Hundred Rolls

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The Hundred Rolls are a census of England and parts of what is now Wales taken in the late thirteenth century. Often considered an attempt to produce a second Domesday Book, they are named after the hundreds by which most returns were recorded.

The Rolls include a survey of royal privileges taken in 1255, and the better known surveys of liberties and land ownership, taken in 1274–5 and 1279–80, respectively. The two main enquiries were commissioned by Edward I of England to record the adult population for judicial and taxation purposes. They also specify the services due from tenants to lords under the feudal system of the time.

Many of the Rolls have been lost and others have been damaged, but a minority survive and are stored at the National Archives in Kew. Where they survive, they are a major source for the period. Those known in the early nineteenth century were published by the Record Commission in 1812–18, while more recent discoveries are being collated by the University of Sheffield.


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