‘Manorial income’ is concerned with whether the income of Domesday manors was systematically related to their resources. The traditional interpretation states that no such relationship existed. This implies that manorial lords, unlike their counterparts today, were economically irrational. In other words, manorial income was the outcome of some sort of medieval lottery. Following a discussion of the nature of manorial income (or ‘annual values’) and their traditional interpretation (by Round, Maitland, and Darby), their relationship with manorial resources is tested econometrically for 1066 and 1086 for both lay and ecclesiastical manors in both Essex and Wiltshire. Contrary to conventional wisdom, strong systematic relationships were found to exist. Medieval man was just as rational as modern man.
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