Biography of Leofric Earldorman Mercia -1057

Paternal Family Tree: Mercia

1035 Death of Canute

1039 Battle of Rhyd y Groes

1043 Coronation of Edward the Confessor

1051 Banishment of the Godwins

1056 Battle of Glasbury-on-Wye

Leofric Earldorman Mercia was born to Leofwine Mercia.

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.

Battle of Rhyd y Groes

John of Worcester. 1039. Brihtmar, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Wulfsy. The Welsh slew [Battle of Rhyd y Groes] [his brother] Edwin, earl Leofric's brother, with Turkill and Ælfgeat, son of Eatsy, two noble king's thanes, and many others at the same time. Hardicanute (age 21), king of Denmark, sailed to Flanders, on a visit to his mother, Elfgiva (age 54).

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.

Charter S998 King Edward to Ordgar. 1042. King Edward to Ordgar, his faithful minister; grant of a half hide (mansa) at Littleham, Devon. Latin with English bounds

Px In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi. Omnis quidem susceptio et datio passionum terrarum melius litterarum exemplis confirmanda sit ne in posterum aliquis testamenti confirmationem ignorans presumptionis peccatum uel direptionis incaute crimen incurrat. Qua de re ego EADWARD (age 39) rex regali fretus dignitate aliquam terram cuidam fideli meo ministro uocitato nomine ORDGAR - unum dimidium mansam in loco ubi dictum est Littleham; cum sylua ad se pertinente in australi parte in hereditatem perennem impendere curaui. Sit uero predictum rus ab omni seculari grauedine expers. nisi expeditione pontis arcisue munitione. Quicumque hoc decretum minuere seu transmutare satagerit; noscat se reum esse in die iudicii coram Christo et sanctis eius. Terra autem ista his terminibus circumdatur. Ðis syndon þære healfan hide landgemæro æt Lytlanhamme. Ærest on Exanmuðan. þonne up on stryem. be norðan lydewicnæsse on þone norþran mere. up andlang riðan of þone æwylm. þanone east rihte to hafocys setle. þanone east rihte to þan hricgwege. andlang þæs hricgweges. on þa ealdan dic. east andlang þære dic of þære wega gelæto be norðan ðam fulan landa. þanon norð on þone grenan weg on auan ford. of þam fordan up andlang stryemes on þone sele. of þam sele norð on þone grenan weg to þam slæde. east up andlang þæs slædes to ðære plegin stowe. þonne to þan herpaðe. andlang þæs herpaðas to fugelis beorh dune. andlang þære dune to fuhgeles beorhge. fram þam beorhge suð to ellewurðie. þanon to þan broce. adun þonne andlang þæs broces eft ut on sæ: - Acta est autem hec prefata donatio anno ab incarnatione domini nostri Iesu Christi. millesimo. xl. ii. indictione. x.

Ego Eadweard rex Britannie totius Anglorum (age 39) monarchus hoc agie Crucis taumate roboraui.

Eadsige Dorobernensis ecclesie archiepiscopus eiusdem regis principatum et beniuolentiam sub sigillo Sancte Crucis conclusi.

Ego Ælfgyfu (age 57) regina humillima adiuui.

Ego Ælfwine episcopus assensum prebui.

Ego Byrhtwold episcopus dictando titulaui.

Ego Dudoc episcopus consolidaui.

Ego Lyfing episcopus dignum duxi.

Ego [his brother] Godwine dux.

Ego Sigwerd dux.

Ego Leofric dux.

Ego Sigwerd abbas.

Ego Ælfwine abbas.

Ego Odda (age 49) minister.

Ego Ordgar minister.

Ego [his son] Ælfgar minister.

Ego Godwine minister.

Ego Æþelric minister.

Ego Toky minister.

Ego Toui minister.

Ego Dodda minister.

Ego Ælfwerd minister.

Ego Osmær minister.

Before 1043 Leofric Earldorman Mercia and Godgifu aka Lady Godiva were married. He the son of Leofwine Mercia.

In 1043 Coventry Priory was founded by Leofric Earldorman Mercia and [his wife] Godgifu aka Lady Godiva. It was consecrated on 04 Oct 1043 by Archbishop Eadsige. Among the witnesses to this foundation charter were 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), Harold (age 21), Siward (age 33), and Ordgar.

