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A History of Tilbury

Research by John Tilbury of Nottingham

The DOMESDAY BOOK is a record of the survey of England carried out by the officials of William the Conqueror (1066-1087) in 1086 in order to assess land tax and other dues, to ascertain the value of crown lands. It also enabled the King to estimate the power of his vassal barons. The name is derived from the belief that its judgement was as final as 'doomsday'.

The reference 'King Edwards time' is to Edward the Confessor (1042-1066). The 'Domesday Map' shows the area which is now East and West Tilbury, etc., as Tiliberia.

BORDAR: A villein of the lowest rank who did menial work in return for a cottage. Held at the will of his lord.
MANOR: The basic economic unit in feudal Europe, established in England under the Norman conquest, comprising the lord's house, cultivated land, land rented out to free tenants, land held by villagers, common land, woodland and wasteland.
VILLEIN: A 'free' peasant who gave dues and services to his lord in exchange for land.
DEMESNE: Land kept in the lord's possession and not leased out. Worked by villeins and serfs to supply the lord's household.
SERF: Could not be bought & sold like slaves but not free to leave the lord's estate without his permission. Had to work the demesne in return for land which the serf worked for own support. Had to pay part of their own produce to the lord. Bonded to the land and transferred with it to new owners.
ROUNCEY: A riding horse.
PLOUGH: A team of (usually 8) oxen used to plough.
HIDE: Roughly 100 acres.

TILIBERIA - Which was held by Sueting, a free man, in King Edwards time, as 30 acres, is held of William by Ranulf. Then as now 1 bordar, pasture for 40 sheep, 1 acre of meadow. It was worth 7 shillings, now 14.

TILIBERIA - Which was held by a free man as a manor and as 45 acres in King Edwards time, is held of Thierri by Hunald. Then as now half a plough and one bordar and 4 acres of meadow and pasture for 40 sheep. Then worth 7 shillings, now 8.

TILIBERIA - Which was held in King Edwards time by Alvric the priest, a free man, as 1 manor and 2 hides, is held of Suen by 2 Frenchmen, Osbern and Ralf. Then as now 2 ploughs on the demesne, and 4 ploughs belonging to the men, and 1 villein and 11 bordars and 2 serfs and 4 hides of wood. There is pasture for 300 sheep and one fishery. Then 1 rouncey and 60 sheep. Now 1 rouncey and 12 colts and 31 beasts, 9 swine and 260 sheep. Then worth 8 pounds, now 100 shillings.


TILIBERIA - Which was held by a free man as a manor and as 1 hide and 38 acres in King Edwards time, is held by Thiel in demesne. Then as now 3 ploughs on the demesne and one plough belonging to the men, and 5 villeins and one bordar and 6 serfs. Woodland for 20 swine, 19 acres of meadow. Then 15 beasts and 40 swine, 80 sheep and 6 hives of bees. Now 5 beasts and one rouncey and 36 swine and 63 sheep. Then and afterwards it was worth 60 shillings, now 100.


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