King Edward of Holy Memory

Edward, son of Æthelred 'the Unready', was about thirty-nine years old when he succeeded to the English throne in 1042. He had spent most of his life, as an exile, in Normandy. His supposed piety would later earn him the soubriquet 'the Confessor' (he was canonised in 1161). Edward's coronation took place, at Winchester, on Easter Day (3rd April) 1043.

A mid-13th century illustration, from a verse 'Life' of St.Edward 'the Confessor' (Cambridge University Library MS. Ee.iii.59), showing Edward's reception in England, on the left-hand side, and his coronation, on the right.
"When king Edward of holy memory returned from Francia quite a number of men of that nation, and they not base-born, accompanied him. And these, since he was master of the whole kingdom, he kept with him, enriched them with many honours, and made them his privy-counsellors and administrators of the royal palace."

The death of Edward's predecessor, his half-brother, Harthacnut - their mother being Emma, daughter of Duke Richard I of Normandy (d.996) - had also left the Danish throne vacant. Harthacnut had made an agreement with Magnus I, king of Norway, that if one of them died without a son, then the survivor would inherit the kingdom of the other. Accordingly, Magnus invaded Denmark, and was accepted as king. Magnus, however, believed that his agreement with Harthacnut entitled him to rule England also.

On 16th November 1043, Edward, accompanied by the powerful earls Leofric (of Mercia), Godwine (of Wessex) and Siward (of Northumbria), travelling from Gloucester, made a surprise visit on his mother, Emma, in Winchester:

"... and they deprived her of all the treasures that she had; which were immense; because she was formerly very hard upon the king her son, and did less for him than he wished before he was king, and also since: but they suffered her to remain there afterwards."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
"... the king caused all the lands that his mother owned to be brought into his hands, and took from her all that she had in gold and in silver and in numberless things; because she formerly held it too fast against him."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and E
"Soon after this Stigand was deprived of his bishopric [Elmham]; and they took all that he had into their hands for the king, because he was nighest the counsel of his mother; and she acted as he advised, as men supposed."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C

The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' is somewhat vague in regard of quite what Emma had done to deserve the confiscation of her property, however, the 'Translation of St.Mildrith' provides the, perhaps rather surprising, reason:

"... his [Edward's] own mother was accused of inciting Magnus, king of Norway, to invade England, and it was said that she had given countless treasures to Magnus. Wherefore this traitor to the kingdom, this enemy of the country, this betrayer of her own son, was judged, and everything she possessed was forfeited to the king."

The 'Heimskringla' tells how Magnus appointed Swein ("a particularly popular man") - the son of King Cnut's sister, Estrith, and Earl Ulf - as his regent in Denmark. Almost immediately, however, Swein "assumed by the advice of many of the chiefs the title of king", and began to contend with Magnus for the throne of Denmark.  Note 01

In 1044, presumably in anticipation of an invasion by Magnus, Edward:

"... went out to Sandwich with thirty-five ships ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and E
The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' notes that, among Edward's Norman counsellors was: "... a certain abbot named Robert, who overseas had ruled the monastery of Jumièges, and who, they say, was always the most powerful confidential adviser of the king".  In 1044, Robert was, "by royal favour", appointed bishop of London: "... and with the authority derived from this promotion intruded himself more than was necessary in directing the course of the royal councils and acts ... through his assiduous communication with him the king began to neglect more useful advice."

On 23rd January 1045, Edward married Edith (Eadgyth), the daughter of, the powerful and very ambitious, Earl Godwine (whose wife was Gytha, sister of Earl Ulf).

According to the 'Vita Ædwardi Regis', it was Godwine who had been prime-mover in inviting Edward to take the throne of England. It is, however, hard to believe that there was any goodwill between the two men. Godwine had, after all, delivered Edward's brother, Alfred, to his death in 1037.

Later in 1045:

"... King Eadward [Edward] gathered a large ship-force at Sandwich, on account of the threatening of Magnus in Norway: but his and Swegen's [Swein's] contention in Denmark prevented his coming here."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Manuscript D's entry for the following year (1046) ends:

"... and Magnus won Denmark."  Note 02

In 1047, as recorded by Manuscript D:

"And Swegen also sent hither, begging assistance against Magnus, King of Norway; that fifty ships should be sent to his aid. But it seemed unadvisable to all people: and it was then hindered by reason that Magnus had a great ship-force....
In his version of this entry, Florence of Worcester says that Swein's ambassadors asked Edward to send "his fleet" - the number of ships not being specified. Florence states, however: "Then earl Godwin [Godwine] advised the king that he should send at least fifty ships, manned with soldiers; but this meeting with the disapproval of earl Leofric and all the people, he declined to send any."
.... And he [Magnus] then drove out Swegen, and with much man-slaying won the land: and the Danes paid him much money and acknowledged him as king. And that same year Magnus died."
Magnus died on 25th October 1047. According to the 'Heimskringla', Magnus decreed, from his death-bed, that Harald 'Hardrada' should rule Norway, but Swein should rule Denmark - an arrangement that Harald, who thought it was his own hereditary right to rule both Norway and Denmark, was obliged to accept.

Manuscript D's entry referring to the year 1048:

"This year Swein came again to Denmark, and Harold [Harald 'Hardrada'], the paternal uncle of Magnus, went to Norway after Magnus was dead; and the Norwegians acknowledged him: and he sent hither to this land concerning peace."
At this point, both Manuscript D and Florence of Worcester say that Swein requested naval assistance from England. However, the details - the mention of fifty ships, Florence's assertion that Godwine was opposed by Leofric, the refusal to respond to Swein's request - are suspiciously reminiscent of the previous year's entry. That being said, it is, of course, possible that Swein did, once more, request aid from England, and that it, once more, was refused.

The threat of invasion had passed (for the time being anyway).  Note 03

Meanwhile, in 1046 Godwine's eldest son, Earl Swein (whose earldom included Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) allied himself with Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, king of Gwynedd, in a raid on, their common neighbours, the southern Welsh. On his way home from the raid, Manuscript C of the 'Chronicle' reports that:

"... he ordered the Abbess of Leominster to be fetched him; and he had her as long as suited him, after which he let her go home."

Florence of Worcester says that Swein wanted to marry the abbess "whom he had corrupted" (her name was Eadgifu), but was not able to. At any rate, as a result of the scandal, Swein was obliged to leave England. Manuscript E of the 'Chronicle' notes that, in 1047, he went to Bruges (in "Baldwin's land" i.e. Flanders), where he overwintered, and then departed in the summer. It is evident that he went to Denmark - presumably entering the service of his cousin, Swein Estrithson.

