Biography of Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex 1001-1053

Paternal Family Tree: Godwinson

1035 Death of Canute

1036 Murder of Aelfred Ætheling Wessex by Godwinson

1042 Death of King Harthacnut

1043 Coronation of Edward the Confessor

1045 Marriage of Edward "The Confessor" and Edith of Wessex

1051 Banishment of the Godwins

1052 Godwins Restored

In 1001 Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex was born to Wulfnoth Cild Godwinson.

Before Jun 1014 [his father] Wulfnoth Cild Godwinson died.

In or before 1019 [his future brother-in-law] Ulf Estrigen and Estrid Svendsdatter Knytlinga (age 28) were married. She the daughter of Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England.

Before 1020 Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 19) was created 1st Earl Wessex.

In 1020 Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 19) was created 1st Earl Kent.

Before 1021 Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 20) and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex were married. She by marriage Countess Kent, Countess Wessex.

Around 1021 [his son] Sweyn Godwinson 1st Earl Hereford was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 20) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Around 1022 [his son] King Harold II of England was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 21) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Around 1026 [his son] Tostig Godwinson Earl Northumbria was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 25) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Around 1026 [his daughter] Edith of Wessex Queen Consort England was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 25) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

In 1027 [his brother-in-law] Ulf Estrigen died.

Around 1032 [his son] Gyrth Godwinson Earl East Anglia was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 31) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Death of Canute

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1035. This year died King Knute (age 40) at Shaftesbury, Dorset, on the second day before the ides of November; and he is buried at Winchester Old Minster in the old minster. He was king over all England very near twenty winters. Soon after his decease, there was a council of all the nobles at Oxford; wherein Earl Leofric, and almost all the thanes north of the Thames, and the naval men in London, chose Harold (age 19) to be governor of all England, for himself and his brother Hardacnute (age 17), who was in Denmark. Earl Godwin (age 34), and all the eldest men in Wessex, withstood it as long as they could; but they could do nothing against it. It was then resolved that Elfgiva (age 45), the mother of Hardacnute (age 19) [Note. Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 45) is the mother of Harold "Harefoot" King England (age 19), Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 50) is the mother of King Harthacnut of Denmark and England (age 17)], should remain at Winchester with the household of the king her son. They held all Wessex in hand, and Earl Godwin (age 34) was their chief man. Some men said of Harold (age 19), that he was the son of King Knute (age 40) and of Elfgive (age 45) the daughter of Alderman Elfelm; but it was thought very incredible by many men. He was, nevertheless, full king over all England. Harold himself said that he was the son of Knute and of Elfgive (age 45) the Hampshire lady; though it was not true; but he sent and ordered to be taken from her all the best treasure that she could not hold, which King Knute possessed; and she nevertheless abode there continually within the city as long as she could.

Around 1035 [his son] Leofwine Godwinson 2nd Earl Kent was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 34) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Murder of Aelfred Ætheling Wessex by Godwinson

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1036. This year came hither Alfred the innocent etheling (age 31), son of King Ethelred, and wished to visit his mother (age 51), who abode at Winchester: but Earl Godwin (age 35), and other men who had much power in this land, did not suffer it; because such conduct was very agreeable to Harold (age 20), though it was unjust.

Him did Godwin let, and in prison set. His friends, who did not fly, they slew promiscuously. And those they did not sell, like slaughter'd cattle fell! Whilst some they spared to bind, only to wander blind! Some ham-strung, helpless stood, whilst others they pursued. A deed more dreary none in this our land was done, since Englishmen gave place to hordes of Danish race. But repose we must in God our trust, that blithe as day with Christ live they, who guiltless died- their country's pride! The prince with courage met each cruel evil yet; till 'twas decreed, they should him lead, all bound, as he was then, to Ely-bury fen. But soon their royal prize bereft they of his eyes! Then to the monks they brought their captive; where he sought a refuge from his foes till life's sad evening close. His body ordered then these good and holy men, according to his worth, low in the sacred earth, to the steeple full-nigh, in the south aile to lie of the transept west- his soul with Christ doth rest.

In 1036 Ælfred Ætheling Wessex (age 31) returned to England where he and his men were met by Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 35) at Guildford, Surrey [Map]; ostensibly friendly. The following day, however, Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent, Earl Wessex 1001-1053's men attacked Aelfred's (age 31) men murdering most of them. Aelfred (age 31) was taken to Ely [Map] where he was blinded and died shortly thereafter.

John of Worcester. 1040. Harold (age 24), king of England, died at London, and was buried at Westminster. After his funeral, the nobles of almost the whole of England sent envoys to Hardicanute (age 22) at Bruges, where he was staying with his mother (age 55), and, thinking it was for the best, invited him to come to England and ascend the throne. Thereupon, he fitted out fifty ships, and embarking Danish troops, before midsummer sailed over to England, where he was received with universal joy, and shortly afterwards crowned; but during his government he did nothing worthy his royal power. For as soon as he began to reign, calling to mind the injuries which both he and his mother had suffered at the hands of his predecessor, and reputed brother, king Harold (age 24), he despatched to London, Ælfric, archbishop of York, and earl Godwin (age 39), with Stor, the master of his household, Edric, his steward, Thrond, captain of his guards, and other men of high rank, with orders to dig up the body of Harold (age 24) and throw it into a sewer; and when it was thrown there, he caused it to be dragged out and cast into the river Thames. Shortly afterwards, it was picked up by a fisherman, and being immediately brought to the Danes, was honourably buried by them in a cemetery they possessed at London.60 After this, he ordered that eight marks should be paid to every rower in his fleet, and twelve to each steersman, to be levied from the whole of England; a tax so burthensome, that scarcely any one would pay it, and he became thoroughly detested by those who at first were most anxious for his coming. Besides, he was greatly incensed against earl Godwin (age 39), and Living, bishop of Worcester, for the death of his brother Alfred, of which they were accused by Ælfric, archbishop of York, and some others. In consequence, he took the bishopric of Worcester from Living and gave it to Ælfric; but the following year, he ejected Ælfric and graciously restored Living, who had made his peace with him.

Note 60. The cemetery of St Clement-Danes, where the Northmen had a settlement on the bank of the Thames, outside the walls of London. The Saxon Chronicle is silent as to Harold's corpse being thrown into the Thames and fished up, but Henry of Huntingdon gives the same account as our author.

Around 1040 [his son] Wulfnoth Godwinson was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 39) and [his wife] Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

John of Worcester. 1040. Godwin (age 39), to obtain the king's favour, presented him with a galley of admirable workmanship, with a gilded figure-head, rigged with the best materials, and manned with eighty chosen soldiers splendidly armed. Every one of them had on each arm a golden bracelet weighing six ounces, and wore a triple coat of mail and a helmet partly gilt, and a sword with gilded hilt girt to his side, and a Danish battle-axe inlaid with gold and silver hanging from his left shoulder; in his left hand he bore a shield, the boss and studs of which were also gilt, and in his right hand a lance, called in the English tongue "Atagar."61 Moreover, he made oath to the king (age 22), with almost all the chief men and greater thanes in England, that it was not by his counsel, or at his instance, that his brother's eyes were put out, but that he had only obeyed the commands of his lord, king Harold (age 24).

Note 61. Anglo-Saxon, atgar; old Norsk, atgeirr.

