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 [...]

343 – By Thorkell’s Beard

This is a story of palace intrigue, murder, and atypical alopecia… and it all begins where these things usually do… with a real estate transaction. An Englishman owned some lands in Elsworth, which is in Cambridgeshire. We don’t know his name, nor do we know why he was executed by the King. What we do [...]

Bonus Episode: Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday. And if you’re not in Britain, you might be wondering what Shrove Tuesday is, and even if you are British, you might be wondering why you’re celebrating it. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent. And if you weren’t raised within a [...]

341 – King Cnut of England

Cnut made a lot of smart moves in a very short amount of time. He outlawed much of the corruption that had plagued the courts of AEthelred. He scrubbed his new kingdom of the loyalists to Edmund Ironsides. He granted key lands to key followers. Executed the main claimant to the throne, Eadwig. He executed [...]

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. [...]

338 – The Fall of King Edmund Ironsides

Edmund hadn’t lost, and for now that was enough. He had shown himself to be a contender. So Ironside took his remaining men and marched East… but the accounts are careful to point out that he stayed north of the Thames…. And this decision has lead scholars to believe that Mercia may have already been [...]