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I've been reading Scott's Ivanhoe, and in it Cedric has been complaining of the general lawlessness of England at the time, when an alarm sounds...

"To the gate, knaves!" said the Saxon, hastily, as soon as the tumult was so much appeased that the dependents could hear his voice. "See what tidings that horn tells us of - to announce, I ween, some hership and robbery which has been done upon my lands."

I wonder if anyone could explain what hership means? I have tried to search for it but my attempts are corrected to hardship or heirship.

3 Answers 3

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Etymology:

Hership comes from the word here, which used to mean army. The Old English word herigan uses this word to the effect of "harry+ship"

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Heirship: (archaic) Pillaging, devastation, plunder.

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Pillaging, devastation, plunder.

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