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CHAPTER VI: Institution of Tythings, Hundreds, and Counties. - John Millar, An Historical View of the English Government 
An Historical View of the English Government, From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Revolution in 1688, in four volumes, edited by Mark Salber Philips and Dale R. Smith, introduction by Mark Salber Philips (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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Institution of Tythings, Hundreds, and Counties.
In every nation it must be a great object to provide for defence against the invasion of neighbouring states; but in a rude age, the provisions requisite for this purpose are few and simple. The great body of the people are soldiers, willing and ready to take the field whenever their service is necessary. From the mutual depredations frequent among a rude people, they become inured to hardships, and familiar with danger; and having little employment at home, they are glad to embrace every opportunity of acquiring military reputation, or of enriching themselves with the spoil of their enemies. Every person, therefore, as soon as he is capable of using arms, is accustomed to the use of them, and acquainted with the simple manner of fighting practised among his countrymen; so that, as the chief magistrate finds no difficulty in raising troops upon any occasion, he is put to little or no trouble in training and preparing<171> them for those military operations in which they are to be engaged.
The appointment of certain leaders in particular districts, to collect the forces upon any emergency, and to command them in time of battle, seems to be all that is wanted, in such a situation, for putting a whole kingdom in a complete posture of defence. A few regulations of this nature, arising obviously from the circumstances of a barbarous people, were, at an early period, established among the Saxons in England, as well as among their neighbours upon the continent.
Every feudal superior was the military leader of his own dependents; but upon the settlement of the Saxons in Britain, the landed estates acquired by the greater part of individuals were at first so small as to render the number of their vassals inconsiderable; and the allodial or independent proprietors were therefore under the necessity, amidst the disorder that prevailed in those times, of associating for mutual protection and security. Different families, connected by the ties of consanguinity, or otherwise, found it expedient as well as agreeable to settle in the same neighbourhood,<172> that they might on all occasions be in a condition to assist one another. Thus the inhabitants came to be distributed into villages of greater or less extent, according to circumstances; and the members of every village, accustomed from their infancy to live together, and finding themselves united by a common interest, were led to acquire the strongest habits of intimacy and attachment. These little societies received the appellation of vills, towns, or free-bourgs.
As these villages were formed upon the plan of defence, and were frequently employed in the exercise of hostilities, there naturally arose in each of them a leader, who by having the privilege of conducting their military enterprises, obtained also a degree of authority in the management of civil affairs. To this person the name of head-borough or borsholder (a word supposed by some to be contracted from borough’s elder) was commonly given.
According to the early policy of the Anglo-Saxons, each of their villages was divided into ten wards, or petty districts; and hence they were called tythings or decennaries, as their leader was denominated a decanus or tything-<173>man. This regulation appears to have been extended over all the kingdoms upon the neighbouring continent; and in all probability it originated from the influence of ecclesiastical institutions.*
As, upon the first establishment of Christianity under the Roman dominion, the form of church government was in some respects modelled by the political constitution of the empire; so the civil government, in the modern states of Europe, was afterwards regulated in many particulars according to the system of ecclesiastical policy. When the western provinces of the Roman empire were conquered by the barbarous nations and erected into separate kingdoms, the conquerors, who soon embraced the Christian religion, and felt the highest respect for its teachers, were disposed in many cases to improve their own political institutions, by an imitation of that<174> regularity and subordination which was observed in the order and discipline of the church.
In the distribution of persons, or of things, which fell under the regulation of the Christian clergy, it appears that, in conformity to the customs of the Jewish nation, a decimal arrangement was more frequently employed than any other. By the Mosaic institution the people were placed under rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. A Jewish synagogue, corresponding to a modern parish, appears at a subsequent period to have been put under the direction of ten elders, of whom one became the chief ruler of that ecclesiastical division.* A tenth part of the annual produce was appropriated for the support of the Levites, as the same proportion of ecclesiastical livings was claimed by the high-priest. Hence we<175> find that in modern Europe, the members of a cathedral church, as well as those of a monastery, were divided into ten branches, each of which was put under a director, and the tenth of these persons, or decanus,1 was intrusted with a superintendence of all the rest.† Hence too the modern institution of tythes, and the pretensions of the Roman pontiff, the Christian high-priest, to the tenth of all the revenues of the clergy.‡
When the western part of Europe, upon the dissolution of the Roman government, had been reduced into a state of barbarism, by which the inhabitants were necessarily divided into separate villages or small towns, each of<176> those little communities was naturally formed into one congregation, and annexed to a single church. The same people who joined in public worship were also combined in their military expeditions; and the same arrangement, under different rulers, that had been adopted in the former capacity, was easily communicated to them in the latter. This division of a village, with the corresponding territory belonging to its inhabitants, into ten little wards or districts, probably arose in those European kingdoms which had first attained a regular form, and was afterwards extended to the Saxons in England, and to the inhabitants of other countries, who remained longer in a state of anarchy and confusion.
