PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Alaf 2 Alaf ‘of Maidenwell’ (Lincs.), fl. 1066

Author: DWP
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name



Alaf 2 was one of three men holding three manors in east Lincolnshire TRE that were together assessed at just under 2 carucates and with a value of 100s.

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB


Lord 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Lord 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Lord 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Lincolnshire 13,33 Maidenwell - Alaf ‘of Maidenwell’ Hugh, earl Osbern fitzTezzo 0.02 0.00 0.00 - Map
Total               0.02 0.00 0.00  



Alaf 2’s little manor was at Maidenwell on the eastern slopes of the chalk Wolds in east Lincolnshire.  DB records that he was one of three men (the others being Eadric and Godric) holding three manors there that were assessed together as ‘2 carucates less 1 bovate’, which if divided equally between them would yield 5 bovates for each man.  The DB entry need not imply that the three men were related or even associated in any way and the formula ‘held as x manors’ that has been considered significant elsewhere (e.g. Lewis 1990: 20-1) is not used here. 

Fellows Jensen (1968: civ) suggests that because Alaf’s name represented a recent development of earlier forms of the Scandinavian name then ‘he may possibly have been a first generation viking in England’.  If so, then the simplest explanation would be that he had arrived as a follower of Cnut 3 or his sons in the period 1016-1042, but this remains highly speculative.

This is the only entry in DB for someone of this name and there is nothing to connect Alaf 2 with anyone with the related names Onlaf or Olaf.



Fellows Jensen 1968: G. Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (Copenhagen, 1968)

Lewis 1990: C. P. Lewis, ‘An introduction to the Shropshire Domesday’, in The Shropshire Domesday, ed. A. Williams and R. W. H. Erskine (London, 1990)

Return to PASE Domesday homepage
Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

© 2016 King's College London