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Title: Danegeld : the land tax in England, 991-1162
Author: Cohen, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 2450 1721
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the genesis and development of the English land tax, commonly known as geld or Danegeld, from 991 until 1162. The thesis begins with an analysis of tribute money (gafol) paid by King Æthelred to Viking invaders, and the evolution of that tax into heregeld, an annual tax paid to maintain a standing Scandinavian fleet. It examines the feasibility of paying large tributes, given the size of the English economy and availability of silver coin. The thesis then moves on to show how, although Edward the Confessor abolished heregeld in 1051, land taxation continued right up until 1066 to serve other purposes. One of William the Conqueror's first acts as king was to levy geld, and he probably continued to do so in every year of his reign. The thesis extensively examines some of the rich sources of his reign, most especially Domesday Book and its 'satellite' texts. William Rufus and Henry I followed in their father's footsteps, probably levying gelds of 2s per hide in most years, helping finance numerous wars against their brother Duke Robert of Normandy. The Pipe Roll of Henry I is our single most detailed source about the tax on a national basis; this receives a close examination especially regarding the nature of exemption. King Stephen appears to have continued levying Danegeld, as it was invariably called by this point, in the areas in which he had control during the Anarchy. Henry II only levied Danegeld twice, as other taxes and feudal sources of income gradually became more important as the twelfth century progressed. After aborted attempts to revive and reform the land tax system in the reigns of Richard, John and Henry III, the land tax was abandoned for good.
Supervisor: Baxter, Stephen Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Taxation ; Middle Ages ; History