Edward's return and coming to throne

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 20-05-17 13:02
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  • The Aetheling Returns
    • Edward returns to England - invited by Harthacnut
      • Edward (half-brother of Harthacnut) was invited to return to England. There are several possible reasons for this:
        • Brotherly love
        • Arrangement made by William of Normandy
        • Harthacnut was dying so wanted to be reconciled with Edward
        • Rapprochement with his mother Emma
        • Most likely reason was Edward was needed to appease English who had been angered by Harthacnut's demands for 'heregeld' and his ravaging of Worcestershire
      • Edward was seemingly designated as heir to Harthacnut which was common practice in most of Western Europe in order to prevent conflict upon death of monarch
    • Harthacnut dies and Edward becomes King
      • Harthacnut dies suddenly, probably of stroke or heart attack
        • 8th June 1042, Lambeth
        • With his death male line of Danish Royal House of Cnut came to end
      • Harthacnut's succession in both England and Denmark became open to question
        • In Denmark, choice lay between Harold, son of Thorkell the Tall, and Swein Estrithson
        • Before King of Denmark and possibly England could be appointed, Magnus of Norway invaded Denmark
        • Harold murdered in 1043 and Swein Estrithson led war of independence against Magnus
      • Sources differ on how Edward came to be King
        • Vita Edwardi (tries to enhance role of Earl Godwin) states Godwin took lead in urging Witan to free England from Danish rule and send for Edward
        • The Chronicle states Edward was 'received as a king as was his natural right'
        • Florence of Worcester states this was 'chiefly by the exertions of Earl Godwin and Lyfing Bishop of Worcester'
        • Peterborough Chronicle says 'all the people chose Edward as king in London, may he hold it as long as God grants it to him'
      • Edward was acceptable to English as he was descendant of Cerdic, progenitor of West Saxon monarchy , and of Rollo of Normandy the Viking.
        • Therefore he was acceptable to both English and Danish elite.
      • He swore  to maintain laws of Cnut.
      • Coronation followed year later at Winchester
        • Second most important place in England as it was where most of monarchy were buried at one time including Cnut
        • 3rd April 1043
    • Edward's supporters and gifts
      • According to chronicles Edward's main supporters were Earl Godwin, Bishop Lyfing of Worcester and Bishop Aelfwine of Winchester
      • Leofric (Earl of Mercia) and Siward (Earl of Northumbria, who wanted to be left alone) both also supported Edward's claim and remained loyal until their deaths.
      • To ensure Edward's favour Godwin presented Edward with fully equiped warship, similar to that which he had given to King Harthacnut.
      • Edward almost immediately seized all of his mother, Emma's, land and all of her gold and silver 'because she had kept it from him too firmly'.
        • Worcester account states this action took place following meeting of Witan and he was accompanied by members of genge (war bane) and those of three earls, Leofric, Godwin and Siward.
      • It is likely Emma had hr own bodyguard of Housecarls as she was likely in possession of royal hoard.
      • Her presence as witness at future charters suggests she later regained some land and influence before her death on 6th March 1052.


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