In common with the rest of Yorkshire, the East Riding was divided at an early period into Wapentakes. The word in its old Saxon form is Wæpen-tac, signifying weapon-touch, from which it is evident that the divisions to which the name was applied were formed for military purposes. Bawdwen, in his Domesday Glossary, tells us that when a new governor or chief was appointed, all the men of the wapentake were assembled together, and the newly-appointed chief, alighting from his horse, held aloft his spear, which every person present approached and touched with his own weapon, in token of a mutual bond and agreement to stand by one another. The wapentakes had their separate courts until A.D. 1340, when, by a statute passed in the 14th year of Edward III., they were discontinued, and the business transferred to the courts of the county. The following are the wapentakes in the East Riding, with the townships or civil parishes contained in each:
Buckrose Wapentake, 109,009 acres. - Acklam and Barthorpe, Birdsall, Brigthorpe, Burythorpe, Cowlam, Duggleby, East Heslerton, East and West Lutton, Eddlethorpe, Fimber, Firby, Fridaythorpe, Helperthorpe, Howsham, Kennythorpe, Kirby Grindalythe, Kirby-under-Dale, Kirkham, Knapton, Langton, Leavening, Leppington, Mennethorpe, North Grimston, Norton, Raisthorpe and Burdale, Rillington, Scagglethorpe, Scampston, Scrayingham, Settrington, Sherburn, Skirpenbeck, Sledmere-with-Croom, Thirkleby, Thixendale, Thorpe Bassett, Towthorpe, Weaverthorpe, West Heslerton, Westow, Wetwang, Wharram-le-Street, Wharram Percy, Wintringham, Yedingham.
Dickering Wapentake, 114,086 acres. - Argam, Auburn, Bempton, Bessingby, Boynton, Bridlington and Quay, Brigham, Buckton, Burton Agnes, Burton Fleming or North Burton, Butterwick, Carnaby, Cottam, Easton, Filey, Flamborough, Folkton, Fordon, Foston-on-the-Wolds, Foxholes-with-Boythorpe, Fraisthorpe, Ganton, Garton-on-the-Wolds, Gembling, Gransmoor, Great Kelk, Grindall, Haisthorpe, Harpham, Hilderthorpe, Hunmanby, Kilham, Langtoft, Little Kelk, Lowthorpe, Muston, Nafferton, Reighton, Rudston, Ruston Parva, Sewerby-with-Marton, Speeton, Thornholme, Thwing, Wansford, Willerby, Wilsthorpe, Wold Newton.
Harthill Wapentake, 263,532 acres (Bainton Beacon Division). - Aike, Bainton, Beswick, Bracken, Eastburn, Elmswell-with-Little Driffield, Great Driffield, Holme-on-the-Wolds, Hutton Cranswick, Kilnwick, Kirkburn, Lockington, Lockington-in-Kilnwick, Lund, Middleton, Neswick, North Dalton, Rotsea, Scarborough, Skerne, Southburn, Sunderlandwick, Tibthorpe, Warter, Watton.
Harthill Wapentake (Holme Beacon Division). - Aughton, Beilby, Breighton-cum-Gunby, Bubwith, East Cottingwith, Ellerton Priory, Everingham, Foggathorpe, Goodmanham, Gribthorpe, Harlthorpe, Harswell, Hayton, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Laytham, Londesborough, Market Weighton and Arras, Melbourne, Seaton Ross, Shipton, Spaldington, Storthwaite, Thorpe-le-Street, Willitoft, Wressell.
Harthill Wapentake (North Hunsley Beacon Division). - Anlaby, Beverley, Bishop Burton, Cherry Burton, Cottingham, Elloughton-cum-Brough, Etton, Hessle, Kirk Ella, Leconfield-with-Arram, Molescroft, New Village, North Cliff, North Ferriby, North Newbald, Rowley, Hunsley, Riplingham and Little Weighton, Sancton and Houghton, Skidby-with-Skidby Carr, South Cliff, South Dalton, South Newbald, Storkhill-cum-Sandholme, Swanland, Thearne, Walkington Wauldby, West Ella, Willerby, Woodmansey and Beverley Parks.
Harthill Wapentake (South Hunsley Beacon Division) - Brantingham, Broomfleet and Faxfleet, Ellerker, Hotham, North Cave, South Cave.
Harthill Wapentake (Wilton Beacon Division) . - Allerthorpe, Barmby-on-the-Moor, Bishop Wilton-with-Belthorpe, Bolton, Burnby, East Stamford Bridge. Fangfoss, Full Sutton, Great Givendale, High Catton, Huggate, Kilnwick Percy, Low Catton, Millington, Newton-upon-Derwent, Nunburnholme, Owsthorpe, Pocklington, Sutton-upon-Derwent, Thornton, Waplington, Wilberfoss, Yapham, Youlthorpe-with-Gowthorpe.
Holderness Wapentake, 168,399 acres (North Division). - Atwick, Barmston, Beeford Bonwick, Brandesburton, Catfoss, Catwick, Cowdens Ambo, Dringhoe, Upton and Brough, Dunnington, Eske, Goxhill, Great Hatfield, Hempholme, Hornsea-with-Burton, Leven, Lissett, Little Hatfield, Long Riston, Mappleton, Moor Town, North Frodingham, North Skirlaugh, Nunkeeling-with-Bewholme, Rise, Routh, Rowlston, Seaton and Wassand, Sigglesthorne, Skipsea, Tickton-cum-Hull Bridge, Ulrome, Withernwick, Weel.
Holderness Wapentake (Middle Division). - Aldbrough, Benningholme and Grange, Bilton, Burton Pidsea, Coniston, Danthorpe, East Newton, Ellerby, Elsternwick, Fitling, Flinton, Ganstead, Garton-with-Grimston, Hedon, Hilston, Humbleton, Lelley, Marfleet, Marten, Meaux, Owstwick, Preston, Roos, South Skirlaugh, Sproatley, Sutton and Stoneferry, Swine, Thirtleby, Tunstall, Wawne or Waghen, Waxholme, West Newton, Wyton.
Holderness Wapentake (South Division). - Burstwick-cum-Skeckling, Easington, Halsham, Hollym, Holmpton, Keyingham, Kilnsea, Ottringham, Out Newton, Owthorne, Patrington, Paull or Paghill, Rimswell, Ryhill, Skeffling, South Frodingham, Sunk Island, Thorngumbald, Welwick, Winestead, Withernsea.
Howdenshire Wapentake, 34,089 acres. - Asselby, Balkholme, Barnby-on-the-Marsh, Belby, Bellasize, Blacktoft, Cotness, Eastrington, Gilberdike, Howden, Kilpin, Knedlington, Laxton, Melton, Metham, Newport and Wallingfen, Portington and Cavil, Saltmarshe, Scalby, Skelton, Thorpe, Walkington (part of), Welton, Yokefleet.
Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, 55,345 acres. - Barlby, Brackenholme-with-Woodall, Deighton, Dunnington, Elvington, Escrick, Gate Fulford, Grimston, Hemingbrough, Heslington St. Lawrence, Heslington St. Paul, Kelfield, Kexby, Langwith, Menthorpe-with-Bowthorpe, Naburn, North Duffield, Osgodby, Riccall, Skipwith, South Duffield, Stamford Bridge-with-Scoreby, Stillingfleet-with-Moreby Thorganby, Water Fulford, Wheldrake.
Kingston-upon-Hull Borough and County. - Drypool, Holy Trinity and St. Mary, Sculcoates, Southcoates, Sutton and Stoneferry (part of).