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Flashcards in Life under the Normans 1 Deck (26):

What was the problem with the Anglo-Saxon system of earldoms?

The king gave his earls far too much land which made them powerful, allowing them to sometimes threaten the king's power - eg. Godwin, Earl of Wessex


How did William change the feudal system to his advantage?

Replaced the anglo-saxons with normans, giving him more power and making the peasants more exploited


Feudal system - how was the Norman feudal system more formal than the Anglo-Saxons'?

The normans had knights which guaranteed a certain number of days service (anglo-saxons raised armies from their tenants as they were needed - this continued but knights were easier to have)


Feudal system - what was William successful in doing in terms of patronage?

He managed to increase his control over tenants by charging fees when they died, controlling the marriages of tenants' widows and redistributing lands where there was no male heir. This increased the king's power of patronage


Feudal system - what was William successful in doing in terms of land?

He managed to concentrate on land holding by reducing the amount of english thegns that held land.
there was 4000 in a-s england, and then only 4 by the time it was 1084


Military control - why was a reliable supply of soldiers essential for William?

He could call on his knights to put down rebellions, carry out military campaigns and to garrison castles


Why was wales harder for William to control?

- There were 5 kingdoms, each ruled by a warrior prince
- Wales wasn't a united country which made it difficult for William to conquer it like he had with England


What were the marcher lords?

They were William's most trusted followers that he gave land to in the borders between Wales and England


What powers did the marcher lords have?

They were able to make their own laws in their area and kept their own armies. They also built castles without the king's permission


What was the purpose of royal forests?

Hunting and entertainment for the king and his close friends


Penalty of breaking the forest law



Who hated the forest law?

Rich and poor people


Why did rich people hate the forest law?

It deprived them of hunting for sport; it was only open for the king. the rich didn't like William anyways because they were mostly Anglo-Saxon


Why did the poor hate the forest law?

They lost their source of food and income as well as crop space. They needed the forests as it was their source of survival


What were two ways in which William controlled Scotland?

- Treaty of Abernathy, 1072:
Malcolm III of Scotland swore fealty to William. For much of this period the Scottish leaders acted as client kings to the Normans
- The bishop of Durham also stopped any Scottish threats


What was the Witan?

Members of the national council in England advising the king before the Norman Conquest. The council consisted of nobles


What was Curia Regis?

The king's Great Council: the king would invite their leading subjects and listen/take their advice


What were signs of a good king in medieval times?

If they were a good warrior, just, pious and generous


Why were shires an efficient system?

Each shire had an effective capital where justice and the payment of taxes were organised.


What were shires split up into?

Hundreds or wapentakes


Why were Anglo-Saxon sheriffs gradually replaced by normans?

They needed to be loyal to the king in order for him to maintain control over England


What was the order of the legal system?

The king's court
Shire courts
Hundred courts
Lord's court
Manor courts


What court was introduced by the Normans?

Lord's court/honourial court


Why was the support of the church important to William?

It gave the king legitimacy because it showed that God was on his side. the church was also a major landowner


What was the Domesday Survey?

A survey of all the property and resourced in England. it was an important part of Norman control


Why was the Domesday Survey carried out in 1085?

England had another threat of invasion from the vikings and the Count of Flanders so William brought over soldiers. He needed money to pay and provide for them as well as raise large sums of money in order to be prepared