The Apocalypse Approaches II
The Mighty Fallen ... and Risen Again

Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, died on the 29th of October 1050.


At a “council-meeting [witenagemot] in London at mid-Lent” (‘ASC’, MS C), King Edward appointed “Robert the Frenchman, who had before been bishop of London” (MS D), to the archbishopric of Canterbury.

Presumably it was at the same London meeting that Edward dismissed the remaining five ships of his standing navy, and:

“... abolished the army-tax 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 space, as is here above written. That was always paid before other taxes, which were variously paid, and with which people were manifoldly distressed.”
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript D*

Seemingly in the August of 1051, Edward was visited by 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 ‘Chronicle’, composed at Canterbury, relates what happened next*:

“When he was a few miles or more on this side of Dover, he put on his coat of mail, and all his companions, and went to Dover. When they came thither, they would lodge themselves where it pleased them. Then came one of his men, and would quarter himself in the house of a householder against his will, and wounded the householder; and the householder slew the other. Then Eustace mounted upon his horse, and his companions upon theirs, and they went to the householder and slew him upon his own hearth; and then went towards the town, and slew, both within and without, more than 20 men. And the townsmen, on the other side, slew 19 men, and wounded they knew not how many.+ And Eustace escaped with a few men, and went again to the king ...”*

Edward was at Gloucester. Eustace arrived and gave, says Manuscript E, a one-sided account of the incident – putting the blame on the townspeople of Dover, “but it was not so”.  Accepting Eustace's testimony, Edward ordered Earl Godwine, within whose jurisdiction Dover was, to ravage the town. Godwine, however, refused to carry-out the king's command.

“Then the king sent after all his councillors [witan], and bade them come to Gloucester near the after-mass of St Mary [the Nativity of St Mary, 8th September]....
.... The foreigners [i.e. ‘Frenchmen’] had then built a castle in Herefordshire, in Earl Swein's territory, and wrought every kind of harm and insult to the king's men thereabout that they could....
.... Then came Earl Godwine, and Earl Swein, and Earl Harold, together at Beverstone (about 15 miles south of Gloucester), and many men with them, in order that they might go to their royal lord and to all the councillors who were gathered with him, that they might have the advice and support of the king and of all the council, how they might avenge the insult to the king and to all the nation.”

Edward, however, would not see Godwine and his sons – “the foreigners” had already persuaded the king that the earls intended to betray him. The author of Manuscript E is, though, noted for his sympathetic attitude to Godwine. Manuscript D, which was written in the North, shows Godwine in a less favourable light:

“When Earl Godwine understood that such things [i.e. the skirmish at Dover] should have happened in his earldom, he began to gather folk over all his earldom [“namely, from Kent, Sussex and Wessex”, adds Florence of Worcester]; and Earl Swein, his son, over his [“Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Berkshire”, FoW], and Harold, his other son, over his earldom [“Essex, East Anglia, Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire”, FoW]; and they all gathered in Gloucestershire, at Langtree, a great and countless force, all ready for war against the king, unless Eustace were given up, and his men delivered into their hands, and also the Frenchmen who were in the castle. This was done 7 nights before the latter mass of St Mary [i.e. on 1st September].”*

According to Manuscript D, then, Godwine threatened the king about a week before the witan was due to convene. Manuscript D, though, has not mentioned that the meeting had been called. In this version of events, it is only now that Edward:

“... sent after Earl Leofric [of Mercia], and north after Earl Siward [of Northumbria], and asked for their troops. And they then came to him, first with moderate aid, but when they knew how it was there in the south, they sent north over all their earldoms, and caused a great force to be ordered out, for the help of their lord; and Ralph [Edward's nephew] also, over his earldom;* and they all came to Gloucester to the king's help, though it was late. Then were they all so unanimous with the king, that they would have sought [i.e. attacked] Godwine's force if the king had willed it.”

Returning to Manuscript E:

“Thither had come Earl Siward and Earl Leofric and many folk with them from the north, to the king; and it was made known to Earl Godwine and his sons, that the king and the men who were with him were taking measures against them, and they arrayed themselves firmly in opposition; though it was hateful to them that they should stand against their royal lord.”

At this stage, on the verge of civil war, both manuscripts agree that wiser counsel prevailed.

