Weregild

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Weregild (O. Eng. Law) The price of a man's head; a compensation paid of a man killed, partly to the king for the loss of a subject, partly to the lord of a vassal, and partly to the next of kin. It was paid by the murderer.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n weregild See wergild.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Weregild wēr′gild a composition by which, by the custom of Anglo-Saxons, Franks, and other Teutonic peoples, homicide and other heinous crimes against the person were expiated.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. wergild,; wer, a man, value set on a man's life + gild, payment of money; akin to G. wehrgeld,. √285. See Were a man, and Geld (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wergield, from wer, man, gieldgieldan, to pay.

Usage

In literature:

Eventually it was settled by arbitration and heavy weregilds were imposed for the murder.
"Grettir The Strong" by Unknown
It might be that Sigurd Erikson, who was as he knew very wealthy, would help him to meet the weregild.
"Olaf the Glorious" by Robert Leighton
The weregild of a ceorl was 266 thrismas.
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, Issue 560, August 4, 1832" by Various
Thorgeir was outlawed, but for Thormod was taken weregild, and he to be quit.
"The Story of Grettir The Strong" by Translated by Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris
Even were it murder, I will pay the weregild for you, and you shall have cause to say that the place has no ill luck for you.
"A Prince of Cornwall" by Charles W. Whistler
In another law of the same Athelstan, the weregild of the prince or atheling, is said to be fifteen thousand thrimsas.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part A. From the Britons of Early Times to King John" by David Hume
Attempts were made to introduce the weregild.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
Thou and I may call that weregild for the slaying of his brother.
"The Sundering Flood" by William Morris
The spirit which had made weregild possible was, however, no longer to be found.
"A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3)" by Samuel Rawson Gardiner
A composition of eight pounds, exclusive, I conceive, of the usual weregild, was to be enforced from the slayer of any fellow.
"View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Henry Hallam
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