What is a Wapentake?

English counties were divided into smaller administrative units. Normally, these are called ‘Hundreds’ but in the former Danelaw, they are called ‘Wapentakes’. It is thought the name comes from the ancient practice of brandishing weapons to signal assent. If a wapentake was in crown hands the sheriff would hold his ‘tourn’ there at intervals, usually… Continue reading What is a Wapentake?

Band of Brothers

When Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo began to write their classic Godfather movies, based on Mario Puzo’s pop novel, did they have the Plantagenet Brothers, Edward, George and Richard in mind as the prototypes of Sonny, Fredo and Michael Corleone?  Whether they did or not, the parallels among the characters and their historical counterparts are quite interesting and in several instances, astonishing.… Continue reading Band of Brothers