Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Oath of Salisbury August 1086

On Lammas Day 1086 [August 1st] , William the Conqueror, king of England, summoned 170 of his tenants-in-chief and other landowning men of any account to Old Sarum, where they all swore allegiance in person to him and to be faithful against all other men.

Statuimus, ut omnes liberi homines faedere et sacramento affirment, quad intra et extra universum regnum Angliae Wilhelmo regi domino suo fideles esse volunt; tenas et honores illius omni fidelitate ubique servare cum eo, et contra inimicos et alienigenas defendere.

Known as the Salisbury Gemot in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,  this was the act which first established feudalism in England.


Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Syδδan he ferde abutan swap he com to Lammæssan to Searebyrig. þær him comon to his witan , and ealle þa landsittende men þe ahtes wæron ofer eall Engleland . wæron þass mannes men þe hi wæron. ealle hi bugon to him. wæron his menn him hold aδas sworon hi woldon ongean ealle oδre him holde beon.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Original Texts. 1861. pp. 353–.


Michael Swanton (1998). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Psychology Press. pp. 217–. ISBN 978-0-415-92129-9.

R. Allen Brown (1985). The Normans and the Norman Conquest. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 75–. ISBN 978-0-85115-367-4.

Joseph Fisher (F.R.H.S.) (1876). The History of Landholding in England. Longmans, Green, & Company. pp. 36–.


William Stubbs; H. W. C. Davis (22 March 2012). Select Charters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History from the Earliest Times to the Reign of Edward the First. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-1-108-04493-6.

The Salisbury Oath. by Cronne, H. History (The Journal of the Historical Association) Volume 19, 1934-1935 pp. 248-252.

H. A. Cronne
NEW SERIES, Vol. 19, No. 75 (DECEMBER, 1934), pp. 248-252
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL:

Birney, H. (1943. The Salisbury Oath: Its Feudal Implications. Chicago: Loyola University Chicago: Loyola eCommons.

Oath of Salisbury - Wikipedia

William Blackstone; George Sharswood (1870). Commentaries on the Laws of England: In Four Books. Oath of Salisbury: J.B. Lippincott & Company. pp. 431–.

Henry John Stephen (1841). New Commentaries on the Laws of England: (Partly Founded on Blackstone). H. Butterworth. pp. 170–.

Archibald Brown A New Law Dictionary and Institute of the Whole Law: For the Use of Students, the Legal Profession, and the Public. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-1-58477-610-9.

Sir Matthew Hale (1820). The History of the Common Law of England: And An Analysis of the Civil Part of the Law. Henry Butterworth. pp. 133–.

Samuel E. Thorne (1 July 1984). Essays in English Legal History. Continuum. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-8264-4305-2.
F.M. Stenton. William the Conqueror and the Rule of the Normans pp. 364-6

ORB- The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies

The Salisbury Oath
J. R. Maddicott
Responses to the Threat of Invasion, 1085
English Historical Review (2007) CXXII (498): 986-997 doi:10.1093/ehr/cem255

Birney, Harry Timothy, "The Salisbury Oath: Its Feudal Implications" (1943). Master's Theses. Paper 53.

George Lyttelton (1767). The History Of The Life of King Henry the Second, And of the Age in which He Lived: In Five Books: To which is Prefixed, A History of the Revolutions of England From the Death of Edward the Consessor to the Birth of Henry the Second. Sandby and Dodsley. pp. 524–.

Photoset Old Sarum

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