Wap"en*take [AS. wpengec, wpentac, from Icel. vapnatak, literally, a weapon taking or weapon touching, hence an expression of assent ("si displicuit sententia fremitu aspernantur; sin placuit frameas concutiunt." Tacitus, "Germania," xi.). See Weapon, and Take. This name had its origin in a custom of touching lances or spears when the hundreder, or chief, entered on his office. "Cum quis accipiebat praefecturam wapentachii, die statuto in loco ubi consueverant congregari, omnes majores natu contra eum conveniebant, et descendente eo de equo suo, omnes assurgebant ei. Ipse vero, erecta lancea sua, ab omnibus secundum morem f&oe;dus accipiebat; omnes enim quot-quot venissent cum lanceis suis ipsius hastam tangebant, et ita se confirmabant per contactum armorum, pace palam concessa. Waepnu enim arma sonat; tac, tactus est -- hac de causa totus ille conventus dicitur Wapentac, eo quod per tactum armorum suorum ad invicem conf&oe;derati sunt." L L. Edward Confessor, 33. D. Wilkins.]

In some northern counties of England, a division, or district, answering to the hundred in other counties. Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire are divided into wapentakes, instead of hundreds.

[Written also wapentac.]

Selden. Blackstone.

 

© Webster 1913.

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