One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The English militia before 1066.
- ‘As a leader in war he is responsible for the raising, equipping and training of the local fyrd which is drawn from among the lesser nobles and upper ranks of the peasantry in the area.’
- ‘In England, it developed during the Middle Ages from the Anglo-Saxon fyrd.’
- ‘Usually a Shire would have an eoldermen, who was the king's ‘viceroy’ in a shire, responsible for administration and justice, for calling out the fyrd and leading its forces in the field.’
- ‘Henry II's attempt to reconstitute the fyrd in 1181 indicates that the system was still considered valuable.’
- ‘Hence it has been suggested that there was a great fyrd and a select fyrd, the latter based on the 5-hide unit, and better trained and armed.’
- ‘The eolderman was the king's ‘viceroy’ in a shire, responsible for administration and justice, for calling out the fyrd and leading its forces in the field.’
- ‘Eadmund and his fyrd, caught out by the speed of the campaign, surrounded Olaf at Leicester.’
- ‘If the money went straight to the king he could call out the fyrd, collect the money and then disband the fyrd, lining his own coffers as William Rufus did after the Conquest.’
- ‘The shire-fyrd is the quickest of all the fyrds to muster and is the first line of Cania's defense.’
- ‘The scale of service demanded by Alfred and his descendants was unprecedented, the garrisons of the burghs alone represented a standing army of almost 30,000 without the fyrd.’
- ‘The same is true for the fyrds led by Edward the Elder in the conquest of the midlands.’
- ‘By the end of the tenth century, a system of military service had developed in which every unit of five hides was responsible for providing and equipping one man for the fyrd (militia).’
- ‘Already the fyrds of the north had fought and lost a great battle at Gate Fulford, outside York.’
- ‘Therefore the realm's strength would consist of the king with his own personal war-band, or fyrd, aided by the fyrds of his ealdormen and thanes.’
- ‘On the 14th October 1066, much of Harold's tiny force was made up of the housecarls of his most powerful magnates because the fyrd had been disbanded.’
- ‘These men appear to be mercenaries given garrison duties to protect towns in potential danger who had already provided men for the fyrd.’
- ‘He must also provide a soldier for the fyrd when commanded.’
- ‘The sum of the forces of these leaders with the king's household troop constituted the fyrd.’
- ‘By September, Harold decided that the threat had been reduced and he allowed his part-time troops (the fyrds) to disperse.’
- ‘In any case, by the beginning of September, Harold's supplies and the military obligations of the fyrd had been used up.’
Old English, of Germanic origin; related to German Fahrt, also to fare.
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