In 1048, Manuscript C notes that a Viking fleet ravaged the Isle of Wight and Sandwich. Manuscript E provides some detail of the raid. The fleet, of twenty-five ships was led by two chieftains, Lothen and Yrling. After plundering Sandwich, the pirates sailed to Thanet, but were beaten off by the locals. Crossing the Thames, they then ravaged Essex. Manuscript C says that "King Edward and the earls went out after them with their ships", but the pirates must have escaped capture, since Manuscript E reports that they sold their ill gotten gains in "Baldwin's land". Count Baldwin V of Flanders had joined a rebellion against, the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry III (1046-56). Baldwin had burned Henry's palace at Nijmegen. In 1049, Henry assembled a large army against Baldwin:

"Moreover Sweyn [Swein Estrithson], king of the Danes, was there, at the emperors bidding, with his fleet, and swore fealty, for that occasion, to the emperor. He [Henry] sent also to Eadward, king of the English, and requested him not to let Baldwin escape if he should retreat to sea. In consequence, the king went with a great fleet to the port of Sandwich, and remained there until the emperor had obtained from Baldwin all he desired."
Florence of Worcester

Whilst Edward was at Sandwich, Swein Godwinesson (the abbess corrupter), having committed some serious offence which had forced his departure from Denmark, arrived with eight ships at Bosham, Sussex. Swein travelled overland, to Sandwich, to seek the king's pardon. It would appear that Edward was prepared to restore Swein to his earldom, but this was vigorously opposed by Swein's brother, Earl Harold, and his cousin, Earl Beorn, between whom Swein's estates seem to have been divided. Swein was sent away empty handed, and, according to Manuscript E, given four days safe-conduct to return to his ships. In the meantime, Henry and Baldwin had come to terms. The Mercian contingent of the English fleet was allowed to return home. Edward remained at Sandwich with a few ships, but a detachment of forty-two ships of the Wessex contingent, headed by two royal vessels, commanded by Godwine, Beorn and, another of Godwine's sons, Tostig, were sent to deal with "hostile ships" which "lay westward, and were ravaging" (MS E). (The "hostile ships" were almost certainly the Viking fleet which formed an alliance with Gruffudd ap Rhydderch of South Wales).

In 1046 a Danish worthy, called Osgod 'Clapa', had been outlawed. Edward had just dismissed his fleet when he was informed that Osgod, with a substantial fleet, was in Flanders. Expecting a raid, Edward recalled what ships he could. In the event, Osgod, himself, and six of the ships, returned to Denmark. The remainder, however, did raid The Naze, Essex. It would appear that the English fleet captured two or four of the pirate ships, and killed their crews. The rest didn't fare any better - they were sunk in a storm.

The Wessex fleet lay weather-bound at Pevensey, when Swein turned up. He persuaded Beorn to accompany him to Edward, at Sandwich, and help him regain the king's favour. Fearing no treachery from his cousin, Beorn, and just three of his men, set off with Swein. Swein guided Beorn to Bosham, where he had him taken captive and put onboard ship. He was taken to Dartmouth, killed and buried. Of Swein's original eight ships, all but two deserted him. Two of those were captured by "the men of Hastings and thereabout" (MS D). Their crews were killed and the ships taken to Edward, at Sandwich. Swein, with his two remaining ships:

"... went then east to Baldwin's land, and sat down there all the winter at Bruges, with his full protection."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E

Harold, Swein's brother, had Beorn's body reburied, adjacent to King Cnut, in the Old Minster, Winchester.

"And the king and all the army proclaimed Swegen a nithing."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C
It seems that King Edward's standing fleet comprised fourteen ships. His confidence that the Norwegian threat was over is reflected by the fact that, early in 1050, he paid off nine crews, who "went away with the ships and everything" (MS C). The services of the remaining five ships' crews were kept for another year, then they too were paid off. In 1051: "... King Eadward abolished the army-tax [heregeld], which King Æthelred had before imposed: that was in the nine-and-thirtieth year after he had begun it. That tax distressed all the English nation during so long a time, as it has been written; that was ever before other taxes which were variously paid, and wherewith the people were manifestly distressed." (MS D)

Early in 1050, Bishop Ealdred of Worcester and Bishop Hereman of Ramsbury travelled to Rome - "on the king's errand" (MS C). It was, presumably, on his return journey from Rome that Ealdred met up with Swein Godwinesson. Ealdred must have been persuaded that Swein was a reformed character, since he accompanied him back to England, and, says Florence of Worcester, "set him at peace with the king". Swein was restored to his earldom.  Note 04

Godwine: The Glorious Earl

On 29th October 1050, Archbishop Eadsige, of Canterbury, died:

"... and the king gave to Robert the Frenchman, who before had been Bishop of London, the archbishopric."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
According to the 'Vita Ædwardi Regis', the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, had elected, from within their own ranks, one Æthelric to succeed Eadsige. It happened that Æthelric was a kinsman of Godwine, in whose earldom Canterbury was. The monks approached Godwine, told him that they had selected Æthelric as their candidate for the archbishopric, and asked him to press their case with the king. Godwine complied with their request, but since, says the 'Vita', "in those days the good king lent his ear more to the rival party", he was disregarded, and despite the clergy's protests, Robert was made archbishop: "His ambition satisfied at last, the archbishop in the office of high honour he had obtained began to provoke and oppose the earl [Godwine] with all his strength and might."

In 1051, Edward was visited by his brother-in-law Eustace II, count of Boulogne. His business (the nature of which is not recorded) concluded, Eustace left for home, his route being via Canterbury and Dover. Manuscript E of the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', composed at Canterbury, relates what happened next:

"When he was some mile or more, on this side of Dover, then he put on his coat of mail, and so did all his companions, and went to Dover. When they came thither, then would they lodge themselves where they chose. Then came one of his men, and would abide in the house of a householder against his will, and wounded the householder; and the householder slew the other. Then Eustace got upon his horse, and his companions upon theirs; and they went to the householder, and slew him on his own hearth; and they went up towards the town, and slew, as well within as without, more than twenty men. And the townsmen slew nineteen men on the other side, and wounded they knew not how many. And Eustace escaped with a few men ..."

Eustace fled to Edward, who was at Gloucester. Manuscript E says that Eustace blamed the incident on the people of Dover. Edward, on the strength of Eustace's testimony alone, ordered Godwine (within whose jurisdiction Dover was) to ravage the town. Godwine refused:

"Then sent the king after all his council [witan], and bade them come to Gloucester nigh the after-mass of St.Mary [i.e. around the 8th September]."

