From Roslin O Roslin Summer 2001 (Vol 3 No 24), Rory Sinclair, Editor
Niven Sinclair has added to the growing collection of books at the
Sinclair Centre at Noss Head by purchasing extraordinary and unique
copies of the Great and Little Domesday books which have recently become
After almost 900 years since these books were completed on behalf
of William the Conqueror, it was decided to unbind both the Great and
Little Domesday Books and, whilst they were un-bound, the opportunity was
taken to photograph them using modern colour printing technology. This
massive task took eight months of painstaking labour because of the brittle
nature of the parchment.
The prime consideration was legibility. Every stroke of the scribes pen
had to be as clear (or, indeed, as unclear) as it was on the original page.
Special parchment was also produced to replicate the 413 folios of the Great
Domesday Book and the 451 folios of the Little Domesday Book.
The greater number of folios in the Little Domesday Book is explained
by two facts: first, there is less text on each of the Little Domesday Book
folios; second, the Little Domesday text escaped final editing and is,
therefore, more detailed.
The finished work has been described as the finest facsimile of an
historic document ever printed (UPI) The Great Domesday Book covers 31
Counties of England whilst the Little Domesday Book covers the remaining
3 Counties (Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex) which are of especial interest to
Sinclairs as it was in those three counties, and in Kent, where the
Sinclairs were principally found after the Conquest.
It is hoped to be able to compare the references to Sinclairs in the
Great and Little Domesday books with those mentioned in The St Clairs
of the Isles and The Sinclairs of England. This will be an
interesting, if time consuming, task as it will be necessary to follow the
sons of Walderne, Hamon and Hubert as they assist William in the
Normanisation of England.
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