But while the members of every Anglo-Saxon town or village were thus intimately united, a connection of the same sort was gradually introduced between the inhabitants of a larger territory. Those who belonged to different towns or villages in the same neighbourhood had frequently occasion to assist one another against a common enemy; and in consequence of many joint expeditions, directed by a sense of mutual interest, were induced to<177> form a regular association, under a permanent military officer.
The extent of these associations was at first perhaps arbitrary and variable, but was at length settled in an uniform manner, according to the system of ecclesiastical policy which prevailed both in England and in other European kingdoms. Upon the principle which has been formerly mentioned, every ten churches of a diocese were united under an ecclesiastical inspector, who in England, in contradistinction to a similar officer belonging to a cathedral or monastery, was called a rural dean.* In like manner every ten villages or tythings, which were of the same extent with parishes, formed a military district, which obtained the appellation of a hundred, and its commanding officer that of a centenarius or hundreder.†
The connections of society being still farther extended, the members of different hundreds<178> were also associated for their common defence, and fell under the direction of a greater officer, called the heretoch, a title which, in the Saxon language, is synonymous with that of duke, and which appears to have been originally given to some of those leaders in the Heptarchy, who afterwards assumed the title of kings. The districts belonging to these heretochs, which were greater or less according to accidents, and had been varied on different occasions, were gradually ascertained and established, so as at length to correspond entirely with the territories that were placed under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the several bishops. These districts were called shires;2 and the officer who presided over them seems, at a later period of the Anglo-Saxon government, to have changed his title for that of alder-man or earl. It is a common opinion, however, that the heretoch and the alder-man were different persons, intrusted with different departments; and that the former was the chief military, as the latter was the chief civil officer of the shire.
In some parts of the country a smaller number of hundreds were associated, so as to com-<179>pose an intermediate district, called lathe, rape, or trything; and several of these districts were united in forming a shire. But this arrangement, peculiar to some shires, and depending upon the same principles with the divisions already mentioned, is of little consequence in our present view of the subject.
Such were the military institutions of the Anglo-Saxons; which appear to have arisen almost imperceptibly from the rude state of the country, from the natural divisions of the people, and from their progressive attempts in forming more extensive and permanent associations.
From the great deficiency of Saxon records, there are, concerning these institutions, many particulars, which remain in obscurity, and which have given rise to various disputes and conjectures. The earliest historians, who have said any thing upon this subject, appear, for the most part, to have lived at a period when these institutions had undergone many variations, and in several respects had fallen into disuse. They were, at the same time, ignorant annalists of a barbarous age; and their accounts, which appear to have been chiefly derived<180> from tradition, are short and unsatisfactory.3 It seems to have been uniformly imagined by these authors, that the institutions above mentioned were peculiar to the government of the Anglo-Saxons; and that they were introduced by the singular policy of king Alfred, to whom the admiration of English writers has commonly ascribed every important regulation during the Saxon period. But it is now generally known, that the establishment of tythings, hundreds, and shires, was prior, in England, to the time of Alfred; and that it was not peculiar to this country, but was probably extended over all the barbarous nations who settled in the provinces of the western empire.
With respect to the establishment of tythings and hundreds, it has been the general opinion that the former consisted of ten families, and that the latter, of course, were composed of an hundred families. That such was the exact number of families comprehended in each of these divisions, the respective names affixed to them appear to have been thought sufficient evidence.
