Witan

The Witan (Old English witenagemot, moot or meeting) was the term used to describe the council summoned by Anglo-Saxon kings. These meetings of aldermen, thanes and bishops discussed royal grants of land, church matters, charters, taxation, customary law, defence and foreign policy. The succession of a new king had to be approved by the Witan.

The composition of the Witan was not set and the size of the assembly depended on what was being discussed and where it was held. For example, meetings were larger during religious festivals and when the king was resident in one of his palaces.

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