Domesday Book

Domesday Book, Smithsonian magazine [Volume 17, Number 6 Sept. 1986] Letters.

“In the good old days of the Domesday Book, a ‘doom’ was a judgment in a legal matter. The judgment day from which the book’s title derives was the day on which the property ownerships noted in the book were decided, as well as recorded. The Officers of the King who rode circuit to compile the information also judged any disputes, of which there were many. Their appearance at each place was its judgment day. We derive all our legal notions about the importance of record from the Domesday Book, our first record and the first time the King of England went on the record for posterity. Readers with a philological bent will enjoy looking up ‘domesday’ and ‘doom’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.”