But when we examine this opinion, after all the pains that have been taken by late writers<181> to render it plausible, it seems to be attended with insuperable difficulties. To divide the whole people into military parties of ten and of an hundred families, without any regard to their places of residence, would mark a degree of art and contrivance hardly to be expected in a barbarous age: not to mention that it would be a most absurd regulation, as it would frequently separate near relations, and place them under the command of different officers, instead of uniting them under one common leader, with whom they had acquired a natural connection; for as the accidental collections of kindred and acquaintance, who lived in the same village or neighbourhood, could not be regularly composed of ten families, nor of any given number, they must of necessity have been split and jumbled with strangers, to make up the several tythings into which the people were thus artificially divided. If such a regulation ever had place in England, we must suppose that it was introduced by a political projector, neglecting, for the sake of a finical regularity, to avail himself of the usual sources of authority in a rude nation, and by a legislator invested with such absolute power, as might<182> render him capable of enforcing measures diametrically opposite to the natural course of things; a supposition which is neither applicable to the character nor to the condition of the early monarchs of Britain.
As the institution of tythings, together with that of hundreds, and of shires or counties, was not limited to England, but had place in most, if not all of the feudal countries, there is good reason to believe that it was not derived from artificial or distant views of policy, suggested to any particular prince; but that it proceeded from a concurrence of circumstances in the European kingdoms, by which it was recommended to the great body of the people.
That a tything was originally the same thing with a village, and that it did not comprehend any precise number of persons or families, may be concluded from this, that in the ancient law-language of England the words vill, town, decennary, and tything, have all the same signification.* If a tything have the same meaning with a vill or town, it is surely impossible that it can signify a collection of ten families only, without relation to the place of their<183> residence. Should we, on the other hand, suppose that a tything was regularly composed of so many families, the members of the same tything must frequently have resided in different towns or villages; in which case it would sometimes be necessary, in describing or pointing out those persons, to mention the town which they inhabited, as distinct from the tything to which they belonged; and these two terms therefore, so far from being synonymous, would come, upon such occasions, to be used in direct opposition to each other.
But what puts this matter in a yet more conspicuous point of view, is an early regulation mentioned by the English lawyers, that every tything should have a church, with celebration of divine service, sacraments, and burials.† If the limits of a tything, and of a town or village, were the same, such a regulation would naturally be established. Its establishment, on the other hand, affords complete evidence that a parish and a tything were of the same extent. But how is it possible to conceive that a parish comprehended only ten families? According to this doctrine every<184> eleventh house must have been a church, and the clergy must have composed the eleventh part of the whole people.
To obviate this objection, it is held by some authors that a family is not to be understood in a literal sense, but as comprehending all the vassals and tenants of a proprietor, who in some cases were pretty numerous. Admitting, however, this explanation in its fullest extent, it will only vary, instead of removing the difficulty. It would still be in vain to expect that a village or town should always contain exactly ten of these enlarged families, or even any number of tens; so that it would often be requisite to patch up a tything from the remnants of different towns or villages; and it would follow that these outcasts did not belong to the church in their neighbourhood, but, however dispersed over the country, and intermixed with other parishes, were united in one congregation, and were provided with a separate church and minister of their own.
The establishment of tythings, hundreds, and shires, was primarily intended for the mutual defence of the inhabitants, but it was likewise rendered subservient to other very salutary<185> purposes. When the people had been assembled in those meetings to engage in a military enterprize, or upon the conclusion of it to divide their booty, they had occasion to hear complaints of the injuries and disorders committed among themselves. Every feudal superior was the natural judge of his own tenants and vassals; but when a dispute had arisen between different allodial proprietors of the same tything, there was no single person possessed of sufficient authority to terminate the difference. The parties being independent of each other in point of property, and therefore masters of their own conduct, were under no necessity, in a matter of that kind, of submitting to the orders of any individual. They acted in the same manner with respect to the exercise of their civil rights, as with relation to peace and war. In both cases they considered themselves as free men, subject to no restraints, but such as arose from the nature of their confederacy, or were imposed by their common consent.
