Leofric



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Leofric was born in Cornwall but was raised in Lotharingia. He returned to England with Edward the Confessor in 1041. When Edward became king in 1042 he became an important government minister.

In 1046 Leofric was appointed as Bishop of Exeter. During this period he developed a reputation as a man of good character. He was also a avid book collector and by the time he died in 1072 had acquired a library of over sixty volumes.


Leofric - History

CHAPTER I: THE ARDENS IN SAXON BRITAIN

Introduction

In 498 A.D., approximately 5 1/2 centuries after Julius Caesar "came, saw, and conquered" Britain in 55 B. C. , the last of the Roman Legions were withdrawn to bolster the crumbling Roman Empire. For many years prior to their departure, even the Legions had been unable to prevent the increasing number of successful raids upon Britain by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who had come over in their longboats from their homeland along the Baltic shores in the regions now known as Schleswig and Holstein.

After the departure of the Legions, these raids became more frequent, motivated more by a desire to make permanent settlements than just to plunder, and by the end of the 5th century a large part of ancient Britain had been conquered by the Teutonic invaders. By the 10th century, seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon origin had been established: Kent, by the Jutes Wessex, Essex, and Sussex, by the Saxons and Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria by the Angles. The Celts took refuge from the Germanic invaders in North Wales, while the Picts and the Scots, who had never been defeated by either the Romans or the Anglo-Saxons, occupied the northern part of Scotland.

It is the period from the invasion of England by the Anglo-Saxons through the invasion of England by William of Normandy in 1066 that can roughly be categorized as "Saxon Britain".

I. Saxon Britain through Alfred The Great (871-899)

Some Arden genealogists claim that Leonetta, wife of Reynbourn, a Saxon Earl of Warwick and in the direct Arden line, was the daughter of the Saxon King Ethelred I (866-871), who was the brother of Alfred the Great[1] 1/ (871-899).

If this is so, then Arden descendants can claim the ancestry of Alfred the Great (871-899), a descendant of the Kings of Wessex. (See Chart IA). Early Medieval chroniclers recorded with great specificity the genealogy of the kings of the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, particularly of Alfred, and, indeed, retraced the invasion route to their ancestors in the Teutonic forests[2]. 2/1

Little, of course, is known about the ancestry of the Anglo-Saxons before they reached Britain's shores. From the great Anglo-Saxon poems, Widsith and Beowulf, however, it is possible to indicate at least some historic personalities, although it is difficult to strip the fiction away from the fact. Thus from Beowulf we learn that there was a king of the Angles by the name of Offa who ruled in Schleswig during the fourth century, claimed as an ancestor of the Kings of Mercia, and of Alfred the Great on his mother's side. (See Chart IA). The ballad recites that Offa was dumb during his early years, and only recovered his speech when his father, Wermund, was threatened by the Saxons, who demanded cessation of the kingdom. Offa offered to, and did, fight the Saxon king's son and a chosen champion at the same time, killing both opponents, for which he was granted a great kingdom.

Nor is much more known of the period immediately following the withdrawal of the Roman Legions and the settlement of Britain by the Anglo-Saxons. There are no current accounts extant. It is not until the Ecclesiastical History of Bede (673-735) and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle started by Alfred the Great, that any real historical sources for the period prior to Alfred appear. They tell of the interminable wars between the seven Saxon kingdoms resulting in the supremacy of first one, and then of another, and of the wars by all of the kingdoms from time to time against the Welsh

(as the descendants of the Celts became known), the Picts and Scots. These wars were very bloody affairs. For example, it is recorded that in 798 Kenulph, King of the Mercians (796-820) (Chart IA) took Eadbright, the King of Kent, prisoner, cut off his hands, put out his eyes, and kept him around to remind himself of his great victory. At the same time he began the foundation of the Abbey of Winchester. He celebrated the dedication of the Abbey by "releasing" his old enemy, the King of Kent.

Ecbert, King of Wessex from 802 to 838, and the grandfather of Alfred the Great (see Chart IA), was the first Saxon king to hold the whole of England under his overlordship as the result of a series of campaigns beginning with his defeat in 825 at Ellendun of Bernulf, the King of Mercia. Bernulf had usurped the throne in 822 from Celwulf the 16th King of Mercia (Chart IA) and one of the brothers of Kenulph, whose quaint treatment of the King of Kent has just been referred to. Ecbert is thus regarded as the first Saxon King of England.

The reign of Ecbert's son, Ethelwulf, King of Wessex from 829 to 858, was principally concerned with repelling the raids of the Danes, who came over in their large open boats from the Scandinavian coasts and from Jutland beginning in 793. These raids bore a remarkable counterpart to the raids of the Anglo-Saxons, four centuries earlier -- beginning as raids for plunder and ending with settlement expeditions.

It was Alfred the Great (87]-899), the son of Ethelwulf, how- ever, who saved Saxon civilization by defeating the Danes, first at Ashdown (871) and later at Edington (878). He then turned his attention to the

administration of his kingdom, developing a code of laws drawn from earlier laws and the Scriptures, fostering education, and inaugurating the first volumes of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles.

II. Saxon England from Alfred the Great to Edward the Confessor (1042-1060)

Most Arden genealogists begin with Turchill of Arden, son of Alwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire, during the reign of Edward the Confessor (Chart I), both of whom are referred to in Domesday. This is for the very good reason that the only reliable pre-Conquest records are concerned with the royal families or the church, and unless one can establish a "tie-in" to the royal family, genealogical records are nothing more than an educated guess, if that.

There is, however, in the Library of the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford a manuscript, No. 839 folio, said to be bequeathed by the last Arden of Park Hall, Warwickshire, Robert Arden, who died at Oxford, unmarried, in 1635. (Chart V) This manuscript includes the arms and honours of the "Earl of Warwick" from Rohandus through Turchill (Chart I) and states that "this roll was laboured and finished by Mr. John Rous of Warwyke". Rous (1411-1491) was a scholar of the University of Oxford and a chantry priest of Guy's Cliff, Warwickshire, in the 15th century.[3]

Many scholars indicate considerable skepticism about the "Roll" largely because of the absence of any designation by Rous as to the source of his information! Thus Burgess says: "As far as we know, Rous had little or no authority for statements contained in the roll."[4] And Lisle in his Warwickshire, says: "Some of these men undoubtedly existed, but they were not earls. In all probability they were under-earls owning large tracks of land and possibly occupied the position of shire-reeve (sheriff)."

But others, such as Drummond and French, accept the authenticity of the "Roll". Shirley, in Noble and Gentle Men of England (1866) also says:

"No family in England can claim a. more noble origin than the house of Arden, descended in the male line from the Saxon Earls of Warwick before the Conquest. . there are not many of the House of Peers of an origin so illustrious."

Further, County Families of England (1868), purporting to rely upon Drummond says: "The Ardens descend from Saxon kings. Their ancestors were Alwyne (Sheriff of Warwickshire in the time of Edward the Confessor), Turchill, Siward, and Guy, Earl of Warwick, by which title they were dispossessed by the Normans."