John of Worcester. 1041. This year Hardicanute (age 23), king of England, sent his house-carls62 through all the provinces of his kingdom to collect the tribute which he had imposed. Two of them, Feader and Thurstan, were slain on the 4th of the ides [the 4th] of May, by the citizens of Worcester, Worcestershire [Map] and the people of that neighbourhood, in an upper chamber of the abbey-tower, where they had concealed themselves during a tumult. This so incensed the king, that to avenge their deaths he sent Thorold, earl of Middlesex, Leofric, earl of Mercia, Godwin (age 40), earl of Wessex, Siward (age 31), earl of Northumbria, Boni, earl of Hereford, and all the other English earls, with almost all his house-carls, and a large body of troops, to Worcester, Worcestershire [Map], where Ælfric was still bishop, with orders to put to death all the inhabitants they could find, to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole province.

Note 62. The Danish body-guards.

Death of King Harthacnut

John of Worcester. 1042. Hardicanute (age 24), king of England, while he was present at a joyous feast given at a place called Lambeth, Surrey [Map], by Osgod Clapa, a man of great wealth, on occasion of his giving the hand of his daughter Githa in marriage to Tovi, surnamed Prudan, a noble and powerful Dane,—and carousing, full of health and merriment, with the bride and some others, fell down, by a sad mischance, while in the act of drinking, and continued speechless until Tuesday the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June, when he expired. He was carried to Winchester and buried near his father Canute. His brother [his future son-in-law] Edward (age 39) was proclaimed king at London, chiefly by the exertions of earl Godwin (age 41), and Living, bishop of Worcester. Edward (age 39) was the son of Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, who was the son of Edmund, who was the son of Edward the Elder, who was the son of Alfred.

Coronation of Edward the Confessor

John of Worcester. 1043. [his future son-in-law] Edward (age 40) was anointed king at Winchester on the first day of Easter, being the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April, by Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, Jilric, archbishop of York, and nearly all the bishops of England. In the same year, fourteen days before the feast-day of St. Andrew the apostle [16th November], the king went suddenly and unexpectedly from the city of Gloucester to Winchester, accompanied by the earls Godwin (age 42), Leofric, and Siward (age 33); and by their advice took from his mother (age 58) all the gold, silver, jewels, precious stones, and other valuables she possessed, because she had been less liberal to him than he expected, and had treated him harshly both before and after he was king. Notwithstanding, he gave orders for her being supplied with all necessaries, and ordered her to remain there quiet.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 03 Apr 1043. This year was [his future son-in-law] Edward (age 40) consecrated king at Winchester [Map], early on Easter-day, with much pomp. Then was Easter on the third day before the nones of April. Archbishop Edsy consecrated him, and before all people well admonished him. And Stigand the priest was consecrated bishop over the East Angles. And this year, fourteen nights before the mass of St. Andrew, it was advised the king, that he and Earl Leofric and Earl Godwin (age 42) and Earl Siward (age 33) with their retinue, should ride from Gloucester to Winchester unawares upon the lady (age 58); 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. And soon after this the king determined to invest all the land that his mother (age 58) had in her 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. Soon after this Stigand was deprived of his bishopric; and they took all that he had into their hands for the king, because he was highest the counsel of his mother; and she acted as he advised, as men supposed.

In 1043 Coventry Priory was founded by Leofric Earldorman Mercia and Godgifu aka Lady Godiva. It was consecrated on 04 Oct 1043 by Archbishop Eadsige. Among the witnesses to this foundation charter were [his future son-in-law] Edward the Confessor (age 40), the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Worcester and Lichfield, the abbots of Winchcombe and Pershore, and the earls Godwin (age 42), [his son] Harold (age 21), Siward (age 33), and Ordgar.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1044. This year Archbishop Edsy resigned his see from infirmity, and consecrated Siward, Abbot of Abingdon, bishop thereto, with the permission and advice of the king and Earl Godwin (age 43). It was known to few men else before it was done; because the archbishop feared that some other man would either beg or buy it, whom he might worse trust and oblige than him, if it were known to many men. This year there was very great hunger over all England, and corn so dear as no man remembered before; so that the sester of wheat rose to sixty pence, and even further. And this same year the king went out to Sandwich, Kent [Map] with thirty-five ships; and Athelstan, the churchwarden, succeeded to the abbacy of Abingdon, and Stigand returned to his bishopric.

Charter S1001 King Edward to Ælfwine. A.D. 1044. [his future son-in-law] King Edward (age 41) to Ælfwine, bishop (of Winchester); grant of 30 hides (mansae) at Witney, Oxon [Map]. Latin with English bounds

Rubric: ˘is is ∂ara .xxx. hidæ boc æt Witanigæ ∂e Eadward cing gebocode Ælfwinæ bisceope on ece yrfe. + Christi omnipotentis dei largiflua bonitas omnino laudanda, omnique est laude praeferenda, quae nullo bonitatis termino ualet concludi, utpote idem deus ipse sit suae bonitatis bonitas, distribuens gratis non tantum dignis uerum etiam indignis participium bonitatis suae; est quippe rex regum, omniumque subsistentium uisibilium aeque inuisibilium creator et suae creationis discretissimus dispositor, disponens omnia sibi libito uti competi diuinae dominationi eius; nam quosdam libero arbitrio quibusdam praeficit dignitate huius saeculi et opibus diuersis, quibus rursum mandat ut ipsi eorum inopiam sua sufficientia releuare debeant qui minus abundant saecularibus negociis, et pro hoc possint maiori mercede ab eo donari. Unde ego Eadwardus rex Anglicae nationis eius ammonitione prouocatus, pro adipiscenda remunerationis mercede, dono cuidam familiari episcopo meo Ælfwino pro fideli obsequio quo michi fideliter obsecundatur .xxx. uidelicet mansas, in loco quem soicolae illius uocant Wittannige, ut eas quoad uiuit libere possideat; et post mortem det sibi placito cuicunque elegerit. Sit itaque rurisculum illud ab omni mundiali seruitio liberum, excepto communi seruitio, hoc est, arcis recuperatione, et pontis restauratione, ac expeditione in hostes patriae. Si quispiam quoquomodo malae mentis conamine hoc meum donatiuum donum infringere uel abripere per uiolentiam uoluerit, priuatus a consortio dei qui nos imperat iuniorum nostrorum necessitatibus subuenire pro suo amore, constringatur et obligetur inextricabilium nodorum habenis perpetuae dampnationis, nisi resipiscat et poenitentiae uenia deleat. ˘is synt ∂a landgemæra to Wittannige. Ærest andlang ∂æs streames on ∂one mædham ∂e hyrn∂ into Scylftune; and fram Scylftune andlang streames ∂æt it cym∂ to ∂am mylewere ∂e hyrn∂ into duceling dune; of ∂æm wære ofær ∂one wegean mor into hocslew; ∂anon on ∂a niwan dic; of ∂ære dic on horninga mære; of horninga mære andlang ∂æs gemæres to hlæwan slæde; of ∂am slæde into dufan doppe and swa andlang gemæres into Leofstanes bricge; of Leofestanes bricge into kytelaceras; of kytelacæras innon ∂a wudestret; andlang ∂ære strete into hafoces hlæwe; of hafoces hlewæ innon wænric; of wenric to swondæne; æfter swondæne to ∂ære haran apeldran; of ∂ære apeldran andlang gemæres innan swonlege; of swonleage upp to ∂am heafdam; of ∂am heafdan andlang surode innan huntenan weg; andlang huntenan wege into Wicham; of Wicham a be ∂are wyrtruman ∂æt hit cym∂ on sceapa weg; of sceapa wege andlang rihtes gemæres innan æcenes feld; of æcenes felda andlang rihtes gemæres of kicgestan; of kicgestane into æceres felda; of æcenes felda ∂ær ∂a cnihtas licga∂; and fram ham ∂e ∂a cnihtas licga∂ on mætseg; andlang metseg into wenric. Anno dominicae incarnationis millesimo quadragesimo quarto, indictione duodecima et septem concurrentibus, atque .xviii. epactis rotantibus, haec regalis concessio atque donatio facta est sub astipulatione primatum quorum nomina hic caraxata sunt.

