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Old November 10th, 2015, 03:19 AM   #21

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"Night’s Farm" - the amount of produce which would support the King and his retinue for 24 hours, paid by certain groups of royal estates.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 03:42 AM   #22

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Wigod of Wallingford played a key part in 1066.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigod

William of Poitiers says Harold had a fleet of 700 ships.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_of_Poitiers

The ASC and other sources say only a third of the army had arrived at Hastings in 1066. William does not march on London from Hastings but moves up the coast to Dover and then along the Thames to the bridge at Southwark, where he is repelled by the "fleetmen" according to Orderic Vitalis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orderic_Vitalis
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Old November 10th, 2015, 10:09 PM   #23
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The economy Roman Britain, with a population of twice that of Domesday England; could support a standing army of circa 50,000.

So probably something like 25,000 huscarls could be mustered in 1066 from the King's personal retinue and the retinue of the four Earls, Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia.

Wessex and the King's retinue probably accounted for more than half.
I've spent quite a bit if time looking at figures like these. A standing Roman Army in Britain of 20,000 would be being generous.

In the modern age mass armies were made possible by mass production and mass surplus. We are talking about a world where the surplus was very narrow. And more often than not merely the fat on peoples bellies.

It's most likely the case that Roman Europe had a much higher population than what followed. Rome was a victim of its own success and the demands of its over weening population brought it down.


The maximum number of ordinary Thegn's for the entirety of England can only be 50,000. and most likely much less. Latter day England's area is about 50,000 square miles. On average 5 hides is a square mile. Hence there could never be more than 50,000 Thegn's and most likely much less. These were men that had estates to worry about and only served under the threat of land confiscation. They took with them food supplies to last 3 months and when run out, they were going home.

At best we are only looking at a few thousand Huscarles or equivalent for England.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 12:56 AM   #24

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I've spent quite a bit if time looking at figures like these. A standing Roman Army in Britain of 20,000 would be being generous.

In the modern age mass armies were made possible by mass production and mass surplus. We are talking about a world where the surplus was very narrow. And more often than not merely the fat on peoples bellies.

It's most likely the case that Roman Europe had a much higher population than what followed. Rome was a victim of its own success and the demands of its over weening population brought it down.


The maximum number of ordinary Thegn's for the entirety of England can only be 50,000. and most likely much less. Latter day England's area is about 50,000 square miles. On average 5 hides is a square mile. Hence there could never be more than 50,000 Thegn's and most likely much less. These were men that had estates to worry about and only served under the threat of land confiscation. They took with them food supplies to last 3 months and when run out, they were going home.

At best we are only looking at a few thousand Huscarles or equivalent for England.
The tribal hidage has a total 244,100 hides, the normal tax on this was 2 shillings a hide and as can be seen from Domesday a huscarl would cost 24 shillings for 12 months service.
That gives a standing army of 20,000, which would correspond with the Roman army, three full legions plus Barbarian auxilia regiments who made up 60/70% of the Roman army in Britain, at least 40,000.

Another 49,000 could be raised from the fyrd levy for two or three months service.

When William the Conqueror was under threat of invasion from his brother-in-law Robert the Frisian and Canute IV of Denmark, he put a tax of six shillings on a hide, which would have been enough to hire a standing army of 60,000.
This planned invasion was almost certainly the original purpose of Domesday, to see how many foreign troops could be billeted on his barons.

Anglo-Saxon shilling = 4d (silver pennies), Norman shilling = 12d
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Old November 11th, 2015, 01:14 AM   #25

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A hide in Domesday is a tax assessment, plenty of plain freemen/ceorls hold more than 10 hides.
Also plenty of changes in assessment, "TRE (time of Edward) 4 hides now 2" etc.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 01:36 AM   #26

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A hide in Domesday is a tax assessment, plenty of plain freemen/ceorls hold more than 10 hides.
Also plenty of changes in assessment, "TRE (time of Edward) 4 hides now 2" etc.
The tribal hidage only covers England to the Humber/York, the Northumbrian army would have to be added for 1066.
Wessex at 100,000 hides would give the Earl of Wessex (Harold 1066) 20,000 Wessex fyrd. All sent home before Stamford Bridge and Hastings of course.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 02:30 AM   #27