“... some thought [“Earl Leofric and some others thought”, says FoW] that it would be great folly that they should engage [in battle]; because there was most of what was most illustrious in England in the two companies; and thought that they would expose the land to our foes, and cause great destruction among ourselves. They then advised that hostages should be mutually given, and a rendezvous appointed at London; and thither the folk were ordered out over all this northern part, in Siward's earldom, and in Leofric's, and also elsewhere; and Earl Godwine and his sons should come thither with their defence.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript D
“... the king and his councillors decreed that, for a second time, a meeting of all the councillors should be held in London at the autumnal equinox [24th September] ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E

Godwine and his sons, “and a great multitude with them from Wessex” (MS D), proceeded to Godwine's manor of Southwark, across the Thames from London. Edward, however, had “ordered the army to be called out, both south of the Thames [i.e. in Wessex] and north” (MS E).  The loyalty of the men of Wessex was evidently torn between their earl and their king. Manuscript D tells how, as time passed, so more and more of Godwine's men deserted him. Godwine had been outmanoeuvred. His son, Earl Swein, was, for unspecified reasons, declared an outlaw.*

“... they [Earls Godwine and Harold] were summoned to the meeting. Then he [Godwine] desired a safe–conduct and hostages, so that he might come securely into the meeting and out of the meeting. Then the king required all the thegns whom the earls before had; and they [the earls] gave them all into his [the king's] hands. Then the king sent again to them, and commanded them that they should come with 12 men to the king's council. Then the earl again desired a safe-conduct and hostages, that he might clear himself of each of the things that he was charged with. Then the hostages were refused him, and he was granted a safe-conduct for 5 nights to go out of the land.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“He [Godwine] then went away by night; and on the morrow the king had a council-meeting, and with all the army declared him 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 new wife, Judith (a “kinswoman” of Count Baldwin V of Flanders), departed from Bosham:

“... to Bruges, to Baldwin's land, in one ship, with as much treasure as they could possibly 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 Earl Swein had already prepared. Edward despatched Ealdred, bishop of Worcester, from London with an armed force, to intercept them, “but they could not, or they would not” (MS D), and, despite the hindrance of appalling weather, the brothers made the passage to Ireland.*

“It would have seemed wonderful to every man that was in England, if any man before that had said that it would so happen; for he [Godwine] had been before exalted to that degree, as if he ruled the king and all England; and his sons were earls and the king's darlings, and his daughter was wedded and married 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” (FoW), to Wherwell Abbey. Edward:

“... caused to be taken from her all that she owned, in land, and in gold, and in silver, and in all things ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E


William of Malmesbury drew on the ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ as a source. The passage highlighted above reflects the impression given by the ‘Vita’, even in its incomplete form (a section evidently dealing with Edith and her marriage to Edward is lost), which, on the one hand refers (I, 4) to Edith being “brought back to the king's bedchamber” after her spell confined at Wilton, but on the other, in the second section, avers that Edward “preserved with holy chastity the dignity of his consecration, and lived his whole life dedicated to God in true innocence”, and has Edward, on his deathbed, say that Edith: “has always stood close by my side like a beloved daughter.”
The ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ was the platform on which a series of proper saint's ‘Lives’ were based. The first of these, by Osbert of Clare, prior of Westminster, was produced in 1138 to promote Edward as a suitable candidate for canonization. Osbert writes (§4): “This young woman [i.e. Edith] was delivered to the royal bridal apartments with ceremonial rejoicing ... But merciful God, who preserved his blessed confessor Alexius a virgin, kept, as we believe, St Edward the king all the days of his life in the purity of the flesh. The excellent queen served him as a daughter ... But she preserved the secret of the king's chastity of which she had learned, and kept those counsels that she knew.”
Edward was eventually canonized in 1161. Ailred of Rievaulx, produced a ‘Life’, developed from Osbert's, in honour of St Edward's enshrinement at Westminster Abbey in 1163. Ailred writes (§8): “The king and queen, once united, agreed to preserve their chastity, without feeling the need to invoke any witness other than God to this pact. She was a wife in heart, but not in flesh; he a husband in name, not in deed. Their conjugal affection remained, without their conjugal rights, and their affectionate embraces did not rupture her chaste virginity.”