Godwine and his sons, Swein and Harold, "and many men with them", met at Beverstone, in the hundred of Langtree, Gloucestershire. Their intention was:

"... go to their royal lord, and to all the peers who were assembled with him, in order that they might have the advice of the king and his aid, and of all this council, how they might avenge the king's disgrace, and the whole nation's."
The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' makes no mention of Eustace or Dover. The anonymous author says that Archbishop Robert, "adding madness to madness", determined to turn the king against Godwine. Robert told Edward "that the crime of his brother's death [i.e. Edward's brother, Alfred's death] and of the massacre of his men was perpetrated on the advice of the glorious earl [Godwine]", and set about convincing the king that Godwine: "... was now planning in the same way the ruin of even Edward himself, his son-in-law ... As the king was moved by these accusations more than was just, all the nobles and earls from the whole of Britain assembled in the royal palace at Gloucester ..."

Some idea of the scale of Godwine's army, casually referred to as "many men" in Manuscript E, can be gathered from Manuscript D (which was written in the north, and which shows Godwine in a rather less favourable light):

"Then Godwine, the earl, was indignant that such things should have happened in his earldom [i.e. the skirmish at Dover], then began he to gather together people over all his earldom ....
Florence of Worcester adds: "namely, from Kent, South Saxony [Sussex], and West Saxony [Wessex]".
.... and Swein, the earl, his son, over his ....
Florence of Worcester adds: "namely, in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somersetshire, and Berkshire".
.... and Harold, his other son, over his earldom ....
Florence of Worcester adds: "namely, East Saxony [Essex], East Anglia, Huntingdonshire, and Cambridgeshire".
.... and they all drew together in Gloucestershire, at Langtree, a great force and countless, all ready for battle against the king, unless Eustace were given up, and his men placed in their hands, and also the Frenchmen who were in the castle....
Florence of Worcester says that the castle was "in Dovercliff", and it was being held by "Normans and Boulognese". However, Manuscript E makes a point of noting that "the foreigners", i.e. Norman incomers, had: "... erected a castle in Herefordshire among the people of Swegen [Swein] the earl, and wrought every kind of harm and disgrace to the king's men there about which they could."  It may well be that it was actually this castle that Godwine was demanding the surrender of. Manuscript E also asserts that Edward would not meet with Godwine and his sons personally because "the foreigners" had previously told Edward that "the earls", i.e. Godwine, Swein and Harold, "were coming thither in order to betray the king". Florence of Worcester makes it clear that Godwine's threats were delivered by his "ambassadors".
.... This was done seven days before the latter mass of St.Mary."
The "latter mass of St.Mary" is the Nativity of St.Mary i.e. 8th September. In his version of this entry however, Florence of Worcester, without specifying the number of days, asserts it was "after" the Nativity.

Florence of Worcester says that, when he had got wind that Godwine was amassing an army, Edward had sent messengers, "in haste", to Earl Leofric, of Mercia, and Earl Siward, of Northumbria:

"... he entreated them, that, inasmuch as he stood in great danger, they would come quickly to him with all the men whom they could collect. At first they came with only a few men, but finding what the state of affairs was, they sent swift horsemen through their territories, and assembled a large army."

Similarly, the king's nephew, Earl Ralph mustered his forces. Meanwhile, Edward was being intimidated by Godwine's threats:

"... the king was for a time alarmed and in great distress, not knowing in the least what to do. But when he found that the army of earls Leofric, Siward, and Ralph was coming on, he stoutly replied that he would not in any way deliver up Eustace and the rest who were demanded. Hearing this, the ambassadors returned without having attained their object. On their departure the army entered Gloucester, so exited and unanimously anxious for a fight, that if the king would have permitted they would immediately have attacked earl Godwin's army."
Florence of Worcester
"... and it was made known to the Earl Godwine and his sons, that the king and the men who were with him, were taking counsel concerning them: and they arrayed themselves on the other hand resolutely, though it were loathful to them that they should stand against their royal lord."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"Then thought some of them that it would be a great folly that they should join battle; because there was nearly all that was most noble in England in the two armies, and they thought that they should expose the land to our foes, and cause great destruction among ourselves. Then counselled they that hostages should be given mutually ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
"... the king and his councillors decreed that a meeting of all the councillors should be held for the second time in London at the harvest equinox [24th September] ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"... and Godwine, the earl, and his sons were to come there to plead their defence."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
According to the 'Vita Ædwardi Regis', Godwine ("the guiltless earl") had been formally charged with being responsible for the death of Edward's brother. Godwine asked "... for the king's peace, and offered to purge himself of the crime. But in vain. For the king had so convinced himself of the truth of this crime that he would not hear even one word of the purgation that was offered."  The 'Vita' says that Siward, Leofric and Leofric's son, Ælfgar, were present: "And after they had all struggled in vain to get the foul charge put to the ordeal, the royal court moved from that palace to London."
"This suggestion was approved, messengers from either side went to and fro, and, hostages having been exchanged, the earl [Godwine] went into West Saxony; and the king assembled a larger army out of all Mercia and Northumbria, and took it with him to London."
Florence of Worcester

Manuscript E says that, actually, Edward had:

"... directed the army to be called out, as well south of the Thames [i.e. Wessex] as north ..."

Despite the king having conscripted a West Saxon contingent into his army, Manuscript D reports that, when they reached Southwark (at the southern end of London Bridge), Godwine and his sons had "a great multitude with them, from Wessex". Unfortunately for Godwine, his, presumably disheartened, force began to drift away.

"Then was Earl Swegen proclaimed an outlaw; and Earl Godwine and Earl Harold were summoned to the council as early as they could come. When they had come thither, then were they summoned into the council. Then required he [Godwine] safe conduct and hostages, so that he might come, unbetrayed, into the council and out of the council. Then the king demanded all the thegns whom the earls before had: and they granted them all into his hands. Then the king sent again to them, and commanded them that they should come with twelve men to the king's council. Then the earl again required safe conduct and hostages, that he might defend himself against each of those things which were laid to him. Then were the hostages refused him; and he was allowed a safe conduct for five nights to go out of the land."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' says that Bishop Stigand, acted as intermediary between Godwine and the king. According to the 'Vita': "... archbishop Robert stood fiercely against the earl, and at length at his instigation there was declared by the king against the earl this irrevocable judgement in the case at issue: that he could hope for the king's peace when and only when he gave him back his brother alive together with all his men and all their possessions intact which had been taken from them quick or dead."
"Then went he [Godwine] by night away; and the king on the morrow held a council, and, together with all the army, declared him an outlaw, him and all his sons."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Godwine and his family divided into two groups. Godwine and his wife, their sons Earl Swein, Tostig and Gyrth, and Tostig's wife, Judith (a "relation" of Count Baldwin V of Flanders), departed from Bosham:

"... to Baldwin's land, in one ship, with as much treasure as they might therein best stow for each man."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Godwine's sons, Earl Harold and Leofwine, however, set off for Bristol - to a ship which Swein had previously prepared. Edward sent Bishop Ealdred of Worcester, with an armed force, to intercept Harold and Leofwine, "but they could not or they would not" (MS D), and, despite the hindrance of appalling weather, the brothers made the passage to Ireland.

