Skip to main content

The fyrd had begun under Alfred the Great

The fyrd had begun under Alfred the Great as a way of trying to deal with the invading Danish army. It was a kind of millitia requiring landowners to provide armed men for military service in defence of the realm; a kind of conscription of all able-bodied men between the age of 15 and 54.

This was a sophisticated call-up system for the army, where the raising of men was based on how much land was held and worked because of the rule of loyalty and duty, which ran all the way from the lowest peasant to the king - and back again.

Ceorls (churls) were free peasants who worked the land. A ceorl did not own much land, and the land he held, he had been granted by a thegn (thane). A thegn would hold much more land than a ceorl and with this extra wealth came extra responsibility. It was a minimum requirement of a thegn that he provide one armed man and the money to keep him for two months. The more land he owned, the more men he would have to supply, and the men of the wealthy thegn would probably train and fight together as a unit. A thegn held his land from and earl or monaster, often as a gift or reward for loyalty. Above the thegn, was the earl and he held his land from the king. The king held his land from God, or at least it was believed he held it by "God's grace".

Everyone was bound together by a bond of duty and obligation. The ceorl had an obligation of loyalty to the thegn, the thegn ot the earl, the earl to the king and all the way back again. If the king called, the earls came running, trailing everyone else in their wake. It was a two-way street. Those at the top expected loyalty from those below them, those at bottom expected protection from those above them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Panic or panick

There is only one spelling for panic ; the verb is inflected 'panic, panics, panicked, and panicking’. The form panick is used for progressive tense, past tense and past participle. We don't write panick today, though English speakers from a few hundred years ago might have (in the same way they might have written musick). When the alternate spelling “panick” is used for the past participle: "I panicked last night at the disco." When it’s use for progressive tense: “Invariably, when markets are panicking, they sell the stocks quickly.” It's the rule for root words ending in "c" is that you have to add “k”, so the spelling is related with the pronunciation. If we don't add the <k>, it looks as if the <c> has to be pronounced /s/. If the "k" was not there, “panicing” would look like the word which is supposed to be pronounced as if it is ended in "sing," while “paniced” would be pronounced like “panised”. The same

Does pearls reproduce by itself through time

At the request of several families he and Mrs Legge gave a home for some months to a young Dutch girl, a granddaughter of the first Dutch governor of the Straits Settlements. She had several pearls of which the Dutch residents were great collectors, got from oysters found in a river of the Malay Peninsula, when she left them she gave Mrs Legge a small box containing a large pearl the size of a pea, with a blue spot on it, and two others not so large. This box was then put away and locked up. Several weeks later he took it out and on opening it discovered more than a dozen pearls, most of them very small. Astonished at the phenomenon he called his chief servant, a Portuguese, who happened to enter the room and who expressed no surprise but declared it to be a common occurrence. On enquiry he found that many of the Dutch people had jars of pearls, large and small, which had accumulated in this way. Some years later he related the incident at dinner on board ship. The captain was a cautio

How to Address Important People

It would be very safe to address important people as just "Sir" or "Madam," however high their rank but it would show that you are a cultivated and wel-bred person if you were able easily and naturally to address them in the correct way. A person of lower rank does not make himself humble and ridiculous by using the correct form of address at least once or twice in a conversation. The person of higher rank will, however, be just as embarrassed as his inferior if the formal address is used too often. Be natural, that is the great thing, and if you are not too sure of yourself, watch carefully how others more used to such company behave. Here then are some of the correct forms of address in speaking to titled people: -- The King, The Queen: Your Majesty. Member of the Royal Family: Your Royal Highness. Duke, Duchess: Your Grace Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron: My Lord, or Your Lordship. Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, Baroness: My Lady or Your Ladyship.