King Æthelred of England (978–1016) issued this Old English law-code for the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw in 997, probably as part of a legislative pair with his Woodstock code which covered areas under English law. The Wantage code has a peculiarly Scandinavian vocabulary which probably reflects usage in that area. The code is chiefly concerned with the penalties for breach of peace, and includes regulations on the conduct of ordeals, arbitration and the clearance of condemned thieves. It includes perhaps the earliest description of a jury of presentment.

Manuscripts