"Wonderful would it have been thought by every man that was then in England, if any person had said before this that it would end thus! For he [Godwine] was before raised to such a height, that he ruled the king and all England; his sons were earls, and the king's darlings; and his daughter wedded and united to the king ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Edward repudiated Godwine's daughter, Edith. She was dispatched "very disrespectfully with only one female attendant on foot" (Florence of Worcester) to Wherwell Abbey. Edward:

"... caused to be taken from her all which she possessed, in land, and in gold, and in silver, and in all things ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' blames Archbishop Robert for engineering Edith's dismissal: "This plan the king, although not opposing, yet did mitigate, giving out as a reason for the separation this honourable pretext, that she was to await the subsidence of the storms over the kingdom in the monastery of Wilton, where she had been brought up."  Edward and Edith's marriage was childless. (Edward appears to have produced no illegitimate children either). William of Malmesbury writes of Edith: "Both in her husband's lifetime, and afterwards, she was not entirely free from suspicion of dishonour; but when dying, in the time of king William, she voluntarily satisfied the bystanders as to her unimpaired chastity by an oath. When she became his wife, the king so artfully managed, that he neither removed her from his bed, nor knew her after the manner of men. I have not been able to discover whether he acted thus from dislike to her family, which he prudently dissembled from the exigency of the times, or out of pure regard to chastity; yet it is most notoriously affirmed, that he never violated his purity by connexion with any woman."  Not surprisingly, the later 'Lives' of St.Edward have both Edward and Edith take vows of chastity.

Edward set about redistributing the earls' land:

"And then Odda was appointed earl over Devonshire, and over Somerset, and over Dorset, and over Cornwall. And Ælfgar, the son of Leofric the earl, was appointed to the earldom which Harold before held."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E

Of the three manuscripts of the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', Manuscript D alone contains the following mention:

"Then, soon, came William, the earl, from beyond seas with a great band of Frenchmen; and the king received him, and as many of his companions as it pleased him; and let him away again."  Note 05

Edward's mother, Emma, died on 6th March 1052. Manuscript D then mentions a border incursion by "Griffin, the Welsh king". (See: A Tale of Two Gruffudds).
Meanwhile, according to the 'Vita Ædwardi Regis', Godwine had requested permission to return to England, to present his case to Edward and prove his innocence. Baldwin V of Flanders and Henry I of France are said to have urged Edward to give Godwine a hearing, but "by the intrigue of evil men he was barred from a legal trial". Godwine, therefore, "assembled a large fleet in the River Yser". Manuscripts C and D, of the 'Chronicle', report that Edward ordered "forty smacks" to be stationed at Sandwich, to keep a look out for Godwine. Manuscript E notes that they were under the command of earls Ralph and Odda. Godwine's ships left the Yser on the 22nd June, 1052, says Manuscript E, and made an unnoticed landing at Dungeness.

"And whilst he abode in this land, he enticed to him all the Kentish men, and all the boatmen from Hastings, and everywhere thereabout by the sea-coast, and all the men of Essex and Sussex and Surrey, and many others besides. Then said they all that they would with him live or die."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"Then came it to the knowledge of the earls out at Sandwich [i.e. Ralph and Odda]; and they then went out after the other ships, and a land-force was ordered out against the ships. Then during this, Godwine, the earl, was warned, and then he went to Pevensey; and the weather was very severe, so that the earls could not learn what was become of Godwine, the earl. And then Godwine, the earl, went out again, until he came once more to Bruges; and the other ships returned again to Sandwich. And then it was decreed that the ships should return once more to London, and that other earls and other oarsmen should be appointed to the ships."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E

For some reason, the reorganisation of the English fleet became so protracted that the ships' crews abandoned their posts and "betook themselves home". When Godwine found out that the coast was clear, quite literally, he and his fleet, once more, set sail:

