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.
The "Shires" is a recognized term, but is nevertheless somewhat vague.
Sandstone, of which the total production in 1905 was 1,142,135 tons valued at £320,761, is quarried in nearly every county, but the industry flourishes particularly in the shires of Lanark, Dumfries, Ayr and Forfar.
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.