20. WILLIAM I: WRITS CONCERNING INQUESTS AT ELY
(A) Confirmation of Liberties for the Abbot of Ely (c. 1080)
William, king of the English, to all his faithful men and his sheriffs in those counties where the abbey of Ely possesses lands, greeting. I command that, in borough and out of borough, the abbey of Ely shall have all its customs: namely, sac and soc, toll and team, infangeneþeof, hamsocn, gryðbryce, fihtwite, fyrdwite, and all other forfeitures within its own land and from its own men. These [liberties], I say, it shall have as it had them on the day that King Edward was alive and dead and as, according to my command, they were proved at Kentford by [the oaths of] various shires in the presence of my barons: namely, Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances: Abbot Baldwin, Ivo Taillebois, Peter de Valognes; Picot, sheriff [of Cambridge]; Tihel de Heluin, Hugh de Hosdeng, Jocelyn of Norwich, and many others. Witness, Roger Bigod.
(Latin) Hamilton, Inquisitio Comitatus Cantabrigiensis, p. xviii.
(B) Mandate for a Renewed Inquest (1082).
William, king of the English, to Lanfranc, archbishop [of Canterbury], and Roger, count of Mortain, and Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, greeting. I command and instruct you that you again cause to be assembled all the shires, that were present at the plea held concerning the lands of the church of Ely before my wife last came to Normandy. Let there also be present with them those of my barons who can suitably attend, those men who were at the aforesaid plea, and those who hold lands of the same church. When these men have been brought together, let several be chosen of those Englishmen who know how the lands of the said church lay on the day that King Edward died, and let whatever they may say in that connection be testified to on oath. When that is done, let restitution be made to the church of those lands that were in its demesne on the day of Edward's death, except those which men shall claim as having been given them by me. These [lands] then signify to me by letters, [telling] what they are and who holds them. But those holding thegnlands that beyond doubt should be held of the church shall make peace with the abbot as best they may; and if they refuse [to do so], the church shall keep their lands. Let the same be done with regard to those holding sac and soc. Lastly, order those men to repair the bridge of Ely who up to now, by my disposition and command, have been accustomed so to do.
(Latin) Ibid., p. xviii.
 Cf. no. 15G.
 Lands that before the Conquest had been held of the church by thegns. Men styled thegns occasionally appear in the Norman documents, but they were generally supplanted by French knights.