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in English history, a subdivision of a shire, first mentioned in the 10th cent. and surviving as a unit of local government into the 19th cent. It is thought that in origin the hundred comprised 100 geld hides, the geld hide being the basic Anglo-Saxon land unit for taxation purposes; but the hundreds varied considerably in size. The number of hundreds in a shire also varied, and their boundaries were continually changed. The hundred had its own court. The Saxon tithing groups, which had corporate responsibility for the crimes committed by their members, came before it, and personal pleas of debt and trespass were also brought there. Originally presided over by the king's reeves, the hundred courts continued to meet regularly every four weeks until the 13th cent., by which time many of them had been taken over by local lords. They gradually lost importance and from the 16th cent. had little more than a formal existence. In Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, and Leicestershire the unit equivalent to the hundred was called a wapentake; in Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Durham, a ward. Hundreds were also used as subdivisions of counties in some of the Thirteen Colonies, and continued to be used in Delaware as state legislative districts until the 1960s.


See H. M. Cam, The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls (1930, repr. 1963); F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (3d ed. 1971).



(German, Hundertschaft), a social and military organization among the ancient Germanic peoples during the period of transition from the primitive communal system to feudalism. The popular assembly of the hundred met under an elected hundred-leader and decided judicial, administrative, and other questions; the hundred was the basic unit of allotting troops among the Germanic tribes and tribal federations.

In continental Europe the hundred disappeared with the rise of feudalism. In England it gradually came under the authority of the king, in the person of the bailiff. The hundred endured until the late 19th century as an administrative-territorial unit with limited administrative and police functions. Several hundreds formed a shire.


1. the cardinal number that is the product of ten and ten; five score
2. a numeral, 100, C, etc., representing this number
3. Maths the position containing a digit representing that number followed by two zeros
4. History an ancient division of a county in England, Ireland, and parts of the US
References in classic literature ?
I'll give you three hundred," Ladue offered desperately.
And through it all the Black Hundreds played their part.
In 1879 the New York telephone directory was a small card, showing two hundred and fifty-two names; but now it has grown to be an eight-hundred-page quarterly, with a circulation of half a million, and requiring twenty drays, forty horses, and four hundred men to do the work of distribution.
I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred oxen, and three hundred sheep, with bread and drink proportionable, and as much meat ready dressed as four hundred cooks could provide.
Then he jumped in and leased twelve hundred acres at seven dollars an acre "
Yes, there are two hundred of them, and each of them will need two, which will make four hundred.
What, just when I've paid a hundred dollars for a pocket-handkerchief?
The building is five hundred feet long by one hundred and eighty wide, and the principal steeple is in the neighborhood of four hundred feet high.
Retailed at a dollar, on a royalty of fifteen per cent, it would bring him one hundred and fifty dollars.
It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred.
But this extraordinary creature could transport itself from one place to another with surprising velocity; as, in an interval of three days, the Governor Higginson and the Columbus had observed it at two different points of the chart, separated by a distance of more than seven hundred nautical leagues.
The abbe looked maliciously at Gourville, and anxiously at Fouquet, and said, "I have three hundred pistoles to pay to M.