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The Anglo-Saxon Fyrd AD 400 - 878

42 bytes added, 14:13, 27 August 2018
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In short the idea of military service as a condition of land tenure was a consequence of book-right. Under the traditional land-holding arrangement a stipulation of this sort would have been unnecessary - a holder of loanland from the king was by definition a king's man, and his acceptance of an estate obliged him to respond with fidelity and service to his royal lord. Book-land tenure, a hereditary possession, was quite a different matter, for such a grant permanently removed the land from the king's control without assuring that future generations who owned the property would recognise the king or his successors as their lord. By imposing the "common burdens", the king guaranteed military service from book-land and tied the holders of the book securely to the ruler of the tribe. By this time the terms geoguþ and duguþ were being replaced by dreng (young warrior) and thegn (one who serves). The dreng still attended the king directly, whilst the thegn was usually the holder of book-land. By now, the term scir usually denoted more than just a single estate, and the thegn who held the scir was usually referred to as an ealdorman. Many of the lesser thegns within the scir would have held their land from the ealdorman in addition to those who held land directly from the king.
''Original article by Ben Levick 1995.''
Regia-Officers, bureaucrat, administrator

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