Ego Eadwardus (age 41) rex totius Brittanniae praefatam meam donationem cum sigillo sanctae crucis regali stabilimento affirmaui.

Ego Ælfgyfu (age 59) eiusdem regis mater hanc regalem donationem cum trophaeo agiae crucis ouanter diuulgaui.

Ego Eadsinus archiepiscopus triumphalem agiae crucis trophaeum huic regio muneri gaudenter impressi.

Ego Ælfricus archipraesul hanc territoriam scedulam signo sanctae crucis diligenter adsignare curaui.

Ego Ælfwinus Wintoniensis episcopus consolidaui.

Ego Beorhtwoldus Wiltuniensis episcopus coadunaui.

Ego Ea∂no∂us Dorcensis episcopus corroboraui.

Ego Lyfingus Cridiensis episcopus confirmaui.

Ego Æ∂elstanus Herfordensis episcopus consigillaui.

Ego Ælfweardus Lundoniensis episcopus conscripsi.

Ego Duduco Uuillensis episcopus condixi.

Ego Grimkyllus Australium Saxonum episcoups consensi.

Ego Wulfsynus Licetfeldensis episcopus conclusi.

Ego Bryhtwinus Scirburnensis episcopus commodum duxi.

Ego Godwine (age 43) dux.

Ego Leofric dux.

Ego Siwerd (age 34) dux.

Ego Swegen dux.

Ego Ælfwine dux.

Ego Ælfwerd dux.

Ego Sywerd dux.

Ego Leofsige dux.

Ego Ælfsige dux.

Ego Ælfstan dux.

Ego Ordgar minister.

Ego Osgod minister.

Ego Odda minister.

Ego Ælfgar minister.

Ego Brihtric minister.

Ego Æ∂elwig minister.

Ego ˘ure∂ minister.

Ego Ælfstan minister.

Ego Carl minister.

Ego Ordulf minister.

Marriage of Edward "The Confessor" and Edith of Wessex

On 23 Jan 1045 [his son-in-law] King Edward "Confessor" of England (age 42) and [his daughter] Edith of Wessex Queen Consort England (age 19) were married. She by marriage Queen Consort England. The difference in their ages was 23 years. She the daughter of Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 44) and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex. He the son of King Æthelred "Unready" II of England and Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 60).

John of Worcester. 1047. So much snow fell in the West, that it crushed the woods, and this year the winter was very severe. Grimkytel, bishop of Sussex, died, and was succeeded by Heca, the king's chaplain. Ælfwine, bishop of Winchester, also died, and Stigand, bishop of East-Anglia, was translated to his see. Sweyn (age 28), king of Denmark, sent ambassadors to [his son-in-law] Edward (age 44), king of England, requesting that he would send a fleet to join him against Magnus (age 23), king of Norway. Then earl Godwin (age 46) counselled the king to send at least fifty ships, full of soldiers; but as the proposal was objected to by earl Leofric and all the people, he declined to furnish any. After this Magnus (age 23), king of Norway, having collected a numerous and powerful fleet, fought a battle with Sweyn (age 28), in which a vast number of troops were killed on both sides, and having driven him out of Denmark, reigned there himself, and made the Danes pay him a heavy tribute: shortly afterwards he died.

In or before 1049 [his son] King Harold II of England (age 27) and [his daughter-in-law] Edyth Swannesha (age 23) were married. He the son of Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 47) and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1049. [Note 62] This year the emperor gathered an innumerable army against Baldwin of Bruges (age 36), because he had destroyed the palace of Nimeguen, and because of many other ungracious acts that he did against him. The army was immense that he had collected together. There was Leo, the Pope of Rome, and the patriarch, and many other great men of several provinces. He sent also to [his son-in-law] King Edward (age 46), and requested of him naval aid, that he might not permit him to escape from him by water. Whereupon he went to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and lay there with a large naval armament, until the emperor had all that he wished of Baldwin (age 36). Thither also came back again [his son] Earl Sweyne (age 28), who had gone from this land to Denmark, and there ruined his cause with the Danes. He came hither with a pretence, saying that he would again submit to the king, and be his man; and he requested Earl Beorn to be of assistance to him, and give him land to feed him on. But [his son] Harold (age 27), his brother, and Earl Beorn resisted, and would give him nothing of that which the king had given them. The king also refused him everything. Whereupon Sweyne (age 28) retired to his ships at Bosham. Then, after the settlement between the emperor and Baldwin (age 36), many ships went home, and the king remained behind Sandwich, Kent [Map] with a few ships. Earl Godwin (age 48) also sailed forty-two ships from Sandwich, Kent [Map] to Pevensey [Map], and Earl Beorn went with him.

Note 62. So Florence of Worcester, whose authority we here follow for the sake of perspicuity, though some of these events are placed in the MSS. to very different years; as the story of Beorn.

John of Worcester. 1049. Earl Beorn, son of his uncle Ulf, a Danish earl, who was son of Spracing, who was son of Urso, and brother of Sweyn (age 30), king of Denmark, promised him to obtain from the king the restoration of his earldom Earl Baldwin having made peace with the emperor, the earls Godwin (age 48) and Beorn, by the king's permission, came to Pevensey [Map] with forty-two ships; but he ordered the rest of the fleet to return home, with the exception of a few ships which he retained there. When, however, he was informed that Osgod Clapa lay at Wulpe65 with twenty-nine ships, he recalled as many as possible of the ships he had sent away. But Osgod, taking with him his wife whom he had left for safety at Bruges, returned to Denmark with six ships; the rest sailed over to Essex, and returned with no small plunder, which they carried off from the neighbourhood of Eadulfs Ness; however, a violent tempest overtook and sunk all except two, which were captured at sea, and all on board perished.

Note 65. A village on the coast of Flanders, N.W. of Sluys.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1049. Whilst Earl Godwin (age 48) and Earl Beorn lay at Pevensey [Map] with their ships, came [his son] Earl Sweyne (age 28), and with a pretence requested of Earl Beorn, who was his uncle's son, that he would be his companion to the king at Sandwich, Kent [Map], and better his condition with him; adding, that he would swear oaths to him, and be faithful to him. Whereupon Beorn concluded, that he would not for their relationship betray him. He therefore took three companions with him, and they rode to Bosham, where his63 ships lay, as though they should proceed to Sandwich, Kent [Map]; but they suddenly bound him, and led him to the ships, and went thence with him to Dartmouth, Devon, where they ordered him to be slain and buried deep. He was afterwards found, and [his son] Harold (age 27) his cousin fetched him thence, and led him to Winchester, to the old minster, where he buried him with King Knute, his uncle.

