The House of Godwine

  • Created by: mrevv
  • Created on: 31-10-19 16:17

Earl Godwine

  • Appointed to Wessex by Cnut, and killed Alfred
  • In 1060, only Wessex was not ruled by a Godwine.
  • Thier estates were £7000, the King only had 5000.
  • They built up housecarls and followers from granting land.
  • He averted disaster by acting as king-maker to Ed, marrying him and Edith
  • Ed brought in Norman hepers to possibly rig Eusatce of Boulogne's attack.
  • Ed initially said he would only restore Godwine if he returned Alfred alive to him.
  • After Godwine landed an army in London, Ed conceded.
  • He blamed his Norman friends, who he had to banish.
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Swein and Harold

  • 1046, Swein kidnapped the abbess of Leominster, and Ed exiled him and took his lands. 
  • 1049, he returned, tried to make peace then kidnapped his cousin Beorn.
  • Killed Beorn and declared a 'Nithing' by the earls. 
  • Godwine supported his return, but Harold sided with the Witan.
  • 1050, Swein allowed back, not restored to lands and told to go on pilgramage- he died on the way.
  • Harold was described as a deputy king.
  • Ed knew little about the political system or supporters.
  • The Godwines were powerful, but they also helped stabalise England. 
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The Welsh wars

  • The Vita Edwardi says Harold was strong, handsome, and confident.
  • He was formidable, willing to comprimise, and a good leader.
  • 1055, Gryffdd ad Llewelyn declared himself king of Wales
  • He invaded the Welsh marches with Elfgar, a banished earl
  • They invaded Hereford next- Edward sent Harold.
  • Harold restored Elfgar and gave Gryffdd territory for Ed's overlordship and peace.
  • 1056, Gryffdd defeated the bishop of Hereford.
  • When Harold attacked he had to concede more terriory and see Gryffdd as king.
  • Elfgar and Magnus of Norway joined Gryffdd- Magnus was bribed and Elfgar restored.
  • 1062, Harold carried out a suprise attack and in 1063, a campaign with Tostig.
  • Living off the land, the English wore leather instead of armour and used javelins.
  • They broke the Welsh morale and Gryffdd's men turned against him and kileld him.
  • This shows Harold's ability, and that of the English army. 
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Harold in Normandy

  • 1064, Harold went to France- Poitiers says to offer the throne.
  • He was shipwrecked at Ponthieu and rescued by William
  • He swore loyalty to William and to help him become king
  • They campaigned in Brittany together. 
  • But, why didn't Ed summon William to court?
  • Not mentioned in the Vita or ASC.
  • Possibly added to frame Harold as a perjerer and userper and to win Papal support.
  • Harold could have asked for William's support or relased his nephews and brother.
  • He could have sworn it under pressure (didn't count)
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  • Upon Siward's death Tostig became earl of Northumbria
  • He was unpopular as a southerner- Siward was a viking.
  • He introduced unpopular laws, taxes and a bishop of Durham.
  • He was over-zealous in his punishments to Southernise them.
  • He also killed his rival Gospatric until a rebellion formed.
  • Morcar and his rebels had peace talks with Harold.
  • Tostig was exiled and Morcar became earl.
  • Harold acted in the country's interests but this lost him a huge ally.
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