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Crown and community in Essex, c.1066-1189.

Titterington, David (2000) Crown and community in Essex, c.1066-1189. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94694) (KAR id:94694)

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This work explores the development of the Anglo-Norman landed community in Essex and analyses the role of the Crown in the county's contemporary affairs. It covers a period of conquest, settlement, civil war and strengthening royal government.

The assessment of the role of the Crown primarily focuses upon the relationship between the king and local landowners. It also concentrates on the maintenance and extension of royal rights, the exploitation of royal justice and forest law, the promotion and retention of peace in the county, and the development and use of royal demesne.

Analysis of a community relies upon defining a local group, proving their interest in a locale and subsequently demonstrating community-linked behaviour. Such proof relies upon the use of a number of indices, some of which are drawn from later concepts of County Communities (such as participation in local government and collective identity). Other factors owe their origin to wider anthropological theories (e.g. local custom, familial ties and frequent contact between subjects).

The thesis makes use of the principal primary sources for the period (Domesday, Cartae Baronum, monastic chronicles, the Pipe Rolls and extant royal, baronial and ecclesiastical acta). Owing to the greater number of surviving primary documents after 1135, it is easier to assess community ties after that date. A wide range of secondary sources also exists, many of which have been utilised and, in some cases, expanded upon.

This research has demonstrated that a community was evident among both the tenants-in-chief and sub-tenants of Essex from the reign of William I and that it advanced during the century that followed his death. This was partially due to the immense tenurial stability of the county at that time. It also shows that royal influence in the county was at a consistently high level, where the Crown normally had more land in Essex than any other individual. This ensured that Essex was one of the most peaceful and prosperous English counties between the accession of William the Conqueror and the death of Henry II.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94694
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: History; Essex
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2022 10:44 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 10:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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