Overview

fyrd


Related Overviews

Alfred the Great (849—899) king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons

ealdorman

Battle of Maldon

militia

See all related overviews in Oxford Index » »

 

'fyrd' can also refer to...

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • British History

GO

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

In theory all freemen of Anglo‐Saxon England were under an obligation to serve in the fyrd (army) when called upon. In practice communications were so difficult, crises so sudden, piratical or Viking raids so mobile, that the national militia was rarely summoned. Local raids were dealt with normally by the fyrd in the shires concerned, led by their ealdormen. Though after the Conquest military provision was reorganized on the basis of knight service, the fyrd remained in existence and was called upon by William I and Rufus. The growing sophistication of weapons made local forces increasingly ineffective and it is perhaps fortunate that the fyrd's later manifestations, the trained bands, militia, or Home Guard, did not have to face a major invasion.

Subjects: British History.


Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »


Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.