Coronation of Edward the Confessor

John of Worcester. 1043. 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 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.

Charter S1001 King Edward to Ælfwine. A.D. 1044. 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.

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 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.

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 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, 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 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 Earl Sweyne (age 30), his son, over his; and 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 wife, and all his three sons - Sweyne (age 30) and Tosty (age 25) and Grith (age 19). And he went south to Thorney67, with his wife, and Sweyne (age 30) his son, and Tosty (age 25) and his 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 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 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 [his son] 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. Sweyn (age 30), Harold (age 29), Tostig (age 25), Gyrth (age 19), Leofwine (age 16) and 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 Githa, and Tosti (age 25) and his wife 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 king (age 48) repudiated the queen 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.

John of Worcester. 1052. The alliance being renewed, and peace established, they promised right law to all the people, and banished all the Normans, who had introduced unjust laws and given unrighteous judgements, and in many things had influenced the king (age 49) to the disadvantage of his English subjects. A few of them only were allowed to stay in England, namely, Robert the deacon, and his son-in-law Richard Fitz-Scrope [Note. Possibly Richard Fitzscrope 1st Baron Burford (age 37)], Alfred, the king's horse-thane, Anfrid, surnamed Cock's-foot, with some others who had been the king's greatest favourites, and had remained faithful to him and the commonwealth. But Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, and Ulf, bishop of Lincoln, with their Normans, had some difficulty in making their escape and getting beyond sea. William, however, was, for his worth, soon afterwards recalled and reinstated in his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles; and, being allowed by earl Leofric to pass through his territories in their way to Scotland, received a welcome from Macbeth (age 47), king of the Scots. The same year there was such a violent wind in the night of the feast of St. Thomas the apostle [the 21st December], that it threw down many churches and houses, and shattered or tore up by the roots trees without number.

John of Worcester. After 06 Mar 1052. In the same year, Griffyth, king of Wales, ravaged a great part of Herefordshire: the inhabitants of that province, with some Normans from a castle, flew to arms and attacked him; but, having slain a great number of them, he obtained the victory and carried off much plunder. This battle was fought on the same day on which, fourteen years before, the Welsh slew [his brother] Edwin, earl Leofric's brother, in an ambuscade.

John of Worcester. 1053. Rhys, the brother of Griffyth, king of South Wales, was put to death by order of 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 Harold (age 31), Tosti (age 27), and 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 [his son] Algar, son of earl Leofric.

John of Worcester. 1055. Siward (age 45), earl of Northumberland, died at York, and was buried in the monastery at Galmanho [Map]72, which he had himself founded: his earldom was given to Tosti (age 29), earl Harold's (age 33) brother. Shortly afterwards, king Edward (age 52), in a council held at London, banished earl [his son] Algar, earl Leofric's son, without any just cause of offence. Algar presently went to Ireland, and having collected eighteen pirate ships, returned with them to Wales, where he implored Griffyth the king to lend him his aid against king Edward. Griffyth immediately assembled a numerous army from all parts of his dominions, and directed Algar to join him and his army at a place appointed with his own troops; and having united their forces they entered Herefordshire, intending to lay waste the English marshes.

Note 72. An abbey at York, afterwards restored, and called St. Mary's [Map].

Battle of Glasbury-on-Wye

John of Worcester. 16 Jun 1056. Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, a man of great sanctity, died on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of February, at the episcopal vill called Bosanbyrig [Bosbury]; his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church [Map] which he himself had built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Leovegar, earl Harold's chaplain, who, on the sixteenth of the calends [the 16th] of June in the same year, together with his clerks and Ethelnoth the vice-reeve and many others, was massacred by Griffyth, king of Wales, at a place called Claftbyrig [Map]. He held the see only eleven weeks and four days. On his being thus cut off, the bishopric of Hereford was administered by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, until a successor could be appointed. This same bishop Aldred and the earls Leofric and Harold (age 34) afterwards reconciled Griffyth, king of Wales, with king Edward.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 16 Jun 1056. This year Bishop Egelric resigned his bishopric at Durham, and retired to Peterborough minster [Map]; and his brother Egelwine succeeded him. The worthy Bishop Athelstan died on the fourth before the ides of February; and his body lies at Hereford [Map]. To him succeeded Leofgar, who was Earl Harold's mass-priest. He wore his knapsack in his priesthood, until he was a bishop. He abandoned his chrism and his rood-his ghostly weapons-and took to his spear and to his sword, after his bishophood; and so marched to the field against Griffin the Welsh king.79 But he was there slain, and his priests with him, and Elnoth the sheriff, and many other good men with them; and the rest fled. This was eight nights before midsummer. Difficult is it to relate all the vexation and the journeying, the marching and the fatigue, the fall of men, and of horses also, which the whole army of the English suffered, until Earl Leofric, and Earl Harold (age 34), and Bishop Eldred, came together and made peace between them; so that Griffin swore oaths, that he would be a firm and faithful viceroy to King Edward. Then Bishop Eldred took to the bishopric which Leofgar had before eleven weeks and four days.