Perhaps the best authority supporting the "Roll" is the following headnote posted on the pedigree of Arden in the Visitation of Warwickshire (1619

"The House of Arden is meerly English of the
auncient blood of the Saxons, and they were
before the Conquest lords of Warwick, and
of the most part of Warwickshire."

Heraldic visitations, which ceased about 1686, were journeys throughout England by heraldic officials of the College of Heralds with a commission under the great seal to examine into pedigrees and claims to bear arms. The visitation to Warwickshire in 1619 is of particular significance because it was conducted by William Camden, a prominent Elizabethan antiquary and his­torian, who was Clarenceux King of Arms in the College.

A copy of the pertinent part of the Rous Roll follows this page. I share the view of those who believe that Rous coupled a few shadowy facts with a lively imagination. For example, Rous was in error in his notation under Rohand (ca. 9th century) that Oxford University was founded at that time - there being little evidence of its existence prior to the 12th century. Further his identifica­tion of personage is not altogether clear. Thus he references a successful duel with a Danish "giant" fought by Guy of Warwick in the third year of the reign of King "Ethelred", and the marriage of Reynbourn, Guy's son, to the King's daughter. It is not clear, however, whether "Ethelred" was Ethelred I1/ , who was in Mercia in 868 fighting the Danes, or Ethelred, Earl of Mercia, who married Aethelflaed, the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great (Chart IA), and who, with his wife, was often given a royal title by the chroniclers because of their independent authority in Mercia during the reigns of Alfred and of his son Edward, because of their valiant resistance to Danish and Norwegian invasions. (See Chart IA).[5]

Accepting the validity of the "Roll", however, we are not bound by it in gathering information for the first three generations of Earls, Rohandus, his son-in-law, Guy of Warwick, son of Siward, and Guy's son, Reynbourn. (Chart I). In the 13th and 14th centuries these men were all very familiar personages, being the subject of a number of ballads.[6] Although there is no doubt that at least Guy was a historical personage (see Ency. Brit.), it must be admitted that his exploits have been so heavily romanticized, that he emerges, along with Roland of France during the reign of Charlemagne, as an almost legendary figure.

The ballads commence in the court of Rohand, Earl of Warwick, who was the son of Archegall, a "counsul" of Warwick in the time of King Arthur. Rohand is described as "the most valiant of a thousand", and his wife, the Dame Felye, as "wiffe to the most victorious knight". Rohand's steward, and counsellor, was Siward, Lord of Wallingford, and father of Guy.

Siward, apparently, was a most faithful steward. The ballad recites that he punished every "insulter" of his patron's authority, pursuing one to a great distance --

"And with strength him nim wolde
Though he to Scotland ace him sholde."

Siward's son, Guido or "Guy", was brought up in Rohand's court. He was a cup-bearer, and was taught by father's friend, Sir Heraud de Ardenne, the mysteries

"Of wood and rive and other game,

Of estrich, falcon of great maunde. "[7]

At an early age, Guy fell in love with Felice, the daughter of Rohand, described as follows:

"Gentile she was, and as demure

As ger-fawk, or falcon to lure

That out of mew were y - drawe,

So fair was none, in sooth sawe.

She was thereto courteous and free and wise,

And in the seven arts learned withouten miss. "

Felice (as is the way of all ballads) at first scorned Guy. She said (translated into modern English):

"With her should virginity live and die. Her
growth and beauty were now in bloom and
these must not be thrown away on inferiors."

Poor Guy was devastated! But the cold-hearted Felice relented and eventually said that she might marry him when he had obtained knighthood and had proven hi valour in perilous adventures in foreign parts! Guy (reported as nine feet tall!) then set off with his tutor, Sir Heraud. He wandered through the courts of Europe winning great honors in tournaments and did all the things a knight in shining armour is supposed to do, such as rescuing a beautiful damsel named Dorinda from being wrongfully burned at the stake and killing a wild boar, an enormous dun cow, an

even a green dragon! He finally ended up in Constantinople, then besieged by the Saracens, where he slew a Saracen giant in single combat. Finally he returned to Warwickshire and married Felice, who, we gather, had decided he had done enough to prove his valour in foreign parts! Upon the death of her father, Rohand, Earl of Warwick, he succeeded, jure uxoris (by right of his wife) to the title of Earl of Warwick.

The ballad then recites that, seized with remorse for the violence of his past life, Guy left his wife and fortune to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He returned home, after many years, in 869 A. D. , just as King Ethelred, the Saxon King from 866 to 871, and brother of Alfred, was fighting off vigorous invasions of the Danes. It seems that the Danes had demanded that Ethelred either pay an annual tribute and hold his kingdom as a dependent of Denmark, or that Ethelred should appoint a champion from his army to fight the Danish champion "Colbrand", with the fate of the kingdom dependent upon the victor.[8] None of Ethelred's men were anxious to fight Colbrand, who, apparently, was a giant of a man. Earl Guy, in the guise of palmer, arrived in the nick of time and offered to fight the Danish champion. He did so and, in a colorful tournament, killed Colbrand. Guy, however, refused all of the subsequent supplications of King Ethelred to remain under his banner and only secretly told him his true identity. He returned to Warwick, retired to a cave as a hermit (which has since been known as "Guys cliffe" >, and

daily made his way to his castle gate (still in disguise) as a bedesman to receive a charitable allowance of bread. Only on his deathbed did he send a ring to his wife, which she had given him in former days. With this sign of recognition, she rushed to his side. In best ballad tradition, he died in her arms and she died shortly thereafter. They were both buried together in the cave.[9]

Reynbourn, Earl of Warwick, the son of Guy and Felice, according to the Ballad, became almost as famous as his father. His dramatic life starts off at the tender age of 4, while his father was on his pilgrimage:

"So on a day, I understand,
Merchants came into England
Into London out of Russie.
So on a day withouten be
The Saracens gave this child espie,
Guy's son, faith Reynburn,
And sole him away with treson."

(All of which means he was kidnapped!) His father's faithful tutor, Sir Herauld, set out to find his ward. Reynbourn, grew up, however, in captivity, performed great deeds of valor, and eventually returned to Warwick as a famous knight. Some time after his father had performed his great service for King Ethelred, the King granted his daughter "the beautiful Lady Leonetta in marriage" to Reynbourn.

And so ends the ballads. From here on it is necessary to primarily rely on Rous' Roll.

Uffa, Earl of Warwick, the son and heir of Reynbourn, was called "Rune the Hubyd". He is recorded, independently of Rous, as having been a devout man who was a benefactor of the monks of Evesham, having granted them the manors of Wixford and Little Grafton. This is a reference to the Benedictine house founded at Evesham, in Worcester, by St. Egwin in the 8th century. It became a wealthy abbey, but was almost wholly destroyed at the Dissolution in 1540 during the reign of Henry VIII.

The life of Uffa probably spanned the reigns of King Athelstan's brothers, Edmund (940-945) and Edred (946-955), and of Edmund's sons, Edwy (955-959) and Edgar (959-975). (See Chart IA). His grants to Evesham were made in 975, the first year of the reign of Edward the Martyr (975-978). This Edward, the son of King Edgar, received the appellation of "the Martyr", after he was assassinated at Corfe Castle at the instigation of his stepmother, who was ambitious for the succession of her son Athelred II, the Unready (978-1016). (See Chart IA).

