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What legal reforms did William I implement in England?

William I implemented legal reforms in England such as the introduction of the feudal system and the Domesday Book.

William I, also known as William the Conqueror, introduced significant legal reforms in England following his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of the feudal system. This was a hierarchical system of land ownership and obligations that was used throughout medieval Europe. Under this system, the king owned all the land and granted estates to his barons in return for their loyalty and military service. The barons, in turn, granted land to knights in return for their service, and the knights allowed peasants to live on their land in return for labour and a share of the produce. This system was a significant departure from the Anglo-Saxon system of land ownership and had a profound impact on English society and law.

Another major legal reform implemented by William I was the creation of the Domesday Book in 1086. This was a comprehensive survey of the landholdings of all the king's subjects in England. It recorded the names of landowners, the size and value of their estates, the amount of livestock they owned, and the number of people living on their land. The Domesday Book was used as a basis for taxation and was a significant tool in the administration of the feudal system. It also served as a legal document, as disputes over land ownership could be settled by referring to the Domesday Book.

William I also made changes to the English legal system itself. He retained the Anglo-Saxon system of local courts, but he also introduced Norman practices such as trial by combat. He established the Curia Regis, or King's Court, which was a central court that heard cases from across the kingdom. This court was staffed by professional judges who were appointed by the king, which was a significant change from the Anglo-Saxon system where local lords presided over courts. These reforms helped to centralise legal authority in the hands of the king and establish a more uniform system of law across England.

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