The same motives, however, which induced a village or tything to enter into joint measures for their defence against a foreign enemy, determined them also to take precautions for<186> composing animosities and differences among their own members. Roused by the danger of a quarrel which might be fatal to their union, and which might render them an easy prey to their neighbours, they readily interposed with all their influence to reconcile the parties, and to enforce their observance of the rules of justice. A judicial power was thus gradually assumed by every tything over the allodial or independent proprietors of which it was composed. The hundred, in like manner, came to exercise a power of determining the differences between the members of the several tythings, within the bounds of that larger district; as the meetings of the shire established a similar jurisdiction over the different hundreds comprehended in that extensive territory. These courts took cognizance of every cause, whether civil or criminal; and as they enjoyed the sole jurisdiction, in the first instance, within the respective boundaries of each, they became naturally subordinate one to another; so that from the decision of the tything there lay an appeal to the hundred, and the sentences of this latter tribunal were reviewed in the greater meetings of the shire.<187>
These courts were held originally by all the allodial proprietors of each particular district; and the same persons had the same right of presiding in their judicial procedure, as when their meetings were called to deliberate upon military affairs.
It is probable that every kind of law-suit was at first determined in full assembly, and by a plurality of voices; but in the larger meetings of the hundred, and of the shire, it should seem that when the authority of those tribunals had been confirmed by custom, and their duty had become somewhat burdensome by the increase of business, convenience introduced a practice of selecting a certain number of their members, to assist their president in the determination of each particular cause. Hence the origin of juries, the precise date of whose establishment is uncertain, because it probably arose from no general or public regulation, but from the gradual and almost imperceptible changes, authorized by common usage in the several districts of the kingdom. The number of jurymen was for some time different upon different occasions; till the advantages of an uniform practice produced a general rule, which<188> determined that no less than twelve persons should be called in all ordinary causes.* <189>
Concerning the institution of tythings, there is one regulation, connected with the administration of justice, that has been much taken notice of by historians, and has excited the admiration of all political writers: the members of every tything are said to have been responsible for the conduct of one another; and the society, or their leader, might be prosecuted, and compelled to make reparation for an injury committed by any individual.
If we look upon a tything as regularly composed of ten families, this branch of its police will appear in the highest degree artificial and singular; but if we consider that society as of<190> the same extent with a town or village, we shall find that such a regulation is conformable to the general usage of barbarous nations, and is founded upon their common notions of justice.
Among barbarians in all parts of the world persons who belong to the same family are understood to enjoy a community of goods, and to be all jointly subjected to the same obligations. In those early ages when men are in a great measure strangers to commerce, or the alienation of commodities, the right of property is hardly distinguished from the privilege of using or possessing; and those persons who have acquired the joint possession of any subject are apt to be regarded as the joint proprietors of it. At the same time, when a debt is contracted by one of several persons who have a perfect community of goods, it must of necessity be discharged from the common funds; and the obligation of every individual becomes therefore a burden upon the whole society.
After a family has been enlarged, and subdivided into different branches, their possessions are not upon this account entirely sepa-<191>rated, nor their notions of common property altogether effaced. Though the different families, who are thus formed into a tribe or village, reside in different houses, their neighbourhood allows them still to maintain a promiscuous intercourse; and their situation disposes them to act in concert with each other in all their important employments and pursuits. As, in their expeditions of war and hunting, they go out in a body, so, according to the primitive state of agriculture, they labour in the field, and gather in the harvest in common; and what has been acquired by their united exertions, before it is divided among them by consent, is naturally conceived to be the joint property of all.
It is no hardship, that persons connected in so intimate a manner should be liable for the obligations of one another; and when an individual has become bound to a stranger, who cannot easily know for whose benefit the debt was incurred, it seems reasonable that the creditors should be allowed to demand payment from the community, who alone have access to distinguish the rights of their particular members.<192>
But the greater part of the debts contracted in a barbarous age arise from injuries and hostilities: for which it is usual to make atonement by pecuniary compositions: and as in such cases it commonly happens, either that the offence was originally committed by a whole village, or, if it arose from a single individual, that the quarrel was afterwards adopted and prosecuted by the other members of the community, this appears a sufficient reason for subjecting them to a share of the punishment.
Thus, by the general custom of rude nations, the vengeance of the injured party for murder and other atrocious crimes is not confined to the guilty person, but is extended to his family, and even to the whole village or tribe of which he is a member. The prosecution of claims, founded upon this general custom, makes a considerable part of the history of mankind in the early periods of society. Traces of this primitive law of nations may be discovered even in some civilized countries; where, upon account of enormous offences, the criminal, together with his innocent children, and other<193> relations, have been condemned to one common punishment.*
Among the Jews, when a person was found murdered in the neighbourhood of a city, and the murderer was unknown, it seems to have been thought that the punishment might with justice be extended to all the inhabitants; who are, upon that account, directed to perform an expiatory sacrifice. “And all the elders of the city that is next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley. And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.”†
When it is customary to demand satisfaction from a whole village for the highest personal injuries committed by an individual, it cannot appear surprising that the same privi-<194>lege should be claimed upon account of the ordinary violations of property.