Note 63. i.e. The ships of Sweyne (age 28), who had retired thither, as before described.

Before 1051 [his son] Tostig Godwinson Earl Northumbria (age 25) and [his daughter-in-law] Judith Flanders Duchess Bavaria (age 17) were married. She the daughter of Baldwin "Bearded" IV Count Flanders and Matilda Normandy Countess Flanders (age 37). He the son of Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 49) and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

John of Worcester. 1051. Ælfric, archbishop of York, died at Southwell, and was buried at Peterborough [Map]; Kinsige, the king's chaplain, succeeded him. King [his son-in-law] Edward (age 48) released the English from the heavy tax payable to the Danish troops, in the thirty-eighth year after his father Ethelred had first imposed it. After this, in the month of September, Eustace (age 36) the elder, count of Boulogne, who had married a sister of king Edward, named Goda, sailed to Dover, Kent [Map] with a small fleet.66 His soldiers, while they were bluntly and indiscreetly inquiring for lodgings, killed one of the townsmen. A neighbour of his witnessing this, slew one of the soldiers in revenge. At this the count and his followers were much enraged, and put many men and women to the sword, trampling their babes and children under their horses' hoofs. But seeing the townsmen flocking together to resist them, they made their escape, like cowards, with some difficulty, and leaving seven of their number slain, they fled to king Edward (age 48), who was then at Gloucester. Earl Godwin (age 50), being indignant that such things should be done within his jurisdiction, in great wrath raised an immense army from the whole of his earldom, that is, from Kent, Sussex, and Wessex; his eldest son, Sweyn, also assembled the men of his earldom, that is, of the counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, and Berks; and his other son, [his son] Harold (age 29), assembled the men of his earldom, namely, Essex, East-Anglia, Huntingdon, and Cambridge. This did not escape the notice of king Edward (age 48), and he therefore sent messages to Leofric, earl of Mercia, and Siward (age 41), earl of Northumbria, begging them to hasten to him with all the men they could muster, as he was in great peril. They came at first with only a few followers but when they learnt the real state of affairs, they sent swift messengers throughout their earldoms and gathered a large army. Likewise earl Ralph, son of Goda, king Edward's sister, assembled as many as he could from his county.

Note 66. Cf. Saxon Chronicle under the years 1048 and 1052.

Banishment of the Godwins

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1051. This year came Archbishop Robert hither over sea with his pall from Rome, one day before St. Peter's eve: and he took his archiepiscopal seat at Christ-church on St. Peter's day, and soon after this went to the king. Then came Abbot Sparhawk to him with the king's writ and seal, to the intent that he should consecrate him Bishop o[oe] London; but the archbishop refused, saying that the pope had forbidden him. Then went the abbot to the archbishop again for the same purpose, and there demanded episcopal consecration; but the archbishop obstinately refused, repeating that the pope had forbidden him. Then went the abbot to London, and sat at the bishopric which the king had before given him, with his full leave, all the summer and the autumn. Then during the same year came Eustace (age 36), who had the sister of [his son-in-law] King Edward (age 48) to wife, from beyond sea, soon after the bishop, and went to the king; and having spoken with him whatever he chose, he then went homeward. When he came to Canterbury eastward, there took he a repast, and his men; whence he proceeded to Dover, Kent [Map]. When he was about a mile or more on this side Dover, Kent [Map], he put on his breast-plate; and so did all his companions: and they proceeded to Dover. When they came thither, they resolved to quarter themselves wherever they lived. Then came one of his men, and would lodge at the house of a master of a family against his will; but having wounded the master of the house, he was slain by the other. Then was Eustace (age 36) quickly upon his horse, and his companions upon theirs; and having gone to the master of the family, they slew him on his own hearth; then going up to the boroughward, they slew both within and without more than twenty men. The townsmen slew nineteen men on the other side, and wounded more, but they knew not how many. Eustace (age 36) escaped with a few men, and went again to the king (age 48), telling him partially how they had fared. The king (age 48) was very wroth with the townsmen, and sent off Earl Godwin (age 50), bidding him go into Kent with hostility to Dover, Kent [Map]. For Eustace (age 36) had told the king that the guilt of the townsmen was greater than his. But it was not so: and the earl (age 50) would not consent to the expedition, because he was loth to destroy his own people. Then sent the king after all his council, and bade them come to Gloucester nigh the after-mass of St. Mary. Meanwhile Godwin (age 50) took it much to heart, that in his earldom such a thing should happen. Whereupon be began to gather forces over all his earldom, and [his son] Earl Sweyne (age 30), his son, over his; and [his son] Harold (age 29), his other son, over his earldom: and they assembled all in Gloucestershire, at Langtree, Gloucestershire, a large and innumerable army, all ready for battle against the king; unless Eustace (age 36) and his men were delivered to them handcuffed, and also the Frenchmen that were in the castle. This was done seven nights before the latter mass of St. Mary, when King Edward (age 48) was sitting at Gloucester. Whereupon he sent after Earl Leofric, and north after Earl Siward (age 41), and summoned their retinues. At first they came to him with moderate aid; but when they found how it was in the south, then sent they north over all their earldom, and ordered a large force to the help of their lord. So did Ralph also over his earldom. Then came they all to Gloucester to the aid of the king (age 48), though it was late. So unanimous were they all in defence of the king (age 48), that they would seek Godwin's (age 50) army if the king (age 48) desired it. But some prevented that; because it was very unwise that they should come together; for in the two armies was there almost all that was noblest in England. They therefore prevented this, that they might not leave the land at the mercy of our foes, whilst engaged in a destructive conflict betwixt ourselves. Then it was advised that they should exchange hostages between them. And they issued proclamations throughout to London, whither all the people were summoned over all this north end in Siward's (age 41) earldom, and in Leofric's, and also elsewhere; and Earl Godwin (age 50) was to come thither with his sons to a conference; They came as far as Southwark, Surrey [Map], and very many with them from Wessex; but his army continually diminished more and more; for they bound over to the king (age 48) all the thanes that belonged to Earl Harold (age 29) his son, and outlawed Earl Sweyne (age 30) his other son. When therefore it could not serve his purpose to come to a conference against the king (age 48) and against the army that was with him, he went in the night away. In the morning the king (age 48) held a council, and proclaimed him an outlaw, with his whole army; himself (age 50) and his [his wife] wife, and all his three sons - Sweyne (age 30) and [his son] Tosty (age 25) and [his son] Grith (age 19). And he went south to Thorney67, with his wife, and Sweyne (age 30) his son, and Tosty (age 25) and his [his daughter-in-law] wife (age 18), a cousin of Baldwin of Bruges (age 38) [Note. Judith Flanders Duchess Bavaria (age 18) was a sister of Baldwin "The Good" V Count Flanders (age 38)], and his son Grith (age 19). Earl Harold (age 29) with [his son] Leofwine (age 16) went to Bristol, Gloucestershire [Map] in the ship that Earl Sweyne (age 30) had before prepared and provisioned for himself; and the king (age 48) sent Bishop Aldred from London with his retinue, with orders to overtake him ere he came to ship. But they either could not or would not: and he then went out from the mouth of the Avon; but he encountered such adverse weather, that he got off with difficulty, and suffered great loss. He then went forth to Ireland, as soon as the weather permitted. In the meantime the Welshmen had wrought a castle in Herefordshire, in the territory of Earl Sweyne (age 30), and brought as much injury and disgrace on the king's (age 48) men thereabout as they could. Then came Earl Godwin (age 50), and Earl Sweyne (age 30), and Earl Harold (age 29), together at Beverstone [Map], and many men with them; to the intent that they might go to their natural lord, and to all the peers that were assembled with him; to have the king's (age 48) counsel and assistance, and that of all the peers, how they might avenge the insult offered to the king (age 48), and to all the nation. But the Welshmen were before with the king (age 48), and betrayed the earls, so that they were not permitted to come within the sight of his eyes; for they declared that they intended to come thither to betray the king (age 48). There was now assembled before the king (age 48)68 Earl Siward (age 41), and Earl Leofric, and much people with them from the north: and it was told Earl Godwin (age 50) and his sons, that the king (age 48) and the men who were with him would take counsel against them; but they prepared themselves firmly to resist, though they were loth to proceed against their natural lord. Then advised the peers on either side, that they should abstain from all hostility: and the king (age 48) gave God's peace and his full friendship to each party. Then advised the king (age 48) and his council, that there should be a second time a general assembly of all the nobles in London, at the autumnal equinox: and the king (age 48) ordered out an army both south and north of the Thames, the best that ever was. Then was Earl Sweyne (age 30) proclaimed an outlaw; and Earl Godwin (age 50) and Earl Harold (age 29) were summoned to the council as early as they could come. When they came thither and were cited to the council, then required they security and hostages, that they might come into the council and go out without treachery. The king (age 48) then demanded all the thanes that the earls had; and they put them all into his hands. Then sent the king (age 48) again to them, and commanded them to come with twelve men to the king's (age 48) council. Then desired the earl again security and hostages, that he might answer singly to each of the things that were laid to his charge. But the hostages were refused; and a truce of five nights was allowed him to depart from the land. Then went Earl Godwin (age 50) and Earl Sweyne (age 30) to Bosham [Map], and drew out their ships, and went beyond sea, seeking the protection of Baldwin (age 38); and there they abode all the winter. Earl Harold (age 29) went westward to Ireland, and was there all the winter on the king's (age 48) security.

