Medieval History Term of the Week


1) The Anglo-Saxon land tax used for military purposes, especially the payment of the royal fleet (geld = payment or tribute in Old English). Hence Danegeld was the tax raised to pay tribute to the Danes in the tenth and early eleventh centuries.
(Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)

2) A tax paid in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to the king.
(Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)

*term definitions retrieved from Netserf’s Medieval Glossary

From the Anglo-Saxon Dooms, 560-975:

The North People’s Law

1. The North people’s king’s geld is thirty thousand thrymsas; fifteen thousand thrymsas are for the wergild, and fifteen thousand for the cynedom. The wer belongs to the kindred, and the cynebot to the people.

2. An archbishop’s and an aetheling’s wer-gild is fifteen thousand thrymsas.

3. A bishop’s and ealdorman’s, eight thousand thrymsas.

4. A hold’s and a king’s high-reeves, four thousand thrymsas.

5. A mass-thane’s and a secular thane’s, two thousand thrymsas.

6. A ceorl’s wergeld is two hundred and sixty-six thrymsas, that is two hundred shillings by Mercian law.

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