1) An alliance was a group of people united by kinship or friendship.

The term alerts us to the close-knit social groups which existed within the wider community, certainly from the Tudor period: 1534 Sir Nicholas is a man of great possessionz and hath so many of his consanguinyte and alians within the seyd counte. ‘Ally’ as a noun could have the same sense: 1535 tenauntes and inhabytantes … being of there alye and affinyte, Burton in Lonsdale possibly a back formation from the verb: c.1541 Wylliam Knevet ys a man of great substance and greatly fryndyd, akyn and alyed … in the sayd countie of Yorke, Esholt. In the will of Robert Hirste of Leeds an interesting distinction is made: 1499 To Elizabeth Jopis my alyance for hir good service v marke. To Alison Forster my servaunt for hir service … xs.

spellings ally
dates 1499 1534 1535 1541

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