Wulfgeat was the son and heir of Uffa. There is some indication that in 1006 his earldom and estates were taken from him by King Athelred for "his wicked course and oppression". Unfortunately, we do not know how Wulfgeat erred.

Wigot, the son and heir of Wulfgeat, is described by Rous as "an outstanding man, a soldier of great reputation and power." There is also some indication that he married a sister of Earl Leofric of Mercia, of whom mention will be made shortly.

Wigot lived through the reign of the Danish Kings and died during the reign of Edward the Confessor. The reign of "the Danish Kings" began in 1014. King Ethelred (978-1014) (Chart IA) was a singularly inept monarch, aptly named the "Unready" (without counsel or "rode"). He tried to stop new Danish invaders by bribery, and, upon finding that this course of action was not success­ful, ordered a wholesale massacre of the Danes then living in England. This massacre invited the invasion of England by Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, in 1014, forcing King Ethelred to flee to Normandy.[10] r Sweyn's son, Canute, completed the conquest of England in 1016, at Ashingdon 2/, in Essex, with his defeat of Edmund Ironsides, Atheldred's son.[11] There followed a generation during which England was part of a vast dominion including Denmark and Norway, ruled by Canute (1016-1035), his illegitimate son, Harold I (1035-1040), and his legitimate

son, Hardicanute (1040-1042). On Hardicanute's death, the English nobility recalled as King Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), the son of Ethelred, who had been brought up in the court of Normandy to which his father had fled upon his deposition.

III. The Ardens under Edward the Confessor (1042-1066)

With the reign of Edward the Confessor, we leave all doubt as to precise Arden ancestry and come to the son of Wigot, Alwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire under Edward the Confessor. Alwin (d. 1066) is referenced a number of times in Domesday as the prior owner of property then owned by his son, Turchill of Arden.

A. Leofric of Mercia (d. 1057)

Before turning to Alwin, however, we should begin here the

outline of the most "famous" of the ancestors of the Arden family, Leofric

of Mercia (d. 1057) and his equally famous wife, the Countess Godiva (1040-

Leofric is connected with the Arden family in three ways:

It was noted earlier that Wigot, the father of Alwin, is thought

to have married Erminild, the sister of Leofric. (Chart I)

It also seems clear that Turchill of Arden's second wife, Leverunia., was a daughter of Leofric. (Chart I)[12].

Further, from Turchill and Leverunia are descended the Brace- bridge family (Chart VA) of Kingsbury Manor of Warwickshire, which Leverunia inherited from her mother, the Countess Godiva. The Bracebridge family enters the Arden family history twice. Thomas of Arden (ca. 1207) unsuccessfully claimed the ownership of Kingsbury Manor in Warwickshire from John de Bracebridge, (Thomas was somewhat confused as to how many wives his famous ancestor, Turchill, had had!). Later XIII Sir John Arden (1448-1526) married Alice Bracebridge during the War of the Roses under circumstances which, as will be noted later, form one of the most romantic legends of Warwickshire.

Besides a strong family relationship, there appears to have been a close fealty of the Ardens of Warwickshire to the Earls of Mercia, of which Warwickshire formed a part. Whether the Saxon Ardens were "Earls" or not, they were unquestionably large landowners in Warwickshire, and, naturally, supported the political fortunes of the House of Mercia. We shall find, for example, that Alwin the father of Turchill, followed Leofric's grand­son, Edwin, Earl of Mercia, to Northumberland early in 1066 to defend the lands of Edwin's brother, Morkere, Earl of Northumberland, from an attack by the Norwegians, and fell at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

But let us leave to the next chapter the political fortunes of the House of Mercia, which so vitally affected the fortunes of the House of Arden. Right now let us focus on the life of Leofric, and his fair wife, Lady Godiva. Leofric's life spanned the period of the Danish Kings and Edward the Confessor. Lady Godiva lived through the period of Edward the Confessor, Harold, and William the Conqueror.

First, a word about Leofric's title as "earl". Unlike an English earl whose title was hereditary, the Saxon Earl held his position by appointment from the King. The position of "ealdorman", later contracted to "Earl", reflected the degree of political unity which began to appear in England with Ecbert (802-839),who held the first of the great Saxon overlordships of England. Administrative difficulties arose, and the manner in which this was handled was through the appointment of "ealdormans" to administer a number of "shires". Technically, as we have already seen in the case of Wolfgeat, the grandfather of Alwin (Chart I) the king always had the right to "fire" his appointment to this position for malfeasance in office. As a practical matter, however, the appointments usually remained lifetime affairs, with the oldest son appointed in succession. By the time of Edward the Confessor, the Earls had reached a position of tremendous political power, and, as we shall see later, the history of the reign of Edward the Confessor was greatly influenced by the tension of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and Godwin, Earl of Wessex.

The ancestry of Leofric of Mercia (Chart I) dates back to another Leofric who held the "ealdorman" of Chester (some say Leicester) during the reign of King Ethelbald (858-860). His great-grandfather, Algar II, was killed during one of the numerous raids of the Danes which preceded the final complete conquest by Canute in 1016 when he defeated Edmund Ironsides, son of King Ethelred the Unready, at Ashingdon.&bull

Leofwine, Leofric's father, had apparently been appointed "ealdorman" of Mercia by King Ethelred sometime around the year 1000. He is also recorded as having received in 998 from King Ethelred (978-1016) properties in Ladbroke and Redbourn in Warwickshire, which will turn up later as Arden properties.

How, or why, Leofwine, and his son Leofric, survived the invasion of Canute, is unknown and somewhat baffling since, it has been said, most of the Saxon nobility was wiped out at Ashingdon where Canute defeated the combined Saxon forces in 1016. Further, there is also some evidence that another of Leofwine's sons, Norman, was slain by Canuteb,[13] The answer Is shrouded in history. In any event we find that for a considerable period of time before Canute's death, Leofric had been appointed by Canute to the earldom of Mercia and, it is said, was "Captain General of his forces".

Some time shortly before his death Leofric married the Countess Godiva, an heiress of an old Saxon family. Her brother was Thorold of Bukenhale.

Leofric, and his wife, Godiva, were one of the first great philanthropic pair of English history. If one were to go through Domesday, he would shortly discover that, as of 1087, many of the great monasteries and cathedrals of the midlands of. England held lands previously given to them by Leofric and Godiva, particularly those of Worcester, Evesham, Chester, Leominster,

Wenlock and Stow-in-Lindsey. Their great achievement, however, was the Priory of Coventry which they founded in 1063 for an abbot and 24 monks of the Benedictine order. It surpassed all others for splendor and they literally gave a fortune, including 1/2 the town of Coventry and 23 manors, to build and maintain it.

And, of course, we cannot leave Leofric and Godiva without mention of the famous legend of the ride of Lady Godiva. This legend first arose in the 13th century and is generally ascribed to that most unreliable "historian", Roger of Wendover (d.1236), who, as noted above, accomplished that notable feat of tracing the genealogy of Alfred the Great back to the Garden of Eden, thereby allowing the Arden family to trace its genealogy back to God! The story is also inconsistent with the character of Leofric, insofar as we know it. But it still is a good story.