"... and then went west direct to the Isle of Wight; and landing there, they plundered so long that the people gave them as much as they required of them. Then proceeded they westward until they came to Portland, where they landed and did as much harm as they could possibly do. Then was Harold come out from Ireland with nine ships; and then landed at Porlock ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"... and there plundered much; and the land-folk [i.e. local people] collected against him, both from Somerset and from Devonshire: but he put them to flight, and slew there more than thirty good thegns, besides others; and went soon after about Penwithsteort [Land's End]."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"He then went eastward to his father; and then they both went eastward until they came to the Isle of Wight, and there took that which was yet remaining for them."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"And they did no great harm after they came together; save that they took provisions; but they enticed to them all the land-folk by the sea-coast and also upward in the land."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"... they went thence to Pevensey and got away thence as many ships as were there fit for service, and so onwards until he came to Ness [Dungeness], and got all the ships which were in Romney, and in Hythe, and in Folkestone. And then they went east to Dover, and there landed, and there took ships and hostages, as many as they would, and so went to Sandwich and did just the same; and everywhere hostages were given them, and provisions wherever they desired.
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"When King Eadward understood that, then sent he upward after more aid; but they came very late."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"And then they [Godwine and Harold] went to Northmouth, and so toward London; and some of the ships went within Sheppey, and there did much harm, and went their way to King's Milton, and that they all burned, and betook themselves then toward London after the earls [Ralph and Odda]."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"... earl Godwin with his fleet, having sailed up the Thames against the tide, arrived at Southwark on the day of the exaltation of the holy Cross [14th September], being a Monday, and waited there until the flood-tide came up: during which time he had meetings with the citizens of London (whom he had previously allured with promises of various kinds), in part by his emissaries and in part personally, and brought over nearly all of them to his own views. So everything being arranged and set in order, on the tide coming up they weighed anchor in haste, and meeting with no opposition at the bridge, sailed up the river along the southern bank."
Florence of Worcester
"When they came to London, there lay the king and the earls against them, with fifty ships."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"[Godwine's] land-force meanwhile came above, and arranged themselves along the shore; and they formed an angle with the ships against the north side, as if they wished to surround the king's ships."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"Then the earls [Godwine and Harold] sent to the king, and required of him, that they might be held worthy of each of those things which had been unjustly taken from them. Then the king, however, resisted some while; so long as until the people who were with the earl [Godwine] were much stirred against the king and against his people, so that the earl himself with difficulty stilled the people.
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"The king had also a great land-force on his side, to add to his shipmen: but they were most of them loth to fight with their own kinsmen - for there was little else of any great importance but Englishmen on either side; and they were also unwilling that this land should be the more exposed to foreign nations, because they destroyed each other."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"Then Bishop Stigand interposed with God's help, and the wise men as well within the town as without; and they decreed that hostages should be set forth on either side: and thus was it done. When Archbishop Robert and the Frenchmen learned that, they took their horses and went, some west to Pentecost's castle, some north to Robert's castle. And Archbishop Robert and Bishop Ulf [of Dorchester] went out at East-gate, and their companions, and slew and otherwise injured many young men, and went their way direct to Eadulf's-ness [The Naze, Essex]; and he there put himself in an unsound ship, and went direct over sea, and left his pallium and all Christendom here on land, as God wanted it, inasmuch as he had before obtained the dignity as God did not want it."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"And Godwin landed, and Harold his son, and their navy, as many as they then thought proper.
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
"Then there was a great council proclaimed without London: and all the earls and the chief men who were in this land were at the council....
A mention in Manuscript C dates this meeting to the morning after Godwine's arrival at Southwark, i.e. to the morning of Tuesday 15th September 1052.
.... There Godwin bore forth his defence, and justified himself, before King Eadward his lord, and before all people of the land, that he was guiltless of that which was laid against him, and against Harold his son, and all his children. And the king gave to the earl and his children his full friendship, and full earldom, and all that he before possessed, and to all the men who were with him. [Note 06] And the king gave to the lady [Edith] all that she before possessed. And they declared Archbishop Robert utterly an outlaw ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
"... they outlawed all Frenchmen - who before instituted bad laws, and judged unrighteous judgment, and brought bad counsels into this land - except so many as they concluded it was agreeable to the king to have with him, who were true to him and to all his people."  Note 07
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
Bishop Stigand was appointed archbishop of Canterbury. William of Malmesbury reports that Archbishop Robert, "proceeding to Rome, and appealing to the apostolical see on his case, as he was returning through Jumièges, he there died".  Nevertheless, because he had assumed Robert's position whilst the latter was still alive, and also because he had continued to hold the see of Winchester along with the archbishopric, Stigand was excommunicated by the pope (Leo IX, 1049-54). Stigand, however, remained in office.

Rhys ap Rhydderch (brother of Gruffudd) had, apparently, been mounting regular raids, from South Wales into England. He was killed, on King Edward's orders, and his head was presented to Edward, at Gloucester, on 5th January 1053. Manuscript C of the 'Chronicle' had noted that Earl Godwine fell ill shortly after his return to England, but made a recovery. Godwine and his sons, Earl Harold, Tostig and Gyrth, were spending Easter 1053, with Edward, at Winchester:

"On the day after Easter sat he [i.e. Godwine] with the king at table; when he suddenly sunk beneath against the foot-rail, deprived of speech and of all his strength. He was brought into the king's chamber; and they supposed that it would pass over: but it was not so. He continued thus speechless and helpless till the Thursday [15th April]; when he resigned his life."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C
"... and he is buried at Winchester, in the Old Minster; and Harold, the earl, his son, succeeded to the earldom, and to all that which his father had held: and Ælfgar [son of Earl Leofric], the earl, succeeded to the earldom which Harold before held."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
The Legend of: Godwine's Death.
Still in 1053, Manuscript C reports a border incursion by the Welsh, in which "a great many of the warders of the English people" were killed.

Harold: A Second Judas Maccabeus

"In the strength of his body and mind Harold stood forth among the people like a second Judas Maccabeus: a true friend of his race and country, he wielded his father's powers even more actively, and walked in his ways, that is, in patience and mercy, and with kindness to men of good will. But disturbers of the peace, thieves and robbers this champion of the law threatened with the terrible face of a lion."
'Vita Ædwardi Regis'

In 1054 King Edward intervened in Scottish affairs. He authorised Earl Siward of Northumbria to lead a large force against the incumbent king of Scots, Macbeth, on behalf of Malcolm, the exiled son of Duncan I (who had been killed by Macbeth). In a bloody encounter (on 27th July), Macbeth was defeated, but remained alive. Although Malcolm had been intruded into Scottish territory, it was not until March 1058 that Malcolm (Malcolm III - known as Malcolm 'Canmore') became undisputed king of Scots. (See: Toil and Trouble).
The entry for 1055, in Manuscript E of the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', begins:

"In this year died Siward the earl [Note 08]: and then was summoned a general council [at London: MS C], seven days before Mid-lent [i.e. on 19th March]; and they outlawed Ælfgar the earl [of East Anglia, son of Earl Leofric of Mercia], because it was cast upon him that he was a traitor to the king and to all the people of the land. And he made a confession of it before all the men who were there gathered; though the word escaped him unintentionally. And the king gave the earldom to Tostig, son of Earl Godwine, which Siward the earl before held."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript E
Siward's eldest son, Osbeorn, had been killed in the battle against Macbeth. His other son, Waltheof, was probably still a child.

The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' says it was largely due to the efforts of Earl Harold and Queen Edith ("with no opposition from the king") that Tostig, their brother ("a man of courage, and endowed with great wisdom and shrewdness of mind"), was made earl of Northumbria. The 'Vita' gushes:

"... no age and no province has reared two mortals [Harold and Tostig] of such worth at the same time. The king appreciated this, and with them thus stationed in his kingdom, he lived all his life free from care on either flank, for one drove back the foe from the south and the other scared them off from the north. Also the king did not suffer their younger brother, Gyrth ... to be left out of the honours, but gave him a shire at the extremity of East Anglia [Ælfgar's earldom], and promised to increase this when he was older and had thrown off his boyhood years... And so, with the kingdom made safe on all sides by these princes, the most kindly king Edward passed his life in security and peace, and spent much of his time in the glades and woods in the pleasures of hunting... this man, of his free will devoted to God, lived in the squalor of the world like an angel."

