The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066.
The first draft of the Domesday Book was completed in 1086, twenty years after the defeat of the Anglo-Saxons by the Normans. It was written up by one man, it is believed it took him 12 months to write. The book contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees which was the border of Scotland at the time.
1086 was a terrible year in Britain with torrential rain, cold and famine ruining wheat and fruit crops. People were already living a miserable existence in medieval England and, too many, the appearance of the King's Commissioners asking them to explain what they owned was the final straw. Many people would have dreaded their arrival.
When the Commissioners in a village or town arrived, they selected a jury which included people such as the village priest and reeve (the Lord of the Manor's trusted official who lived there permanently). They were selected because the Commissioners spoke French or Latin but the local people spoke Saxon English so they needed people who could understand both languages. The jury had to decide whether or not the local people were telling the truth about their land and animals.
There were 102 places in the hundred of Guthlaxton in Domesday Book, Hinckley was one of them. Hinckley would later become part of the hundred of Sparkenhoe.
Guthlaxton was a hundred of Leicestershire.
|Hinckley in the Domesday Book.|