Saturday, August 5, 2006

If I had time today, I would...

Bee catching in the 11th century

If I had time today, I would spend hours delving into Domesday online, discovering curious facts about life in 11th century England, when William the Conquerer reigned and commissioned this masterpiece.

The Norfolk rag the EDP has already taken a peek and discovered a few treasures:

"It is an insight into a time when Yarmouth paid 12 pence in land tax to the king, when you might also pay taxes in honey and hawks, and woodland was classed by how many pigs it could feed. Written on 900 sheepskins using goose-feather quills, the book was commissioned in 1085 by William the Conqueror to help him decide how much to charge his subjects."

I didn't realise there were actually two books, the Great Domesday and Little Domesday, with the Little version covering the East Anglian counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. The entry for Norwich has the only bear in the Domesday book, which shows there was bear-baiting.

Did you know that if you killed a man in Chester on a Sunday and Holy days, you would be fined £4, but half that much on all other days. It obviously paid to keep your temper under control at those times. (I thought they were hanged in those days for murder!)

Instead of finding out more, I'm heading back to Burnham Market for a few more special memories.

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