The exact nature of the charge against Ælfgar is not known, but Manuscript C insists that he was "outlawed without any guilt" (a sentiment agreed with by Florence of Worcester), whereas Manuscript D says he was "well-nigh without guilt". At any rate, Ælfgar went to Ireland, where he raised a force of eighteen ships' companies. He then crossed over to Wales, and formed an alliance with Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, who was by now, effectively, king of all Wales (Note 09). Their joint forces marched into Herefordshire. Herefordshire and Oxfordshire, once parts of Swein Godwinesson's earldom, had passed to Earl Ralph (Note 10). On 24th October 1055, two miles from the town of Hereford, Ælfgar and Gruffudd were intercepted by Ralph. Ralph had attempted to introduce his English forces to Norman cavalry tactics. Unfortunately, his attempt proved to be unsuccessful:

"... ere there was a spear thrown the English people fled, because they were on horses. The enemy then made a great slaughter there - about four hundred or five hundred men; they on the other side none."  Note 11
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C

Ælfgar and Gruffudd entered Hereford, and sacked and burned the town (including the cathedral - seven canons who were guarding the doors being killed). In response, an army, drawn from various parts of England, was mustered at Gloucester, with Earl Harold in command. The invaders fell back - Harold's force followed, making camp beyond the Golden Valley (some 8 miles/13 kilometres south-west of Hereford). The resulting face-off lasted for some time - enough time for Harold to build a defensive ditch around Hereford. Eventually, Harold, Ælfgar and Gruffudd came to terms at Billingsley (probably in Holme Lacy about 5 miles/8 kilometres south-east of Hereford). Ælfgar was restored to his earldom. It seems likely that Gruffudd was recognised as ruler of the disputed border territory, Ergyng (Archenfield), between the rivers Wye and Monnow. On 10th February 1056, the bishop of Hereford, Athelstan, died:

"To him succeeded Leofgar, who was Earl Harold's mass-priest. He wore his moustaches in his priesthood, until he was a bishop. He abandoned his chrism and his rood - his ghostly weapons - and took to his spear and to his sword, after his bishophood; and so marched to the field against Griffin [Gruffudd] the Welsh king. But he was there slain, and his priests with him, and Ælfnoth the sheriff [shire reeve], and many other good men with them; and the rest fled. This was eight nights before midsummer [i.e. on 16th June]. Difficult is it to relate all the vexation and the journeying, the marching and the fatigue, the fall of men, and of horses also, which the whole army of the English suffered, until Earl Leofric, and Earl Harold, and Bishop Ealdred [of Worcester], arrived and made peace between them; so that Griffin swore oaths, that he would be a firm and faithful viceroy to King Eadward."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C

A passage in the Domesday Book says that Gruffudd was given, by Edward, all the land west of the Dee. It seems a reasonable assumption that the grant was made at this time - though, in practice, Gruffudd may well have already overrun the territory. Gruffudd's submission to Edward appears to have been little more than a token gesture.

The bishopric of Hereford was committed to the care of Bishop Ealdred. On the 31st August 1056, Earl Odda died, at Deerhurst, and was buried at Pershore. He had been ordained a monk, by Ealdred, shortly before his death.  Note 12

Back in 1054 Bishop Ealdred had been "to Cologne, over sea, on the king's errand" (MS D). Florence of Worcester explains that Ealdred's mission had been to enlist the aid of Emperor Henry III, in arranging the return to England, from Hungary, of Edward, the exiled son of Edmund 'Ironside', "for the king had determined to make him heir to the kingdom".
In 1057:

"This year came Eadward the ætheling to England; he was brother's son to King Eadward. King Eadmund [Edmund] was called Ironside for his valour... We know not for what reason it was done, that he should not see his relation King Eadward's [face]. Alas! that was a rueful fate, and injurious to all this nation - that he ended his life so soon after he came to England, to the misfortune of this miserable people."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Edward "the ætheling" (also known as Edward 'the Exile') was buried in St.Paul's, London. The manner of his death remains a mystery. That he had not been allowed to see the king, for unexplained reasons, may be suggestive of backstage machinations, but that he died soon after his arrival in England is not particularly suspicious. It appears that he had been accompanied by his wife, Agatha, his daughters, Margaret and Christina, and his son Edgar, and that they remained in England after his death. Two other notable deaths in 1057 were those of Earl Leofric, on either the 31st August (ii kal. Sept. says Florence of Worcester) or 30th September (ii kal. Oct. says Manuscript D), and Earl Ralph, on 21st December. Earl Ralph was buried at Peterborough, and Earl Leofric:

"... was buried with great state at Coventry. Among his other good deeds in this life, he and his wife, the noble countess Godgiva, (who was a devout worshiper of God, and one who loved the ever-virgin St.Mary,) entirely constructed at their own cost the monastery there, well endowed it with land, and enriched it with ornaments to such an extent, that no monastery could be then found in England possessing so much gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones. [A list of their numerous endowments to various religious establishments follows]... As long as he lived, this earl's wisdom stood the kings and people of England in good stead."
Florence of Worcester
The legend of: Lady Godiva.

Leofric's earldom, Mercia, passed to his son, Ælfgar. Though Earl Odda's shires on the Welsh marches seem to have reverted to the earldom of Mercia, the redistribution of territory following the death's of Leofric and Ralph served to greatly enhance the power of Earl Harold, and must have left Ælfgar feeling very vulnerable indeed. Ælfgar's old earldom, East Anglia, was given to Harold's brother, Gyrth (Earl Godwine's fourth son), along with Oxfordshire, it appears. Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire, which had also been held by Ælfgar, were added to Kent and Surrey, to form an earldom for Gyrth's younger brother, Leofwine. Herefordshire was appropriated by Harold himself. Perhaps his isolation caused Ælfgar to strengthen his ties with Gruffudd - at some stage, Ælfgar married off his daughter, Ealdgyth, to Gruffudd - and perhaps it was this that led to:

1058  "This year was Earl Ælfgar banished: but he soon came in again by force, through Griffin's assistance: and a naval armament came from Norway....
Florence of Worcester says that Ælfgar recovered his earldom "assisted by Griffin, king of the Welsh, and supported by the Norwegian fleet, which came to him unexpectedly".
.... It is tedious to tell how it all fell out."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D

Manuscript D is the only version of the 'Chronicle' to mention the above occurrence, and Florence of Worcester has nothing further to add. In fact, the Norwegian assault on England, according to the Irish 'Annals of Tigernach', amounted to nothing short of a full-scale invasion:

"A fleet [was led] by the son of the king of Norway, with the Foreigners [i.e Norsemen] of the Orkneys and the Hebrides and Dublin, to seize the kingdom of England; but to this God consented not."
The 'Annales Cambriae': "Magnus, son of Harald ['Hardrada'], ravaged the kingdom of England, with the assistance of Griffin, king of the Britons."

