New
New
Year 10
AQA

Anglo-Saxon kingship

I can describe the nature of kingship in Anglo-Saxon England.

New
New
Year 10
AQA

Anglo-Saxon kingship

I can describe the nature of kingship in Anglo-Saxon England.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The king had a duty to protect the kingdom and had powers over the army, laws, landownership, and money.
  2. In return, the people had a duty to obey the laws and serve the king through taxes and military service.
  3. Edward the Confessor’s power was balanced by powerful earls who controlled thegns and armies.
  4. Edward had gained legitimacy through his piety and law-making.
  5. The Witan advised the king and had a role in selecting his successor.

Common misconception

Anglo-Saxon monarchs had to be great warriors to be made king.

In fact some monarchs, such as Edward the Confessor, were not warriors but instead very religious men whose faith inspired others.

Keywords

  • Fyrd - the fyrd was an army which consisted of part-time soldiers called up by thegns and earls when ordered by the king

  • Shire reeve - a shire reeve (sheriff) was a king’s legal officer who enforced laws in a shire

  • Piety - piety is strong religious faith that is shown in the way someone lives

  • Danelaw - the Danelaw was an area in Anglo-Saxon England which had previously been invaded and settled by Danes (Vikings) and had retained some laws and customs that were different from southern England

  • Witan - the Witan was a group of leading nobles who advised the king

Use a historical map of Edward the Confessor's kingdom. Students identify key regions (like the Danelaw and powerful earldoms) and discuss how this influenced Edward's reign.
Teacher tip

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Who were the warrior class of the Anglo-Saxon time?
Correct answer: thegns
earls
aristocracy
Q2.
This group of peasants were not tied to the land and were ‘free’.
Correct answer: ceorls
slaves
barbarians
Q3.
Which one of the following statements best defines the word hierarchy?
movement up or down between the different layers of the social structure
Correct answer: a system in which people are put at various levels according to their importance
the fixed system in society in across which there was no movement
Q4.
What is the name for the group of people who were treated like property: they could be bought and sold?
Correct Answer: Slaves, slaves
Q5.
Who was the first person to refer to an ‘English’ people?
Correct answer: an Anglo-Saxon monk
a Roman scholar
a Norman warrior
Q6.
Which of the following statements best describes Anglo-Saxon England?
A wealthy country with a large population
A poor country with a small population
Correct answer: A wealthy country with a small population

6 Questions

Q1.
The is an army which consisted of part-time soldiers called up by thegns and earls when ordered by the king.
Correct Answer: fyrd, The fyrd, Fyrd
Q2.
Match the words with their definitions. Write the correct letter in each box.
Correct Answer:The Witan,a group of leading aristocrats who advised the king

a group of leading aristocrats who advised the king

Correct Answer:The Danelaw,an area which had been invaded and settled by Danes (Vikings)

an area which had been invaded and settled by Danes (Vikings)

Correct Answer:A shire reeve,a king’s legal officer who enforced laws in a shire

a king’s legal officer who enforced laws in a shire

Q3.
Which of the following statements best describes the role of an Anglo Saxon monarch?
Correct answer: They had a duty to protect their people.
Correct answer: They had to maintain a peaceful society.
Correct answer: They had to uphold law and order.
They had to directly engage in trade.
They had to personally arrest criminals.
Q4.
means strong religious faith that is shown in the way someone lives.
Correct Answer: piety, Piety
Q5.
How was Edward the Confessor’s power limited?
by a parliament of leading men
Correct answer: by powerful earls who controlled thegns and armies
he shared his power with the other kingdoms
Q6.
Which of the following statements most accurately describes the role of the Witan? Select all of the statements that are correct.
Correct answer: They advised the king on how to deal with threats from abroad.
They forced the king to follow their advice.
Correct answer: They helped the king to tackle rebels in the kingdom.
Correct answer: They played a crucial say in selecting the successor to the throne.

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