Henry VIII’s restored flagship open to public

From History.com:

After 34 years, one of the most extensive conservation projects in history has come to a close as the salvaged remains of Mary Rose have been placed on full public display. For the first time visitors to the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, England, will have unobstructed views of the flagship of King Henry VIII’s navy that sank in battle nearly 500 years ago.

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Gildas

St. Gildas was a monk who chronicled the history of the British isles from the time near the end of the Roman era to the coming of the Saxons. He lived approximately from 500 – 570 AD. His most famous work is the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain). It is an important piece of writing as it is one of few contemporary writings of the period surrounding sub-Roman Britain. I have linked to the translation of the document below:

On the Ruin of Britain

Morcar, Earl of Northumbria

Morcar was the Earl of Northumbria from 1065-1066. He was the son of Ælfgar (earl of Mercia) and brother of Eadwine (or Edwin), earl of Mercia. He was the grandson of Leofric and Godiva. Morcar rose to power at the appointment of the thegns in York due to the tyrannical rule of Tostig, the brother of Harold Godiwnson and son of Earl Godwin of Wessex. Tostig was an incapable leader, and Harold banished him due to the surmounting pressure of the thegns, and he officially appointed Morcar as Earl of Northumbria.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

They then sent after Morkar, son of Earl Elgar, 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 Edwin came to meet him with the men that were in his earldom.  Many Britons also came with him.  Harold also there met them; on whom they imposed an errand to King Edward, sending also messengers with him, and requesting that they might have Morcar for their earl.

Tostig later returned with Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, to challenge Morcar and his brother Edwin. Tostig and Harald defeated the two brothers at Fulford on September 20, 1066.

And Morcar the earl, and Edwin the earl, fought against them; and the king of the Norwegians had the victory.  And it was made known to King Harold how it there was done, and had happened; and he came there with a great army of English men, and met him at Stanfordbridge, and slew him and the earl Tosty, and boldly overcame all the army.

Harold Godwinson, then King Harold of England following Edward the Confessor’s death earlier in the year, raced north to protect his earls, defeating Tostig and Harald at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on September 28. After the battle, Harold immediately marched south to meet the invading forces of William of Normandy. Edwin and Morcar were both reluctant to join Harold, and instead went to London after the battle in most likely an attempt to seek the English throne for themselves. Eventually, they agreed to the Witan’s decision to elect Edgar the Etheling as king, though Edgar was never officially crowned as such. Duke William, instead, was crowned King of England, and both Edwin and Morcar submitted to his rule.

And the while, William the earl landed at Hastings, on St. Michael’s-day: and Harold came from the north, and fought against him before all his army had come up: and there he fell, and his two brothers, Girth and Leofwin; and William subdued this land.

From 1067-1068, Edwin and Morcar and Edgar the Etheling lived in Normandy as hostages of William. When they were finally allowed to return to the earldoms in England, they fomented rebellion against William. The Duke of Normandy eventually crushed their rebellion. Edwin’s own men betrayed and killed him. William captured Morcar, imprisoning him in Normandy for a second time.

In 1087, William released Morcar, who returned to England with William Rufus. Rufus imprisoned Morcar at Winchester, where he supposedly died.

Ethelred the Unready

Ethelred the Unready

Æthelred the Unready, or Æthelred II (circa 968 – 23 April 1016), was king of England (978–1013 and 1014–1016). He was son of King Edgar and Queen Ælfthryth. Æthelred was only about 10 (no more than 13) when his half-brother Edward was murdered. Æthelred was not personally suspected of participation, but as the murder was committed at Corfe Castle by the attendants of Ælfthryth, it made it more difficult for the new king to rally the nation against the military raids by Danes, especially as the legend of St Edward the Martyr grew.

From 991 onwards, Æthelred paid tribute, or Danegeld, to the Danish King. In 1002, Æthelred ordered a massacre of Danish settlers. In 1003, King Sweyn invaded England and in 1013, Æthelred fled to Normandy and was replaced by Sweyn, who was also king of Denmark. However, Æthelred returned as king after Sweyn died in 1014.

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Additional Sources:

Tostig

Early Life:

Tostig was the third son of Godwin (d. 1053), Earl of Wessex and Kent, and Gytha, daughter of Thorgils Sprakaleg. In 1051, he married Judith, the daughter of Count Baldwin IV of Flanders, half-sister of Baldwin V of Flanders, and aunt of Matilda of Flanders, who married William the Conqueror. The Domesday Book recorded twenty-six vills or townships as being held by Earl Tostig forming the Manor of Hougun.

