E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Wroth Money or Wroth Silver.
Money paid to the lord in lieu of castle guard for military service; a tribute paid for killing accidentally some person of note; a tribute paid in acknowledgment of the tenancy of unenclosed land. Dugdale, in his History of Warwickshire, says:
There is a certain rent due unto the lord of this Hundred (i.e. of Knightlow, the property of the Duke of Buccleuch), called wroth-money, or warth-money, or swarff-penny Denarii vice-comiti vel aliis castellanis persoluti ob castrorum prosidium vel excubias agendas (Sir Henry Spelman: Glossary). The rent must be paid on Martinmas Day, in the morning at Knightlow Cross, before sun-rise. The party paying it must go thrice about the cross and say, The wrathmoney, and then lay it [varying from 1d. to 2s. 3d.] in a hole in the said cross before good witnesses, or forfeit a white bull with red nose and ears. The amount thus collected reached in 1892 to about 9s., and all who complied with the custom were entertained at a substantial breakfast at the Dukes expense, and were toasted in a glass of rum and milk.