I am assured, from the most respectable authority, that, in the villages belonging to the Highlands of Scotland, a rule of this kind has been immemorially established. The stealing of cattle was formerly the only species of theft from which the inhabitants of that country could suffer any great prejudice; and when stolen cattle could be traced within the district of any particular village, the inhabitants were liable to repair the damage, unless they could point out the track of the cattle, passing again without their territories. This law, which was founded merely upon long usage, remained in force at least as far down as the beginning of the present century.*
It was a custom, we are told, among the ancient Irish, “that the head of every sept, and the chief of every kindred, or family, should be answerable and bound to bring forth every one of that sept, and kindred under it, at all times, to be justified, when he should<195> be required, or charged with any treason, felony, or other heinous crime.”† The Irish law, in this as well as in other particulars, was probably analogous to that of the other Celtic nations.
From the code of Gentoo laws published in 1776,4 it appears that a similar regulation has been introduced among the ancient inhabitants of Indostan. If the footsteps of a thief have been traced, or if stolen goods are found, within a certain distance from any town, the thief is presumed to be concealed in it.—And whenever a robbery or theft is committed in the neighbourhood of any town or city, the head-person of that town or city is bound to make up the loss.†
Upon some parts of the coast of Guinea,5 the villages or towns, it should seem, are liable for the obligations of every sort contracted by any of their members; for we are informed, that when a person in that country neglects to pay a debt, the creditor is under no necessity of arresting the real debtor, but, in the district, where he resides, has the liberty of seizing, at<196> pleasure, such a quantity of goods as will satisfy the demand, leaving the sufferers to indemnify themselves in the best manner they can.§
About the middle of the thirteenth century it appears that the states of Germany had very generally adopted a similar practice; which is mentioned by historians as a proof of uncommon rudeness and barbarism.* <197>
The inhabitants of the same foreign country happening, at any one time, to reside in London, were formerly viewed in the same light; and any one of them might be prosecuted for the debts contracted by his countrymen. In a treaty between Edward the Second and Alphonso king of the two Castiles, it is agreed, that the merchants of Bilboa, and the other towns of Biscay, shall not for the future be arrested, nor have their goods distrained, for the debts of any Spaniard, for whom they have not become personally bound.† The small number of Spanish merchants residing in London, and the distance of their native country, made them appear as much connected as if they had been members of a single rude village or tribe.
This noted regulation concerning the Saxon tythings is therefore to be regarded as the remains of extreme simplicity and barbarism, rather than the effect of uncommon refinement or policy; and in this view, it may be observed that, in consequence of some improvement in the manners of the people, the original obligation imposed upon every tything, to<198> repair the injuries committed by any of its members, was, in a period subsequent to that which we are at present examining, subjected to certain limitations. By a law which has been ascribed to William the conqueror, but which is probably of an earlier date, we find it enacted, that, if a crime is committed by any member of a decennary, who escapes from justice, his tythingman, with two others of the same tything, together with the respective tythingmen, and two others, out of the three neighbouring tythings, shall assemble to examine the state of the fact, and if the tything to which the criminal belongs is purged by the oath of these twelve persons, it shall be freed from the obligation to pay the damage.* The progress of government, by enlarging the general intercourse of society, contributed to diminish the peculiar connexion among the inhabitants of the same village, and made it appear an intolerable hardship, that they should, without distinction, be accountable for the misdeeds of one another.<199>
Beside the two branches of business which I have mentioned, the defence of the country and the decision of law-suits, that were canvassed in the Saxon tythings, hundreds, and shires, those meetings were accustomed to deliberate upon matters of still greater importance. They received complaints concerning such abuses in administration, or grievances, as had occurred within their several districts, and by introducing new regulations endeavoured to apply a proper remedy. Thus the heads of families or independent proprietors of every village, or tything, exercised a legislative power within their own liberties, but were liable to be controuled, in this respect, by the meetings of the hundred, which enjoyed the same power in a larger territory; and both of these were subordinate to the meetings of the shire, which possessed a legislative authority over all the hundreds of that extensive division. How the meetings of the shire were liable to be controuled by a still greater assembly, I shall now proceed to inquire.<200>
[* ]The term free-burg is sometimes applied not to the whole tything or village, but to each of those wards into which it was divided. [See the laws ascribed to William the conqueror. Wilkins, c. 32.] But more frequently a free-burg and tything are understood to be synonymous. See the Glossaries of Spelman and Du Cange, v. Friborga.