It seems that Leofric had levied some very heavy taxes on the good citizens of Coventry. They, therefore, waited upon Countess Godiva and pleaded with her to intercede for them with the harsh Leofric to lower the taxes. Leofric's reply, which has startled the ages, was:

"Ride you naked thro' the town
and I'll repeal it."

Godiva held him to his promise, and having made arrangements to make sure that all of the good citizens of Coventry remained indoors with shutters barred, rode through the streets of Coventry clad only in her long hair. It seems, however, that there was an adventuresome and curious tailor by the name of Tom who took a good look, and, thereby, gained for himself immortality under

the appellation of "Peeping Tom". In standard ballad tradition, Tom was forthwith struck blind

B. Aiwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire (d. 1066)

We return now to Alwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire, in the direct male Arden line as the father of Turchill of Arden, (Chart I), who lived during the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1060), and antedated that reign for an undeterminable time when Canute, Harold, and Hardicanute were kings of England.

Most of our information about Alwin comes from Domesday. We have some idea of his land holdings because of the listing of some of the manors he held such as Bickenhall, Baginton, Barston, Flickends, Lilliford, Bericote, Etone, and Ryton on Dunsmore in Warwickshire. Domesday, as of 1087, notes with regard to these manors that Aiwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire, "held it freely in King Edward's time" (Edward the Confessor), or "Alwin, the father of Turchill held it." Domesday also records that "Alwin the Sheriff gave Clystone (Clifton)[14] to the Prior of Coventry being "with the consent of King Edward and of his sons, for the health of his soul, and with the approbation of the county."

But Domesday obviously does not reflect all of Alwin's holdings because, it is also recorded, that, upon his death in 1066, his wife, the mother of Turchill (whose name is unknown) was given in marriage by William the

Conqueror to a "certain young Richard" together with most of his lands. This was a custom frequently followed by William -- to require the widows of Saxon lords to marry his Norman adventurers, thereby allowing the Normans to acquire considerable holdings under at least a "color" of rightful holding through their wives' inheritance!

Alwin's position of Sheriff in Anglo-Saxon and early English history was one of considerable importance. Again, as in the case of the "ealdorman", it developed after the Kings of Wessex began to acquire an overlordship of most of England and some form of administrative control was required. A sub­ordinate officer administered each shire under the Earl who ruled the group of shires. This shire officer became known as the "shire-reeve", later "sheriff". He served in a dual capacity, primarily as the representative of the King's interests, but for some purposes as an officer and agent of the Earl.

By the time of King Ethelred the Unready (978-1016) he presided over the shire courts dealing with every aspect of local government, both ecclesiastical and secular, but principally with land disputes. "Lesser" problems, such as theft and rounding up stray cattle, were handled by the meeting of the "hundreds" into which each shire was divided.[15]

The best evidence indicates that in the summer of 1066 Alwin followed his lord, Edwin, the Earl of Mercia, to Northumberland to resist the invasion of Northumberland by King Harold Hardrada, of Norway, who claimed the throne of England by descent from Canute. This invasion threatened the position of Morcar, Earl of Northumberland and brother of the Earl of Mercia. Badly defeated in their first encounter with Hardrada the Earls of. Mercia and Northumberland were thereafter joined by Harold, who had succeeded to the throne of Edward the Confessor. In the Battle of Stamford Bridge, in York, this, the last of the Scandinavian invasions of England, was turned back. Hardrada was hit by an arrow in the throat, and it only required 24 ships of the original invasion fleet of 300 ships to carry the survivors back to Norway. It is said that Alwin, the Sheriff of Warwickshire, also fell in this battle. Thus died a man described by Rous as "a man upright and illustrious in all things" and "of the most excellent memory".

[1] French, Shakespeariana Genealogica (1869) Drummond, Histories of Noble British Families (1846). As will be noted later, this claim is largely based upon medieval ballads concerning Reynbourn's father, Guy of Warwick, and the unauthenticated Role of the Earls of Warwick by John Rous (14th century).

[2] At some point, these genealogies become entirely fanciful. The Medieval chroniclers asserted that Woden, the chief God of the Ger­mans, had seven sons from whom sprang the ancestors of the kings of the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon Britain referenced above. Then, in order to fit this historical "fact" into the tight little world they knew, they proceeded to trace the ancestry of Woden back to Adam himself! A typical example of this genealogical absurdity -- from Adam to Alfred -- by one of the Medieval chroniclers is by Robert of Wendover (d. 1236). On the basis of this lineage, the Ardens can go back to Adam himself -- created by God -- which is as far as anyone can go. (See Appendix A.)

[3] Another of Rous' documents was published in 1716: Joanni Rossi. Antiquarii Warwicenses, Historia Regnum Angliae. There is also reference to the Arden "Earls of Warwick" in that document.

[4] Legends, Traditions, and Romances of Warwickshire (1876)

[5] I have assumed the Rous reference to Ethelred I, however, because evidence indicates that Earl Ethelred and his wife only had one daughter, Aelfwyn.

[6] The ballads here followed are the three early Metrical Romances "Syr Guy of Warwyk", "Syr Reynburn", and "Syr Heraud de Ardenne".

[7] Syr Herauld de Ardenne was apparently not related to the Arden family. He, like the Ardens at a later date, simply added a surname taken from the forest of Arden in Warwickshire.

[8] The Rous Roll gives the name of the giant as "Affricus". On the other hand, the ballads often refer to the duel as taking place during the reign of King Athelstan (924-840).

[9] There was, apparently, a tapestry representing the achievements of Guy which hung in Warwick Castle until the 15th century when it disappeared. It was of great value because Richard II (1377-1399) conveyed "that suit of arras containing the story of Guy Earl of Warwick together with the castle of Warwick and its possessions to Thomas Holland Earl of Kent." (Dugdale) It is also mentioned in a patent of Henry IV in the first year of his reign, 1399.

[10] Lest anyone think that the treatment by Kenulph, King of Mercia, of his enemy, the King of Kent, discussed above, was typical only of the Saxons, he should be quickly disabused! Winston Churchill reports in his Birth of Britain the quaint custom of the Danish invaders of building their cooking fires after a battle on the stomachs of their captured foe!

[11] One historian reports that, according to the chroniclers, "all of the nobility of the English race were destroyed at Ashingdon", and cites this as an additional reason for the inability to trace Saxon ancestry beyond the Conquest. This is not quite accurate, because Canute later brought many Englishmen into his court, and gave them positions of responsibility.

[12] Rous' Roll, infra, states that it "is thought" that Edwin, Earl of Mercia, (d.1072) and brother of Leverunia, was the first husband of Turchill's daughter. But this creates a rather improbable step, but not altogether impossible for these times, of Margaret marrying her uncle!

[13] A third son Edwin is also said to have been killed by Griffin, Prince of North Wales in the Welch-Mercian wars of these times.

[14] Clifton is on the River Avon and is today a suburb of the city of Bristol.