Edward set about redistributing the earls' land:

“And Odda was then set as earl over Devonshire, and over Somerset, and over Dorset, and over Cornwall;* and Ælfgar, the son of Earl Leofric, was set over the earldom which Harold had before possessed.+
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E

The above event is not mentioned by Manuscript D. The following event is not mentioned by Manuscript E:

“Then soon came Earl William from beyond sea, with a great body of Frenchmen; and the king received him and as many of his companions as it pleased him, and let him go again.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript D

“Earl William” is Duke William II of Normandy – the future William the Conqueror.


William was about seven years old when he succeeded his father, Robert I, in 1035. William was not only a child, he was also illegitimate (hence he was known as William the Bastard), and a period of anarchy followed his succession. William of Jumièges writes (VII, 1): “while Mars the god of war rampaged, whole troops of warriors lost their lives in vain ... as the madness waxed, the very guardian of the boy-duke, Gilbert count of Eu, was slain. So, at various times, were Turold the young prince's tutor and Osbern his steward.”  Obviously, Duke William survived, but he does not appear to have become secure in his position until King Henry I of France helped him to put down a rebellion, at Val-ès-Dunes near Caen, in 1047. William of Jumièges says (VII, 7) that none of Duke William's magnates “dared henceforward show a rebellious heart against him”.
The 1050s saw William preoccupied with the defence of Normandy against the expansionist plans of Geoffrey Martel (the Hammer), count of Anjou (who gained control of Maine, which separated Anjou and Normandy, in 1051), and William's former ally, Henry I of France. Round-about 1052, William married Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders.* In 1060, both King Henry and Count Geoffrey died. Anjou descended into a protracted civil war. Henry's son and successor, Philip I, was a child, and William's father-in-law, Count Baldwin, acted as Philip's guardian. William conquered Maine c.1063.

Post-Conquest Norman sources claim that the childless Edward chose William as his successor. William of Jumièges asserts (VII, 13):

“Edward, too, king of the English, by Divine disposition lacking an heir, had formerly sent Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, to the duke to nominate him as the heir to the kingdom which God had given him.”

Now, it happens that Archbishop Robert had made the journey to Rome to collect his pallium earlier in 1051 (he was back in England on 27th June), so did he convey such a message to Duke William? And did William visit Edward to confirm the arrangement? Further, was the king's decision to make William his heir behind the showdown between Edward and Godwine? These are $64,000 Dollar Questions, and the subject of ongoing debate.


Edward's mother, Emma, died on 6th March 1052, and was buried in the Old Minster, Winchester, near her second husband, King Cnut.* Manuscript D of the ‘Chronicle’ then mentions a border incursion by “Griffin, the Welsh king” (see: A Tale of Two Gruffudds).

Meanwhile, according to the ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ (I, 4), Godwine had requested permission to return to England, to present his case to Edward and prove his innocence. Henry I of France and Baldwin V of Flanders 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”.  The ‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ reports that Edward had stationed ships – “40 smacks”, say Manuscripts C and D; with “Earl Ralph and Earl Odda as captains”, notes Manuscript E – at Sandwich, to keep a look out for Godwine. Godwine's ships left the Yser on the 22nd June says Manuscript E, and made an unnoticed landing at Dungeness.

“And in the time that he was here in the land he enticed to him all the Kentish men, and all the boatmen from Hastings, and everywhere there by the sea coast, and all the east end, and Sussex, and Surrey, and much else in addition thereto; then all said that with him they would live and die.+ When the fleet which lay at Sandwich was apprised of Godwine's expedition they set out after him ...”
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“... and a land-force was ordered out against the ships [of Godwine]. Then in the meanwhile, Earl Godwine was warned, and betook himself to Pevensey; and the weather was very violent, so that the earls [i.e. Ralph and Odda] could not learn how Earl Godwine had fared. And then Earl Godwine went out again until he came again to Bruges; and the other ships [the king's, under Ralph and Odda] betook themselves again to Sandwich. And it was then resolved that the ships should return again to London, and that other earls and other oarsmen should be appointed to the ships.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E

Edward had, of course, disbanded his full-time professional navy, so the ships he had called-up were crewed by part-time non-professionals. For some reason, the reorganization of the crews became so protracted that the whole project was abandoned, and everyone “betook themselves home”.  When Godwine found out that the coast was clear, quite literally, he and his fleet, once more, set sail:

