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  • noun [ neuter ]
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Róm-feoh, gen. -feós; n.
Peter's pence. [William of Malmesbury attributes to Ethelwulf the institution of this tax : 'Ethelwulf went to Rome (v. Chron. 855) and there offered to St. Peter that tribute which England pays to this day,' bk. 2, c. 2; but in the earlier and similar payment by Offa, established in 787, may probably be seen the origin of the Rómfeoh in England, v. Stubbs,
    Const. Hist. i. 230.
The Chronicle several times during Alfred's reign contains the notice that 'Wesseaxna ælmessan' were sent to Rome, but the first notice in the laws of Rómfeoh occurs in the agreement between English and Danes, to which his son Edward was a party : 'Gif hwá Rómfeoh forhealde gylde lahslit mid Denum, wíte mid Englum,' Th. i. 170, 2. The penalty, which is not here stated, was a heavy one, as will be seen from the passages given below. There is no mention in these of any being exempted from the contribution on the score of insufficient means, but in the laws of Edward the Confessor, in that which treats 'de denario Sancti Petri qui Anglice dicitur Rómescot,' it is said : 'Omnis qui habuerit .xxx. denariatas vive pecunie de suo proprio in domo suo, lege Anglorum dabit denarium Sancti Petri.' Further with regard to the time of payment it is enacted : 'Iste (denarius) summoniri debet in festivitate sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, et ultra festum Sancti Petri ad Vincula non detineatur,' Th. i. 446. So too in the laws of William I : 'Cil ki ad aueir champestre xxx. deñ vaillant deit duner le deñ sein Piere,' Th. i. 474. And see note on p. 170. See too the laws of Henry I : 'Romfech in festo Sancti Petri ad Vincula debet reddi,' Th. i. 520. v. Ducange s.v. Denarius S. Petri.]
Show examples
  • Wé bebeódaþ ǽlcum cristenum men ... Rómfeoh ... Gif hit hwá dón nelle, sý he ámánsumod,

      L. Edm. E. 2; Th. i. 244, 17.
  • Rómfeoh gelǽste man ǽghwilce geáre be Petres mæssan; and se ðe ðæt nelle gelǽstan, sylle ðártóeácan .xxx. peninga, and gilde ðam cyninge .cxx. sciłł.,

      L. Eth. ix. 10; Th. i. 342, 24.
  • Rómfeoh gelǽste man be Petres mæssan; and se ðe ofer ðæne dæg hit healde, ágyfe ðam bisceope ðæne penig, and ðǽrtó .xxx. penega and ðam cingce .cxx. sciłł.,

      L. C. E. 9; Th. i. 366, 15.
  • Rómfeoh gelǽste man ǽghwilce geáre be Peteres mæssan; and se ðe ðæt ne gelǽste, sylle ðǽrtóeacan .xxx. peninga tó Róme and gylde ðam cynge on Engla lage .cxx. scillinga,

      Wulfst. 272, 9.
[Cf. Icel. Róma-skattr.]
Similar entries
v. Rómpening
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Full form


  • Róm-feoh, n.