Friþ / Frið

Pronounced “Frith”, this refers to the state of peace, tranquillity, security and refuge that is proffered from the Inner Yard. Essentially, it refers to the very idea that anyone who is part of the Inner Yard should adhere to maintaining a level of peace and security to all others who are also part of the Inner Yard. These days we have offences under common law for a “Breach of the Peace” and this quite directly links to frith, where it is not only desirable, but fundamental to society that citizens, folc, have the right to be able to go about their business undisturbed by anyone of ill repute or malicious intent.

This battle to maintain frith is one which is taken up by the Police and Security services within this nation, however every citizen has the duty to keep frith and help to maintain it where possible. In the UK we talk about “policing by consent” and that concept links to the idea that it is in the common interests of the whole of society that the frithkeepers, the police officers, are allowed to investigate breaches of the peace in whatever form they take so as to protect the Inner Yard from the malignant nature of the chaotic Outer Yard.

Related to this are the ideas of “grith” and “mund”.

Grith is much less widely understood and yet is used on a daily basis throughout the Inner Yard. It refers to a temporary truce, or peace established between two or more parties who are at a fundamental disagreement, in order to discuss and parley with one another so as to reach a solution to a predicament. In modern times this could refer to a meeting between disgruntled neighbours, overseen by a neighbourhood police officer, or a mediated meeting between two separated parents about childcare. One of the core agreements in those meetings is that the time set aside for them is time of relative peace for the issues to be aired and to be hopefully resolved. In heathen terms, grith should be referred to when looking to discuss any major disagreements between members of the hearth and members of the family, predominantly.

Mund refers to an area of special peace or protection that was kept around the king and his government to ensure the orderly running of national affairs. In modern times, this represents the enhanced security measures around our sovereign and her government and the very real need to keep those who run this country safe from harm in particular. As we have seen with recent events in London, this can mean giving one’s life to ensure the security of the nation. It is a stark reminder that PC Keith Palmer gave his life for the protection of the way this country is governed and this is primarily the reason why the job of frithkeeper is so important and worthy of celebration.