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Norman Times


Peace in these times was a fragile commodity and Edward's death brought together two contenders for the English Throne - Harold and William of Normandy - each insisting their claim was legitimate. As is known, the Battle of Hastings finally settled the matter.
1066 and the Norman Invasion imposed a tighter administration on Saxon England, and the long fingers of government were poking into every town and village in the land assessing their worth in order for William the Conquoror to catalogue his new kingdom, but more importantly, for determining population and property for the levying of taxation rates.
The resulting Domesday Book lists Pavenham as Pabeneham and as having two Manors.  The relationship between village and manors appears to have been a love - hate affair. Each needed the other for prosperity and security and resented that dependancy.  The administration of the Normans (and successive kings and governments), and the recording of new laws, tax schedules and all the other obligations imposed upon the people and the land has generated huge numbers of official documents.
Fortunately for us these days, these documents are being digitized and are within easy reach of those with a computer and an Internet link.  Long hours spent sifting through volumes in museums,libraries, Town and County Halls are becoming less frequent -but then so is the exhilaration of finding a pertinent reference in some obscure court roll written on parchment and handled with extreme awe and reverence while wearing white cotton gloves!!
Pavenham and its inhabitants would have fared no better or worse than any other town or village during Norman times. Life and conditions for this period are detailed in many books and will not be covered here.
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