After much factious strife, and many stormy meetings of the Witan, Edward was murdered at Corfe in 978 by some thegns of the party of the queen-dowager.
5, 1066) after having recommended Harold as his successor to the thegns and bishops who stood about his deathbed.
In each county the list opened with the holding of the king himself (which had possibly formed the subject of separate inquiry); then came those of the churchmen and religious houses; next were entered those of the lay tenants-in-chief (barones);° and last of all those of women, of the king's serjeants (servientes), of the few English "thegns" who retained land, and so forth.
As Stubbs says " the thegn seems to be primarily the warrior gesith " - the gesithas forming the chosen band of companions (comites) of the German chiefs (principes) noticed by Tacitus - " he is probably the gesith who had a particular military duty in his master's service "; and he adds that from the reign of Athelstan " the gesith is lost sight of except very occasionally, the more important class having become thegns, and the lesser sort sinking into the rank of mere servants of the king."
But besides the king, the ealdormen, bishops and king's thegns themselves had their thegns, and to these it is more than probable that the name of cniht was applied.