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1. An Anglo-Saxon legal system in which units or tithings composed of ten households were formed, in each of which members were held responsible for one another's conduct.
2. A member of a unit in frankpledge.

[Middle English frankplegge, from Anglo-Norman frauncpledge : Old French franc, free, frank; see frank1 + Old French plege, pledge; see pledge.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(in medieval England) n
1. (Historical Terms) the corporate responsibility of members of a tithing for the good behaviour of each other
2. (Historical Terms) a member of a tithing
3. (Historical Terms) a tithing itself
[C15: via Anglo-French from Old French franc free (see frank) + plege pledge]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



n. Old Eng. Law.
1. a system of dividing a community into tithings, with each member being responsible for the conduct of others in the group.
2. a member of a tithing.
[1250–1300; Middle English fra(u)nkplegge < Anglo-French frauncplege. See frank1, pledge]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
institution of Frankpledge made all members of a group liable for each
Funeral service to take place at Christ Church, Frankpledge Road, Coventry, CV3 5GT on Friday 28th October 2016 at 10.30am, followed by the committal at Canley Crematorium, Charter Chapel, at 11.30am.
(30) Pound's ellipses characteristically obscure the point of the passage in Coke, leaving us to stumble haltingly toward the end of this first part of the Canto, on through the assizes and the socalled "frankpledge" courts, each made up of ten families ("decemvirale collegium"), up to the climactic Confucian recognition that "That is our PIVOT"(Cantos, 773).
Given that the repatriates had lost their African cultural heritage, they were then to be used educate the colony's citizens in Western concepts of religion and governance such as the ancient system of frankpledge. It was a system based in proportionality and with an emphasis on representative government, a tightly organized militia and free labor, collective work and responsibility, hospitality to strangers and immigrants, common land and agrarianism, limitations on individual land ownership, an eight-hour workday, and a progressive taxation and public service code.
"I have the right to have court leets, who had rights of 'frankpledge' [sharing of responsibility] and I hold court with 12 men of the manor who were either born into it or appointed.
Diffuse denotes the different institutions and organizations that had part of this fragmented authority: lordship (manor court and view of frankpledge); parochial institutions and officers (churchwardens, sidesmen, and their delegated officers); and the "trust," which consisted of the feoffees and the two bridgemasters.
The invading Normans adopted the basic Saxon community system, (65) enforcing it through a preemptive, compulsory bail called a frankpledge (66) that anticipated the arrest of individuals.
The court rolls from these sessions contain an amazing amount of information about tenants and other inhabitants of the local community Some of the bigger manors were also allowed to hold a 'Court Leet' or 'View of Frankpledge' which enabled the lord to punish a range of minor offences not connected with the customs of the manor.
Corporations: Of Frankpledge and Deodand, 71 B.U.L.
All manner of "costs" accompanied the crime of murder during ancient and medieval times both under private systems of justice (e.g., the Germanic and early Anglo-Saxon frankpledge system) and under public systems, such as in those found in later Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence and continental systems.
Alschuler, Introduction Comment, Ancient Law and the Punishment of Corporations: Of Frankpledge and Deodand, 71 B.U.L.