(In the UK) a subdivision of certain northern and midland English counties, corresponding to a hundred in other counties.
- The shire was divided into wapentakes rather than hundreds, and many of the place-names - Ingarsby, Scraptoft, and Barkby Thorpe - are of Scandinavian origin.
- Where Scandinavian influence was strongest, such as Yorkshire and the Five Boroughs, the equivalent sub-division was the wapentake.
- The first step was to divide the shires into hundreds (in Danish areas, the term wapentake was used), a reorganisation which probably occurred during the reigns of Edward the Elder and Athelstan.
Late Old English wǣpen(ge)tæc, from Old Norse vápnatak, from vápn 'weapon' + taka 'take', perhaps with reference to voting in an assembly by a show of weapons.
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