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A standing Roman Army in Britain of 20,000 would be being generous.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_...ies_in_Britain
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Old November 11th, 2015, 03:53 AM   #28
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The tribal hidage has a total 244,100 hides, the normal tax on this was 2 shillings a hide and as can be seen from Domesday a huscarl would cost 24 shillings for 12 months service.
That gives a standing army of 20,000, which would correspond with the Roman army, three full legions plus Barbarian auxilia regiments who made up 60/70% of the Roman army in Britain, at least 40,000.

Another 49,000 could be raised from the fyrd levy for two or three months service.

When William the Conqueror was under threat of invasion from his brother-in-law Robert the Frisian and Canute IV of Denmark, he put a tax of six shillings on a hide, which would have been enough to hire a standing army of 60,000.
This planned invasion was almost certainly the original purpose of Domesday, to see how many foreign troops could be billeted on his barons.

Anglo-Saxon shilling = 4d (silver pennies), Norman shilling = 12d

I suspect that the royal AS shilling was 12d. Although there could be mercantile and regional variations of this.

The first silver currency imported from Arab Spain were 2.9 grams fine silver that were valued at 2d each.

In any case 2 shillings per month would be a peasant wage. For somebody like a Huscarl there would have been extra payments in kind, such as food, clothing, lodgings. Which extended to wife and children. The 2 shillings was merely cash in hand.

Each Earl had a force of something like 120 to 240 huscarls. If there was let's say 7 earls total, then there was maybe 3,000 huscarls. The question is whether the 3,000 royal huscarls were additional or the same forces. At best 6,000 huscarls.

Imaginary figures on the Roman army are misleading. For example there was 6 legions stationed in Egypt in the late 3rd century. Nominally with associated auxiliaries we get a figure of 60,000 men. However in this case actual wages sheets were found in ancient rubbish dumps. We instead get a total of 8,000 men. 4 of the legions only had a single cohort, so were primarily regional administration with a cohort each to strong arm. Two legions were field quality forces. But the manpower of these only amounted to 6,400 or so total. Recruiting legions to some sort of strength for real conflict was always treasury breaking. Other examples are cohorts with only 50 men going by the size of the forts they were stationed in.

And indication that the numbers were not always that large, might be found in genetic information. For example they claim that on average 3% of older line English males are descended form Scandinavian males that either successfully invaded or successfully colonized England. Ruling out the even more substancile migration of the 19th century when the English workshop sucked in poor buggers from all over Europe. They say as much as 10% of the great English industrial cities were Scandinavian.
Considering that the total male population of England at the medieval time was around a million. This points to 30,000 successful invaders/colonizers. Excluding the poor unfortunates who only earned a grave plot. This also excludes the majority of Danes who are genetically the same as the Ingvone Anglo-saxons. But it does demonstrate it didn't take many desperado's to raise hell in England. Even though they seem to have supplemented their forces with local auxiliaries, Irish, Welsh, Scottish or Anglo-Saxon malcontents. It seems they had a bad habit of replacing dead oarsmen with any poor bugger they came across.

The important thing remember guys, is always loot and land to settle on. Business is business, and Vikings first and foremost were always businessmen. They had a price like Chico Marx. $5 to stay and entertain you or $10 to bugger off! Considering the entertainment was rather painful many of the audience opted to pay the $10!

Last edited by Mr Higson; November 11th, 2015 at 04:29 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 04:55 AM   #29

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well u have to be more specific. the huscarls were the absolute cream of the crop. they were the elites. against an average viking, they can take out two possibly three. are the vikings like super battler hardened and experienced or smthing? like maybe hadradras personal body guard? then mayb it will be an even match or i would say our of 10 battles, 6 to the huscarls and 4 to the bodyguards.
One ''elite'' warrior taking out 2-3 experienced fighters is highly unlikely, unless it's one after one. it's not the skill of the warrior that wins the battle, it's the warriors ability to work together. 10 berserkers vs 10 regular but disciplined warriors would be an equal math.

