Hundred

A hundred (or wapentake in northern England) is a district of local government and taxation in a tier between the parish and the county.   In pre-Norman times hundred courts met monthly in the open air to settle disputes and juydge criminal matters. AFter the conquest the hundreds were predominantly a unit of government organisation, but the inhabitants of a hundred might be held communally repsonsible and fined for a crime if a perpatrator could not be produced.   The division is of uncertain antiquity. Hundreds are first mentioned in the 10th century in a context indicating they are older. The term 'hundred' is thought to derive from 100 hides (the hide being a¬†unit of land). In the Danelaw, the term wapentake derives from 'weapon-taking'; attendees to the wapentake court should show their weapons (or women their pots and pans) to demonstrate they were free folk with a right to speak at the court.
Alternative Names
Wapentake

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