The Witenagemot

Book 2, Chapter 3, 827 AD to 857 AD – The Witenagemot – Continued

 

This Witenagemot, or Saxon parliament, had supreme authority not upon any principle of sub ordination, but because it was formed of all the rest. In this assembly, which was held annually, and sometimes twice a year, sat the earls and bishops, and greater thanes, with the other officers of the Crown. So far as we can judge by the style of the Saxon laws, none but the thanes, or nobility, were considered as necessary constituent parts of this assembly, at least whilst it acted deliberatively. It is true, that great numbers of all ranks of people attended its session, and gave by their attendance, and their audible approbation of what was done, a sanction to the laws, but when they consented to anything, it was rather in the way of acclamation, than by the exercise of a deliberate voice, or a regular assent or negative. This may be explained by considering the analogy of the inferior assemblies. All persons, of whatever rank, attended at the county courts, but they did not go there as judges, they went to sue for justice, to be informed of their duty, and to be bound to the performance of it.


Chapter 3, Egbert

Character of Egbert

Repeated Incursions by the Danes

Succeeded by Ethelwulf

His Pilgrimage to Rome

Revolt under Ethelbald, and Division of the kingdom

Chapter 3, The Clergy and The Monasteries

Assumed Origin of Tithes

Condition of the Monks and Clergy

Archbishop Theodore

Venerable Bede

Chapter 3, The Witenagemot

Origin and Powers of the Witenagemot

The Witenagemot

Nature of the kingly Dignity

The Process of Governing

Authorities



Categories: Book 2

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