frankpledge


frankpledge
/frangk"plej'/, n. Old Eng. Law.
1. a system of dividing a community into tithings or groups of ten men, each member of which was responsible for the conduct of the other members of his group and for the assurance that a member charged with a breach of the law would be produced at court.
2. a member of a tithing.
3. the tithing itself.
[1250-1300; ME fra(u)nkplegge < AF frauncplege. See FRANK1, PLEDGE]

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▪ English history
      system in medieval England under which all but the greatest men and their households were bound together by mutual responsibility to keep the peace. Frankpledge can be traced back to the laws of King Canute II the Great of Denmark and England (d. 1035), who declared that every man, serf or free, must be part of a hundred, a local unit of government, that could put up a surety in money for his good behaviour. By the 13th century, however, it was the unfree and landless men who were so bound. While a freeholder's land was sufficient pledge, the unfree had to be in frankpledge, generally an association of 12, or in tithing, an association of 10 householders. Frankpledge existed more commonly in the area under the Danelaw, from Essex to Yorkshire, whereas tithing was found in the south and southwest of England. In the area north of Yorkshire, the system does not appear to have been imposed. The system began to decline in the 14th century and was superseded by local constables operating under the justices of the peace in the 15th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Frankpledge — was an English institution in which units (often referred to as a tithing) of ten households were bound together and held responsible for one another s conduct. All men over 12 years of age were joined in groups of approximately ten households.… …   Wikipedia

  • Frankpledge — Frank pledge , n. [Frank free + pledge.] (O. Eng. Law) (a) A pledge or surety for the good behavior of freemen, each freeman who was a member of an ancient decennary, tithing, or friborg, in England, being a pledge for the good conduct of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frankpledge — [fraŋk′plej΄] n. [ME frank plege < Anglo Fr fraunc plege (see FRANK1 & PLEDGE): prob. orig. a mistransl. of OE frith borh, lit., peace pledge] 1. the system in old English law which made each man in a tithing responsible for the actions of… …   English World dictionary

  • frankpledge — Friborg Fri borg, Friborgh Fri borgh, n. [AS. fri[eth]borh, lit., peace pledge; fri[eth] peace + borh, borg, pledge, akin to E. borrow. The first part of the word was confused with free, the last part, with borough.] (Old Eng. Law) The pledge and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Frankpledge — Legal condition under which every male member of a tithing (district) over the age of twelve was responsible for the good conduct of all other members of the tithing. Failure to control tithing members could lead to amercement of the entire… …   Medieval glossary

  • frankpledge — noun Etymology: Middle English frankeplegge, from Anglo French francplege (probably translation of Middle English friborg peace pledge), from franc free + plege pledge Date: 15th century an Anglo Saxon system under which each adult male member of …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • frankpledge — noun a) A legal system, based on tithings, in Anglo Saxon England, in which members were held responsible for each others conduct b) A member of such a tithing …   Wiktionary

  • frankpledge — frank•pledge [[t]ˈfræŋkˌplɛdʒ[/t]] n. Old Eng. Law. 1) law a system of dividing a community into tithings, with each member being responsible for the conduct of others in the group 2) law a member of a tithing • Etymology: 1250–1300; ME fra(u)… …   From formal English to slang

  • frankpledge — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: Middle English frankplegge, fraunkplegge, from Anglo French fraunc plege (intended as translation of Middle English friborg, alteration influenced by Middle English fri, fre free of assumed Old English frithborh), from… …   Useful english dictionary

  • View of Frankpledge — 1) Annual (or biannual) meeting at which tithingmen named all those guilty of infractions against the local peace. (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 235) 2) Courts held, generally twice a year, either by the sheriff… …   Medieval glossary


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