Offences were no longer against the individual and his kin, but against the king's peace, or against the peace of subordinate holders of courts - earls, thanes, barons, bishops and abbots.
Meanwhile Mary's party dwindled away; at a meeting in Perth (23rd of February 1573) her thanes fled from her, and Elizabeth at last reinforced Mary's enemies with men and artillery.
To the reign of Cnut belong the "Constitutiones de Foresta," according to which four thanes were appointed in every province for the administration of justice in all matters connected with the forests; under them were four inferior thanes to whom was committed immediate care of the vert and venison.'
Before the Norman Conquest seven thanes held it of Edward the Confessor as seven manors, but William the Conqueror granted the whole to Ilbert de Lacy, and at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held of him by Ralph Paganel, who is said to have raised Leeds castle, possibly on the site of an earlier fortification.
This last stands on a hill to the east of the town, occupying the site of the 12thcentury castle which was one of the strongholds of the Macduffs, thanes or earls of Fife.