Presumably the situation was defused by "tedious" diplomatic means - no doubt involving a considerable contribution to the Norwegian exchequer, as well as Ælfgar's restoration - otherwise, one must assume, if it had come to all-out war, the English chronicler would have been interested enough to make a note of it.

Since his appointment, in 1052, Archbishop Stigand of Canterbury had been unrecognised by Rome. In 1058, however, Benedict X (April 1058 to January 1059), the antipope, sent him the pallium. (William of Malmesbury claims Benedict had sent it because he had been bribed "or else because bad people are pleased to gratify others of the same description"). When Benedict was deposed (by Pope Nicholas II, 1058-61), Stigand became, once more, persona non grata.

In 1059, Symeon of Durham reports that, the earl of Northumbria, Harold's brother, Tostig, brought the Scots' King, Malcolm III, to see King Edward - though the purpose of the visit is not recorded. In the spring of 1061, Bishop Ealdred, newly elected as archbishop of York, travelled to Rome, in the company of Earl Tostig, to collect his pallium - a visit which turned out to be rather more of an adventure than either party could have imagined (Note 13). Although it seems that Tostig and King Malcolm were on friendly terms, during 1061 whilst Tostig was in Rome, Malcolm:

"... furiously ravaged the earldom of his sworn brother earl Tosti [Tostig], and violated the peace of St.Cuthbert in the island of Lindisfarne."
Symeon of Durham
Harold too, at some stage, possibly 1056, made a pilgrimage to Rome.

There are no reported consequences of Malcolm's attack on Northumbria, and it would appear to have had no affect on his relationship with Tostig.

Though his passing is not recorded, it is pretty certain that Ælfgar, earl of Mercia, died in 1062. He was succeeded by his eldest, though still youthful, son, Edwin. It seems that Ælfgar's death gave Harold the opportunity he had been waiting for to destroy Ælfgar's Welsh ally, Gruffudd ap Llywelyn:

"After Christmas-day [1062], Harold, the valiant earl of the West Saxons, took by king Eadward's command a small troop of horsemen, and leaving Gloucester, where the king was then staying, went in all haste to Rudelan [Rhuddlan], with the determination to slay Griffin, king of the Welsh, on account of his frequent forays in the English marches, and the many insults which he offered to his lord king Eadward. But Griffin, when he heard of his coming, fled with his men, and, taking ship, escaped, though with great difficulty. Harold, when he heard of his flight, ordered his palace and his ships and implements of navigation to be burned, and then returned the same day. But about Rogation Week [26th-28th May, 1063], he set out from Bristol with a naval force, and circumnavigated a great part of Wales. Then his brother, earl Tosti, met him by the king's command, and having united their forces, they began to lay waste that part of the country. The Welsh were thus compelled to give hostages and submit, and promised to pay tribute to him; they also outlawed and renounced their king Griffin."
Florence of Worcester
"But in the harvest of the same year was King Griffin slain, on the nones of August [5th August], by his own men, through the war that he waged with Earl Harold. He was king over all the Welsh nation. And his head was brought to Earl Harold; who sent it to the king, with his ship's head, and the ornaments therewith. King Eadward committed the land to his two brothers, Blethgent [Bleddyn] and Rigwatlan [Rhiwallon]; who swore oaths, and gave hostages to the king and to the earl, that they would be faithful to him in all things, ready to aid him everywhere by water and land, and would pay him such tribute from the land as was paid long before to other kings."  Note 14
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
The Norman-Welsh author, Giraldus Cambrensis (c.1146-c.1223) wrote his 'Descriptio Cambriae' (Description of Wales) in the early 1190s. He observed that: "... as a memorial of his signal victories many stones may be found in Wales bearing this inscription: 'HIC VICTOR FUIT HAROLDUS' - 'HERE HAROLD CONQUERED'."
"... Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, the head and shield, and defender of the Britons, fell through the treachery of his own men. The man who had hitherto been invincible, was now left in the glens of desolation, after taking immense spoils, and innumerable victories, and countless treasures of gold and silver, and jewels and purple vestures."

The united Wales of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn died with him. Gwynedd had passed to Bleddyn and Rhiwallon, sons of Cynfyn - maternal half-brothers of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. Deheubarth reverted to the descendants of Hywel Dda, in the person of Maredudd ab Owain ab Edwin - nephew of Hywel ab Edwin, who had been killed in battle by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn in 1044. Morgannwg came under the control of Caradog - son of Gruffudd ap Rhydderch, who had been killed by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn in 1055.

1065  "This year, before Lammas [1st August], Earl Harold ordered building in Wales, at Portskewett [in Gwent], now that he had subdued it, and there he collected many materials, and thought to have King Eadward there for the purpose of hunting. And when it was all ready, came Cradoc [Caradog], son of Griffin [Gruffudd ap Rhydderch], with all the gang that he could get, and slew almost all that were building there; and they seized the materials that were there got ready. We do not know who first advised this conspiracy. This was done on the mass-day of St.Bartholomew [24th August].
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
"Shortly after the feast-day of St.Michael the archangel, to wit, on Monday, the fifth of the nones of October [3rd October], the Northumbrian thegns Gamelbearn, Dunstan the son of Athelnoth, and Glonieorn the son of Heardulf, entered York with two hundred soldiers, and, in revenge for the execrable slaughter of the noble Northumbrian thegns Gospatric - whom queen Eadgitha [Edith] had ordered to be treacherously slain in the king's court, on the fourth night after the feast of our Lord's Nativity [i.e. on 28th December], for the sake of her brother Tosti [Tostig] - and Gamel the son of Orm, and Ulf the son of Dolfin - whom earl Tosti, while at York, the year before, had caused to be treacherously slain in his own chamber, although there was peace between them - and also on account of the heavy tribute which he unjustly laid on the whole of Northumbria, they on the same day, first of all, stopped in their flight his Danish housecarls Amund and Reavensuart, and put them to death outside the city walls, and on the following day slew more than two hundred of his tenants, on the north side of the river Humber: they also broke open his treasury, and retired, carrying off all his effects."
Florence of Worcester
"... Tostig was then at Britford [near Salisbury] with the king."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C
"... all the thegns in Yorkshire and in Northumberland gathered themselves together and outlawed their Earl Tostig ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript D
"... all his earldom him unanimously forsook and outlawed, and all who with him lawlessness upheld, because he robbed God first, and then robbed of life and of land all those over whom he had power."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C
The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' notes that Tostig: "... was endowed with very great and prudent restraint - although occasionally he was a little over-zealous in attacking evil - and with bold and inflexible constancy of mind."  The 'Vita' asserts: "... a party of nobles, whom he had repressed with the heavy yoke of his rule because of their misdeeds, conspired among themselves against him... And all that region, which had for so long rested in the quietness of peace through the strength and justice of the famous earl [i.e. Tostig], by the wickedness of a few nobles was turned upside down for his own personal undoing."
"They [the Northumbrians] then sent after Morkere [Morcar, younger brother of Earl Edwin of Mercia], son of Earl Ælfgar, and chose him for their earl. He went south with all the shire, and with Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, till he came to Northampton; where his brother Eadwine [Edwin] came to meet him with the men that were in his earldom....
'Vita Ædwardi Regis': "To give them authority for their savage rashness, they made the younger son of earl Ælfgar their leader and lord, and invited his elder brother to join their mad conspiracy, for there was ill will from long-standing rivalry between these boys of royal stock and Earl Tostig."
.... Many Britons [i.e. Welsh] also came with him. There came Earl Harold to meet them ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts D and E
"... and would work their reconciliation if he might, but he could not ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscript C
"... and they imposed on him [Harold] an errand to King Edward, sending also messengers with him, and requesting that they might have Morkere for their earl... And the Northern men did much harm about Northampton, whilst he went on their errand: either that they slew men, and burned houses and corn; or took all the cattle that they could come at; which amounted to many thousands. Many hundred men also they took, and led northward with them; so that not only that shire, but others near it were the worse for many winters."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts D and E

