When you come at the King, you best not miss… and now the Godwins had the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor acting as their surrogates while they were constructing no less than two invasion fleets just off of two separate English coasts … which means Edward probably realized he had went at the real King and missed.
“O happy earl, in bairns and forebears blessed
Siring four guarantors of England’s peace.
First, Edith, gem-link on the kingdom’s brest,
All virtues’ friend, fit daughter for the earl,
Her sire, and also her spouse, the king;
By her advice peace wraps the kingdom round
And Keeps mankind from breaking pacts of peace.
Thus from your single fount, O Paradise,
You part in secret water for all lands,
Four ample streams to stir the earth’s recess
And nourish the estate of men and beasts.
Themselves they loudly praise, born from one womb,
Issue of various kind, unlike in birth,
In flesh and voice, place, space, and time and motion.
The one part mounts the skies, to heaven twined,
And tends to its race’s hope in tree-top nest.
The other, gulping monster, seeks the depths,
Attacks its root and mouths the parent trunk,
And holds, until, as doomed, the breath of life
Creates a creature from a lifeless dam;
And losing grip, pursues again its prey.
O happy world, if each would keep its course
And water its own lands, with pacts observed,
As the celestial order has ordained!
The shining lilies will delight the fields,
The caper gild the plain with golden curls,
The spring adorn the meads with privet’s gleam,
The giant oaks, with gloomy eyes, survey
The lands laid out, the kingdoms overcome.
When bees in swarms across the honeyed hills
And meadows feed, you, ant, your labour done,
Secure in your own homes, will nothing fear.
But if malignant envy break this pact
By revolution, O what ruin comes!
The wretched world again old Chaos keeps;
High cypresses with roots torn out will plunge,
The lofty pines crash down with broken tops,
Tall cedar, branches drooping round, will fall
With all those riches cherished at its heart.
Thus Madness on ungrateful lands will help
The bounty looted in the hostile towns.”
Swegn Godwinson was exiled….again. Only this time it was for life.
As that judgment came down, the Godwins must have realized they had been maneuvered into blind dependence on the King’s mercy.
The summer of 1051 must have felt like some sort of nightmare.
A French aristocrat rode into Dover, picked a fight and then slaughtered the townsfolk. And that man’s cousin, the King of England, told the townsfolk’s lord (Earl Godwin of Wessex) to go back and finish the job…by butchering his own people on behalf of that French aristocrat.
Complex societies are able to do incredible things. By having an interconnected civilization, with people from all over the place contributing to it, people are able to specialize… and that specialization allows for entire classes of people who can do things that would be impossible if they had to meet their own basic needs all by themselves.
Scientists, engineers, artists, and even us podcasters… we are all possibly thanks to living in a complex society.
History is just the story of humans across time. Therefore, like humanity, history is varied, it’s emotional, it’s complex.
And often it’s just f*cking messy.
King Edward came to England with a political migraine.
In 1040, England once again had a new King. But England was finding Harthacnut a tough pill to swallow.
Today’s story starts in 1039. It’s a big year, and a lot has happened to get us here. So let’s recap very quickly.
The death of Cnut caused a cascade of consequences that reached up to the tip of Scotland and even into the continent. It was an empire crumbling just as it had been born, and the kingdoms with in it (and neighboring it) were undergoing a rapid series of changes as Cnut’s empire came crashing down.
The early 11th century was an unlikely time of heroes. By heroes I unfortunately don’t mean people of good character and brave deeds, but just people who perform extraordinary feats for their time. One of these was the very first King of Wales, Gruffudd ap Llewelyn.