Frankpledge

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Frankpledge (O. Eng. Law) A pledge or surety for the good behavior of freemen, -- each freeman who was a member of an ancient decennary, tithing, or friborg, in England, being a pledge for the good conduct of the others, for the preservation of the public peace; a free surety. "The servants of the crown were not, as now, bound in frankpledge for each other."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n frankpledge In old Eng. law: A pledge or surety for the good behavior of freemen; specifically, an early English system by which the members of each decennary or tithing, composed of ten households, were made responsible for one another, so that if one of them committed an offense the other nine were bound to make reparation.
    • n frankpledge A member of a decennary thus bound in pledge for his neighbors
    • n frankpledge The decennary or tithing itself.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Frank, free + pledge,

Usage

In literature:

When a non-freeholder stayed in London he had to find for frankpledge, three sureties for good behavior.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
Of these the most important was the "view of frankpledge" and its attendant police jurisdiction.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 6" by Various
But the history of the frankpledge proper begins not earlier than the time of the Norman Conquest.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 1 "Franciscans" to "French Language"" by Various
A similar conclusion has been reached as to Canute's responsibility for the institution known as frankpledge.
"Canute the Great" by Laurence Marcellus Larson
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