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Meaning of WAPENTAKE

 
Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
\Wap"en*take\ (?; 277), n. [AS. w?penge??c,
w?pent[=a]c, from Icel. v[=a]pnat[=a]k, literally, a weapon
taking or weapon touching, hence an expression of assent
(``si displicuit sententia fremitu aspernantur; sin placuit
frameas concutiunt.'' --Tacitus, ``Germania,'' xi.). See
{Weapon}, and {Take}. This name had its origin in a custom of
touching lances or spears when the hundreder, or chief,
entered on his office. ``Cum quis accipiebat pr[ae]fecturam
wapentachii, die statuto in loco ubi consueverant congregari,
omnes majores natu contra eum conveniebant, et descendente eo
de equo suo, omnes assurgebant ei. Ipse vero, erecta lancea
sua, ab omnibus secundum morem f[oe]dus accipiebat; omnes
enim quot-quot venissent cum lanceis suis ipsius hastam
tangebant, et ita se confirmabant per contactum armorum, pace
palam concessa. W[ae]pnu enim arma sonat; tac, tactus est --
hac de causa totus ille conventus dicitur Wapentac, eo quod
per tactum armorum suorum ad invicem conf[oe]derati sunt.''
--L L. Edward Confessor, 33. D. Wilkins.]
In some northern counties of England, a division, or
district, answering to the hundred in other counties.
Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire are divided into
wapentakes, instead of hundreds. [Written also {wapentac}.]
--Selden. Blackstone.

 

 

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