A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Wapentake

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2240

Wápentake. n.s. [from wœpun, Saxon, and take, wapentakium, wapentagium, low Latin.]

Wapentake is all one with what we call a hundred: as upon a meeting for that purpose, they touched each other's weapons, in token of their fidelity and allegiance. Cowel.

Hundred signifieth a hundred pledges, which were under the command and assurance of their alderman; which, as I suppose, was also called a wapentake, so named, of touching the weapon or spear of their alderman, and swearing to follow him faithfully, and serve their prince truly. But others think, that a wapentake was ten hundreds, or boroughs. Spenser.

Sources: Cowell, John (42) · Spenser, Edmund (254)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Wapentake." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 27, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=6828.


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