4 In Anglo-Saxon times Athelstan appears to have been the first monarch who enacted regulations for the mints.'
In 1540 Leland, without sufficient reason, credits Athelstan with the bestowal of such privileges as it then enjoyed, and describes it as a parish full of fishermen and Irishmen.
(1837) of the Monasteries of the Levant; the most recent in English is Athelstan Riley's Athos (1887).
As Stubbs says " the thegn seems to be primarily the warrior gesith " - the gesithas forming the chosen band of companions (comites) of the German chiefs (principes) noticed by Tacitus - " he is probably the gesith who had a particular military duty in his master's service "; and he adds that from the reign of Athelstan " the gesith is lost sight of except very occasionally, the more important class having become thegns, and the lesser sort sinking into the rank of mere servants of the king."
When William of Malmesbury describes the knighting of Athelstan by his grandfather Alfred the Great, that is, his investiture " with a purple garment set with gems and a Saxon sword with a golden sheath," there is no hint of any religious observance.
$ The Council of Trent enjoined due payment of tithes, and excommunicated those who withheld them .° In England the earliest example of legal recognition of tithes is, according to Selden, a decree of a synod in 786.10 Other examples before the conquest occur in the Foedus lElfredi Guthruni and the laws of Athelstan, Edgar and Canute."A full discussion of their origin and history is to be found in Lord Selborne's Ancient Facts and Fictions concerning Churches and Tithes (1888); the History of the Law of Tithes in England, by G.
4 Of his grandson Athelstan it is related by William of Malmesbury that after the victory of Brunanburgh he imposed upon the vanquished king of Wales a yearly tribute, which included a certain number of "hawks and sharp-scented dogs fit for hunting wild beasts."
Tradition claims that King Athelstan threw up defensive earthworks here, but the existing castle is attributed to Joel of Totnes, who held the manor during the reign of William the Conqueror, and also founded a Cluniac priory, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene.
The horsthegn we know, however, was from an early period a high court official; and from such a law as that of Athelstan prohibiting the exportation of horses except as presents, it may be inferred that the English breed was not only much valued at home but also in great request abroad.'