Presentation on theme: "Godwin had so much power that it is likely that nobody could ever hope to become king without the consent of Earl Godwin. Edith and Edward failed to have."— Presentation transcript:
Godwin had so much power that it is likely that nobody could ever hope to become king without the consent of Earl Godwin. Edith and Edward failed to have any children. Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury died in 1050 and the monks there elected a kinsman (relative) of Godwin, Aethelric. Edward went against their wishes and elected Robert of Jumieges, a Norman monk. The author of Vita(Edith’s book) said that Robert of Jumieges influenced the king to take issue with the Godwins, accusing them of taking land from Canterbury and plotting to kill the king. The author of The Anglo- Saxon Chronicle states that Eustace of Boulogne (Edward’s brother-in-law) visited Edward and left to go home, travelling through Dover. In Dover Eustace and his men put on armour, which was offensive to the people of Dover so they were attacked. 20 Dover citizens were killed and 19 of Eustace’s men. He called on Edward to punish Godwin. The author of The Anglo- Saxon Chronicle states that Edward ordered Godwin to punish Dover, a town in his earldom. Godwin refused to do this and so Edward ordered a council of magnates to be held on 8 th September 1051. Godwin, Swegen and Harold (his two eldest sons) met at a family manor with an army of men. King Edward an earls Siward, Leofric and Ralf met in London with their own armies. It looked like civil war, but in a attempt to calm tempers those with the king suggested that those involved should surrender hostages to the king. Godwin and his men arrived just south of London and were told to transfer all of their thegns to the kings service, which he did. Godwin called for a fair trial in which he could prove his innocence, he also asked for a safe conduct and for hostages so that his safety would be assured. All requests were refused outright. Bishop Stigand was sent between the parties as the intermediary. Vita suggests that Stigand delivered the message to Godwin that he could hope for the ‘...king’s peace only when he gave him back his brother alive…’ Upon hearing these words Godwin realised there was no hope of fighting – his thegns had gone; he had no allies – and no hope of peace, so the family fled. In ships loaded with treasure Godwin, Gytha, Swegen and Tostig sailed for Flanders (part of Belgium) where Count Baldwin of Flanders was an ally. Harold and Leofwine fled to Ireland. After the Godwins fled, Edward took steps to make it difficult for them to return. He divided up their earldoms, presumably keeping much for himself but also gifting some to the earls that supported him. He also sent Edith to an abbey with no servants – this must have been a huge shock in terms of lifestyle for Edith. Without the buffer of the power and wishes of earl Godwin, a number of foreign Norman and French magnates were given important positions in England, ahead of Saxon or Danish men as had been the tradition. It is likely that during the exile of the Godwins, William Duke of Normandy was invited to England, whereupon he later claimed he had been elected heir to the throne by Edward. William claimed that earls Leofric and Siward witnessed and consented to this.
Swegen decided that it was time to atone for his sins and is reported to have walked barefoot to Jerusalem on pilgrimage. On his return journey he died, either through natural causes or through murder. Vita suggests that both Count Baldwin and King Henry of France urged Edward to forgive the Godwins and allow them back to England. On 22 nd June 1052 Godwin sailed to south-east Kent and landed, apparently receiving a warm welcome from the people. He hoped to link up with his son Harold from Ireland. However when the royal ships were sent to intercept him, Godwin was forced to sail back to Flanders. All was not a waste though; Godwin had gained much knowledge about attitudes in his old earldom from his brief return. Sometime in August Harold and Leofwine set sail ravaging the coast of England on their way toward Kent (south-east England) from Ireland. Godwin also set sail and the Godwin family was reunited again in their old earldom. As soon as they reached their old earldom all Godwin family members stopped ravaging and started being pleasant to the population, trying to encourage people to join them. Once more reunited the Godwins sailed to London whilst summoning and land army to join them there. London was about to be invaded from the Thames and land so Edward summoned all who owed him military service. Nobody refused the king, but it is said that they sent help to come slowly therefore to arrive too late. Edward was not gaining the support he had when the crisis first flared up, his magnates had obviously decided that it was not worth the potential trouble anymore. Godwin stopped his army and navy outside of London and sent word of his wish to be forgiven, it seems Bishop Stigand was intermediary again. Robert of Jumieges(now Canterbury) fled, along with Norman magnates Ulf of Dorchester and William of London and many Norman soldiers who served their masters. The lack of support of Leofric and Siward was decisive and Edward, though wanting to fight, had to agree to forgive Godwin and restore him and his sons to their earldoms. The Frenchmen and Normans that had been promoted during the crisis were officially outlawed for having ‘provided bad counsel’.
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.