“... and they at once betook themselves to the Isle of Wight, and there landed, and there harried so long until the folk paid them as much as they imposed on them. And then they went westward until they came to Portland, and there they landed and did whatever harm they could do. Harold [who, notes Florence of Worcester, was accompanied by Leofwine] was then come out from Ireland with nine ships; and landed at Porlock ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“... and greatly ravaged there; and the land-folk [i.e. local people] gathered against him, both from Somerset and from Devonshire; and he put them to flight, and slew there more than 30 good thegns, besides other folk; and immediately after that he went about Penwithsteort [i.e. Land's End].”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“And he then betook himself eastward to his father; and then they both betook themselves eastward until they came to the Isle of Wight, and took there what they had before left behind them.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“And they did no great harm after they came together, except that they took provisions;+ but they enticed to them all the land-folk by the sea-coast, and also up in the country ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“And they then betook themselves thence to Pevensey, and got on with them as many ships as were there serviceable; and so on until he came to Dungeness; and got all the ships that were in Romney, and in Hythe, and in Folkestone; and went then east to Dover, and landed there, and there took them ships and hostages, as many as they would; and so went to Sandwich, and did just the same; and hostages were everywhere given them, and provisions wherever they desired.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“... and then came to Sandwich with an overwhelming army. When King Edward learned that, he sent up after more aid, but it came very slowly ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“And then they [Godwine and Harold] betook themselves to Northmouth, and so towards London; and some of the ships went within Sheppey, and there did great harm, and betook themselves to King's Middle-town [Milton Regis] and burned it all, and then went towards London after the earls.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“... and Godwine ever kept moving towards London with his fleet, until he came to Southwark [on 14th September], and there waited some while until the tide came up. In that time he also treated with the townspeople [of London], so that they almost all wanted what he wanted.+ When he had settled all his proceedings, then came the tide; and they then immediately drew up their anchors, and steered through the bridge along the south-bank ...”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“... the king and the earls all lay against them with 50 ships.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“... [Godwine's] land-force came from above, and arrayed themselves along the shore; and they then inclined with the ships towards the north-bank, as if they meant to hem-in the king's ships.+
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“The earls [i.e. Godwine and Harold] then sent to the king, and craved of him that they might be worthy of each of those things which had been unjustly taken from them. Then the king, however, refused for some while; so long until the folk who were with the earl [i.e. Godwine] were much excited against the king and against his folk, so that the earl himself with difficulty stilled the folk.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“The king had also a great land-force on his side, besides his shipmen; but it was repugnant to almost all of them that they should fight against men of their own race; for there was little else of any great value except Englishmen on either side; and also they did not want that this country should be the more exposed to foreign nations, in consequence of their destroying each other.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“Then went Bishop Stigand to them, with God's support, and the wise men, both within the town as without, and they resolved that hostages should be fixed on either side; and it was so done....
.... When Archbishop Robert and the Frenchmen were apprised of 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], and their companions, went out at East-gate, and slew and otherwise maltreated many young men, and straight away betook themselves to Eadulfsness [the Naze, Essex]; and there he [Robert] got on a wretched ship, and betook himself at once over sea, and left his pallium and all Christendom here in the country, so as God willed it, as he had before obtained the dignity as God willed it not.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“And Godwine landed, and Harold his son,+ and of their fleet as many as to them seemed good.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D
“Then a great meeting was proclaimed outside London; and all the earls and the best men that were in this country were at the meeting. There Godwine brought forth his defence, and there declared before King Edward his lord, and before all the 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 had before possessed, and to all the men who were with him; and the king gave to the lady [i.e. Edith] all that she before owned....
.... And Archbishop Robert was without reserve declared an outlaw, and all the Frenchmen, because they had chiefly made the discord between Earl Godwine and the king. And Bishop Stigand succeeded to the archbishopric of Canterbury.”
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript E
“And they then outlawed all the Frenchmen who had before raised up unjust law, and judged unjust judgment, and counselled evil counsel in this country; except so many as they decided that the king might like to have with him, who were true to him and all his folk....
.... And Archbishop Robert and Bishop William [of London] and Bishop Ulf with difficulty escaped, with the Frenchmen who were with them, and so went over sea.”*
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscripts C and D

Manuscript D ends its entries s.a. 1052 at this point. Florence of Worcester, though, adds:

“William, however, being a good natured man, was recalled in a short time, and again received into his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles, and, by the licence of Earl Leofric passing through his earldom, went into Scotland, and were there kindly received by Macbeth, king of the Scots.”