It was from Thorney69 that Godwin (age 50) and those that were with him went to Bruges [Map], to Baldwin's (age 38) land, in one ship, with as much treasure as they could lodge therein for each man. 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 was before raised to such a height, that he ruled the king (age 48) and all England; his sons were earls, and the king's (age 48) darlings; and his [his daughter] daughter (age 25) wedded and united to the king (age 48). Soon after this took place, the king (age 48) dismissed the lady (age 25) who had been consecrated his queen, and ordered to be taken from her all that she had in land, and in gold, and in silver, and in all things; and committed her to the care of his sister at Wherwell [Map]. Soon after came Earl William (age 23) from beyond sea with a large retinue of Frenchmen; and the king (age 48) entertained him and as many of his companions as were convenient to him, and let him depart again. Then was Abbot Sparhawk driven from his bishopric at London; and William (age 23) the king's priest was invested therewith. Then was Oddy appointed earl over Devonshire, and over Somerset, and over Dorset, and over Wales; and Algar, the son of Earl Leofric, was promoted to the earldom which Harold (age 29) before possessed.

Note 67. The ancient name of Westminster; which came into disuse because there was another Thorney in Cambridgeshire.

Note 68. i.e. at Gloucester, according to the printed Chronicle; which omits all that took place in the meantime at London and Southwark.

Note 69. Now Westminster.

John of Worcester. 08 Sep 1051. Meanwhile, Godwin (age 50) and his sons [Note. [his son] Sweyn (age 30), [his son] Harold (age 29), [his son] Tostig (age 25), [his son] Gyrth (age 19), [his son] Leofwine (age 16) and [his son] Wulfnoth (age 11); it isn't clear whether all were present?], with their respective armies, entered Gloucestershire after the feast of the nativity of St. Mary [8th September], and encamping at a place called Langtreo, sent envoys to the king at Gloucester, demanding the surrender of count Eustace (age 36) and his followers, as well as of the Normans and men of Boulogne, who were in possession of the castle on the cliff at Dover, Kent [Map], on pain of hostilities. The king, alarmed for a time at this message, was in great distress, and in the utmost perplexity what to do. But when he found that the troops of the earls Leofric, Siward (age 41), and Ralph were on their march, he replied with firmness that he would by no means consent to give up Eustace (age 36) and the rest who were demanded. On hearing this, the envoys returned from their bootless errand. As they were departing, the army entered Gloucester, so exasperated, and unanimously ready to fight, that, if the king had given permission, they would have instantly engaged earl Godwin's (age 50) army. But earl Leofric considering that all the men of greatest note in England were assembled either on his side or the other, it appeared to him and some others a great folly to fight with their own countrymen, and he proposed that, hostages having been given by both parties, the king and Godwin (age 50) should meet at London on a day appointed, and settle their controversy in a legal way. This advice being approved, and after the exchange of messages, hostages having been given and received, the earl (age 50) returned into Wessex; and the king assembled a more powerful army from the whole of Mercia and Northumbria, and led it to London. Meanwhile, Godwin (age 50) and his sons came to Southwark with a vast multitude of the people of Wessex; but his army gradually dwindling away and deserting him, he did not venture to abide the judgment of the king's court, but fled, under cover of night. When, therefore, the morning came, the king, in his witan, with the unanimous consent of the whole army, made a decree that Godwin (age 50) and his five sons should be banished. Thereupon he and his wife [his wife] Githa, and Tosti (age 25) and his wife [his daughter-in-law] Judith (age 18), the daughter of Baldwin, count of Flanders, and two of his. other sons, namely, Sweyn (age 30) and Gurth (age 19), went, without loss of time, to Thorney, where a ship had been got ready for them. They quickly laded her with as much gold, silver, and other valuable articles as she could hold, and, embarking in great haste, directed her course towards Flanders and Baldwin (age 39) the count. His sons Harold (age 29) and Leofwine (age 16), making their way to Brycgstowe [Map], went on board a ship which their brother Sweyn (age 30) had prepared for them, and crossed over to Ireland. The [his son-in-law] king (age 48) repudiated the queen [his daughter] Edgitha (age 25), on account of his wrath against her father Godwin (age 50), and sent her in disgrace, with only a single handmaid, to Wherwell [Map], where she was committed to the custody of the abbess.67

Note 67. She was a sister of the king.

In 1051 Odda of Deerhurst Earl of Wessex (age 58) was created Earl of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (more or less the counties that form Wessex) after Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 50) had been exiled.

