Is the Domesday Book a one-off census in the wake of the Norman conquest? One can imagine that William wanted an accurate feudal picture of his new kingdom but was it the norm? Did other dukes and kings in Europe have similar records of their realms? Did any such book survive?


The Domesday Book was exceptional in its time period, both for having been done to begin with and for its magnitude.

Regular and systematic censuses weren't a thing until - depending on the country - the industrial revolution was around the corner or in full motion. For instance, France conducted its first modern census under Napoleon in 1801.


"Equivalence" to the Domesday Book is somehow a rather elastic condition but there are other documents with the purpose of giving "an accurate feudal picture" of kingdoms. In fact, the purpose was to assess the monarch's rights in order to manage them.

In Catalonia we have the liber feudorum maior, which is not a census but a compilation of the count's rights and the documents supporting those rights. Like the Domesday Book it is a feudal picture of the country and an indispensable source for the study of its time.

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