fyrd

fyrd

[furd]
noun
1.
the militia in Anglo-Saxon England.
2.
the duty to serve in this militia.

Origin:
< Old English fyrd, fierd, akin to faran to go, fare

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fyrd (fɪəd, faɪəd)
 
n
history the local militia of an Anglo-Saxon shire, in which all freemen had to serve

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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fyrd

tribal militia-like arrangement existing in Anglo-Saxon England from approximately AD 605. Local in character, it imposed military service upon every able-bodied free male. It was probably the duty of the ealderman, or sheriff, to call out and lead the fyrd. Fines imposed for neglecting the fyrd varied with the status of the individual, landholders receiving the heaviest fines and common labourers the lightest. The fyrd was gradually superseded by the gathering of the thanes (feudal lords) and their retainers, but it was occasionally called out for defensive purposes even after the Norman Conquest (1066).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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