Godwins Restored

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. Then proceeded they to the Nore, and so toward London; but some of the ships landed on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent [Map], and did much harm there; whence they steered to Milton Regis, Kent [Map], and burned it all, and then proceeded toward London after the earls. When they came to London, there lay the [his son-in-law] king (age 49) and all his earls to meet them, with fifty ships. The earls73 then sent to the king (age 49), praying that they might be each possessed of those things which had been unjustly taken from them. But the king (age 49) resisted some while; so long that the people who were with the earl (age 51) were very much stirred against the king (age 49) and against his people, so that the earl (age 51) himself with difficulty appeased them. When King Edward (age 49) understood that, then sent he upward after more aid; but they came very late. And Godwin (age 51) stationed himself continually before London with his fleet, till he came to Southwark, Surrey [Map]; where he abode some time, until the flood74 came up. On this occasion he also contrived with the burgesses that they should do almost all that he would. When he had arranged his whole expedition, then came the flood; and they soon weighed anchor, and steered through the bridge by the south side. The land-force meanwhile came above, and arranged themselves by the Strand [Map]; and they formed an angle with the ships against the north side, as if they wished to surround the king's (age 49) ships. The king (age 49) 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 outlandish people, because they destroyed each other. Then it was determined that wise men should be sent between them, who should settle peace on either side. Godwin (age 51) went up, and [his son] Harold (age 30) his son, and their navy, as many as they then thought proper. Then advanced Bishop Stigand with God's assistance, and the wise men both within the town and without; who determined that hostages should be given on either side.

Note 73. i.e. Godwin and his son Harold.

Note 74. i.e. the tide of the river.

John of Worcester. 1052. As soon as his arrival was known in the king's fleet, which lay at Sandwich, Kent [Map], it went in chase of him; but he escaped and concealed himself wherever he could, and the fleet returned to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and thence sailed to London. On hearing this, Godwin (age 51) shaped his course again for the Isle of Wight [Map], and kept hovering about along the shore until his sons [his son] Harold (age 30) and [his son] Leofwine (age 17) joined him with their fleet. After this junction, they desisted from plundering and wasting the country, taking only such provisions as necessity required for the subsistence of their troops. Having increased their force by enlisting as many men as they could on the sea-coast and in other places, and by collecting all the mariners they met with in every direction, they directed their course towards the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map]. Their arrival there was notified to king [his son-in-law] Edward (age 49), who was then at London, and he lost no time sending messengers requiring all persons, who had not revolted from him, to hasten to his succour; but they were too slow in their movements, and did not arrive in time. Meanwhile, earl Godwin (age 51), having sailed up the Thames against the current, reached Southwark, Surrey [Map] on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], being Monday, and waited there until the flood-tide came up. In the interval, he so dealt with the citizens of London, some in person, others through his emissaries, having before seduced them by a variety of promises, that he persuaded nearly all of them to enter heartily into his designs. At last, everything being duly planned and set in order, on the tide's flowing up they quickly weighed anchor, and, no one offering them any resistance at the bridge, sailed upwards along the south bank of the river. The land army also arrived, and, being drawn up on the river-bank, formed a close and formidable column. Then the fleet drew towards the northern bank, with the intention, apparently, of enclosing the king's fleet, for the king had also a fleet, as well as a numerous land army. But as there were very few men of any courage, either on the king's or Godwin's (age 51) side, who were not Englishmen, nearly all shrunk from fighting against their kinsfolk and countrymen; so that the wiser sort on both sides interfered to restore peace between the king and the earl, and both armies received orders to lay down their arms. The next morning the king (age 49) held a council, and fully restored to their former honours Godwin (age 51), and his [his wife] wife, and all his sons, except [his son] Sweyn (age 31), who, touched with repentance for the murder of his cousin Beorn, mentioned before, had undertaken a journey barefoot from Flanders to Jerusalem, and who, on his return, died in Lycia70 from illness brought on by the severity of the cold. The king, also, took back with due honour queen [his daughter] Edgitha (age 26), the earl's (age 51) daughter, and restored her to her former dignity.

Note 70. According to the Saxon Chronicle, Sweyn died at Constantinople on his journey home. Malmesbury relates that he was slain by the Saracens.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. And so they did. When Archbishop Robert and the Frenchmen knew that, they took horse; and went some west to Pentecost Castle, some north to Robert's castle. Archbishop Robert and Bishop Ulf, with their companions, went out at Eastgate, slaying or else maiming many young men, and betook themselves at once to Eadulf's-ness; where he put himself on board a crazy ship, and went at once over sea, leaving his pall and all Christendom here on land, as God ordained, because he had obtained an honour which God disclaimed. Then was proclaimed a general council without London; and all the earls and the best men in the land were at the council. There took up Earl Godwin (age 51) his burthen, and cleared himself there before his lord [his son-in-law] King Edward (age 49), and before all the nation; proving that he was innocent of the crime laid to his charge, and to his son [his son] Harold (age 30) and all his children. And the king (age 49) gave the earl and his children, and all the men that were with him, his full friendship, and the full earldom, and all that he possessed before; and he gave the lady all that she had before. Archbishop Robert was fully proclaimed an outlaw, with all the Frenchmen; because they chiefly made the discord between Earl Godwin (age 51) and the king (age 49): and Bishop Stigand succeeded to the archbishopric at Canterbury.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. At the council therefore they gave Godwin (age 51) fairly his earldom, so full and so free as he at first possessed it; and his sons also all that they formerly had; and his [his wife] wife and his [his daughter] daughter (age 26) so full and so free as they formerly had. And they fastened full friendship between them, and ordained good laws to all people. Then 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 [his son-in-law] king (age 49) to have with him, who were true to him and to all his people. It was with difficulty that Bishop Robert, and Bishop William, and Bishop Ulf, escaped with the Frenchmen that were with them, and so went over sea. Earl Godwin (age 51), and [his son] Harold (age 30), and the queen, sat in their stations. [his son] Sweyne (age 31) had before gone to Jerusalem from Bruges [Map], and died on his way home at Constantinople, at Michaelmas. It was on the Monday after the festival of St. Mary, that Godwin (age 51) came with his ships to Southwark, Surrey [Map]: and on the morning afterwards, on the Tuesday, they were reconciled as it stands here before recorded. Godwin (age 51) then sickened soon after he came up, and returned back. But he made altogether too little restitution of God's property, which he acquired from many places.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. In the same year advised the king and his council, that ships should be sent out to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and that Earl Ralph and Earl Odda (age 59) should be appointed headmen thereto. Then went Earl Godwin (age 51) out from Bruges [Map] with his ships to Ysendyck; and sailed forth one day before midsummer-eve, till he came to the Ness that is to the south of Romney. When it came to the knowledge of the earls out at Sandwich, Kent [Map], they went out after the other ships; and a land-force was also ordered out against the ships. Meanwhile Earl Godwin (age 51) had warning, and betook himself into Pevensey [Map]: and the weather was so boisterous, that the earls could not learn what had become of Earl Godwin. But Earl Godwin then went out again until he came back to Bruges [Map]; and the other ships returned back again to Sandwich, Kent [Map]. Then it was advised that the ships should go back again to London, and that other earls and other pilots should be appointed over them. But it was delayed so long that the marine army all deserted; and they all betook themselves home. When Earl Godwin (age 51) understood that, he drew up his sail and his ship: and they70 went west at once to the Isle of Wight [Map]; 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.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. After 05 Mar 1052. Meanwhile [his son] Harold (age 30) had gone out from Ireland with nine ships, and came up at Porlock, Somerset with his ships to the mouth of the Severn, near the boundaries of Somerset and Devonshire, and there plundered much. The land-folk collected against him, both from Somerset and from Devonshire: but he put them to flight, and slew there more than thirty good thanes, besides others; and went soon after about Penwithstert [Note. Possibly Plymouth, Devon [Map]], where was much people gathered against him; but he spared not to provide himself with meat, and went up and slew on the spot a great number of the people-seizing in cattle, in men, and in money, whatever he could. Then went he eastward to his father; and they went both together eastward71 until they came to the Isle of Wight [Map], where they seized whatever had been left them before. Thence they went to Pevensey [Map], and got out with them as many ships as had gone in there, and so proceeded forth till they came to the Ness;72 getting all the ships that were at Romney, and at Hithe, and at Folkstone. Then ordered [his son-in-law] King Edward (age 49) to fit out forty smacks that lay at Sandwich, Kent [Map] many weeks, to watch Earl Godwin (age 51), who was at Bruges [Map] during the winter; but he nevertheless came hither first to land, so as to escape their notice. 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. When the fleet that lay at Sandwich, Kent [Map] had intelligence about Godwin's expedition, they set sail after him; but he escaped them, and betook himself wherever he might: and the fleet returned to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and so homeward to London. When Godwin understood that the fleet that lay at Sandwich, Kent [Map] was gone home, then went he back again to the Isle of Wight, and lay thereabout by the sea-coast so long that they came together-he and his son Earl Harold. But they did no great harm after they came together; save that they took meat, and enticed to them all the land-folk by the sea-coast and also upward in the land. And they proceeded toward Sandwich, Kent [Map], ever alluring forth with them all the boatmen that they met; and to Sandwich, Kent [Map] they came with an increasing army. They then steered eastward round to Dover, and landing there, took as many ships and hostages as they chose, and so returned to Sandwich, Kent [Map], where they did the same; and men everywhere gave them hostages and provisions, wherever they required them.

