- Created by: mrevv
- Created on: 31-10-19 14:19
Power of the English monarchy
- Only the king could raise an army to protect the country
- Appointed by God and ran the church
- Appointed church and secular leaders
- Decision maker and keeper of justice
- Treasury at Wincester, in charge of the mints
- Chancery writing office for royal writs
- Houscarls, thegns, bishops, archbishops, abbots and government chosen for the Witan
- He gave out land, titles, and offices.
- Centralisation was rare in other European countires (France was divided)
- Itinerant household limited his power, little power in the North, collective nobility powerful.
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Earldoms and shires, Local government
- 90% lived in the country
- Earls (Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia) kept the peace
- Could not mint coins, hold courts and could be replaced by the king.
- Counties/shires and sheriffs collected taxes and ruled courts for the king.
- Land gave you tenents, gifts, tax, livestock and crops
- 5000 gentry in the thegnly class
- Shires-hundreds with reeves-vills and reeves
- Alfred created boroughs, shires came later.
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The legal system
- King presided over serious crimes (murder, treason, arson, ****)
- King's peace created a hierarchial structure.
- Shire courts took place twice a year by a sheriff.
- They sorted smaller disputes such as theft and violence.
- Writs and charters were read at shire courts
- Hundred courts sorted local land disputes
- Oaths, trial by water and trial by hot iron carried out judgements
- Ed did not publish any codes, known for executing justice.
- For instance, Ethelstan wrote 10 codes
- Each region had its own legal customs and traditions
- Cnut allowed different rules for different areas
- Blood feuds wer common as people took justice into their own hands.
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