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merchants who could supply him with cheap goods.1 It must have been the same in England. In any case it is quite clear that at one period every English town took on a military character. We may assume that this transformation which was to complete the constitution of towns clearly distinct from villages, took place in the time of Alfred. Until then the word burh denoted not a town, but a fortified house belonging to a king or a magnate.2 In the eighth century the urban settlements, old or new, with the exception perhaps of those which may have grown up around one of these fortified houses,' no longer had or never had any serious defence; so that the Danes, when they invaded eastern England in the ninth century, occupied the towns without resistance. By constructing military works for their own use they completed the lesson they were giving the English.

1. The formation of the town of Bruges is quite characteristic. It was, doubtless, the favourable geographical situation of the castle of the count, which caused the town to become a great commercial city instead of remaining an insignificant market town like so many of those which arose around castles (Cf. Pirenne, op. cit., Revue Historique, lvii, p. 65.) But there are many favourable sites to be met with where no town has ever been founded. It was the castle of Bruges which, to all appearance, determined the formation of the town; see the very typical passage from Jean le Long reproduced in Fagniez, Docum. relat. à l'Hist. de l'industrie et du commerce en France, 1898, i, No. 95: "Post hoc ad opus seu necessitates illorum de castello ceperunt ante portam ad pontem castelli confluere mercemanni, id est cariorum rerum mercatores, deinde tabernarii, deinde hospitarii pro victu et hospicio eorum qui negocia coram principe, qui ibidem sepe erat, prosequebantur, domus construere et hospicia preparare, ubi se recipiebant illi qui non poterant intra castellum hospitari; et erat verbum eorum: "Vadamus ad pontem": ubi tantum accreverunt habitaciones, ut statim fieret villa magna, que adhuc in vulgari suo nomen pontis habet, nempe Brugghe in eorum vulgari pontem sonat." True and M. Fagniez should have pointed this out to his readers-Jean le Long flourished in the fourteenth century; and, as Dom Brial observes (Historiens de France, xviii, p. 593), he is not always able to distinguish the false from the true in the sources he consults. But there is every reason to accept his account of the construction of the castle of Bruges by Baldwin 'Bras de fer,' count of Flanders, in the time of Charles the Bald, and consequently the tradition which he recounts concerning the foundation of the town deserves attention.

2. On the ancient significance of the word burh and the burh-bryce, see Maitland, Domesday Book, p. 183. On the manner in which the burhs were fortified, see Round, The Castles of the Norman Conquest, in Archaeologia, lviii, 1903.

Alfred (871-900) knew how to profit by it and created fortified places; and it is from his time that the word burh, instead of only denoting fortified houses, is also employed in the sense of town. We see in the AngloSaxon chronicle that the valiant warriors, the burh-ware, of Chichester and of London, contributed greatly to the success of the war against the Danes. Edward the Elder, son of Alfred (900-924) continued to found burhs.1 We understand henceforth why the documents tell us of cnihts dwelling in the towns, and why the first city gilds are cnihtengilds.

Mr. Maitland has thrown a flood of light upon this foundation of military towns, which occupy a special place in the county, bear the same name

The county towns

the county throughout the greater part of England,2 and in some cases are planted at its geographical centre. The strategic value of these new towns explains why some of them are so small; it is not commercial prosperity nor density of population that gives the latter the special institutions which distinguish them from villages which are sometimes much larger; it is the fact that they are fortified places.

Mr. Maitland goes further. He seeks to explain by purely military causes the differentiation which took place between the township and what he The "garrison calls the borough; on a study of Domesday theory' Book which is certainly ingenious and suggestive, he bases a hypothesis which has been called the garrison theory;" and he has been followed by another scholar, Mr. Ballard, who systematizes and exaggerates his theory.

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1. In 923, Manchester was fortified and occupied by a garrison, and this is the first mention which we have of that town (Tait, Medieval Manchester, pp. 1 sqq.).

2. The counties lying to the North of the Thames nearly all bear the name of their county-towns; for example Oxford-shire (see list of counties in Stubbs, i, p. 107). Upon this question, see Ballard, Domesday Boroughs, pp. 4 sqq.

