The complexity of this task implies the rapid implementation of a sophisticated bureaucracy.The resulting network of local feudal lordships not only enabled the king to assert rapid control over every part of the country but also created a network of local power bases for these influential immigrants.

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The process therefore also enabled the grantees to reward their own retainers with sub-grants of land, which led to a second wave of Norman immigrants who had not taken part in the conquest but who were subsequently rewarded for their loyalty during the absence of their masters at war in England.

The grants to the same individual frequently included property in many different parts of the country.

The earldom of Lincoln even provides an example of a double creation, as King Stephen created William de Roumare Earl of Lincoln in [1141], but also created Gilbert de Gand Earl of Lincoln in [1147/48].

The inevitable conclusion is that the territorial epithet was not considered exclusive at the time.

The grants were personal from the king and were therefore also revocable at the king's will.

There are numerous examples of changes in local control which followed forfeiture imposed as punishment for various transgressions.

No documents have survived which indicate that the title was attributed by specific royal grant.

Although they acquired considerable power in the counties in which their main estates lay, during the immediate post-conquest period contemporary records rarely show titles such as "Earl of [county]", the territorial qualification being gradually applied over time.

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This document sets out the families of the English earldoms which were created during the period between the Norman conquest and 1122, in approximate chronological order of their first creation.

This example also demonstrates that availability played a large part in the attribution of a county to a new title.