Danegeld was a royal tax (Old English geld) which was levied in England between 991 and 1012 in order to buy peace from the Danish invaders. The geld was assessed according to hidage and was separate and distinct from the general geld. The term is formed by combining "Dane", which refers to the Danish invaders who received the money, with "geld", which means (in Old English) "payment" or "tribute."
After 1066 the term was applied to the general geld which was effectively abandoned in 1162.
The "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles" which did not use "Danegeld" but referred to the tax as gafol, states for the year 991:
- In this year it was first counselled that tribute be yielded to the Danishmen, because of the horrors they worked along the coasts. The first payment was ten thousand pounds at the advice of archbishop Sigaric" (Translated Anne Savage 1982)