[15] The term "comitatus" stands for the profits of the pleas in the courts of the county and the hundreds. The accounts for the fact that Alwin is referred to in Domesday often as "Vice Comitatus". From this title anciently applied to sheriffs only, came the title "Viscount" first granted by Henry VI.


The Truth Behind The Legend of Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva is a key figure in the history of Coventry. The 900-year-old story was first recorded in Latin by two monks at St Albans Abbey. It was assumed these monks had heard the story from travellers making their way to the capital. So what has made this tale transcend not just space, from the Midlands to London, but time, being part of culture for 900 years? It’s time to look at the truth behind the legend of Lady Godiva.

In the eleventh century, Lady Godiva reportedly rode a horse completely naked through the streets of Coventry on Market Day. According to legend, her husband, Leofric, demanded an oppressive tax from Coventry citizens. Lady Godiva, aiming to help the citizens, pleaded for him to stop. Leofric supposedly said, “You will have to ride naked through Coventry before I change my ways.”

Before beginning this quest to help Coventry, Godiva told everyone to stay in their homes to preserve her modesty. She then rode through the streets, her long hair draped so that it covered almost her whole body, allowing only her legs and eyes to remain visible. However, one man, now known as Peeping Tom, disobeyed her instructions and couldn’t help looking out at Godiva riding through Coventry on the horse. Upon doing so, the legend goes, he was instantly blinded.

Lady Godiva is a legitimate historical figure, born in 990 A.D. It is unknown when she died, although it was assumed to be between 1066 and 1086. The real Godiva was known for being generous to the church. However, despite this historical legitimacy (i.e., the existence of the town and Godiva herself), there is doubt on her ride through Coventry due to a lack of records about it. The story only first appeared approximately one hundred years after her death, and the monk, Roger of Wendover, who recorded it was known for stretching the truth in his writings.

The Peeping Tom character was added to the story in the sixteenth century and later became a common term for a voyeur.

The Lady Godiva Clock Tower in Coventry depicts both Lady Godiva on her horse and Peeping Tom. Donald Gibson aided City Apprentices in the making of the Godiva Clock Tower. The sculptor, Trevor Tenant, carved the figures from wood. The clock was not received well at first, with many finding it crude it has however proven popular with tourists and children. On the hour, the right door of the clock opens, and Lady Godiva rides naked on her horse across the front of the clock before exiting through the left door. Meanwhile, the window above opens and reveals the face of Peeping Tom. The clock has been sculpted with detail, including a black eagle on the doors from which Godiva. This image on a yellow background is the symbol of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.

The clock was unfortunately broken in 1987 in the celebrations that followed Coventry’s FA Cup win. In the excitement, people climbed atop the Clock Tower, damaging the clock.

Further marks of Lady Godiva’s legendary ride through the streets live on in a statue — built by Sir Williain Reid Dick in 1949 — in the city centre. It was built as a morale booster, symbolic of Coventry’s regeneration, after the wartime bombings.

The legend also lives on in the name of the local annual music festival, the Coventry Godiva Festival, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. According to legend, the story of Lady Godiva was told by monks in a procession through the streets. The first recorded Godiva Procession, originally named The Great Fair, was in 1678.

Lady Godiva has been the muse of many paintings. John Collier in 1897 painted her naked but covered by her long hair on a white horse covered in a red cloth. However, Edmund Blair Leighton’s depiction in his 1892 painting was very different, she is completely covered in a white dress, suggesting purity. Leighton’s depiction reflects her desire to preserve her modesty by asking the town not to look out their windows.

The Godiva legend has also spread far beyond Coventry in the name of the Godiva Chocolatier, a company founded in Brussels with now more than 450 stores worldwide. It also inspired a line in one of 1970/’80s band Queen’s most popular songs, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’: ‘I’m a racing car, passing by like Lady Godiva’. The song reached platinum status in both the U.S. and U.K.

This article was written in association with The Boar, a student publication based at the University of Warwick.


History

Leofric first rose to prominence when still only a Knight Errant, unhorsing the fearsome Duke Chilfroy at the Tourney of Couronne, a feat none of the gathered knights and dukes ever expected to see in their lifetimes. The young knight went on to defeat every other opponent at the tourney, earning not only renown but the favour of the beautiful Lady Helene, whom he soon married and had a child with. [1]

Still a boisterous Knight Errant, Leofric was called to duty by Louen Leoncoeur, fighting in the Errantry Wars against Archaon and the defence of the Empire. It was at Middenheim that King Louen led a hundred Knights Errant in a charge which faced Archaon and his legendary Swords of Chaos. Leofric rode in that charge, and although the young nobles fought bravely, they were no match for the greatest warband of Chaos Knights. He and the King would be among the only survivors of that skirmish, though the battle was eventually won and the forces of Chaos driven off. For his bravery, Leofric was gifted with a mighty warhorse called Taschen, a reward from King Louen himself, and christened a full Knight of the Realm. [1]

Returning from the horrors of the North, Leofric was no longer the energetic young knight he once was, but a solemn and dutiful warrior of Bretonnia. He rode alongside his wife and child throughout Quenelles, visiting other lords and competing in great tourneys. It was one fateful night, however, when his wife disappeared at the border to Athel Loren, stolen by the Fay. The incensed noble set off into the forest to save his wife, only to be caught up in a war between the Wood Elves and the vile Beastmen of Chaos. [1]

Striking an alliance with the Elves, Leothric would help save Athel Loren, fighting alongside Highborn and Forest Dragons to stem the tide of chaos. Eventually, he received a vision from the Lady herself. She alone knew how Leofric could be reunited with his wife, but he needed to prove himself pure to save her. [1]

Leofric set off on the Grail Quest. He travelled far and wide, journeying to lost lands and encountering many strange and wonderful things. In distant Cathay he slew the Jade Dragon of the Emerald River and saved the wives of Dragon Emperor Zhang-Jimou from decapitation by the Executioner Cult of the Jade Pearl. The mysteries of far off Ind were laid before him as he quested for the Grail in the Caves of Fire and learned the secrets of the ancient beings who dwelt there. His quest drove him ever onwards until, at last, in the darkest place of the world, Leofric discovered the Grail and supped from its radiant waters as a hunter's moon rose over the forest of the Asrai. [1]

Leofric would return to Athel Loren many times over the years, travelling its secret paths, knowing that one day he would be reunited with his beloved. [1]


The Many Faces of Lady Godiva: A Journey Through The Centuries

The following paragraph comes from the article Who was Lady Godiva?:

You might associate the name “Godiva” with a brand of Belgian chocolates, but it was first popularized as part of a 900-year-old English legend. The original Lady Godiva was an 11th century noblewoman married to Leofric, the powerful Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry. As the story goes, Godiva was troubled by the crippling taxes Leofric had levied on the citizens of Coventry. After she repeatedly asked him to lessen the burden, Leofric quipped that he would lower taxes only if she rode naked on horseback through the center of town. Determined to help the public, Godiva stripped off her clothes, climbed on her horse and galloped through the market square with only her long flowing hair to cover herself. Before leaving, she ordered the people of Coventry to remain inside their homes and not peek, but one man, named Tom, couldn’t resist opening his window to get an eyeful. Upon doing so, this “Peeping Tom” was struck blind. After finishing her naked ride, Godiva confronted her husband and demanded that he hold up his end of the bargain. True to his word, Leofric reduced the people’s debts.

