12 Facts About Danelaw


Danelaw originated from the invasion of the Great Heathen Army into England in the 9th century, although the term was not used to describe a geographic area until the 11th century.

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Danelaw can describe the set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between Alfred the Great, the king of Wessex, and Guthrum, the Danish warlord, written following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Edington in 878.

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Danelaw roughly comprised these contemporary 15 shires: Leicester, York, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, Northampton, Huntingdon, Bedford, Hertford, Middlesex, and Buckingham.

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Danelaw's army was weak and he was forced to pay tribute to Ivar in order to make peace with the Danes.

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Danelaw appeared in legislation as late as the early 12th century with the Leges Henrici Primi, where it is referred to as one of the laws together with those of Wessex and Mercia into which England was divided.

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Danelaw was moderately successful in this endeavour and was able to score minor victories against the Danes, but his army was on the verge of collapse.

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Danelaw's was succeeded by her brother, the Kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex united in the person of King Edward.

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Danelaw was defeated and killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

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Danelaw took control of York after defeating the Norman garrison and inciting a local uprising.

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Danelaw was an important factor in the establishment of a civilian peace in the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon and Viking communities.

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The contact between these languages in the Danelaw caused the incorporation of many Norse words into the English language, including the word law itself, sky and window, and the third person pronouns they, them and their.

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Thynghowe was an important Danelaw meeting place, today located in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire.

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