Death:

Hardrada’s army invaded York, taking hostages after a peaceful surrender, and likely agreed with the local inhabitants to gather commandeered supplies at Stamford Bridge, near York, a conveniently central spot, well-fed by streams and roads. King Harold Godwinson raced northward with an English army from London and, on 25 September 1066, surprised Tostig and about 6,000 of his men, basking in the sun and awaiting supplies. The Norwegians and the Flemish mercenaries hired by Tostig were largely without armour and carried only personal weapons. The day was very hot and no resistance was expected. The remainder of the 11,000 man force remained guarding the Norse ships, beached miles away at Riccall.

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Additional reading:

Canute

Canute the Great, also known as Cnut or Knute(c. 985 or 995 – 12 November 1035)

From Britannica:

Canute (I), byname Canute the Great, Danish Knut, or Knud, den Store, Norwegian Knut den Mektige (died Nov. 12, 1035), Danish king of England (1016–35), of Denmark (as Canute II; 1019–35), and of Norway (1028–35), who was a power in the politics of Europe in the 11th century, respected by both emperor and pope. Neither the place nor the date of his birth is known.

Canute was the grandson of the Polish ruler Mieszko I on his mother’s side. As a youth he accompanied his father, Sweyn I Forkbeard, king of Denmark, on his invasion of England in 1013. Canute was left in charge of the fleet at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and it was probably then that he met Aelfgifu, daughter of an ealdorman (chief officer) of Northumbria who had been murdered with King Aethelred II’s connivance in 1006; she bore him two sons, Sweyn and Harold. Sweyn I Forkbeard was accepted as king of England by the end of 1013 but died in February 1014, and the English invited Aethelred to return. Canute and the men of Lindsey planned a combined expedition, but Canute deserted his allies at Easter and sailed to Denmark, putting his hostages, savagely mutilated, ashore at Sandwich. In 1015 he returned and began a long struggle with Aethelred’s son Edmund II Ironside … After Aethelred died in April 1016, the English witan (council) elected Canute king at Southampton, but those councillors who were in London, with the citizens, elected Edmund. Canute won a victory at Ashingdon, Essex, on October 18, and the kingdom was then divided; but Edmund died on November 30, and Canute succeeded to the whole.

Read more about Cnut.

Additional Reading:

Harald Hardrada

Harald Sigurdsson (1015 – September 25, 1066), later given the epithet Hardrada (Old Norse: roughly translated as “stern counsel” or “hard ruler”) was the king of Norway from 1047 until 1066. He also claimed to be the King of Denmark until 1064, often defeating King Sweyn’s army and forcing him to leave the country. Many details of his life were chronicled in the Heimskringla and other Icelandic sources. Among English speakers, he is generally remembered for his failed invasion of England in 1066. Harald’s death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge which brought an end to that invasion is often recorded as the end of the Viking Age.

*excerpt taken from source on wikipedia, which actually has a lot of good references and sources about Harald

Additional reading:

The Picts

Picts - Medieval Scotland - Medieval BritainThe Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland.There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning ‘Pit-‘, for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest of Britain until the 10th century, when they merged with the Gaels. They lived to the north of the rivers Forth and Clyde, and spoke the extinct Pictish language, thought to have been related to the Brythonic languages spoken by the Britons to the south. They are assumed to have been the descendants of the Caledonii and other tribes named by Roman historians or found on the world map of Ptolemy. Pictland, also known as Pictavia, gradually merged with the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to form the Kingdom of Alba (Scotland). Alba expanded, absorbing the Brythonic kingdom of Strathclyde and Bernician Lothian, and by the 11th century the Pictish identity had been subsumed into the “Scots” amalgamation of peoples.

Further Reading:

*image source: Catfish Jim and the soapdish at en.wikipedia

Harold II Godwinson

King Harold II Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England (c 1022 – 14 October 1066)

Harold was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England and was killed by William, Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

Harold was born in the early 1020s, the son of Godwine, Earl of Wessex. He succeeded to his father’s titles in 1053, becoming the second most powerful man in England after the monarch. He was also a focus for opposition to the growing Norman influence in England encouraged by the king, Edward (known as ‘the Confessor’ for his piety).

Read Harold’s brief biography at the BBC.

Additional reading:

Historic Figures: Alfred the Great

Article from the BBC:

King of the southern Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex and one of the outstanding figures of English history, as much for his social and educational reforms as for his military successes against the Danes. He is the only English monarch known as ‘the Great’.

Alfred was born at Wantage in Oxfordshire in 849, fourth or fifth son of Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons. Following the wishes of their father, the sons succeeded to the kingship in turn. At a time when the country was under threat from Danish raids, this was aimed at preventing a child inheriting the throne with the related weaknesses in leadership. In 870 AD the Danes attacked the only remaining independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Wessex, whose forces were commanded by Alfred’s older brother, King Aethelred, and Alfred himself.

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