Lady Godiva or the ‘Queen Boudicca of Coventry’? In the image Lady Godiva’s sculpture at Broadgate (Coventry) sculpted by William Reid-Dick, it was unveiled in 1949 and is one of the few statues of horses outside London to be listed.

Lady Godiva’s story in artistic depictions

Many artists through the centuries have interpreted Lady Godiva in different ways but, for the most part, all coincided with the official description of Lady Godiva having very long “golden hair”. In spite of this account John Collier’s version from 1898, probably one of the most popular, depicted Godiva as a young brunette. All in all, as I said in a previous article, I personally think that Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s version from 1891 wins the price hands down, not necessarily for being “accurate” in its representation, but for being such an extraordinary work of art.

Leaving these art topics aside what becomes immediately apparent is that, once in the modern era, Lady Godiva’s story was used for other purposes. Whether it was to be dragged through the mud of sexploitation or whether it was to be turned into a Hollywood movie the story of Lady Godiva has survived somewhat “intact” to this day, so much so that at some point in recent times, the town of Coventry decided to turn this tradition into a “free festival of entertainment”. Today’s Godiva Festival includes “three days of music and fun” and attracts close to 150,000 people every year. Needless to add that the festival has been recently canceled.

Regardless, I think that the archetypal image of the horseback riding blond naked woman has become a ‘symbol’ which has been able to embed itself in the Aryan collective unconscious. As explained by Grunge’s article on Lady Godiva this story may have had origins in ancient fertility rites, although I think this might be all speculation.

For further information about Lady Godiva’s story I would recommend these articles: The Truth Behind The Legend of Lady Godiva by Culture Trip, 37 naked Lady Godiva horse ride tax protest facts by Coventry’s Lady Godiva Story, and the aforementioned article entitled The Legend of Lady Godiva Finally Explained by Grunge.

Sources: Coventry’s Lady Godiva Story, Vintage Everyday, Culture Trip, Grunge, The Eclectic Light Company, history.com and wikipedia.

Classic artworks

'Lady Godiva' (1877) by William Holmes Sullivan (1836-1908, English) 'Lady Godiva' (1892) by Edmund Blair Leighton 'Lady Godiva' (1898) by John Collier, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry. 'Lady Godiva's Prayer' (1865) by Edwin Landseer 'Lady Godiva and Earl Leofric' by John Clifton, Herbert Gallery Public Domain 'Lady Godiva' (1882) by Edith Arkwright 'Lady Godiva' (1891) by Jules Joseph Lefebvre 'Lady Godiva' (1907) by Jules Joseph Lefebvre 'Lady Godiva' (1870) by Joseph Henri Francois van Lerius 'Lady Godiva' (1850) by Marshall Claxton 'Lady Godiva' (copy of Adam Van Noort) by Ellis (active 1671-1683) St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry 'Lady Godiva' by George Frederic Watts 'Lady Godiva' American Wood Engraving (1866) After Emanuel Leutze 'Lady Godiva' (1923) by Wojciech Kossak 'Lady Godiva Riding Through Coventry' by Sheila Fildes 'Lady Godiva Preparing to Ride Through Coventry' (1833) by George Jones 'Lady Godiva at Prayer' (1905) by Jules Lefebvre 'The Lady Godiva Procession of 1829, Coventry' by David Gee (1793–1872) Herbert Art Gallery & Museum 'The Lady Godiva Procession , Coventry' by David Gee 'Lady Godiva' by Edward Henry Corbould 'Lady Godiva' by Mackey Haydn Reynolds - Art RA Collection Royal Academy Lady Godiva statue by John Thomas (1813-1862) 'Lady Godiva' by Léon Mignon (1847-1898) Lady Godiva sculpture (1861-64) by Anne Whitney at Dallas Museum of Art, Texas I thought it was a medieval sculpture: 'Lady Godiva' (1958) by Paul Manship, bronze on marble base, Smithsonian American Art Museum. 'Lady Godiva' (c.1920-30s) by Anton Grath Lady Godiva statuette (c.1844) by William Behnes 'Lady Godiva' by Hugh Blanding Vintage 1956 Nude Lady Godiva on Horse Statue from vatican.com Small reproduction of the Lady Godiva Sculpture (1861) by John Thomas 'Lady Godiva' by Royal Doulton Figurines

Contemporary depictions

'Lady Godiva' by Josephine Wall 'Lady Godiva' by Strigoides on DevianArt 'Lady Godiva' by Lorenzo Di Mauro on DevianArt 'Lady Godiva' by Kimsol on DeviantArt Empty Godiva Chocolatier Candy Tin 'Lady Godiva'

Look: The rise and fall of Coventry's Hotel Leofric

Coventry&aposs Hotel Leofric was one of the first hotels to be built after the Second World War and became a symbol of Britain&aposs recovery.

There was a time when actresses like Beryl Reid and comedians like Tommy Cooper dropped in for cocktails.

But in 2008 it closed and went the way of the old Regent in Leamington and became a budget Travelodge hotel for a time, before being converted into student flats.

A decade ago it was sign of the times.

Perhaps modern city visitors wanted cut-price convenience rather than outright luxury - although legendary Leofric barman Ray Rastall would never have agreed.

Ray, who died in 2003, worked at the Broadgate hotel from the day it opened, in 1955, right up until 1986 when he left to set up his own bar in nearby High Street.

It was there Ray invented probably the last of his famous drinks - Blue Heaven to celebrate the city&aposs FA Cup win in 1987.

But during his 31 years at the Leofric, where he invented more than 100 cocktails, Ray became so well known they renamed the bar in his honour.

His customers were politicians, foreign dignitaries and celebrities from all over the country who came to perform at old Coventry Theatre and later the newly-built Belgrade.

View gallery

It was back in April, 1955, that the £800,000 Hotel Leofric first opened its doors.

It was claimed to be the first to be built in a British city, using British finance, since the Second World War.

At that time all 108 bedrooms had electric razor sockets and 75 had their own bathrooms where female guests would find a special rail on which to dry their nylon stockings.

A single room with breakfast would set guests back 37 shillings (about £1.85) and a double room was 65 shillings (£3.25).

The first manager was a John Wearmouth whose wife was in overall charge of the housekeeping and supervised the female staff.

By the end of the first year, Mr Wearmouth estimated they had looked after 3,460 foreign visitors - nearly half of them from America.

The rest were divided between 19 other countries including Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Lebanon.

There&aposd also been 351 banquets and "bar takings have been colossal", admitted Mr Wearmouth.

As well as Beryl Reid, Tommy Cooper and Gracie Fields - for whom Ray invented a gin and cointreau concoction called Our Gracie - there was Harry Secombe, Dolly Parton, most of the Rolling Stones and Tommy Steele.

Tommy was a bit miffed in 1976 when he ordered two fresh lobsters for a dinner to mark his 20 years in show business and was charged £35 each!