Certain towns described in Domesday Book, these two scholars observe, are characterised by tenurial hetero

The passages on which it is founded

geneity, being composed of houses which belong, some (the majority) to the king, others to this or that Norman lord, lay or ecclesiastic; and these houses before the Conquest belonged, some to the king, others to some thegn or other. Thus at Oxford the burgenses and their houses or haws appertain in some cases to the king, in others to a prelate (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of Winchester, of Lincoln, of Hereford, of Bayeux, of Coutances, the Abbot of Abingdon, etc.), in others again to a Norman lord (the Count of Mortain, the Count of Evreux, Walter Giffard, etc.). Domesday affords evidence that this is not a Norman innovation, for it gives us a list of thegns of the county of Oxford who, before the Conquest, so held houses in the "borough" of Wallingford. Moreover, the possession of many of these houses was in direct relation with the possession of such and such a manor in the rural part of the county; indeed the Domesday compiler frequently mentions the manor instead of the lord, and indicates how many houses the manor has in the borough: for example, the manor of Doddington has five haws in Canterbury. It is specified that before the Conquest, tempore regis Edwardi," there were in Canterbury 259 houses thus attached to manors; and the rural estates possessing houses in Canterbury numbered thirteen. Not only houses but burgesses appertained to manors: eighty burgesses of Dunwich appertain to one of the manors of Ely, twenty-four burgesses of Leicester to the manor of Ansty, etc. These statements which puzzle the reader of Domesday, become intelligible and coherent, if we suppose that every town characterised by tenurial heterogeneity dated from the period at which the Danish invasion had to be repelled, that it was originally essentially a military post, and that its

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Mural houses

garrison and the upkeep of its ramparts were the concern of the whole county. We can understand then why, side by side with ordinary houses, there are houses which are appurtenances of rural estates, and why, at Oxford, these houses bear the name of mansiones murales, and are burdened with the special charge of maintaining the fortifications of the town.1 Freemen are in fact subject to the trinoda necessitas, the triple duty of repairing bridges, serving in war, and maintaining fortifications; the great rural proprietors who wish to acquit themselves of this last obligation without displacing their men, have a house in the town, furnished with burgenses, who when the king gives the order, will put in a state of defence the part of the ramparts the care of which is their charge. Many of the burgenses, moreover, are warriors, cnihts, and are maintained by the king and the great proprietors of the surrounding countryside: in this way is to be explained the mention in Domesday of burgenses attached to such and such a rural manor. In short, the primitive “borough" is essentially a fortress kept in a state of defence by the inhabitants of the county.

Decay of the system. The homogeneous boroughs

Later, at the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, the military spirit in the borough became enfeebled, a fact which explains the relative ease of the Norman Conquest and the difficulty which we have in reconstituting the real character of the earliest towns. In addition there grew up on the royal demesne, or upon the estates of powerful men, urban groups which obtained tardily, perhaps subsequently to the Conquest, the privileges which the simple townships did not enjoy. These are the homogeneous 'boroughs,' which are dependent on a single lord; for example, Steyning, which belongs to the Abbot of Fécamp, and whose

1. The service of burh-bot and the custom of Oxford are noted by Stubbs, op. cit. i, p. 102, note 4.

burgesses are all the Abbot of Fécamp's men.


the real 'borough,' the primitive burgus, is that which, at the date of Domesday Book, is still dependent on numerous lords.1

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This theory is confronted unfortunately by unsurmountable objections.2 If the inhabitants of a county ought to contribute to the upkeep Objections of the ramparts and of the garrison of a particular "borough," and if it is thus that we must explain the mention of houses and burgesses appurtenant to rural manors, how comes it that Domesday Book speaks of houses appurtenant to manors which are not situated in the same county as the "borough" in which these houses stand? Why is it impossible to establish a proportion between the number of burgesses furnished by a manor and the extent of that manor, and how is the fact to be explained that a single manor of the Church of Ely maintains eighty burgesses at Dunwich? 3 Why are there so many manors exempt from the burden of maintenance, why are there only three which have duties towards the town of Chester? Moreover, the peculiarities of Domesday Book, which

1. Mr. Maitland (Domesday Book and Beyond, pp. 176 sqq.) only considers specially characteristic the boroughs described in Domesday at the beginning of their county, apart from the general arrangement of fiefs, and so to speak in direct relation with the county itself. It is these that he calls county towns, and Mr. Ballard (Domesday Boroughs, p. 5) calls county boroughs. But according to Mr. Ballard (p. 43) there are other "boroughs" (he gives them the queer name of quasi county boroughs) which are not separately described at the beginning of the county, and which yet ought, from the point of view which he is taking, to be classed with the first category; the difference which separates them is of a fiscal nature, and does not directly concern the "garrison theory."

2. See the reviews of Domesday Book and Beyond by J. Tait, and of Ballard's work by Miss Mary Bateson, in the English Historical Review, xii, 1897, pp. 772 sqq. and xx, 1905, pp. 144 sqq. Cf. Round, in Victoria History of Surrey, i, 1902, pp. 285-286; Hertfordshire, i, 1902, p. 295; Essex, i, 1903, p. 385; Berkshire, i, 1906, pp. 310 sqq. Mr. Round more particularly corrects the mistakes of Mr. Ballard.

3. Dunwich, moreover, is simply described as a manor, manerium, in Domesday Book. But Mr. Ballard inserts in his list of "boroughs," all the localities to which Domesday Book attributes burgenses, and applies the garrison-theory to all of them.


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