Alfred’s Measures for the Defence of the Country

Book 2, Chapter 5, 878 AD to 901 AD – Alfred’s Fortifications

The task to which Alfred addressed himself, of providing for the defence of the kingdom, and of developing its resources, was beset by no ordinary difficulties, but he persevered with it for upwards of twenty three years, notwithstanding attacks from without and indifference within. The fifteen years which intervened from the treaty with Guthrun to the next formidable Danish attack, were years of comparative peace and security, yet there were occasional inroads to be resisted and a constant watch to be kept against ever active and numerous enemies. The first thing was to provide an efficient resisting force that should be always available, and for this purpose all capable of bearing arms were divided into two portions, who relieved each other at stated times, so that while one body was rendering military service, the other was engaged in agriculture and in other necessary work. These troops were armed and sustained, but they received no pay. Then, in the event of a descent upon any part of the coast, each man knew under what leader to place himself, and every ealdorman had his assigned post to defend.

Chapter 5, Alfred’s Fortifications

Effects of the Danish Ravages

Alfred’s Measures for the Defence of the Country



New Attacks under Hasting

Chapter 5, Revolt in the Danelagh

Revolt in the Danelagh

Four years of conflict

Chapter 5, Alfred’s Educational Efforts

Ultimate Success

Hume’s Estimate of Alfred

His care for Internal Prosperity of the Country

State of Learning

Educational Efforts

Asser’s Friendship

His Computation and Division of Time

Chapter 5, Alfred’s Industry and Zeal

Alfred’s Industry and zeal

Application of his Revenue

Chapter 5, Saxon Laws

The Domboc

Saxon Laws

Alfred’s Watchfulness over the Executive

Origin of Jury

Divisions of the Country

Chapter 5, Summary of Alfred’s Character

The king’s Illness and Death

His Will

Summary of Character


Categories: Book 2

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