The star stumped up the cash but later couldn&apost resist sending former manager Peter Swan a special delivery of two live lobsters and half a pound of butter which arrived at half past two in the morning.

Tommy added a note which read: "Assuring you that the procuring and packaging of the enclosed came to considerably less than £70 - Tommy Steele."

By 1962 hotel owners Ind Coope Ltd wanted to expand but Coventry City Council was refusing planning permission.

Barrister George Grove told a public inquiry at the Council House that the Leofric was more heavily booked than any hotel outside London.

Council planners continued to resist the extension to 200 bedrooms but in the end were overruled on appeal to the minister of housing and local government.

It turned out to be all a fuss about nothing because by 1965 the £300,000 plan to add 80 extra bedrooms had been scrapped in favour of a £50,000 facelift.

Another blow came in 1971 when the hotel failed to win a place in that year&aposs Good Food guide - it was small consolation to be among 500 others hotels and restaurants all over the country which was left out that year.

By 1973 there was a whiff of controversy in the pages of the Evening Telegraph after the Leofric&aposs hair salon introduced male stylists - for women!

And a year later Peter Guillard&aposs Eating Out column in the paper harked back to the hotel&aposs haute cuisine days of T-bone steaks in the Silver Grill with fresh carnations for the ladies and an enormous bone, neatly wrapped, to take home for the dog.

The column concluded that even in 1974 you could still get a good four-course meal for £3 including VAT.

By 1983 the dining room had undergone a £100,000 refurbishment and another £30,000 was spent on redesigning the popular Ray&aposs Bar.

Then came the 1990s - not the greatest period in the hotel&aposs history although it could still boast the biggest ballroom and conference facilities in Coventry.

City centre news

By 2001 the hotel had been taken over by the Derbyshire-based Menzies group and given a £2.5million refurbishment in a bid to recapture four-star status.

Sadly that was not to be and Travelodge took over, before Mercia Lodge converted the rooms into student flats.


Leofric III, earl of Mercia

LEOFRIC, son of LEOFWINE Ealdorman of the Hwicce in Mercia (-Bromley 30 Oct 1057, bur Coventry[222]). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names “Leofricum postea comitem, et Edwinum occisum per Walenses, et Normannum occisum cum Edrico duce Merciorum per Cnutonem regem” as sons of “Leofwinus comes Leicestriæ”[223]. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre", when recording that he was father of "Herwardus"[224]. This "comitis Radulfi…Scalre" has not otherwise been identified nor any possible relationship with Leofric. Simeon of Durham records that King Canute appointed "Leofric" as Earl of Mercia after his brother Northman was killed in 1017[225], although this was apparently during the lifetime of their father. He and his wife founded the abbey of Coventry in 1043[226]. “Leofricus comes” founded the monastery of Coventry by undated charter[227]. ”Leofricus comes𠉮t conjux mea Godgyve” donated property to Evesham Monastery by undated charter which names 𠇏rater meus Normannus”[228].

m GODGIFU, sister of THOROLD de Bukenhale, Sheriff of Lincolnshire, daughter of ---. She is named as wife of Earl Leofric by Florence of Worcester, who specifies that she and her husband founded monasteries at Leominster, Wenlock, Chester and Stowe[229]. The Annals of Peterborough record that “Thoroldus vicecomes et frater germanus Godivæ comitissæ Leycestriæ” founded Spalding Monastery in 1052[230]. Her family origin is also indicated by the undated charter under which “Thoroldus de Bukenhale…vicecomiti” donated Spalding monastery to Croyland abbey which names 𠇍omino meo Leofrico comite Leicestriæ et𠉬omitissa sua domina Godiva sorore mea𠉮t cognati mei comitis Algari primogeniti et hæredis eorum”[231]. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Aediva trinepta Oslaci ducis" as wife of "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre", when recording that they were parents of "Herwardus"[232]. "Oslaci ducis" could be "Oslac" recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as "earl [of Northumbria]" in 966[233], but any precise relationship has not been identified. ”Leofricus comes𠉮t conjux mea Godgyve” donated property to Evesham Monastery by undated charter which names 𠇏rater meus Normannus”[234]. Godgifu wife of Leofric granted property to St Mary's, Stow by charter dated [1054/57][235]. She was the Lady Godiva of legend.

Leofric & his wife had [two] children:

1. ÆLFGAR (-[1062]). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names 𠇊lgarus tertius” as son of “Leofricus tertius”[236]. Florence of Worcester records that he was created Earl of the East Angles in 1053, in succession to Harold Godwinson who had succeeded his father as Earl of Wessex[237]. Florence of Worcester also records that Ælfgar was banished in 1055 by King Edward "without any just cause of offence"[238]. He went to Ireland, then to Wales where he allied himself with Gruffydd ap Llywellyn King of Gwynedd and Powys, and invaded England, sacking Hereford in Oct 1055[239]. He was reinstated in 1056 when Gruffydd accepted Edward's overlordship. Florence of Worcester records that Ælfgar was appointed to succeed his father in 1057 as Earl of Mercia[240], the earldom of the East Angles passing to Gyrth Godwinsson. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1057 he was banished again[241], but Florence of Worcester states that he forced his restoration in 1058 with the help of Gruffydd and a Norwegian fleet[242]. His death removed from the scene the only potential challenger to Harold Godwinson Earl of Wessex. m firstly ÆLFGIFU, daughter of MORCAR & his wife Ealdgyth ---. The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m secondly ([1058]) --- of Gwynedd, daughter of GRUFFYDD ap Llywellyn Prince of Gwynedd and Powys & his first wife ---. The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. Earl Ælfgar & his first wife had three children:

a) EDWIN (-killed 1071). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names �winum et Morcar postea comites” as sons of 𠇊lgarus tertius”[243]. He succeeded his father in 1062 as Earl of Mercia. With support from his brother, he expelled Tostig Godwinsson from Lindsay in 1066. John of Worcester records that they at first supported the claim of Edgar Atheling to succeed Harold II as King of England after the battle of Hastings, but soon withdrew their armies and swore allegiance to King William I at Berkhamsted[244]. Florence of Worcester records that "𠉬omites Edwinum et Morkarum…" went with King William to Normandy 21 Feb [1067][245]. They rebelled against William in 1068, leaving court for Yorkshire, but were soon brought to submission. Orderic Vitalis says that the rebellion was triggered because King William broke his promise to give his daughter in marriage to Edwin[246], and in a later passage that Edwin was killed by his servants while on his way to relieve his brother in Ely[247]. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Edwinus et Morkarus" rebelled against King William in [1071], and that Edwin was killed[248].

