Fresh Attacks by the Northmen

Book 2, Chapter 9, Edward 975 AD to 1016 AD – Ethelred


 Thus, England, towards the close of the tenth century, contained a population, partly Anglo-Saxon and partly Anglo-Danish, which, though under the same laws, and speaking the same language (with trifling differences in dialect) was yet diversely affected towards the reigning family. The Anglo-Danes could not forget their affinity with the Northmen, and wished for one of their own race to occupy the English throne. Among the Anglo-Saxons also, many had lost their chivalric attachment to the house of Alfred, and viewed with indifference, even if they did not aid by active measures, attempts which were shortly made to conquer England by fresh hordes of Northmen. This state of feeling goes far to explain the calamities which befel the country during the protracted nominal reign of Ethelred.

A Danish Soldier (From Strutt’s Manners and Customs)

The piratical Danes, who for more than half a century had given the English very little disturbance, began again to cast their rapacious eyes on this country soon after the accession of this unfortunate king. Their first attempts seem’ to have been made with diffidence, by a small number of adventurers. In the year 981, a few of these rovers plundered Southampton, and putting their booty on board their fleet, consisting of seven ships, departed with precipitation. By degrees, these descents upon the English coasts became more frequent and more formidable in the year 991 an English army was defeated near Maldon, and their commander, duke Brithnoth, slain by a party of these plunderers.

Chapter 9, Edward the Martyr

Edward, Commonly Styled “the Martyr”

Elfrida’s Intrigues

Chapter 9, Ethelred

Reign of Ethelred

Dunstan’s Prophecy

Condition of the Country

Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Danes

Fresh Attacks by the Northmen

They are Bribed to Depart

Origin of the Danegeld

Ethelred’s Marriage with Emma of Normandy

Massacre of the Danes

Chapter 9, Sweyn’s Revenge

Sweyn’s Vengeance

Murder of Archbishop Alphege

Levy for a Fleet

Chapter 9, Thurkill Ravages England

Its Failure

A Contemporary Picture

Sweyn prepares for the Conquest of England

Sweyn Dies and’ is Followed by Canute

Ethelred’s Flight and Return

Chapter 9, Edmund Ironside

Death of Ethelred

Divisions and Treachery among the English

Edmund Ironside Proclaimed King

Successive Battles with Canute

Partition of the Country

Brief Reign of Edmund


Categories: Book 2

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