Manuscript C alone reports:

“Swein had before gone to Jerusalem from Bruges, and died when homeward, at Constantinople, at Michaelmas [29th September]....


Swein's earldom comprised Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Berkshire and Gloucestershire. Oxfordshire and Herefordshire were given to Earl Ralph. Somerset and Berkshire were restored to Wessex. There is no indication what happened to Gloucestershire. However, the south-western shires which had been committed to Odda now reverted to Wessex, but Odda retained the rank of earl, and it is widely suggested that he was given Worcestershire and possibly Gloucestershire too.*
Earl Odda, “a good man and pure, and very noble” (MS D), died on 31st August 1056. Odda was, apparently, also known as Æthelwine. Florence of Worcester calls him by that name, and says he was: “the cherisher of churches, the entertainer of the poor, the defender of widows and orphans, the overthrower of tyrants, the guardian of virginity”.  He passed-away, notes Florence: “at Deerhurst, having been made a monk shortly before his death by Ealdred, bishop of Worcester; but he was buried in the monastery of Pershore with great ceremony.”*  Odda died without an heir, and his property seems to have passed to his relative, King Edward.
At Deerhurst is an Anglo-Saxon chapel, known as Odda's Chapel, which was incorporated into a much later, half-timbered, farmhouse. The chapel is dated by an inscription (the original inscribed stone is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) which reads: “Earl Odda had this royal hall built and dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity for the soul of his brother, Ælfric, which left the body in this place. Bishop Ealdred dedicated it on the 2nd of the Ides of April in the 14th year of the reign of Edward, king of the English [i.e. on 12th April 1056]”.
Ælfric had died in 1053. Florence of Worcester s.a. 1053: “Ælfric, brother of Earl Odda, died at Deerhurst on the 11th of the Kalends of January [22nd December]; but he was buried at Pershore.”
.... It was on the Monday after St Mary's mass [i.e. on 14th September] that Godwine with his ships came to Southwark; and the morning after, on the Tuesday, they were reconciled, as it stands here-before. Godwine then sickened shortly after he landed, and afterwards recovered, but he made altogether too little reparation for the property of God which he had from many holy places. In the same year came the strong wind on Thomas' mass-night [21st December], and everywhere did much harm.”*
In Manuscript E's telling, Earl Swein had been outlawed at Gloucester, so it was only Earls Godwine and Harold who travelled to the London meeting.
Stigand, previously bishop of East Anglia, had succeeded to the bishopric of Winchester in 1047.
Manuscript D says “kinswoman”, but the ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ says (I, 4) “sister”.  It is generally accepted that Judith was Baldwin V's half-sister – the daughter of Baldwin V's father, Baldwin IV, and his second wife, who was a daughter of Duke Richard II of Normandy. (King Edward's mother, Emma, was a sister of Duke Richard.) According to the ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’, these events took place “during the very marriage celebrations” of Tostig and Judith.
Actually, Manuscript D and Florence of Worcester specify that it was from Thorney, an island a couple of miles west of Bosham, that they sailed. In Manuscript E and the ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ they sail from Bosham.
Manuscript E says that Godwine and Swein (the other members of the party are not named): “shoved out their ships, and went beyond sea, and sought Baldwin's protection, and dwelt there all winter.”
Manuscript E, which generally reports the flight of Godwine's family in much less detail than Manuscript D, says: “And Earl Harold went west to Ireland, and was there all the winter under the king's protection.”  The ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis’ names the king in question Dermot, i.e. Diarmaid Mael na m-Bo, king of Leinster.
Incidentally, Manuscript C's reportage of the ‘Crisis of 1051’ consists of the brief entry: “And in this same year Earl Godwine and all his sons were banished from England. And he and his wife, and his three sons, Swein, and Tostig, and Gyrth, went to Bruges; and Harold and Leofwine went to Ireland, and there dwelt the winter.”
According to Manuscript E, Edward's “sister” (presumably a half-sister) was abbess of Wherwell (in Hampshire).