Note 79. This was no uncommon thing among the Saxon clergy, bishops and all. The tone of elevated diction in which the writer describes the military enterprise of Leofgar and his companions, testifies his admiration.

John of Worcester. 1057. The renowned Leofric, son of the ealdorman Leofwine, of blessed memory, died in a good old age, at his own vill of Bromley, on the second of the calends of September [31st August], and was buried with great pomp at Coventry; which monastery, among the other good deeds of his life, he and his wife, the noble countess [his wife] Godiva, a worshipper of God, and devoted friend of St. Mary, Ever-a-Virgin, had founded, and amply endowing it with lands on their own patrimony, had so enriched with all kinds of ornament, that no monastery could be found in England possessed of such abundance of gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones as it contained at that time. They also enriched, with valuable ornaments, the monasteries of Leominster and Wenlock, and those at Chester dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. Werburgh, the virgin, and the church which Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln, had built on a remarkable spot, called in English St. Mary's Stow [Map]73, which means in Latin St. Mary's place. They also gave lands to the monastery at Worcester, and added to the buildings, ornaments, and endowments of Evesham abbey. During his whole life, this earl's sagacity was of the utmost advantage to the kings and the whole commonwealth of England. His son [his son] Algar was appointed to his earldom.

Note 73. Henry of Huntingdon describes it as "under the hill at Lincoln;" but Bishop Farmer says that "Stowe was in the bishop's manor by Trent side." The priory of Stowe, or Mary-Stowe, was annexed to Eynsham abbey, in Oxfordshire.

Flowers of History 1057. Before 31 Aug 1057. The countess [his wife] Godiva, who was a great lover of God's mother, longing to free the town of Coventry from the oppression of a heavy toll, often with urgent prayers besought her husband, that from regard to Jesus Christ and his mother, he would free the town from that service, and from all other heavy burdens; and when the earl sharply rebuked her for foolishly asking what was so much to his damage, and always forbade her ever more to speak to him on the subject; and while she, on the other hand, with a woman's pertinacity, never ceased to exasperate her husband on that matter, he at last made her this answer, "Mount your horse, and ride naked, before all the people, through the market of the town, from one end to the other, and on your return you shall have your request." On which Godiva replied, "But will you give me permission, if I am willing to do it ? "I will," said he. Whereupon the countess, beloved of God, loosed her hair and let down her tresses, which covered the whole of her body like a veil, and then mounting her horse and attended by two knights, she rode through the market-place, without being seen, except her fair legs; and having completed the journey, she returned with gladness to her astonished husband, and obtained of him what she had asked; for earl Leofric freed the town of Coventry and its inhabitants from the aforesaid service, and confirmed what he had done by a charter. The said earl also, at the instigation of his countess, munificently enriched with lands, buildings, and various ornaments the churches of Worcester, St. Mary of Stone, and St. Wereburg, with the monasteries of Evesham, Wenloc, and Lenton.

Before 31 Aug 1057 Leofric Earldorman Mercia was created Earldorman Mercia. [his wife] Godgifu aka Lady Godiva by marriage Earldorman Mercia.

Flowers of History 1057. 31 Aug 1057. On the thirty-first of August in the same year died Leofric earl of Chester, a man of praise-worthy life; he was buried in the monastery which he had founded at Coventry. Having founded this monastery by the advice of his wife the noble countess [his wife] Godiva, he, at the prayer of a religious woman, placed monks therein, and so enriched them with lands, woods, and ornaments, that there was not found in all England a monastery with such an abundance of gold and silver, gems and costly garments.

