Liber Exoniensis

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Liber Exoniensis
Exon Domesday, Exeter Domesday
Manuscript(s)Exeter Cathedral Library, MS 3500, arranged and rebound in 1816
Length552 folios, single column

The Liber Exoniensis or Exon Domesday is a composite land and tax register associated with the Domesday Survey of 1086, covering much of Southwest England. It contains a variety of administrative materials concerning the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. The sole surviving copy is MS 3500 in the Exeter Cathedral Library.[1]


The leaves may have been rearranged and rebound in 1816, when the first edition of the volume appeared in print. The original arrangement of the quires cannot be recovered. Five principal types of records can be distinguished:[1]

  1. The greater part consists of records obtained from the returns of the Domesday Inquest, covering Somerset, Cornwall, Devon (incomplete), Dorset (incomplete) and one entry for Wiltshire. Most entries have identical counterparts in Great Domesday. However, while the Great Domesday entries are organised county by county, Exon has them arranged by landholder.[1]
  2. Summary accounts of geld, a form of public tax assessed on the hide. Three (A, B and C) are for Wiltshire, while single summaries are included for Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. For every hundred, the total number of hides is given, and of these, the number of hides that owed geld and those that did not because they were held in demesne by the king or his barons. The text ascribes the collection of geld to an inquisitio geldi (Geld Inquest), which was undertaken around the time of the Inquest, probably in 1086.[1]
  3. Terre Occupate (or Terrae Occupatae), i.e., lists of lands in Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall that were appropriated, e.g., by illegal means.[1]
  4. Two lists of hundreds in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.[1]
  5. Summaries of fees held by individual tenants-in-chief as well as an index-list of 26 fees.[1]
folios summary comment
1–3v Wiltshire geld account A latest revision
7–9v Wiltshire geld account B
11–12v Dorset boroughs
13–16v Wiltshire geld account C
17–24 Dorset geld account, Summary
25–62v Dorset Domesday: 12 fees in Dorset, 1 in Wiltshire (f. 47)
63–64v Two lists of the hundreds in Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset
65–71 Devon geld account
72–73 Cornwall geld account
75–82v Somerset geld account (part)
83–494v Exeter Domesday: fees in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
495–506v Terre Occupate in Devon
507–508v Terre Occupate in Cornwall
508v–525 Terre Occupate in Somerset
526–527v Somerset geld account (small part only)
527v–531 Accounts of some fees
532–532v Index listing 26 fees and headings [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Roffe, Domesday: The Inquest and the Book, pp. 94-8.


dsd*Roffe, David (2000). Domesday: The Inquest and the Book. Cambridge.

sadas*Ellis, Henry, ed. (1816). Libri Censualis, vocati Domesday Book, Additamenta ex Codic. Antiquiss. Exon Domesday; Inquisitio Eliensis; Liber Winton; Boldon Book. London: Record Commission.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Finn, Rex Welldon (1964). Domesday Studies: The Liber Exoniensis. London.
  • Finn, Rex Welldon (1958–59). "The Exeter Domesday and its Construction". Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 41: 360–87.
  • Finn, Rex Welldon (1957). "The Immediate Sources of the Exchequer Domesday". Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 40: 47–78.
  • Galbraith, V. H. (1961). The Making of Domesday Book. Oxford.
  • Webber, T. (1989). Beal, Peter; Griffiths, J. (eds.). "Salisbury and the Exon Domesday: Some Observations Concerning the Origins of Exeter Cathedral MS 3500". English Manuscript Studies, 1100–1700. Oxford. 1: 1–18.