Manuscripts D and E of the ‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, and Florence of Worcester, though, say that Edith was sent to Wherwell. Edward A. Freeman* notes: “as the evidence for Wherwell seems conclusive, we must set down Wilton as a clerical error.”  Similarly, Charles Plummer**: “The life says Wilton; probably a mere slip.”  This is no “mere slip”, however. The ‘Vita’ states twice more that Edith was at Wilton – and since the anonymous author was writing for, and was presumably informed by, Edith herself, his word on this matter cannot be casually dismissed. Perhaps Edith was first sent to Wherwell, but soon moved to Wilton – or, perhaps, the ‘Chronicle’ and the later works derived therefrom are dependant on an erroneous source.
* ‘The History of the Norman Conquest of England, Its Causes and Its Results’ Volume II, Second Edition, Revised (1870), Chapter 7 §4.
** ‘Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel’, Volume II – ‘Introduction, Notes, and Index’ – (1899).
Edith died, in Winchester, “7 nights before Christmas” 1075.
Odda is particularly associated with Deerhurst in Gloucestershire – hence he is often referred to as Odda of Deerhurst. He features in the witness-lists of charters as a thegn from 1013 – so he was no spring chicken when elevated to the rank of earl in 1051. William of Malmesbury (‘GR’ II §199) lumps earls Odda and Ralph together as “relations of the king”. Odda, though, was English, not a ‘Frenchman’ like Ralph.
The highlighted phrase appears in Manuscript E as ofer Wealas. When the Anglo-Saxons first arrived in Britain, the indigenous Britons were, to them, Wealas or Walas – from which the modern English terms Welsh and Wales are derived – meaning ‘foreigners’. Britain's south-western tip, Cornwall (the Corn-Wealas), eventually succumbed to Anglo-Saxon rule during the ninth century.
Pope Leo IX (1049–54) had, in 1049, forbidden the marriage. (His prohibition was probably politically motivated, because of Baldwin's opposition to the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry III.) The marriage went ahead anyway, and was finally recognised by Pope Nicholas II (1058–61), in 1059.
A white, scarf-like, vestment worn by the pope, and bestowed by him on archbishops as a symbol of delegated papal authority.
‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ Manuscript D, by repeating the year-number 1052, is now indicating the correct year. Manuscript E, by omitting the year-numbers 1049, 1050 and 1051, is also now indicating the correct year. Manuscripts C, D and E are, at last, in synchronism. However, in Manuscript C, since it is using the convention of starting the year on the following 25th March, Emma's death is placed s.a. 1051.
Actually, the date of Emma's death is not clear-cut. Manuscript E does not specify a date. Manuscript D (also Florence of Worcester) says 6th March (2nd of the Nones of March), but Manuscript C says 14th March (2nd of the Ides of March), whilst on a calendar in the ‘Prayerbook of Ælfwine’ (British Library MS Cotton Titus D xxvii) – Ælfwine was abbot of the New Minster, Winchester, from 1031 until 1057 – Emma's obit appears alongside the 7th March (the Nones of March).
“one day before Midsummer's mass-eve”
“Ness which is to the south of Romney”
Highlighted phrase as in Manuscript C. Manuscript D has “all Essex and Surrey”.  Florence of Worcester has “the men of Sussex, Essex, Surrey”.
Charles Plummer* writes: “eallne þæne East (ende. 7 Suð) Sexan. The words in brackets are omitted erroneously by D, with the result that in his text Essex comes in most inopportunely between Hastings and Surrey.  Fl. Wig. [i.e. Florence of Worcester] has both Essex and Sussex, which looks like a conflation of C and D or similar MSS.”
* ‘Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel’, Volume II – ‘Introduction, Notes, and Index’ – (1899).
Highlighted phrase in Manuscript C only.
The northern mouth of the Wantsum Channel (which formerly separated the Isle of Thanet from the Kentish mainland) – hence into the Thames estuary.
Later, Manuscript C alone notes: “It was on the Monday after St Mary's mass that Godwine with his ships came to Southwark”.  Florence of Worcester says: “[Godwine] arrived at Southwark on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, being a Monday”.  Either way, that is Monday 14th September.
Highlighted phrase as in Manuscript C. Manuscript D has: “In that time, and also earlier, he treated with the townspeople”. (Townspeople: Burhware in MS C; Burhwaru in MS D.)  Florence of Worcester says: “during which time he had meetings with the citizens of London, whom he had previously allured with promises of various kinds”.
Highlighted phrase in Manuscript C only. Florence of Worcester agrees.
Manuscript C: utlendiscum þeodum = ‘foreign (outlandish) nations’.
Manuscript D: utlendiscum mannum = ‘foreign men’.
