11. DOOMS OF EDGAR (946-63)
I. This is the ordinance as to how the hundred [court] shall be
1. In the first place, [we command] that they shall assemble
every four weeks and that all shall [there] give one another justice.
2. [We also command] that men shall ride forth in pursuit of thieves. If
there is pressing need, notice shall be given to the hundred-man, and he shall
then inform the tithingmen; and they shall all go forth, whither
God may direct them, to find [the criminals]. Justice is to be done to the
thief as already ordained by [King] Edmund. And the ceapgyld
shall be paid to the owner, and the rest [of the thief's property] shall be
divided in two, half to the hundred and half to the lord — except the men
[who belong to the thief]; they shall go to his lord.
3. And any one who disobeys this [command] and scorns the judgment of
the hundred, should his guilt be later determined, shall pay to the hundred
30d., and for the second offence 60d., half to the hundred and
half to his lord. If he does it a third time, he shall pay half a pound; on the
fourth offence he shall forfeit all that he has and be outlawed, unless the
king shall permit him [to stay in] the land.
4. And we have provided with regard to strange cattle that no one shall
keep [any], unless he has the witness of the hundredman or the tithingman and
such person is eminently trustworthy. And unless he has one of these [as
witness], he shall not be permitted to vouch to warranty.
5. We have also provided that, if a trail of lost cattle leads from one
hundred into another, notice shall be given to the hundredman of the latter,
and that he shall then join [in the search]. If he fails to do so, he shall pay
the king 30s....
7. In the hundred, as in [any] other court, we will that folkrighl shall
be enforced in every suit and that a day shall be set for trying it. And he who
fails to appear on this day, unless his absence is caused by a command from his
lord, shall pay the king 30s. compensation and on a [newly] set day do
what he should have done before.
III, 2. And no one shall appeal to the king on account of any suit
unless he has failed to obtain justice at home. If [however] the
law is too severe, he may seek mitigation from the king. And no one shall
forfeit more than his wergeld for any offence that can be paid for in
3. And a doomsman who renders an evil doom against any one
shall pay 120s. compensation to the king, unless he can prove by oath
that he acted according to the best of his knowledge; and he shall lose forever
his rank of thegn, unless he buys it back from the king by whatever payment the
latter will allow. And the shire bishop (scire biscop) may exact the
compensation on behalf of the king....
5. And the hundred court shall be attended as has already been provided.
And the borough court (burhgemot) shall be held three times a year and
the shire court (scirgemot) twice. And the shire bishop and
the alderman shall be present and shall there administer both ecclesiastical
and secular law (Godes riht ge worldriht)....
8. And one coinage shall have currency throughout all the king's realm
and no one shall refuse it. And there shall be [as a standard] one measure (and
one weight), as used (at London and) at Winchester. ...
IV, 3. My will is then that every one, in borough or out of borough,
shall be under surety. And witnesses shall be chosen for every borough and for
every hundred: for every [great] borough thirty-six men shall be chosen as
witnesses; for a small borough and for every hundred twelve — unless you
wish [to have] more. ...
6. And under their witness every one shall buy and sell all the goods
that he buys and sells either in a borough or in a wapentake.[10 ]And
each of them, when he is first chosen as a witness, shall swear an oath that
neither for fee nor for love, nor through fear, will he ever deny anything of
which he is a witness or [will he ever] testify to anything but what he has
seen or heard. And two or three of the men thus put on oath shall be present as
witnesses at every transaction.
7. And he who rides out for the sake of any purchase shall announce to
his neighbours what he is going for; and as soon as he comes home, he shall
also announce under whose witness he made his purchase.
8. But if, while on some journey, he makes an unexpected purchase,
without having made announcement [of it] when he set out,, let him announce it
when he comes home; and if it is livestock, he shall put it on the common
pasture with the witness of his fellow villagers. If he does not
do so within five nights, the villagers (tunes men) shall notify the
hundredman and shall [thereby] escape punishment, either for themselves or for
their herdsmen. And he who brought the livestock there shall lose it, because
he failed to notify his neighbours of it; and the lord of the land
(landrica) shall take half and the hundred half.
(Anglo-Saxon) Ibid., I, 192 f.
 The suitors to the court; cf. Edward, II, 8 (above, p.
 The hundredman was the royal official in charge of a
hundred; by analogy, the tithing may be understood as a subdivision of the
hundred and the tithingman as its head. In this respect, however, the dooms are
very obscure. See below, p. 23, n. 6.
 The value of the stolen property; cf. angyld (above,
p. 8, n. 12).
 That is to say, only the designated persons could be called
on to warrant his lawful possession; see above, p. 4, n. 3.
 In the hundred court; cf. Canute, II, 17 (below, p.
 See above, p. 4, n. 5. The provision that the bishop could
exact the compensation would indicate the alderman or the reeve as a possible
offender. Cf. art. s, below.
 This is the earliest specific mention of either the borough
court or the shire court, both of which appear to have been courts of superior
jurisdiction. Whether such a court was called burhgemot or
scirgemot, and whether it met twice or three times a year, were perhaps
matters of secondary importance. For evidence that at this time the shire was a
comparatively large district, see Aethelred, II, 8 (below, p. 20). And on the
controversial subject of the borough court, see C. Stephenson, Borough and
Town, pp. 64-70; Tait, The Medieval English Borough, ch. ii.
 The phrases in parentheses are additions to the original
text. The insertion' of London proves the growing importance of that city as a
commercial centre in the eleventh century.
 Cf. Aethelstan, V, 1 (above, p. 15), which set up a select
group of oath-helpers in the district later called the hundred. Note that such
an oath-helper was often styled a witness and that a witness to a purchase
served as an oath-helper when vouched to warranty; see the oaths under no. 14,
 A name by which the hundred was often known in Danish
Tunescipe, our "township." This is the sole
appearance of the word in the dooms; see Maitland, Domesday Book and
Beyond, p. 147.