (Paris, 1914), p. xlvi; Prestwich, Edward I, 72; Foedera, i /1. 481. 55 Gascon Register A, ed. G. P. Cuttino, 3 vols. (British Academy, London, 1975–6), i, pp. xii–xiii. 56 Many of the texts are abbreviated and corrupt. The transcriptions are only in approximate chronological and geographical order, being grouped according to the notary public who was responsible for drawing them up. Miscellaneous documents dating from earlier in the thirteenth century, and unconnected business belonging to 1273–4, also lie scattered among them.

The aim of the January inquiry was to check on rights attaching to the royal demesne under the previous monarch. Neither a wider pursuit of regalian rights nor the pursuit of corrupt officials was envisaged. 31 Action to ascertain 28 Cal. Pat. 1272–81, 65. , Worcs. 29 RH ii. 118–24, 220, 223–4. In the Rec. Comm. edn. the returns for Hants. from the January inquiry are not distinguished from those commissioned later in the year. ) in Sothwick is misdated. The head of the roll is damaged, but since it was held before Yatingden and Taunton, there can be no doubt that it belongs to the earlier of the two investigations.

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