348 – Ruling Hard or Hardly Ruling

Europe was in chaos in the 1020s. Crises just kept coming, and the powerful were trying to capitalize on disorder. And in times like these, actions can have outsized impact, even the smaller ones. For example, if you sat in Leicester during the 1020s, the last thing you would have been paying attention to would [...]

347 – Aggressive Diplomacy

What we call history was, at one point, just current events. And world affairs never happen in a vacuum. It’s never just one thing happening after another… it’s a whole mesh of events that, while they might happen in their own sequences that look very much like just one thing happening after another, they’re actually [...]

345 – Building Blocks

In the early 11th century, the English were crushed by the Scots in the Battle of Carham. We are told that King Malcolm of Scotland, supported by King Owain of Strathclyde, brought their combined armies to bear against the forces of Ealdorman Uhtred of Bernicia in 1018… and there, they slaughtered the English. But there’s [...]

344 – Cnut’s Mad Lads

In the year of 1021, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells us two things. A Bishop died. And Thorkell the Tall was expelled from the country. And that’s all it tells us. We know by now that the Chronicle gets a little quiet when the establishment hits the rocks… and, with Cnut’s right hand man being [...]

340 – A Bit of a Cnut

When we left off, Cnut had managed to get Eadric to go on the record calling for the execution of the English claimants to the throne… and then Cnut rejected the suggestion, and instead outlawed Eadwig, and exiled the sons of Edmund to Sweden. What the public likely didn’t know was the fact that Cnut [...]

339 – Cnut the Conqueror

It’s been a strange few years. The fall of the House of Wessex and the rise of Cnut looks like a simple story of conquest. After all, it’s right there in the title. Virtually every book on this era has a chapter called “The Conquest of England.” And for good reason… Cnut /was/ a conqueror. [...]

335 – Acts of Spasmodic Violence

Morcar and Sigeferth were under a lot of stress. These two noble brothers from the North had only just managed to join the Wulf dynasty through Sigeferht’s marriage to Ealdgyth, the niece of the powerful Ealdorman AElfhelm of York and Wulfric Spot. And that really should have been a smart move, given how powerful that [...]

334 – No Cnut November

There are worse things than spending a holiday in Normandy. And one of those things is spending a holiday in Normandy because you just lost your entire Kingdom to the Danes. Of course, that wasn’t all King Athelred had lost. By 1013, Eadred, one of his younger sons from his marriage to AElfgifu died. Records [...]