Tax Assessments for the Geld

John McDonald and G. D. Snooks

in Domesday Economy

Published in print July 1986 | ISBN: 9780198285243
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596636 | DOI:
 Tax Assessments for the Geld

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‘Tax assessments for the geld’ is concerned with whether the national tax called danegeld was arbitrarily imposed on the population as claimed by conventional wisdom. While arbitrary taxes—taxes that bear no systematic relationship to the capacity to pay—lead to revolts, the geld lasted about two centuries. By computerizing the DB data for Essex and Wiltshire, it was possible to statistically test, for both 1066 and 1086, the relationship between Domesday tax assessments on the one hand, and both (but separately) the income and total resources of lay and ecclesiastical manors on the other. Contrary to traditional wisdom, the results show that the geld was not arbitrary—a sign of rational government. Other historical issues are also clarified.

Keywords: 1066; 1086; danegeld; Essex; income; resources; taxation; Wiltshire

Chapter.  12455 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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