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21 Feb

William I King of England granted extensive estates to Norman barons as a reward for their part in the conquest of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

It is not known whether the piecemeal attribution of land was a conscious policy on the part of the monarch to reduce the risk of local power-bases emerging which could challenge his central royal authority.Few earldoms were created during the post-conquest period.However, the earls represented only a small proportion of the English nobility.Whether or not the intention, it was certainly the result as the English earls were never able to concentrate their power in centralised counties in the same way as, for example, their French or German counterparts.Another result of the decentralised nature of land grants was the slow emergence of territorial epithets attached to titles.