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(dān`lô'), originally the body of law that prevailed in the part of England occupied by the Danes after the treaty of King AlfredAlfred,
849–99, king of Wessex (871–99), sometimes called Alfred the Great, b. Wantage, Berkshire. Early Life

The youngest son of King Æthelwulf, he was sent in 853 to Rome, where the pope gave him the title of Roman consul.
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 with Guthrum in 886. It soon came to mean also the area in which Danish law obtained; according to the treaty, the boundary between England and Danelaw ran "up the Thames, and then up the Lea … to its source, then straight to Bedford and then up the Ouse to Watling Street." The Danelaw comprised four main regions: Northumbria; the areas around and including the boroughs of Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Stamford; East Anglia; and the SE Midlands. Though the English kings soon brought the Danelaw back under their rule, they did not attempt to interfere with the laws and customs of the area, many of which survived until after the Norman Conquest.


See D. Whitelock, The Norman Conquest: its Setting and Impact (1968); F. M. Stenton, The Free Peasantry of the Northern Danelaw (1926, repr. 1969) and Anglo-Saxon England (3d ed. 1971).

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, Danelagh
the northern, central and eastern parts of Anglo-Saxon England in which Danish law and custom were observed
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