Historian Claims Material Misstatement to Blame for Murderous Tyrant’s Terrible Reputation

OK so this is the Daily Mail so take that for what it's worth but what's this, now? Was William the Conquerer really just William the Materially Misstated?

He is known as a terrifying warrior and ruthless monarch who conquered the Saxon kingdom of England.

But William the Conqueror’s fearsome reputation as a murderous tyrant might be unwarranted and borne out of a basic accountancy misunderstanding.

One historian claims that the problem lies with the definition of the word ‘waste’ in the Domesday Book, which has been misinterpreted and used to tarnish the warrior king’s reputation.

Even then, The Powers that Be were just as keen to manipulate facts in the pursuit of taxes as taxpayers were in manipulating facts to avoid them:

In the famous book [Domesday Book of 1086], which records the great land survey of much of England and parts of Wales undertaken so the crown could collect taxes, compilers have written ‘waste’ next to many of the Yorkshire landholdings and this had led historians to believe that the land was destroyed.

‘However, it's actually much more likely that it means the compilers couldn't put a value on the holding,’ Dr Wright said.

He explained that at the time, estates were merged and divided up again so that trying to trace the owner to collect taxes for the king was very difficult.

‘The entire invading Norman force numbered less than 20,000. In the four months they were here, it would have been logistically impossible for them to ravage such a large area.

‘To have destroyed the number of settlements listed as “waste,” the Normans would have had to pillage all day and all night.’

Imagine if we didn't have capital market servants, the PCAOB, and various skeptical fact-checkers to write our own modern day history? Obamacare would have killed 40,000,000 Americans by now, and the Fed would have saved us from disaster by bailing out the banks (oh wait). FACTS MATTER. Ask William the Conquerer.

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Comments are closed.

Related articles