[* ]Dr. Lightfoot’s Harmony of the Four Evangelists, part 3. on Luke chap. 4. ver. 15.—Lewis’s Antiquities of the Hebrew Republic, b. 3. ch. 21.—Goodwin’s Moses and Aaron, b. 2. ch. 2.—also Vitringa Archisynagogus illustratus.—This author agrees with Dr. Lightfoot, in supposing that the decem otiosi [[Ten men of leisure. The reference is to John Lightfoot’s The Harmony of the Four Evangelists, Among Themselves, and with the Old Testament (London, 1650), pt. 3, 115, who gives Hebrew rather than Latin., mentioned as requisite in every synagogue, were officers employed in the business of that society; though he differs as to the particular employments that were allotted to them.]]
[† ]Burn’s Eccles. Law.–Kennet’s Paroch. Antiq.
[‡ ]Though the distribution of persons and things according to tens, appears to have been immediately borrowed by the Christian clergy from the Jews, we find among many other nations a tendency to follow the same arrangement. Those natural instruments of notation, which every man carries about with him, the fingers, have probably been the original cause of the common arithmetical progression by tens, and of the general propensity to be governed by this number in the classification of objects.—The land-tax upon the ancient Roman provinces is said to have been a tenth of the produce.
[* ]Kennet’s Paroch. Antiq.—Burn’s Eccles. Law. v. Dean and Chapter.
[† ]Hundredus autem Latinè, says Ralph Higden, sive Cantredus, Wallicè et Hibernicè continet centum villas. [Polychronicon, lib. i.] [[“A hundred, moreover, in Latin—or a cantred in Welsh or Irish—contains a hundred towns.” Ranulph Higden, Polychronicon, 2:86.]]
[2. ]Administrative districts, consisting of a number of smaller districts called hundreds, united for purposes of local government.
[3. ]In this usage, “tradition” does not carry its modern sense, but rather means orally transmitted stories: hence a weak form of evidence. Hume, similarly, writes: “Ingenious men, possessed of leisure, are apt to push their researches beyond the period, in which literary monuments are framed or preserved; without reflecting, that the history of past events is immediately lost or disfigured, when intrusted to memory and oral tradition.” HE, 1:3.
[* ]Blackstone’s Comment. Vol. I. Introd. § 4.
[† ]Blackstone’s Comment. Vol. I. Introd. § 4. [[Sir William Blackstone notes that “Tithings, towns, or vills, are of the same signification in law; and had, each of them, originally a church and celebration of divine service, sacraments, and burials; which to have, or have had, separate to itself, is the essential distinction of a town, according to Sir Edward Coke.” Commentaries on the Laws of England (London, 1765), vol. 1.]]
[* ]The custom of choosing twelve men for distributing justice, is frequently mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon laws. Thus, in a law of king Ethelred, it is said, “Et ut habeantur conventus in quolibet wapentachio, et exeant seniores duodecim thani, et prefectus cum iis, et jurent super sanctuarium quod iis in manus datur, quod nolent ullum innocentem accusare, nec aliquem noxium celare.” [[“And assemblies shall be held in each wapentake, and twelve of the leading thanes shall come forward together with the reeve, and they shall swear on holy relics placed into their hands neither to accuse any innocent man nor conceal a guilty one.” A wapentake is a division of land in the Danelaw corresponding to the hundred. The Anglo-Saxon text can be found in The Laws of the Kings of England from Edmund to Henry I, ed. and trans. A. J. Robertson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925), 65.—[Wilkins, p. 117.] In another law, ascribed to the same king, commonly called the senatus consultum de monticulis Walliae a decree of the Wittenagemote concerning the mountain-dwellers of Wales; this is the title of the law as it appears in Lambarde, Archaionomia, sive De Priscis Anglorum Legibus Libri (Cambridge, 1644), 94, it is enacted, for the mutual benefit of the English and Welch, that controversies between them shall be determined by twelve law-men, the half of whom shall be Englishmen, the other half Welchmen. [Wilkins, p. 125.]