Note 70 i.e. Earl Godwin and his crew.

Note 71 i.e. from the Isle of Portland; where Godwin had landed after the plunder of the Isle of Wight.

Note 72 i.e. Dungeness; where they collected all the ships stationed in the great bay formed by the ports of Romney, Hithe, and Folkstone.

John of Worcester. After 06 Mar 1052. A short time afterwards, earl [his son] Harold (age 30) and his brother [his son] Leofwine (age 17), returning from Ireland, and sailing into the mouth of the river Severn with a large fleet, landed on the borders of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, and plundered many villages and farms in those parts. A great number of the people of Devonshire and Somersetshire gathered together in arms against them; but Harold (age 30) defeated them with the loss of more than thirty noble thanes, and many others. He then returned to his fleet with the booty, and sailed round Penwithsteort.68 Thereupon, king [his son-in-law] Edward (age 49) quickly despatched forty ships, well provisioned, and having on board a chosen body of soldiers, to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], with orders to wait and look out for the arrival of earl Godwin (age 51). Notwithstanding this, he escaped observation, and, returning with a few ships, landed in Kent; and, by his secret emissaries, gained over to espouse his cause, first, the Kentishmen, and then the people of Sussex, Essex, and Surrey, with all the seamen69 of Hastings and other places on the sea-coast, besides some others. All these, with one voice, declared that they were ready to live or die with him.

Note 68. Penwith-Steort—the Land's End.

Note 69. Butsecarles—Boats-carles. Our author uses the word again, a few sentences later, in the general sense of mariners, seamen.

John of Worcester. 1053. In the month of October died Wulfsige, bishop of Litchfield, Godwin (age 52), abbot of Winchcombe, and Ethelward, abbot of Glastonbury. Leofwine, abbot of Coventry, succeeded Wulfsige; and Ethelnoth, a monk of the same monastery, succeeded Ethelward. But Aldred, bishop of Worcester, kept the abbey of Winchcombe in his own hands until such tune as he appointed Godric, the son of Goodman, the king's chaplain, to be abbot. Ælfric, brother of earl Odda (age 60), died at Deerhurst on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December], but he was buried in the monastery at Pershore [Map].

John of Worcester. 1053. Rhys, the brother of Griffyth, king of South Wales, was put to death by order of [his son-in-law] king Edward (age 50) at a place called Bullington, Hampshire [Map], on account of the plundering inroads he had frequently made, and his head was brought to the king at Gloucester on the eve of our Lord's Epiphany [5th January]. In the same year, on the second day of the festival of Easter [12th April], which was celebrated at Winchester, Hampshire [Map], earl Godwin (age 52) came to his end while he was sitting at table with the king, according to his usual custom; for, being suddenly seized with a violent illness, he fell speechless from his seat. His sons, earl [his son] Harold (age 31), [his son] Tosti (age 27), and [his son] Gurth (age 21), perceiving it, carried him into the king's chamber, hoping that he would presently recover; but his strength failing, he died in great suffering on the fifth day afterwards [15th April], and was buried in the Old Minster. His son Harold (age 31) succeeded to his earldom, and Harold's (age 31) earldom was given to Algar, son of earl Leofric.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 15 Apr 1053. In this year was the [his son-in-law] king (age 50) at Winchester, Hampshire [Map], at Easter; and Earl Godwin (age 52) with him, and [his son] Earl Harold (age 31) his son, and [his son] Tosty (age 27). On the day after Easter sat he 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; when he resigned his life, on the seventeenth before the calends of May; and he was buried at Winchester in the old minster. Earl Harold (age 31), his son, took to the earldom that his father had before, and to all that his father possessed; whilst Earl Elgar took to the earldom that Harold (age 31) had before. The Welshmen this year slew a great many of the warders of the English people at Westbury, Wiltshire [Map]. This year there was no archbishop in this land: but Bishop Stigand held the see of Canterbury at Christ church, and Kinsey that of York. Leofwine and Wulfwy went over sea, and had themselves consecrated bishops there. Wulfwy took to the bishopric which Ulf had whilst he was living and in exile.

On 15 Apr 1053 Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex (age 52) died. His son [his son] Leofwine Godwinson 2nd Earl Kent (age 18) succeeded 2nd Earl Kent.

[his daughter] Gunhilda Godwinson was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

[his daughter] Edgiva Godwinson was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

[his daughter] Elgiva Godwinson was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Charter S1000 King Edward to Coventry Abbey. A.D. 1043. King Edward to Coventry Abbey; confirmation of privileges and of land, as granted by Leofric, dux, at Southam, Grandborough, Bishops Itchington, Honington, Kings Newnham, Ufton, Chadshunt, Priors Hardwick, Chesterton, Wasperton, Snohham, Birdingbury, Marston in Wolston, Long Marston, Ryton, Walsgrave on Sowe, Warwicks.; Salwarpe, Worcs.; Easton, Ches.; Kilsby and Winwick, Northants.; Burbage, Barwell, Scraptoft and Packington, Leics. [incorporating a privilege of Pope Alexander] Latin

