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scutage


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knight

Henry II (1133—1189) king of England, duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and count of Anjou

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(or escutage; from Latin scutum, “shield”)

The payment (usually 20 shillings) made by a knight to the English king in lieu of military service. Henry II raised seven scutages between 1157 and 1187. Richard I was tempted (1198) to turn scutage into an annual tax not necessarily connected with military needs. The barons' opposition to John's annual scutages (1201–06) was a factor in their revolt (1214) and was reflected in clause 12 of Magna Carta (1215), which stated that the king was not to levy scutage without consent, except in recognized and reasonable cases.

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