Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269106337

From: peter spencer <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] English genealogy--Waste in Yorkshire
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 12:32:17 -0500
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In-Reply-To: <>

The greater part of those limiting the scope of extirpation, in fairness,
also tend to be Yorkshire/northumbrian fellows who do want to establish a
familial presence in continuity beyond the Norman period, for a variety of

This is a new topic on the list, but far from a new topic in English
historical circles..

The underlying fact that most addressing this issue fail to understand, is
that in the time of William, there are multiple claimants to the throne of
england,..almost ALL OR WHOM had a more legitimate claim that did William.
Also, as importantly, the North in recent memory at that time, was often
not actually controlled by English law as a inseparable 'part' or england.
There was no precedent in the history of the times for such disputing
claimants to permanently desist from attempting to enforce their claim, and
the public at large, particularly in the (relative) populous locales of the
North had often preexisting loyalties to claimants from Scandinavia proper..
these claimants had larger and possibly even more aggressive population
resources to draw upon to invade the North with what would likely be
significantly more population support than William could hope for after
suppressing the combined rebellion.

The question that no one can really answer but must be asked is.. William
was perfectly happy to lose significant forces battling for basically sport
against neighboring feudal states in france, and did not respond to these
loses by wiping out the entire civilian population or attempting as much-
A case can be made that any of these rival states in combination could as
well have placed William in danger of being overrun at any time. Yet, no
attempt at extirpation-

My theory- William upon that sack of York made a private decision that later
fell against the advice of his own horrified clergy, his advisors, and even
his men, for whom the loss of the local garrisons of a few hundred men was
not terribly significant, and actually increased their own potential shares
of spoils-
Williams true motivation, which in that era could almost certainly mean
death to pronounce was;

that he fully expected particularly scandinavian claimants to the throne of
england to persist in militarily enforcing their BETTER ancestral/familial
claim to the English throne, than Williams' very tenuous Oral claim to the
throne. Stamford bridge was only weeks prior to Williams landing, and he
had to strategize that it would not be the last expeditionary force to

In essence, William was denuding the landscape of both forage for any
ensuing expedition to challenge his
overstretched forces, and the kinship basis for such a claim to be

(the longstanding norwegian and danish settled element resident there at the
time, and its familiarity and
comfort with the scandivians, who in fact retired FROM York leaving it
intact after taking it following stamford bridge, while William and his
normans plundered it and killed its population)

Which side would YOU expect the remaining populations to support when
Scandinavian forces once again arrive the press their claim to at least the
North?- likely not william at that point.

William asserted at the time that he was punishing rebellion, but in reality
it makes more sense Geopolitically that once you own something of great
value, you dont destroy it over a few small
garrisons being damaged or destroyed-
Unless you secretly fear you could lose it all through inaction.
He was both showing any force bold enough to challenge his faulty claim
that he would not stop even to the point of extermination to enforce his
claims and titles, as well as seeking to eliminating any remant population
that would be suspect of historical complicity, kinship, or sympathys toward
the future claimants.

The problem that those seeking to establish that this was NOT a attempt at a
localised genocide have to overcome, is that even Williams own clerics
mention his destruction not of only people, but every means of subsistance,
every tool, implement, and even going so far as to attempt to salt the
In this era, this means almost certain death to all who are dependent on
local food production- which is esentially everyone, AND he came to murder
local populations on at least one other mopping up expedition long after the
region had been ''pacified'' of combatants..

this does not comprise a random wartime atrocity that got out of hand- this
was a deliberate attempt at extirpation that had a well-defined rational and
large budget behind it.

sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 9:37 AM, Stephen Medley <>wrote:

> Hi Everyone.
> It would appear that there are conflicting
> theories on the so called waste, and the effect it had on the population
> I was sent this information by a contributor on
> another list, I think it helps clarify the situation.
> "After valuing a _manor as it had been in the
> time of Edward the Confessor, the _Domesday_ Book often concludes ˜and
> now it is waste'. The frequency of this
> expression in entries for the north of England
> has led to the belief that such manors were laid to waste by
> William I 's army during the ˜Harrying of the North".
> Such views are now largely discredited, despite
> the reality of the ˜harrying"
> Waste seems to have meant land from which no tax
> was forthcoming, for whatever reasons. No fewer
> than 128 Yorkshire manors in the Domesday Book
> were described as waste, even though some had
> resources, population, or value recorded.
> See the following references for further information:
> W. E. Wightman , ˜The Significance of Waste in the Yorkshire Domesday"
> , Northern History, 10 ( 1975 )
> David Palliser , ˜Domesday Book and the Harrying of the North,
> Northern History, 29 ( 1993 )
> J. S. Matthews , ˜William the Conqueror's Campaign in Cheshire in 1069­
> 70: Ravaging and Resistance in the North West,
> Northern History, 42 ( 2003 )."
> Regards
> Steve
> -------------------------------
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