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The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century$
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George Molyneaux

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717911.001.0001

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Administrative Change in the Mid- to Late Tenth Century

Administrative Change in the Mid- to Late Tenth Century

Chapter:
(p.116) 4 Administrative Change in the Mid- to Late Tenth Century
Source:
The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century
Author(s):

George Molyneaux

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717911.003.0005

This chapter argues that the Cerdicings implemented a series of administrative reforms in the mid- to late tenth century. That Edgar had both the desire and the ability to replace diversity with uniformity is demonstrated by his coin reform. Around the same time, kings probably began to make extensive use of hundreds, wapentakes, and shire meetings for local royal administration across the land from the Channel to the Tees. This period also appears to have seen tighter royal regulation of judicial profits, increased Cerdicing control over the appointment of archbishops and ealdormen based at York, and the establishment of the office of sheriff. Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester may well have had a major role in these reforms, which were probably intended to help kings discharge their Christian duty to regulate their subordinates’ behaviour, as well as to facilitate resource extraction and military recruitment.

Keywords:   Æthelwold, Cerdicing, coin reform, ealdorman, Edgar, hundred, royal administration, sheriff, shire, wapentake

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