DANEGELD, an English national tax originally levied by 'Ethelred II.
It continued to be levied until 1163, in which year the name Danegeld appears for the last time in the Rolls.
There were special privileges surrounding tenancies of these lands, such as freedom from tolls and duties, exemption from danegeld and amercement, from sitting on juries, &c. Hence, the phrase "ancient demesne" came to be applied to the tenure by which the lands were held.
This was the old tax, the Danegeld, in a new and heavier form and there was great difficulty in levying it.
In the civil war of Stephen's reign the county suffered severely; the great Roll of the Exchequer of 1165 proves the shire receipts had depreciated in value to two-thirds of the assessment for the Danegeld.