Pentecost's castle – named from Osbern Pentecost – is widely identified with one that stood at Ewyas Harold, in Herefordshire. Robert's castle with one that stood at Clavering, in Essex – the Domesday Book reveals that a certain Robert fitz Wimarc held Clavering “in the time of King Edward”.
Highlighted phrase omitted in Manuscript D.
“Town” = burh (rendered burge by MS E here).
“Townsmen” = burhmenn.
A burh (dative: byrig) is a fortified site; often, as in this case, a town (it is the source of the modern word ‘borough’, and the ...borough, ...burgh and ...bury endings of place-names).
See: Toil and Trouble.
Earl Odda appears in the witness-lists of three charters – all leases issued by Ealdred, bishop of Worcester – though two of them (S1408, S1409) probably date from the period when Odda was earl of the south-western shires, only one of them (S1407) certainly post-dates Godwine's return. The region of the Hwicce roughly corresponded to Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and western Warwickshire, so if Odda's earldom included Worcestershire, it could well have included Gloucestershire too. Further, Odda died at Deerhurst in Gloucestershire, and was buried at Pershore in Worcestershire.
This storm is also recorded in Manuscript D, but it is the first entry s.a. 1053, it being noted that: “and also all the Midwinter there was much wind.”  Florence of Worcester, correctly placing his entry s.a. 1052, says: “the wind was so violent that it blew down many churches and houses, shattered many trees, and tore others up by the roots.”
When Robert was promoted to archbishop, at mid-Lent 1051, Edward appointed the splendidly named Spearhafoc (Sparrowhawk), abbot of Abingdon, to the vacated see of London. Robert went off to Rome to collect his pallium. On his return, he refused to consecrate Spearhafoc bishop, saying that “the pope had forbidden it him” (MS E). Nevertheless: “the abbot then went to London, and resided in the bishopric, which the king had before given him, with his full leave, all the summer and the autumn.”  Late in 1051, after Godwine had been banished from England, Spearhafoc was “driven out from the bishopric of London”, and replaced by, the Norman, William. Now, Spearhafoc was also a skilled goldsmith. According to an Abingdon chronicle (‘Historia Ecclesie Abbendonensis’) preserved in an early/mid-13th century manuscript (British Library MS Cotton Claudius B vi): “at a time when he [Spearhafoc] had, by the king's allocation, plenty of gold and chosen gems acquired for fashioning the imperial crown, he stuffed money-bags full with riches from the bishopric, left England in secret, and did not appear again.”
Florence of Worcester says it was “the thirty-eighth year” after Æthelred had started the tax. Initially, the army-tax [heregeld] had been imposed to pay the fleet (forty-five ships) of Thorkell the Tall, who defected to Æthelred in 1012.
At this time, Manuscript D is one year in advance of the true date, so the events of 1051 appear s.a. 1052. Manuscript E is three years behind, so the events of 1051 appear s.a. 1048.
Whilst Manuscript C is correct in terms of the year-number, it is evidently using the convention of starting the year on the 25th March after the 1st of January which currently marks the start of the year (see: Anno Domini), so the London meeting, the appointment of Archbishop Robert, and the paying-off of the full-time navy, happening before 25th March 1051, all appear s.a. 1050.
The first wife of Eustace II, known as Eustace aux Grenons (with Moustaches), was Edward's sister, Goda (Godgifu). Goda had previously been married to Drogo (Dreux), count of the Vexin. He died in 1035. It is not known when Goda married Eustace. In 1049, however, Eustace was excommunicated by the pope because his marriage was deemed to be within the prohibited degrees of kinship. It is generally assumed that this must have concerned his second marriage, to Ida of Lorraine, and that Goda was dead by then. Ann Williams*, though, suggests it was the marriage of Eustace and Goda that was dissolved in 1049 as a result of the pope's condemnation – Eustace was descended from Alfred the Great in the seventh generation, Goda in the fifth – and that Goda then returned to England. Either way, it would seem that Eustace and Goda were no longer married in 1051.
* ‘The World before Domesday’ (2008), Chapter 1 and Appendix 2.
The following incident, and its aftermath, is also reported in Manuscript D. Florence of Worcester's account, correctly s.a. 1051, is clearly based on a text of the ‘Chronicle’ similar to Manuscript D.
