Mr Laurence Gomme (Primitive Folk-Moots, pp. 1 55, 156) takes up the matter at this point, and places the tradition implied by Cade's significant action as belonging to times when the London Stone was, as other great stones were, the place where the suitors of an open-air assembly were accustomed to gather together and to legislate for the government of the city.
There may be the folk-right of West and East Saxons, of East Angles, of Kentish men, Mercians, Northumbrians, Danes, Welshmen, and these main folk-right divisions remain even when tribal kingdoms disappear and the people is concentrated in one or two realms. The chief centres for the formulation and application of folkright were in the 10th and iith centuries the shire-moots, while the witan of the realm generally placed themselves on the higher ground of State expediency, although occasionally using folkright ideas.
Disputes between neighbouring chiefs and their clients, and uncertainty as to the law, brought about the Constitution of Ulfliot (c. 930), which appointed a central moot for the whole island, the Althing, and a speaker to speak a single " law " (principally that followed by the Gula-moot in Norway); the Reforms of Thord Gellir (964), settling a fixed number of moots and chieftaincies, dividing the island into four quarters (thus characterized by Ari: north, thickest settled, most famous; east, first completely settled; south, best land and greatest chiefs; west, remarkable for noble families), to each of which a head-court, the " quarter-court," was assigned; and the Innovations of Skapti (ascribed in the saga to Nial) the Law- Speaker (d.
The year was broken by the spring feasts and moots, the great Althing meeting at midsummer, the marriage and arval gatherings after the summer, and the long yule feasts at midwinter.