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Budna in 1086

Domesday Book was commissioned by William the Conqueror (1066-1087) at Christmas 1085. It was designed to show who held every piece of land in the newly conquered Kingdom of England. It was known colloquially as the Domesday Book because it was seen as being as final as the Last Judgement and as difficult to conceal things from. The book does not cover the whole country - Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland, and Westmorland were omitted and London and Winchester likewise, along with some other towns. A separate book, called Little Domesday covered the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and, despite its name, it is actually bigger and more detailed than the Great Domesday Book containing the other counties.

Domesday Book records a number of holdings in Beeston. Three of these were held by Eudo the Steward, also known as Eudo, son of Hubert. Three hides were held from Eudo by a man named Roland and his holding included four villagers, two smallholders and a slave. These seven people were just the heads of household and to include their wives and children the figure should be multiplied by a factor of at least four - suggesting around thirty people. The Victoria County History states that this holding later became Buddenho alias Berells alias Frenches Manor. The holding had been worth 40 shillings in 1066, 20 shillings when Eudo acquired it and 30 shillings in 1086.  

It is suggested by historians that the reason for the general lowering of the value of manors in the area is accounted for by William I's armies coming through Bedfordshire on their way to put down rebellions in the north. They would have lived off the land and no doubt have committed certain acts of vandalism in what was, to them, still alien, even enemy, territory.