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This is an important book, filling a significant gap in scholarship on late Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman law, lordship, and administration. Its primary focus is on the hundred court and its relationship to lords’ local courts. Nicholas Karn argues (204) that, following the creation of shires and hundreds across England in the tenth century, by the middle of the eleventh “the unitary model of the hundred was starting to break down, and decay accelerated and became general into the twelfth century.” Lords either “claimed whole hundreds themselves, or they created lesser units which were originally subsets of hundreds and which were accountable to them, which came to be known as the halimota.” The social and economic consequences were considerable, particularly for manorialisation: “The hundred managed by a lord and the halimota were mechanisms which allowed lords to raise exclusive claims over their dependents, and to monopolise lordship.”


Copyright 2021 Speculum. Originally published as Hudson, John. "Kings, Lords and Courts in Anglo-Norman England." Speculum 96, no. 1 (2021): 235-236.