Anglo Saxon gathering of eminent people. It would include bishops, ealdormen, thegn's and the like. They would be summoned by the king and would advise him on various issues that were important to the kingdom. They would act as witnesses and be responsible for new taxes, charters and running the country in between monarchs. The witan had a regulatory effect on the king so that his decisions were discussed fully before implementation. The witan could also responsible for choosing the king. The efficacy of the witan to make valued judgements is open to question when they invited Aethelred the Unready back from exile following the death of the Viking and king of England - Swegn Forkbeard.
© copyright Glen Ray Crack -
Battle - East Sussex - United Kingdom
Submitted 10th January 1998
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