from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The body of law established by the Danish invaders and settlers in northeast England in the ninth and tenth centuries.
- n. The sections of England under the jurisdiction of this law.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. The part of Great Britain in which the laws of the Scandinavians dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons.
- proper n. The set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the English Alfred the Great and the Danish Guthrum the Old.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The body of laws in force in that part of England which was settled in the ninth century by the Danes, at first as an independent body.
- n. The fifteen counties of England, extending from the Tees to the Thames, and from Watling street to the German ocean, formerly occupied by the Danes, and in which Danish law was enforced.
The remainder of England as far north as the Tees was surrendered to the Danes, and became known as the Danelaw, because
The eastern part of England, where the invaders were firmly established, came to be called the Danelaw, because here the Danish, and not the Anglo-Saxon, law prevailed.
Alfred was obliged to allow them to keep the eastern portion of England, a region called Danelaw, because the law of the Danes was obeyed there.
Leaving Wessex, the Danes settled to the north, in an area known as "Danelaw."
It was called the Danelaw because most Vikings who attacked Britain were Danes.
The northern third of what is now England was called the "Danelaw" for many centuries, because
"Danelaw" not only to the legal system of the region but to that geographical area itself.
Eventually, rather than return to their homes in Scandinavia, they simply settled, at first along the coastlines they had come to know so well from seasonal raiding expeditions, and then in their own sizable territory, the Danelaw as in “where the law of the Danes ruled”.
Our current jury system appears to have been imported into England by the Vikings (yes the Anglo-Saxons had a jury system before the Vikings showed up but the Viking system from the Danelaw .... wonout).
Norse influenced Old English right across the Danelaw, although the elimination of case-endings and the corresponding constraint on word order appears to have developed more strongly after the Norman Conquest.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.