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Salford 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.

In 1086 Salford was owned by Hugh de Beauchamp, who would later be made Baron of Bedford. A thegn of King Edward the Confessor with the Anglo-Danish name of Thorkell had owned the manor in 1066 but had been disinherited. It had then been worth 100 shillings. This value had shrunk to 60 shillings by the time de Beauchamp acquired the manor but had risen again to 80 shillings by 1086. The reason for this drop in value, common in Bedfordshire, may be that the land suffered depredations by William the Conqueror's armies as they moved north to crush rebellions.

In 1086 Salford comprised five hides, making it half the size of Segenhoe (today's Ridgmont) and Aspley Guise, for example, but slightly larger than Hulcote. The manor had woodland for 150 pigs as well as a mill worth nine shillings and fourpence. It also contained twelve villagers, a smallholder and four slaves. These seventeen people were the heads of households and to arrive at a population figure one needs to multiply this number by at least four, suggesting a population of around seventy.