At the Christmas Council William the Conqueror ordered the creation of survey of property with their values and populations county by county covering most of England. Commissioners were sent all over England, apart from the far north, to make a record of the population, value, state and ownership of the land. The book known as the Domesday Book consisted of two volumes and was completed by 1088.
On the morning of mass day of St. Lawrence, strong winds did more damage that anyone could remember. (St. Lawrence's day appears to be August 10th, but this may not have been the case in medieval times.)
Josias, the Archbishop of Tyre, found Henry II and Philippe II at Gisors and told them of the defeat at Hattin. Both kings agreed to peace terms and to contribute to a joint Crusade. It was decided to raise a new tax to pay for the endevour. This tax, known as the Saladin Tithe, was imposed on the people of England and France to raise funds for a new Crusade. But the truce between England and France did not last long enough for the planned joint crusade to get underway.
King John introduced the first income tax in England. One thirteenth of income from rents and moveable property had to be paid. Collected locally by sheriffs and administered by the Exchequer. The amount was one shilling on each mark of income, where a mark was 13 shillings and 4 pence. The tax was unpopular with the barons and especially in the churches and monasteries. The tax did raise a lot of money for the king, doubling his annual income for the year.
King John ordered that Jews across the country had to pay a 'tullage', a sum of money to the king. Those who did not pay were arrested, imprisoned and forced to pay the money in return for their release. May Jews were executed or left the country.
Louis de Nevers, the count of Flanders from 1322, prohibited trade with England in an attempt to control the powerful cloth-weavers in the area. Louis suspected some kind of link between the weavers and England and so he banned the trade of wool to cut the supplies that their wealth relied on. King Edward III counteracted with by changing the only continental port where wool was imported to from Bruges to Antwerp.
Kipchak Mongols besieging a Genoese trading centre on the Crimean coast catapulted their own dead into the city. The cause of death was a mysterious disease. The Genoese escaped by sea taking the 'Black Death' with them. They landed at Messina in Sicily. Black Death or Bubonic plague was spread by the rat flea. The name Black Death came from the colour of the swelling in the groin, armpit or neck. The person suffering went into a coma and dies soon after. In Europe an estimated 25 million people died. The plague reached Britain in 1348 and again in 1360 and the population may have been reduced by a half.
The Statute of Staples. A law that fixed 15 towns as staple towns. A staple town was a town that was restricted in what it could sell to foreign merchants. The towns were Bristol, Canterbury, Carmarthen, Chichester, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Exeter, Lincoln, London, Newcastle, Norwich, Waterford, Winchester and York.
Located at the heart of the City of London, the Guildhall was built by the powerful merchants of London to rival the buildings of royalty. In the Guildhall the merchants held their courts and passed their laws and regulations.
Adam Moleyns, the Bishop of Chichester and Lord Privy Seal, had been sent to Portsmouth by the king to pay the wages of soldiers and sailors who had not been paid for some time. But the anger of the soldiers was so great that they turned on him and he was murdered.
A sum of two thousand pounds was demanded by Prince Rupert from the people in Leicester to save their town from being robed. They only paid 500 pounds and complained to King Charles. The king was unhappy with the Princes' actions but the money was not handed back.