After Hastings, the Normans introduced into England their system of land tenure based on military service, and William seems to have been generous with his knights in apportioning the spoils of war. In the years following the Conquest, a few hundred Norman barons took over the lands of more than 4000 Anglo-Saxons. Land was the major form of wealth. Let it never be said that the Conquest was not profitable to the Conquerors!
Norman and Anglo-Saxon customs were combined in such a way to make the best use of each, while avoiding the chief disadvantages. The English counties or "shires" had been established by the Saxons and William the Conqueror recognized these political subdivisions, but established his own control over them by appointment of the sheriffs. As a royal official, the sheriff looked after the King's interests in his county by attending the county courts, collecting taxes for the King. This is of interest because, as we shall see, the office of Sheriff was often held by a member of the Waller Family.
The conquest had a profound and lasting effect on the English language. The Norman nobles were the aristocracy of the land and held all positions of honor and profit. At first, they held a deep contempt for the Saxon population, which was returned with ardor, and clung to the Latin-French of their native Normandy. Latin remained the language of law and business for several generations, but though it was a powerful medium of expression, Normans began to find advantages in the short Saxon words, often developed from physical sounds they represented. Gradually, the two races mingled and inter-married and differences disappeared. The result of the fusion of the two languages has been to make Modern English the richest and most powerful language of all times.
The blending of the languages affected the spelling of the Waller name. To begin with, there was no "W" in either medieval Latin or Old French. To confirm this we find the name of William the Conqueror, when it appears on the Bayeux Tapestry, spelled variously as, "Vvillelm, Vvilgelm", etc. In the Square of Falaise, birthplace of William the Conqueror, in present day France, there stands a bronze statue of him on which his name is spelled "Guillaume Le Conquerant."
Webster's New World Dictionary has this to say about the letter W: "W, the 23rd letter of the English alphabet. Its sound was represented in Angle-Saxon times by 'uu' until about 900 A.D., then by a character borrowed from the runic alphabet of the ancient Scandinavians called the "wen". In the 11th Century, a ligatured VV or W was introduced by Norman scribes to replace the wen. No doubt this change took place in the years following the Conquest, as the fusion of the Latin-French of Normandy with the Saxon-English language was under way. Thus, we find justification for the acceptance of the name "Valers", as it appears on the Roll of Battle Abbey, and "Alured de Valer" as it appears in the Domesday Book. It was not until the time of Thomas Waller, who lived from about 1330 to 1390 and was a four-times-great grandson of the Veteran of Hastings, that the fusion of the languages overtook the family. It was Thomas who purchased the old Saxon Castle of Groombridge in County Kent in the year 1360, settled the family there and modernized the name of de Valer to Waller.