In Anglo-Saxon England in the 7th and 8th centuries it seems certain that each of the larger kingdoms, Kent, Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria, had its separate witan, or council, but there is a difference of opinion as to whether this was identical with, or distinct from, the folkmoot, in which, theoretically at least, all freemen had the right to appear.
In other words, the folkmoot had become the witan.
He thinks that on the union of the kingdoms the witans were merged into one another, while the folkmoot became the shiremoot.
Assembly, of the household of personal followers or retainers of a king, earl or chief, contrasted with the "folkmoot," the assembly of the whole people.
The shire organization of Kent dates from the time of Aethelstan, the name as well as the boundary being that of the ancient kingdom, though at first probably with the addition of the suffix " shire," the form " Kentshire " occurring in a record of the folkmoot at this date.