Historical Nonfiction

fun facts, quotes, and pictures from history
This is one of the earliest known images of a black man in the UK National Archives. It dates to c. 1241. The man holds on to a capital letter ‘I’ that decorates the beginning of a page.
It is found in a rare Abbreviatio (or abbreviation) of Domesday Book that was probably created by monks of Westminster Abbey in the mid thirteenth century. The Abbreviatio was a working document for officials of the king’s Exchequer. They used it to consult the original volumes of the Domesday Book, and added notes to it during the course of their work.
Exchequer officials relied on Domesday Book to collect income for the Crown, because it recorded people’s duties to give tax. By the thirteenth century, it was also used to find proof of landholding, tenures, boundaries, legal rights and titles to settle disputes over land. Of course, this Abbreviatio grew increasingly out of date and the Crown later had to commission new surveys.

This is one of the earliest known images of a black man in the UK National Archives. It dates to c. 1241. The man holds on to a capital letter ‘I’ that decorates the beginning of a page.

It is found in a rare Abbreviatio (or abbreviation) of Domesday Book that was probably created by monks of Westminster Abbey in the mid thirteenth century. The Abbreviatio was a working document for officials of the king’s Exchequer. They used it to consult the original volumes of the Domesday Book, and added notes to it during the course of their work.

Exchequer officials relied on Domesday Book to collect income for the Crown, because it recorded people’s duties to give tax. By the thirteenth century, it was also used to find proof of landholding, tenures, boundaries, legal rights and titles to settle disputes over land. Of course, this Abbreviatio grew increasingly out of date and the Crown later had to commission new surveys.

(Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk)

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