At first Medieval Postgrad Forum of 2017, Lois Lane (History, King’s) gave us a detailed insight into the Exon Domesday project that she has been involved with. The project is funded by the AHRC (2014-2017) and is a collaboration between scholars from the King’s College London, the University of Oxford, and the Friends and Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral.
The Exon Domesday is a detailed register of the lands, properties, and subjects of the South West region of England, put together for William the Conqueror as part of his Domesday survey project.
Until this project, the details, intrigue, and stories held in the manuscript – MS 3500 in the Exeter Cathedral Library – have been inaccessible to most. There’s no published translation available, and the only edition (in Latin) was compiled in the eighteenth century, long before we had many of the historical and palaeographical insights now available to us.
Lois’ PhD project has a particular focus on the role of Bishops in the Domesday survey. By analysing the type of information collected, how it is presented, and whether any corrections were made in the writing process, Lois explained how she can get a sense of the political roles played by Bishops, and differences between the political clout and interests of sheriffs and members of the church. Studying the type of information collected, as well as linguistic oddities or variance in spelling, also offers clues as to the origins of the scribes, the administrative interests of William and his allies, and can give us an insight into the writing and documenting cultures of church and state authorities in the eleventh century.
Keen Domesday scholars will have to wait a little longer until the Exon Domesday – a marvel of administrative power put together in just a few short months – in all its manuscript, transcription, and translated glory will be available. Have a browse around the project blog in the meantime!
Fran – MRG co-organiser
Full forum schedule Spring 2017
2nd Feb – Fran Allfrey (English, Anglo-Saxon poetry, objects, and place, and contemporary museums)
16th Feb – Get in touch if you would like to present (see below)
2nd March – Manuel Garcia Munoz (History, ‘Matthew Paris and his collaborators: scribes at St Albans’ scriptorium (1230-1259))’
16th March – Anais Waag (History, on 13th century queenship)
30th March – Harriet Cook (Spanish, representations of masculinity in medieval Galician-Portuguese love lyric)
We especially would welcome MA students to propose ideas for sessions. You may want to practice a paper for a conference, or present initial dissertation ideas, using the group as a ‘sounding board’ to pose questions and develop your thinking. Two to three MA students may present during the same session.