The great earldoms of the West-Saxon period were allowed to lapse; the new earls, for the most part closely connected with William by the ties of blood or friendship, were lords of single shires; and only on the marches of the kingdom was the whole of the royal jurisdiction delegated to such feudatories.
They wasted the next few years in the attempt to win Normandy; but Earl Robert of Gloucester, the half-brother of the empress, at length induced her to visit England and raise her standard in the western shires, where his influence was supreme.
It consisted, in addition to the king, his sons and other relatives, of the bishops and later some abbots, of some under-kings and the ealdormen of the shires or provinces, and of a number of ministri, or king's thegns.
The Welsh mines are chiefly in Flint, Cardigan and Montgomery shires; the Scottish in Dumfries, Lanark and Argyll; and the Irish in Wicklow, Waterford and Down.
At the time of the Domesday Survey Kent comprised sixty hundreds, and there was a further division into six lests, probably representing the shires of the ancient kingdom, of which two, Sutton and Aylesford, correspond with the present-day lathes.