In the period before the Norman conquest, it seems that England was fairly neatly divided between earls who were responsible for governing their region and derived their wealth and power from that same region. By the time we reach the Wars of the Roses, it seems that things are much messier, with earls and dukes owning land all over the country and often little association with or responsiblity for the region they are named after. It's well known that the Duke of Lancaster held a lot of lands in Yorkshire for example, whereas it doesn't seem likely that the Earl of Mercia would own or control anything of significance in Northumbria.Is this pattern real or was it basically neat/messy all along? How and when did the change occur?
>>5773073>before the Norman conquest, it seems that England was fairly neatly divided between earls who were responsible for governing their region and derived their wealth and power from that same regionIt wasn'tAt allIt may seem neater at a glance simply because you don't have a domesday book like information of all the vills and manors etc, but it was just as big of a mess as ever
>>5773134it could be messy at a lower level and neat at the earl's level
>>5773649I think you might have a fundamental misconception what an earl or ealdorman was, it was an appointed office, they were essentially the king's appointed governors and administrators of a territory, that oversaw the collecting of the king's taxes and enforced the law etcThey weren't some sub-kings that held their territory like a sovereign ruler who paid tribute to an overlordAnd earls and ealdormen had their own estates scattered across the realm that was the source of their income and power, being appointed an earl was a symptom of the power you already had as a powerful magnate with vast estates