[* ]See instances of this quoted by the acute author of The Historical Law Tracts. [[Millar’s general reference is to Lord Kames, who noted that Egypt and Greece “deemed it unjust, that the innocent should suffer with the guilty, and that a child, common to mother and father, should lose its life for the crimes of the mother. We find no such similar instances while punishment is in the hands of individuals; for a good reason, that such regulations are incompatible with the partiality of man.” Historical Law-Tracts (Edinburgh, 1758), 1:75–76.]]
[† ]Deuteron. chap. xxi. [[Deuteronomy 21:6–8.]]
[* ]It does not seem to be supposed by historians, that the Saxon regulations concerning tythings were extended to a country so inaccessible as the Highlands of Scotland.
[† ]Spencer’s View of the State of Ireland. [[For this quoted passage, see Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, ed. Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), 42.]]
[4. ]Gentoo is an archaic term for Hindu. The publication of this law code was sponsored by Warren Hastings, then governor general of India. It states that “If the footsteps of a Thief may be traced for some little Distance, or if the Article stolen hath dropped for a little Distance, and afterwards no farther Sign can be found, then, whatever Town is near the Place where these Signs have for a little Way extended, the Thief shall be judged to lurk in that Town.” A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776), chap. 16, sect. 4.6, 257.
[† ]Code of Gentoo laws, ch. 17. sect. 4. 6.
[5. ]Guinea is a historical term for the West African coastline.
[§ ]Hist. Gen. des Voyages. Mod. Univ. Hist.
[* ]The following passage is quoted from Pfefel’s Abrégé Chron. de l’Histoire d’Allemagne. “Je ne puis passer sous silence une autre nouveauté, qui prouve, on ne peut pas mieux, et le malheur de ces tems, et la barbarie des moeurs du siécle: c’est le droit d’Otage. [ Jus obstagiorum] Rien de plus bizarre que ce droit. Un Souabe, un bourgeois d’Ulm, lésé par un Liegeois, ne se donnoit pas la peine de poursuivre sa partie, devant la justice ordinaire; il se contentoit de mettre la main sur le premier Liegeois qu’il pouvoit rencontrer, et le constituoit prisonnier à Ulm, c’est là qu’il faisoit juger sa cause, et l’Otage n’étoit point relâché que la sentence ne fût exécutée. L’histoire et les archives nous fournissent mille exemples de ces procès singuliers: et Lehmann rapporte que les citoyens de Spire ont fait déclarer par des lettres patentes, qu’ils n’étoient point sujets de leur Evêque, et que par conséquent l’on ne pouvoit les arrêter légitimement pour les causes que regardoient les sujets de ce prince.” [[“I cannot pass over in silence another extraordinary practice which furnishes the best possible proof both of the lamentable conditions of those times and of the barbarity of the customs of the century: that is the right to take hostages (jus obstagiorum). There is nothing stranger than this right. A Swabian, a burgher of Ulm, having been wronged by a citizen of Liège, did not bother to prosecute his opponent in court in the ordinary way; he merely laid hands on the first inhabitant of Liège that he could find and imprisoned him at Ulm. There he had his case tried, and the hostage was not released until the sentence had been carried out. History and the archives provide us with a thousand examples of these remarkable trials, and Lehmann reports that the citizens of Speyer caused a declaration to be made by letters patent that they were not subjects of their bishop and consequently could not be legitimately arrested for lawsuits involving subjects of that prince.” Christian Friedrich Pfeffel, Nouvel abrégé chronologique de l’histoire et du droit public d’Allemagne (Paris, 1777), 1:453–54. This text is a paraphrase rather than an exact quotation.]]
[† ]Anderson’s History of Commerce. [[Edward II, king of England and Scotland (r. 1307–27); Alfonso XI, king of Castile and León (r. 1312–50). Millar cites Adam Anderson’s An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce, 2 vols. (London, 1764).]]
[* ]See the laws collected by Roger de Hoveden, and said by this author to have been made by William the conqueror in the 4th year of his reign, with the advice of his barons, nobles, wise men, &c.