The survey of landed property undertaken by William I and completed in 1086 has an entry for Hantune (Southampton) with separate entries for Millbrook, Shirley, Nursling and North and South Stoneham.

The entry for Southampton states that there were 76 tenants in demesne (i.e. tenants who held land from the king and paid taxes accordingly), and that these had held this land under the previous Saxon king, Edward. Next is a list of persons who held land or houses under King Edward and perhaps continued to do so under King William. The next part of the entry states that 65 French-born and 31 English-born have been lodged at Southampton since the conquest, most presumably granted land and/or houses as reward for their part in the conquest. A long list follows of those, mostly great land owners in the country, who held houses in the town. Theses houses were probably leased to tenants.

There was almost certainly many houses in the town of which no record was made because they were inhabited by the poorer classes. An estimate of the size of population is therefore difficult to make. Colin Platt, following Professor J C Russell (British Medieval Populations), estimates the population to have been between 650 and 850 persons.


Further reading:
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p26-28. (HS/h)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p262. (HS/h)
Domesday Book: Hampshire, by John Morris. (H/h)


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