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Encyclopedia > Wapentake

A wapentake is a term derived from the Old Norse, the rough equivalent of an Anglo-Saxon hundred. The word denotes an administrative meeting place, typically a crossroads or a ford in a river where attendance or voting would be denoted or conducted by the show of weapons.

The counties of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Lincolnshire were divided into wapentakes, just as most of the remainder of England was divided into hundreds. In some counties, such as Leicestershire, the wapentakes recorded at the time of the Domesday Book evolved into hundreds later on. In others, such as Lincolnshire, the term remained in use.

Wapentake is also the title of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  Results from FactBites:
Wapentake - LoveToKnow 1911 (209 words)
WAPENTAKE, anciently the principal administrative division of the counties of York, Lincoln, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Rutland, corresponding to the hundred in the southern counties of England.
North of the Tees, Sadberg in Durham is the only district which was called a wapentake, and the rest of the ancient administrative divisions of the three northern counties were called wards.
Wapentakes are not found outside the parts of England which were settled by the Danes.
Harthill Wapentake | British History Online (1692 words)
The Wapentake, the largest in the East Riding, extends from the river Hull in the east to the river Derwent in the west, and in places reaches the Humber in the south.
The area of Harthill wapentake was reduced in 1299 by the creation of the borough of Kingston upon Hull, and again in 1440 when Hull was erected into a county of its own and the township of Myton was included in it.
The enlargement of the county of Hull in 1447 involved the further removal from Harthill of the parishes of Hessle, with its township of Tranby, North Ferriby, with the township of Swanland, and Kirk Ella, with the townships of Anlaby, West Ella, Willerby, and Wolfreton.
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