Fyrd Sentence Examples
Again, the fird (fyrd) was composed of mounted warriors during the 9th century, though apparently they fought on foot, and there are indications that such was the case also in the 7th century.
It is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the date 605.The ealdorman, or sheriff, of the shire was probably charged with the duty of calling out and leading the fyrd, which appears always to have retained a local character, as during the time of the Danish invasions we read of the fyrd of Kent, of Somerset and of Devon.
The fyrd was gradually superseded by the gathering of the thegns and their retainers, but it was occasionally called out for defensive purposes even after the Norman Conquest.
These were (1) the division of the fyrd or national militia into two parts, relieving each other at fixed intervals, so as to ensure continuity in military operations; (2) the establishment of fortified posts (burgs) and garrisons at certain points; (3) the enforcement of the obligations of thanehood on all owners of five hides of land, thus giving the king a nucleus of highly equipped troops.
But Roger, who was to bring his force from the west to join the earl of Norfolk, was held in check at the Severn by the Worcestershire fyrd which the English bishop Wulfstan brought into the field against him.Advertisement
The old national levy of the fyrd was made somewhat more serviceable by an ordinance which divided it into two halves, one of which must take the field when the other was dismissed.
All through the summcr Harold held a fleet concentrated under the lee of the Isle of Wight, waiting to intercept Williams armament, while the fyrd of Wessex was ready to support him if the enemy should succeed in making a landing.
Nor is it in the sphere of taxation alone that Williams organization of the realm stands on the old English customs. In the military sphere, though his normal army is the feudal force composed of the tenants-in-chief and the knights whom they have enfeoffed, he retains the power to call out the fyrd, the old national levee en masse, without regard to whether its members are freemen or villeins of some lord.
When he summoned out the fyrd they came in great force to his aid, not so much because they trusted in the promises of good governance and reduced taxation which he made, but because they saw that a horde of greedy barons would be worse to serve than a single king, however hard and selfish he might be.
It revised the arming andorganization of the Statute of national militia, the lineal descendent of the old fyrd, cheser.Advertisement
The Fyrd who had left the shield wall were then ambushed and slaughtered by Norman cavalry.