It seems that there were a number of diplomatic exchanges between King Edward and the Northumbrian rebels. The 'Vita Ædwardi Regis' says:

"The Northumbrians advanced as far south as Oxford where the king sought to conciliate them."

Edward's advances were brusquely rejected:

"And when the most gracious king had a second and third time through messengers and by every kind of effort of his counsellors tried to turn them from their mad purpose, and failed, he moved from the forests, in which he was as usual staying for the sake of regular hunting, to Britford, a royal manor near the royal town of Wilton. And when he had summoned the magnates from all over the kingdom, he took counsel there on what was to be done in this business."

It appears that there was only lukewarm support for Tostig at the meeting, several present seemingly sharing the rebels' view of his behaviour. Further:

"It was also said, if it be worthy of credence, that they [the Northumbrians] had undertaken this madness against their earl at the artful persuasion of his brother, earl Harold (which heaven forbid!). But I dare not and would not believe that such a prince was guilty of this detestable wickedness against his brother. Earl Tostig himself, however, publicly testifying before the king and his assembled courtiers charged him with this; but Harold, rather too generous with oaths (alas!), cleared this charge too with oaths."

The Northumbrian rebels persisted in their demand for Tostig to be removed from office. Edward attempted to mobilise an army to crush them:

"But because changeable weather was already setting in from hard winter, and it was not easy to raise a sufficient number of troops for a counter-offensive, and because in that race horror was felt at what seemed civil war, some strove to calm the raging spirit of the king and urged that the attack should not be mounted. And after they had struggled for long time, they did not so much divert the king from his desire to march as, wrongfully and against his will, desert him. Sorrowing at this he fell ill, and from that day until the day of his death he bore a sickness of mind."

At any rate, Edward was forced to concede. On 28th October, possibly at Oxford, Harold informed the rebels that Morcar would be earl of Northumbria:

"... and [Harold] confirmed it by hand, and renewed there the laws of Cnut."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts D and E
"... and after the feast of All Saints [1st November], with the aid of earl Eadwin [Edwin], they banished Tosti from England ....
'Vita Ædwardi Regis': "But the king, the beloved of God, when he could not save his earl, graciously heaped on him many gifts and let him depart, profoundly distressed at the powerlessness that had come upon him."
.... whereupon he [Tostig] presently went, in company with his wife [Judith], to Baldwin [Baldwin V], count of Flanders, and passed the winter at St.Omer....
.... After this, king Eadward's health began gradually to fail ..."
Florence of Worcester
"About midwinter King Eadward came to Westminster ....
Sulcard of Westminster: "... on Christmas Eve itself the most kindly king began to get worse. Concealing the fact, however, he spent Christmas Day both in the church and in the palace rejoicing with his nobles. But on the morrow, when he could hide it no longer, he began to rest apart, and sent messengers to bid his court be of good cheer and to carry out the dedication of his monastery through fitting persons."
.... and had the minster there consecrated, which he had himself built to the honour of God, and St.Peter, and all God's saints. This church-hallowing was on Childermas-day [28th December]. He died on the eve of twelfth-day [5th January 1066]; and he was buried on twelfth-day [6th January] in the same minster ..."
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' Manuscripts C and D
Edward's burial, pictured in Cambridge University Library MS. Ee.iii.59. The caption reads:
In the church of Westminster,
Which King Edward caused to be restored,  [Note 15]
Is his body buried.
A deformed man there is cured;
So God does many cures
Through Edward, who is his loyal servant.

Manuscripts C and D of the 'Chronicle' commemorate Edward's death in verse, and then, in a masterpiece of understatement, add:

"And here also was Earl Harold hallowed to king; and he enjoyed little tranquillity therein the while that he wielded the kingdom."
Translations:
'Vita Gundleii' by A.W. Wade-Evans
'Vita Ædwardi Regis' by Frank Barlow
'Annals of Tigernach' by Whitley Stokes
'Annals of Ulster' by MacAirt & MacNiocaill
Snorri Sturluson 'Heimskringla' by Samuel Laing
John of Salisbury 'Policraticus' by John Dickinson
'Brut y Tywysogion' by Rev. John Williams ab Ithel
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' by Rev. James Ingram/Dr. J.A. Giles
'La Estoire de Seint Aedward le Rei' by Henry Richards Luard
Henry of Huntingdon 'Historia Anglorum' by Thomas Forester
Giraldus Cambrensis 'Descriptio Cambriae' by Sir Richard Colt Hoare
William of Jumièges 'Gesta Normannorum Ducum' by R. Allen Brown
Adam of Bremen 'Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum' by F.J. Tschan
Sulcard of Westminster 'Prologus de Construccione Westmonasterii' by Frank Barlow
Symeon of Durham 'Historia Regum' & 'Historia Ecclesiae Dunelmensis' by J. Stevenson
William of Malmesbury 'Gesta Regum Anglorum' by Rev. J. Sharpe, revised by Rev. J. Stevenson
Florence of Worcester 'Chronicon ex Chronicis' edited and in part translated by Joseph Stevenson