The Origins of the Tingley Name
(as best we can tell)

The Planter, 1635

Information on the Tingley name, below, comes from The Topcliffe and Morley Registers, which were edited by William Smith 1888. This Tingley is just south West of Leeds and is basically on a present day map near Junction 28 M62 motorway.

"TINGLEY: Field or Council (In the earliest Memorial Rolls at Wakefield, the name invariably appears THING LAWE) Tin, ting or thinge is derived from the old Norse tinga, to speak, allied to the English word, think. In this word we probably have a trace of one of the legislative institutions of the Northmen. The thinge was their great council or popular assembly, where their laws were passed, and their chiefs elected. This council was held in the open air, on an island, hill or promontory, and - probably to prevent any undue local influence from predominating - generally at  a distance from any town or village.

The Northmen introduced their 'Things' into England, and from it we derive Hustings or house things (hus O.E. House) the place where the election of a Member of Parliament is proposed by the householders qualified to vote.

The following description of one of the judicial proceedings of a Danish 'Thing' gives us a good idea of the commencement of an institution that now forms so important a part in our legal system. The 'Things' were held in the open air and served both for the discussion of public affairs and the administration of justice. For the latter purpose, a circle called the doom-ring (domringe) was formed with hazel twigs or with upright stones in which were attached cords called vebond i.e. the consecrated or sacred cords. Within this circle sat the judges, the people standing on the outside, and in the middle stood the biotsteinn a huge stone with a sharp ridge on which the backs of criminals condemned to death were broken.

Each of the three godars or presidents of the Thing summoned twelve assessors or doomsmen (domsmenn) to sit with  him within the forensic circle which thus formed a court of justice - if we apply modern terms to ancient institutions - of three Judges and thirty-six jurymen. Any doomsmean to whom either the plaintiff or defendant might object was to be instantly replaced by the godi who had nominated him. There was a ring called the Altar-ring for the administration of oaths. Every one engaged in a law-suit, whether as plaintiff or defendant as witness or compurgator or doomsmean was obliged to swear on this ring 'In the name of Frey, Njord and the Almighty God' that he would fulfil the duty imposed on him - to give evidence, plead or judge, as the case might be, conscientiously and to the best of his abilities. Therefore, an early form of trial by jury."

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