Manuscript D is sketchy: “Eustace landed at Dover, who had King Edward's sister to wife. Then his men went foolishly after quarters, and one man of the port they slew, and another man of the port [slew] their companion, so that there lay 7 of his companions. And great harm was there done on each side, with horse and also with weapons, until the folk gathered; and they then fled, until they came to the king at Gloucester, and he gave them protection.”  In Florence of Worcester's dramatized rendition, Eustace and his men: “slew many men and women with their weapons, and trampled down their babies and children under the horses' feet. But when they saw the citizens coming out to oppose them, they began to flee in a cowardly manner; seven of their number were slain, and the rest escaped with difficulty”.
Manuscript D and Florence of Worcester mention only seven of Eustace's men being killed.
A style of fortified lordly residence, developed on the Continent, introduced to England by Edward's ‘Frenchmen’. Its purpose was, not only to provide a defensible base for the lord, but to intimidate and dominate the local populace. Not to be confused with the later magnificent stone edifices, these were relatively crude earthwork and timber constructions.
Florence of Worcester says: “Godwine and his sons and their respective armies came to Gloucestershire after the feast of St Mary's Nativity”.  Indeed, in Florence's telling, it was already September when Eustace came to England. Further, Florence, who did not have the benefit of Manuscript E's digression concerning the castle in Herefordshire, places the castle in question at Dovercliff. Dover was a fortified town, a burh, but there was no castle as such until William the Conqueror would appear to have built one, in eight days, in 1066. The stone castle was begun in the 1180s.
The hundred (a subdivision of a shire) of Langtree, in which Beverstone was evidently situated at this time.
Earl Ralph was the son of Edward's sister, Goda (Godgifu), by her first husband, Drogo (Dreux), count of the Vexin. Ralph appears in the witness-lists of charters as an earl (dux) in 1050. It is widely suggested that he took-over Beorn's southeast-midlands earldom. (See the series of maps at the end of Stephen Baxter's paper ‘Edward the Confessor and the Succession Question’, available online.)
Odda's alternative name was, according to Florence of Worcester, Agelwinus, i.e. Æthelwine. However, John Leland, a 16th century antiquary, citing now-lost Pershore annals, says that when workmen were digging in St Mary's Chapel, in 1259, they found Odda's lead coffin, which bore an inscription stating that the earl-turned-monk was: “called Ædwinus [i.e. Eadwine (Edwin)] in baptism”.
William of Jumièges completed the ‘Gesta Normannorum Ducum’ (Deeds of the Dukes of the Normans) c.1070–1. He dedicated it to William the Conqueror (the 7th duke).
The ‘Vita Ædwardi Regis qui apud Westmonasterium requiescit’ (Life of King Edward who rests at Westminster) survives in a single, incomplete (eight pages are evidently missing), manuscript of c.1100 (BL Harley 526). It was commissioned by Queen Edith (d.1075), wife of King Edward and daughter of Earl Godwine. The anonymous author was probably a monk from the monastery of Saint-Bertin, at Saint-Omer in Flanders (now France), working in England. The work falls into two distinct sections. The first is historical in nature, and, in fact, King Edward is almost an incidental character – the focus being on Edith's family. This section would appear to have been begun in the autumn of 1065 and abandoned during 1066 (Edward's death in January 1066 is the last event mentioned), as the traumatic events that destroyed the family unfolded. The second section, being concerned with manifestations of Edward's sanctity, is in-effect a saint's ‘Life’ in embryo. The indications are that it was composed in 1067.
Charters are referred to by their number in Sawyer's catalogue.
Available online: The Electronic Sawyer.
In the ‘Historia Novorum in Anglia’ (History of Recent Events in England). Eadmer (an Englishman, born shortly before the Norman Conquest) was a monk at Christ Church Canterbury (indeed, he had been there since boyhood). He became a close aide to Anselm (St Anselm), archbishop of Canterbury 1093–1109. The ‘Historia’ is primarily concerned with Anselm's career, though, as Eadmer notes in the preface: “My story will also include a number of other occurrences which took place in England ... occurrences of which we do not think it right that those who come after us should be deprived of all knowledge, so far as it is within our power to prevent it.”  The ‘Historia’ was first produced c.1112 – though, a decade later, extra material was appended. Eadmer died c.1124.
‘Gesta Pontificum Anglorum’ (Deeds of the Bishops of England).
‘Gesta Regum Anglorum’ (Deeds of the Kings of England).