What gives enduring interest to the battle is the superb courage with which a group of Byrhtnoth's thegns, knowing that the fight was lost, deliberately gave themselves to death in order that they might avenge their lord. Yet it was presumably the Danish fleet that had beaten Byrhtnoth at Maldon that continued to ravage the English coast from to In , the Danish fleet, which had swollen in ranks since , turned up the Thames estuary and headed toward London.
The battle fought there was inconclusive. After receiving gifts, Olaf promised "that he would never come back to England in hostility. In , Danish raids began again. According to Keynes, "there is no suggestion that this was a new fleet or army, and presumably the mercenary force created in from the residue of the raiding army of had turned on those whom it had been hired to protect.
In , it raided Kent, and, in , it left England for Normandy, perhaps because the English had refused in this latest wave of attacks to acquiesce to the Danish demands for gafol or tribute, which would come to be known as Danegeld , 'Dane-payment'.
In , a Danish fleet — perhaps the same fleet from — returned and ravaged west Sussex. During its movements, the fleet regularly returned to its base in the Isle of Wight. There was later an attempted attack in the south of Devon , though the English mounted a successful defence at Exeter. However, Keynes points out that such payments had been practice for at least a century, and had been adopted by Alfred the Great , Charles the Bald and many others.
Indeed, in some cases it "may have seemed the best available way of protecting the people against loss of life, shelter, livestock and crops. Though undeniably burdensome, it constituted a measure for which the king could rely on widespread support. No order of this kind could be carried out in more than a third of England, where the Danes were too strong, but Gunhilde , sister of Sweyn Forkbeard , King of Denmark, was said to have been among the victims. It is likely that a wish to avenge her was a principal motive for Sweyn's invasion of western England the following year.
In this year, a nobleman of East Anglia, Ulfcytel Snillingr met Sweyn in force, and made an impression on the until-then rampant Danish expedition. Though Ulfcytel was eventually defeated, outside Thetford , he caused the Danes heavy losses and was nearly able to destroy their ships. The Danish army left England for Denmark in , perhaps because of the losses they sustained in East Anglia, perhaps from the very severe famine which afflicted the continent and the British Isles in that year.
In , the government created a new fleet of warships, organised on a national scale, but this was weakened when one of its commanders took to piracy, and the king and his council decided not to risk it in a general action. In Stenton's view: "The history of England in the next generation was really determined between and Sweyn then launched an invasion in intending to crown himself king of England, during which he proved himself to be a general greater than any other Viking leader of his generation.
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But the situation changed suddenly when Sweyn died on 3 February He was required to declare his loyalty to them, to bring in reforms regarding everything that they disliked and to forgive all that had been said and done against him in his previous reign. The subsequent war between Edmund and Cnut ended in a decisive victory for Cnut at the Battle of Ashingdon on 18 October Edmund's reputation as a warrior was such that Cnut nevertheless agreed to divide England, Edmund taking Wessex and Cnut the whole of the country beyond the Thames.
However, Edmund died on 30 November and Cnut became king of the whole country. The tomb and his monument were destroyed along with the cathedral in the Great Fire of London in They also exhibit the characteristics of Wulfstan's highly rhetorical style. The quality of the coinage, a good indicator of the prevailing economic conditions, significantly improved during his reign due to his numerous coinage reform laws.
Numerous legends and anecdotes have sprung up to explain his shortcomings, often elaborating abusively on his character and failures. One such anecdote is given by William of Malmesbury lived c. This story is, however, a fabrication, and a similar story is told of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Copronymus , another mediaeval monarch who was unpopular among certain of his subjects.
Chief among the culprits is in fact one of the most important sources for the history of the period, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , which, as it reports events with a retrospect of 15 years, cannot help but interpret events with the eventual English defeat a foregone conclusion. Keynes and others thus draw attention to some of the inevitable snares of investigating the history of a man whom later popular opinion has utterly damned. Because the members of these bodies were under solemn oath to act in accordance with the law and their own good consciences, they have been seen by some legal historians as the prototype for the English grand jury.
And thereafter let them seize those notorious [lit. He may actually have been expanding an established English custom for use among the Danish citizens in the North the Danelaw. Previously, King Edgar had legislated along similar lines in his Whitbordesstan code:. It is my wish that each person be in surety , both within settled areas and without. And 'witnessing' shall be established in each city and each hundred. To each city let there be 36 chosen for witnessing; to small towns and to each hundred let there be 12, unless they desire more.