Thinking a huskarl would be so surperior to one of Sigurdssons hirdmen is complete bollocks, Sigurdsssons men would be just as if not a lot more experienced fighters, and under his leadership they would be furthermore sufficient. Godwinsons lack of leadership seen later at Hastins supports this.
the only reason/s as to why Godwinson won at Hastings is due the fact he caught Sigurdsson and his men off-guard, out-numbered and under-armed. yet they fought til the death, only those whom remained at the ships during the fight, including his son, lived. surely so they could tell the tale, further improving Godwinsons reputation and successfully ending further scalable invasions set to conquer.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 05:55 AM   #30

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Originally Posted by Mr Higson View Post
I suspect that the royal AS shilling was 12d. Although there could be mercantile and regional variations of this.

The first silver currency imported from Arab Spain were 2.9 grams fine silver that were valued at 2d each.

In any case 2 shillings per month would be a peasant wage. For somebody like a Huscarl there would have been extra payments in kind, such as food, clothing, lodgings. Which extended to wife and children. The 2 shillings was merely cash in hand.

Each Earl had a force of something like 120 to 240 huscarls. If there was let's say 7 earls total, then there was maybe 3,000 huscarls. The question is whether the 3,000 royal huscarls were additional or the same forces. At best 6,000 huscarls.

Imaginary figures on the Roman army are misleading. For example there was 6 legions stationed in Egypt in the late 3rd century. Nominally with associated auxiliaries we get a figure of 60,000 men. However in this case actual wages sheets were found in ancient rubbish dumps. We instead get a total of 8,000 men. 4 of the legions only had a single cohort, so were primarily regional administration with a cohort each to strong arm. Two legions were field quality forces. But the manpower of these only amounted to 6,400 or so total. Recruiting legions to some sort of strength for real conflict was always treasury breaking. Other examples are cohorts with only 50 men going by the size of the forts they were stationed in.

And indication that the numbers were not always that large, might be found in genetic information. For example they claim that on average 3% of older line English males are descended form Scandinavian males that either successfully invaded or successfully colonized England. Ruling out the even more substancile migration of the 19th century when the English workshop sucked in poor buggers from all over Europe. They say as much as 10% of the great English industrial cities were Scandinavian.
Considering that the total male population of England at the medieval time was around a million. This points to 30,000 successful invaders/colonizers. Excluding the poor unfortunates who only earned a grave plot. This also excludes the majority of Danes who are genetically the same as the Ingvone Anglo-saxons. But it does demonstrate it didn't take many desperado's to raise hell in England. Even though they seem to have supplemented their forces with local auxiliaries, Irish, Welsh, Scottish or Anglo-Saxon malcontents. It seems they had a bad habit of replacing dead oarsmen with any poor bugger they came across.

The important thing remember guys, is always loot and land to settle on. Business is business, and Vikings first and foremost were always businessmen. They had a price like Chico Marx. $5 to stay and entertain you or $10 to bugger off! Considering the entertainment was rather painful many of the audience opted to pay the $10!
The Crisis of the Third Century army can not be compared to the 2nd century army in Britain, by the end of the 3rd century, legions could be no more than 1,000 strong.

Domesday uses solidus (sol) for 12d and shilling (s) for Anglo-Saxon.

"A tenth-century law (VI Æthelstan 6) notes that a horse could be valued at up to half a pound (120 pence), an ox at a mancus (30 pence), a cow at 20 pence, a pig at 10 pence, and a sheep at a shilling (here perhaps 4 pence)."

Anglo-Saxons.net : Questions

You have Wallingford paying geld of 7d a hide TRE (before 1066}

ASCe (1084)

And on þes ylcan geares æfter midewintre se cyng let beodan mycel gyld 7 hefelic ofer eall Englaland. þæt wæs æt ælcere hyde twa 7 hund seofenti peanega.

"And in the same year after midwinter the king had a great and heavy tax ordered over all England - that was seventy-two pence for every hide."
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