Around 31 Aug 1057 Leofric Earldorman Mercia died at Kings Bromley, Staffordshire [Map]. His son [his son] Ælfgar Earl of Mercia and East Anglia succeeded Earldorman Mercia.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1057. The same year died Earl Leofric, on the second before the calends of October; who was very wise before God, and also before the world; and who benefited all this nation.80 He lies at Coventry81: and his son [his son] Elgar took to his territory.

Note 80. See more concerning him in Florence of Worcester. His lady, Godiva, is better known at Coventry. See her story at large in Bromton and Matthew of Westminster.

Note 81. He died at his villa at Bromleage (Bromley in Staffordshire).—Flor.

After 1086 [his former wife] Godgifu aka Lady Godiva died; the date based on her being included the Domesday Book.

Charter S1478 Agreement between Wulfwig, Leofric and Godgifu. Agreement between Bishop Wulfwig, and Earl Leofric and Godgifu, his wife, concerning the endowment of a monastery at Stowe St Mary, Lincs [Map].

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 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 Haroldus dux.

Ego Leofricus dux.

Ego Siward dux.

Ego Sweyn dux.

Ego 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.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Then on midwinter's day Archbishop Aldred hallowed him to king at Westminster, and gave him possession with the books of Christ, and also swore him, ere that he would set the crown on his head, that he would so well govern this nation as any before him best did, if they would be faithful to him. Nevertheless he laid very heavy tribute on men, and in Lent went over sea to Normandy, taking with him Archbishop Stigand, and Abbot Aylnoth of Glastonbury, and the child Edgar, and the Earls Edwin, Morkar, and Waltheof, and many other good men of England. Bishop Odo and Earl William lived here afterwards, and wrought castles widely through this country, and harassed the miserable people; and ever since has evil increased very much. May the end be good, when God will! In that same expedition92 was Leofric, Abbot of Peterborough; who sickened there, and came home, and died soon after, on the night of Allhallow-mass. God honour his soul! In his day was all bliss and all good at Peterborough. He was beloved by all; so that the king gave to St. Peter and him the abbey at Burton, and that at Coventry, which the Earl Leofric, who was his uncle, had formerly made; with that of Croyland, and that of Thorney. He did so much good to the minster of Peterborough [Map], in gold, and in silver, and in shroud, and in land, as no other ever did before him, nor any one after him. But now was Gilden-borough become a wretched borough. The monks then chose for abbot Provost Brand, because he was a very good man, and very wise; and sent him to Edgar Etheling, for that the land-folk supposed that he should be king: and the etheling received him gladly. When King William heard say that, he was very wroth, and said that the abbot had renounced him: but good men went between them, and reconciled them; because the abbot was a good man. He gave the king forty marks of gold for his reconciliation; and he lived but a little while after-only three years. Afterwards came all wretchedness and all evil to the minster. God have mercy on it!

Note 92. i.e. in the expedition against the usurper William.

[his son] Ælfgar Earl of Mercia and East Anglia was born to Leofric Earldorman Mercia and Godgifu aka Lady Godiva.

Leofric Earldorman Mercia -1057 appears on the following Descendants Family Trees:

Leofwine Mercia

Royal Descendants of Leofric Earldorman Mercia -1057

Angharad Queen Consort Gwynedd x 1

Cristin ferch Goronwy Unknown Queen Consort Gwynedd x 1

Elizabeth Burgh Queen Consort Scotland x 1

Philippa Lancaster Queen Consort Portugal x 2

Henry IV King England x 2

King Henry V of England x 4

Philippa Lancaster Queen Consort Denmark x 4

Joan Beaufort Queen Consort Scotland x 2

King Edward IV of England x 8

King Richard III of England x 8

Anne Neville Queen Consort England x 22

King Henry VII of England and Ireland x 5

Queen Anne Boleyn of England x 24

Anne Jagiellon Holy Roman Empress x 6

Queen Jane Seymour x 24

Catherine Parr Queen Consort England x 32

Queen Catherine Howard of England x 23

Jane "Nine Days Queen" Grey I Queen England and Ireland x 40

President George Washington x 16

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom x 3510

Queen Consort Camilla Shand x 1188

Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 10822

Catherine Middleton Princess of Wales x 25