Pace regnante, largiflua Christi omnipotentis bonitas semper ab omnibus est laudanda omnique laude praeferenda, quia nullo bonitatis termino ualet concludi in saeculorum saecula, utpote quia idem deus ipse sit suae propriae bonitatis bonitas, distribuens gratis non tantum dignis uerum etiam indignis partem suae bonitatis; est quippe rex regum et dominus dominantium omniumque subsistentium uisibilium atque inuisibilium creator, et suae creationis discretissimus dispositor, attingens a fine usque ad finem suauiterque disponens omnem creaturam ut competit diuinae dominationi eius. Nam quosdam libero arbitrio quibusdam praefecit dignitate huius saeculi et operibus diuersis, quibus rursum mandat ut ipsi sua sufficienta et bonorum habundantia illorum releuare et sustentare debeant inopiam qui minus saecularibus habundant negotiis, ut pro hoc maiori possint mercede ab eo donari. Unde ego Eadwardus Anglorum rex omnibus post me futuris regibus, archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, ducibus, omnibusque Christi fidelibus notum fieri uolo quod uenerabilis dux Leofricus, diuina inspirante gratia monitisque gloriosi ac deo dilecti summi pontificis Alexandri, monasterium sanctae dei genitricis Mariae sanctique Petri et omnium sanctorum in uilla quae dicitur Couentre extruxit largisque muneribus adornauit, atque subscripta maneria ad uictuale subsidium abbatis et monachorum in eodem loco deo perpetue seruientium mea larga donatione et concessione ibidem contulit; uidelicet medietatem eiusdem uillae in qua fundata est ipsa aecclesia, deinde Sou∂am, Greneburgan, Icketonam, Hunitonam, Neowenham, Hulhtune, Chadeleshunte, Herdewyk, Cestretune, Waspertune, Suohham, Byrtingabirig iuxta Auen, Merston, item Merstuna, in Gloecestria, medietatem uillae de Ruitune, Sowe, Salewarp, Eatuna iuxta fluuium Dee, Kildesbig, Winewican, Burhbeca, Barwalle, Scrapetoft, Pakinton, pro reuerentia itaque et honore sanctae dei genitricis Mariae sanctique aduocati mei apostoli Petri, do et concedo abbati Leofwino, et omnibus futuris ibidem post eum abbatibus, in tota possessione monasterii, sakam et socnam, et theloneum suum in terra et in aqua, in urbe et extra, et omnes leges et consuetudines tam plene et tam libere sicut eas praefatus dux honorificentius et liberius de me tenuit. Praecipio itaque ut omnia quae ad ipsam aecclesiam pertinent sint omnino libera, terrae cultae et incultae, cum exitibus atque redditibus praedictorum necnon maneria et aecclesiae, cimiteria, decimae, redditus, et seruitia debita, oblationes, luminaria, causarum discussiones, emendationes aecclesiasticae uel saeculares, et quicquid illi loco collatum est sub integra inmunitate concedimus et perpetuo firmamus. Et ne quis praesentium uel magis futurorum ambiget quae sit illa libertas quam amabiliter et firmiter concedo, omnimodis cuncta illius aecclesiae possessio nullis sit unquam grauata oneribus nec expeditionis nec pontis et arcis aedificatione, nec iuris regalis fragimine nec furis apprehensione. Et ut omnia simul comprehendam, nil debet exsolui nec regi nec regis praeposito uel episcopo uel ulli homini, sed omnia debita exsoluantur iugiter quae in ipsa ditione fuerint ad supradictum sanctum locum secundum quod ordinauerint fratres eiusdem coenobii. Ut autem cunctis haec transgredientibus ad damnationem suam euidenter possit ostendi literas summi pontificis papae Alexandri quas ab eo suscepimus, directas tam posteris quam praesentibus hic manifestari curauimus. Alexander episcopus seruus seruorum dei dilecto filio Eadwardo regi Anglorum salutem et apostolicam benedictionem. Scriptorum uestrorum eloquia incolumitatem uestram significantia laeti suscepimus, gratias itaque omnipotenti deo retulimus qui cordis uestri sinceritatem ad omnia utilia sanctae matris aecclesiae compungit. Proinde iuxta scripta uestra monasterio sanctae Mariae de Couentria ubi seruorum dei constituta est congregatio a reuerendae memoriae Leofrico duce nuper exstructo, huiusmodi priuilegia praesentis authoritatis nostrae indulgemus, concedimus, atque confirmamus, statuentes ut ipse locus regiis praeceptis et priuilegiis apostolicis fultus per omnia tempora sine conuexatione cuiuscumque diocesani episcopi, aut alicuius iudiciariae potestatis cuiuscumque ordinis uel dignitatis sit, sed semper sicut praeoptat et expetit beneuolentia tua regalis futuro tempore permaneat. Fratres igitur eiusdem loci idoneos ex se uel ex qua uoluerint congregatione abbates siue decanos sibi per successiones eligendi habeant potestatem, et ne impediantur auctoritate apostolica prohibemus. Praeterea quicquid illi loco contuleris, uel collatum est, uel conferetur, diuina et nostra auctoritate roboramus; necnon priuilegia uestra ad honorem dei pertinentia quae ibi instituere uolueris gratanti affectu annuimus, confirmamus, et confirmando imperpetuum stare decreuimus; et infractores eorum aeterna maledictione damnamus. Anno incarnationis dominicae .m.xliii. scripta est haec syngrapha, hiis consentientibus ierarchis qui subter notati: uidelicet,

Ego Eadwardus rex hanc meam libertatem regali stabilimento affirmaui.

Ego Ælfgyfa mater eiusdem regis assensum accommodaui.

Ego [his daughter] Eadgi∂ regina eiusdem collateralis regis eiusdem donationi regali consensi [The queen of the same collateral agreed to the king's royal donation of the same.].

Ego Eadsinus Dorobernensis aecclesiae archiepiscopus adquieui.

Ego Ælfricus Eboracensis aecclesiae archipraesul corroboraui.

Ego Ælfwoldus Londoniensis episcopus subposui.

Ego Ealdredus episcopus Wygornensis impressi.

Ego Duduco episcopus Willensis adnotaui.

Ego Wlfinus episcopus Lichesfeldensis consolidaui.

Ego Æ∂elstanus episcopus Herfordensis stabiliui.

Ego Liuingus episcopus Cridiensis adposui.

Ego Eadno∂us episcopus Dorcensis consensum praebui.

Ego Brihtwinus episcopus Scirbernensis confirmaui.

Ego Berhtwold episcopus Wiltuniensis conclusi.

Ego Manni abbas.

Ego Siward abbas.

Ego Ælfwinus abbas.

Ego Godwinus abbas.

Ego Ælfstanus abbas.

Ego Godwinus dux.

Ego [his son] Haroldus dux.

Ego Leofricus dux.

Ego Siward dux.

Ego [his son] Sweyn dux.

Ego [his son] Tostig dux.

Ego Radulphus More.

Ego Esgar.

Ego Rodbord minister.

Ego Hulfketel minister.

Ego Godwine minister.

Ego Frewine minister.

Ego Leofric minister.

Ego Morcere minister.

Ego Ælfgar minister.

Ego Godric minister.

Ego Leofric minister.

Ego Siwerd minister.

Ego Æ∂elsi minister.

[his son] Alfgar Godwinson was born to Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex and Gytha Estrigen Countess Kent and Wessex.

Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex 1001-1053 appears on the following Descendants Family Trees:

Wulfnoth Cild Godwinson 1014

Royal Descendants of Godwin Godwinson 1st Earl Kent and Wessex 1001-1053

King Harold II of England x 1

Edith of Wessex Queen Consort England x 1