from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The chief magistrate of a district in Anglo-Saxon England.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the chief magistrate of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A chief; a leader: the Anglo-Saxon original of alderman, used in modern historical works with reference to its Anglo-Saxon use.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Old English; see alderman.


  • You are the man I need as what you would call the ealdorman there.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford

  • It was he who was so good to the monks, helping to defend them against the "ealdorman" of the Mercians, and others who were turning them out: he also helped to found the Abbey of Ely.

    Our Catholic Heritage in English Literature of Pre-Conquest Days

  • We have in the "Battle of Maldon" a great patriotic poem, written about the "ealdorman" [H] of the East Angles, Byrthnoth, or Brihtnoth, who stood so valiantly against the Danes.

    Our Catholic Heritage in English Literature of Pre-Conquest Days

  • I am an ealdorman, though I call myself Earl Uhtred, which is the same thing, and the fading parchments are proof of what I own.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » Lessons from the Master

  • However, there are occasional mentions in Bede that suggest a king needed the support of his powerful nobles King Oswin comes to mind, and in the late 9th century Alfred was always finding that some important ealdorman or other had gone over to the Danes.

    Horses in seventh-century England

  • The battle was a crushing defeat for the men of Essex and their ealdorman Byrhtnoth, at the hands of a Viking raiding party on the marshes of the Essex coast.

    The Poetry of History: Battle of Maldon

  • Aethelred accepted the overlordship of Alfred and demoted himself from cyning (king) to ealdorman ( earl), but in return had the security of connection to the Wessex royal family.

    Medieval Women I Adore - Installment 1: Aethelflaed

  • Shire and hundred courts administered local custom with the free-man suitors under the king's representative-ealdorman, shire-reeve, or hundred-reeve.


  • IN THIS year Cynewulf and the councillors of the West Saxons deprived Sigeberht of his kingdom because of his unjust acts, except for Hampshire; and he retained that until he killed the ealdorman who stood by him longest; and then Cynewulf drove him into the Weald, and he lived there until a swineherd stabbed him to death by the stream at Privett, and he was avenging Ealdorman Cumbra.

    The Early Middle Ages 500-1000

  • I, Oslac, ealdorman of the South Saxons, willingly grant for the relief of my soul to the venerable church of St. Paul the Apostle a certain portion, i.e. with two names, Earnley and Tielœsora, with all things belonging to it, fields, woods.

    The Early Middle Ages 500-1000


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The chief magnate of Mercia as an English province held the title of ealdorman until 1017, and earl thereafter." (Found on Wikipedia while looking up something else entirely.)

    August 26, 2008