And everybody shall purchase and sell their goods in the presence a witness, whether he is buying or selling something, whether in a city or a wapentake.
And each of them, when they first choose to become a witness, shall give an oath that he will never, neither for wealth nor love nor fear, deny any of those things which he will be a witness to, and will not, in his capacity as a witness, make known any thing except that which he saw and heard. And let there be either two or three of these sworn witnesses at every sale of goods. The 'legend' of an Anglo-Saxon origin to the jury was first challenged seriously by Heinrich Brunner in , who claimed that evidence of the jury was only seen for the first time during the reign of Henry II , some years after the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, and that the practice had originated with the Franks, who in turn had influenced the Normans, who thence introduced it to England.
Throughout the 20th century, legal historians disagreed about whether the practice was English in origin, or was introduced, directly or indirectly, from either Scandinavia or Francia. Their children were:. Brice's Day massacre of. Edward the Martyr Old English: Eadweard, pronounced ; c.
Edward was the eldest son of King Edgar the Peaceful but was not his father's acknowledged heir. Edward was chosen as king and was crowned by his main clerical supporters, the archbishops Dunstan of Canterbury and Oswald of Worcester. In the so-called anti-monastic reaction, the nobles took advantage of Edward's weakness to dispossess the Benedictine reformed monasteries of lands and other properties that King Edgar had granted to them.
Edward's short reign was brought to an end by his murder at Corfe Castle in in circumstances that are not altogeth. The protagonist is his wife Emma of Normandy. The novel opens with the we. This page is for the English princess, for the Neopagan name for the Goddess see Robert Cochrane witch. Foulques Fulk de Vexin d. This marriage was childless. After the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror, the lands owned by Goda in Buckinghamshire were given t. It is most probable that she was a daughter of Thored, Earl of southern Northumbria.
Identity and background Her name and paternity do not surface in the sources until sometime after the Conquest. The first to offer any information at all, Sulcard of Westminster fl. All primary evidence comes from two Anglo-Norman historians. Edmund Ironside c. Edmund's reign was marred by a war he had inherited from his father; his cognomen "Ironside" was given to him "because of his valour" in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut the Great.
In the process they forced Sweyn's son, Cnut, back to Denmark, where he assembled an invasion force to re-conquer England.
Æthelred the Unready
It would not arrive for another year. After regaining the throne, the royal family set about st.
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The St. Background The name refers to St. Brice, fifth-century Bishop of Tours, whose feast day is 13 November. In response, he ordered the deaths of all Danes living in England. Among those thought to have been killed is Gunhilde, who may have been the sister of King Sweyn I of Denmark. Her husband Pallig Tokesen, the Danish Ealdorman of Devonshire, may also have died in the massacre or, according to a different version, played a part in provoking it by his defection to join raiders ravaging the south coast. Royal Arms of England, — This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Wessex, one of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England.
Alfred styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons from about , and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the English, his rule represents the start of the first unbroken line of kings to rule the whole of England, the House of Wessex.
For example, Offa of Mercia and Egbert of Wessex are sometimes described as kings of England by popular writers, but it is no longer the majority view of historians that their wide dominions are part of a process leading to a unified England. Historian Simon Keynes states, for example, that "Offa was driven by a lust fo. Emma of Normandy c. Even after her husbands' deaths Emma remained in the public eye, and continued to participate actively in politics. She is the central figure within the Encomium Emmae Reginae, a critical source for the history of early 11th-century English politics.
As Catherine Karkov notes, Emma is one of the most visually represented early medieval queens. In the mids, Sweyn revolted against his father, Harald Bluetooth, and seized the throne. Harald was driven into exile and died shortly afterwards in November or In , shortly before his death, he became the first Danish king of England after a long effort. Biography A coin of Sweyn Forkbeard, minted in ; this is the earliest known coin with a Latin inscription minted in Scandinavia, based on Anglo-Saxon models and made by an English moneyer obv.
It was written in or , probably by a monk of Saint-Omer.
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Manuscripts Until , it was believed that there was just a single manuscript surviving from that time. Kept in the British Library, it is lavishly illustrated and believed to be the copy sent to Queen Emma or a close reproduction of that copy. One leaf has been lost from the manuscript in modern times but its text survives in late paper copies.