b) MORCAR (-after 1087). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names �winum et Morcar postea comites” as sons of 𠇊lgarus tertius”[249]. Snorre names �rl Morukare”, although stating that he was the son of �rl Gudin Ulfnadson” and �rl Ulf´s sister Gyda”[250]. He was chosen by the Northumbrians as Earl of Northumbria in 1065 to replace Tostig, son of Godwin Earl of Wessex. With support from his brother, he expelled Tostig Godwinsson from Lindsay in 1066. John of Worcester records that they at first supported the claim of Edgar Atheling to succeed Harold II as King of England after the battle of Hastings, but soon withdrew their armies and swore allegiance to King William I at Berkhamsted[251]. Florence of Worcester records that "𠉬omites Edwinum et Morkarum…" went with King William to Normandy 21 Feb [1067][252]. They rebelled against William in 1068, leaving court for Yorkshire, but were soon brought to submission. Orderic Vitalis states that Morcar joined the resistance at Ely in 1071[253], but surrendered to the king. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Edwinus et Morkarus" rebelled against King William in [1071], and that "Morkarus𠉮t Siwardus cognomento Barn" took refuge in Ely[254]. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Morkarum et Rogerum, Siwardum cognomento Barn, et Wlnothum regis Haroldi germanum" were released by King William on his deathbed in 1087[255]. He was taken to England by King William II but placed in confinement again in Winchester.

c) EALDGYTH. Florence of Worcester´s genealogies name "regina Aldgitha, comitis Ælfgari filia" as mother of King Harold´s son "Haroldum"[256]. Orderic Vitalis records that "Edwinus𠉮t Morcarus comites, filii Algari�givam sororem eorum" married firstly "Gritfridi…regis Guallorum" and secondly "Heraldo"[257]. Her parentage and marriage to King Harold are confirmed by Florence of Worcester who records that "earls Edwin and Morcar…sent off their sister Queen Elgitha to Chester" after the battle of Hastings[258]. m firstly as his second wife, GRUFFYDD ap Llywellyn Prince of Gwynedd and Powys, son of LLYWELLYN ap Seisyll King of Gwynedd & his wife Angharad of Gwynedd (-killed Snowdonia 5 Aug 1063). m secondly ([1064/early 1066][259]%29 HAROLD Godwinson, son of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha of Denmark ([1022/25]-killed in battle Hastings 14 Oct 1066, bur [Waltham Abbey]). He succeeded in 1066 as HAROLD II King of England.

2. [HEREWARD . The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Herwardus" as son of "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre" and his wife "Aediva trinepta Oslaci ducis", being the "Hereward the Wake" of semi-legend[260]. m firstly TURFRIDA, daughter of ---. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis records that "Herwardus" married "Turfrida", adding in a later passage that she became a nun "in Cruland" after she was repudiated[261]. m secondly as her second husband, ---, widow of DOLFIN, daughter of ---. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis records that "Herwardus" married secondly "uxor Dolfini comitis"[262].] WIKIPEDIA Leofric (born 968, died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia and founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is best remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva.

Life and political influence Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.[1]

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.[1]

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that [1]. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.[2]

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area.[3] This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counseled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.[1]

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.[4]

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia [2].

Religious works Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry.[3] John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."[4]

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester,[4], and the endowment of the minster at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire.[5] She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.[4]

Family Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039.[1] Godwine died some time before 1057.[5]

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia.

Wikipedia: Leofric (died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia and founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva. Life and political influence

Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia. [edit] Religious works

Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester, and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire. She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham. Family

Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039. Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia. [edit] In popular culture

On screen, Leofric has been portrayed by Roy Travers in the British silent short Lady Godiva (1928), George Nader in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), and Tony Steedman in the BBC TV series Hereward the Wake (1965). Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia.

RELIGIOUS WORKS Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester, and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire. She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.

FAMILY Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039. Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia.

Leofric was the son of Leofwine. Founder of the church of Coventry, seen as thegn from 1005, "dux" from 1026, Earl of Mercia by 1032. He married Godgifu. died at Bromley, county Stafford, England.

Child of Leofric and Godgifu

Leofric married Lady Godiva DE COVENTRY, daughter of Sheriff Of Lincolnshire Thorold DE BUCKINGHAM and Edith MALET. (Lady Godiva DE COVENTRY was born in 980 in Coventry, England and died on 10 Sep 1067 in Coventry, Warwick, England.)

whosyomama/18806.htm King Hardiz, Founder of Counts The Earl Algar mentioned here had succeeded his father Leofric as Earl of Mercia in 1057. Leofric was the husband of Godiva, " the grim earl who ruled in Coventry," and told his wife that if she would ride on horseback naked from one end of the town to the other, he would free the city from the grievous servitude whereunto it was subject.

" I Luriche for the love of thee Do make Coventry Toll free."

The most famous residents were Godiva, and her husband Leofric, earl of Mercia who came to their summer home, near the river Trent, to hunt in the dense woodlands that covered most of this area. Leofric died here, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that ". on 30 October, (1057), Earl Leofric passed away. He was very wise in all matters, both religious and secular, that benefited all this nation. He was buried at Coventry, and his son Ælfgar succeeded to his authority. "Ælfgar, is their only known child. His daughter Algitha, (also known as Ealdgyth), was wed to Harold Godwineson in the church at Kings Bromley. Their marriage soon ended when Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. So Godiva, reputed to be one of the four or five richest women in England with estates valued at 򣅠, was for a short time, the grandmother to the queen of England. At Godiva's death in 1067, her lands were forfeited to the Norman king, William the Conqueror.

The Earl Algar mentioned here had succeeded his father Leofric as Earl of Mercia in 1057. Leofric was the husband of Godiva, " the grim earl who ruled in Coventry," and told his wife that if she would ride on horseback naked from one end of the town to the other, he would free the city from the grievous servitude whereunto it was subject.

" I Luriche for the love of thee Do make Coventry Toll free."

The most famous residents were Godiva, and her husband Leofric, earl of Mercia who came to their summer home, near the river Trent, to hunt in the dense woodlands that covered most of this area. Leofric died here, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that ". on 30 October, (1057), Earl Leofric passed away. He was very wise in all matters, both religious and secular, that benefited all this nation. He was buried at Coventry, and his son Ælfgar succeeded to his authority. "Ælfgar, is their only known child. His daughter Algitha, (also known as Ealdgyth), was wed to Harold Godwineson in the church at Kings Bromley. Their marriage soon ended when Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. So Godiva, reputed to be one of the four or five richest women in England with estates valued at 򣅠, was for a short time, the grandmother to the queen of England. At Godiva's death in 1067, her lands were forfeited to the Norman king, William the Conqueror.

Reigned from 1017 to 1057 (death). Predecessor: Eadric Streona Successor: Aelfgar, his son.

Leofric (died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia. He founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is most remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva. He died at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire of old age.

Leofric was the son of Leofwine, Ealdorman of the Hwicce, who witnessed a charter in 997 of King Æthelred II. Leofric had three brothers: Northman, Edwin and Godwine. It is likely that Northman is the same as Northman miles ("Northman the knight") to whom in 1013 King Æthelred II granted Twywell in Northamptonshire.[1] Northman, according to the Chronicle of Crowland Abbey, the reliability of which is often dubious, says he was a retainer of Eadric Streona, the Earl of Mercia.[2] It adds that Northman had been killed by Cnut along with Eadric and others for this reason.[2] Cnut "made Leofric ealdorman in place of his brother Northman, and afterwards held him in great affection."[3] Earl of Mercia Earldoms of England in 1025

Having become earl of Mercia it made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to the ambitious Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. Leofric may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he was the chief supporter of her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacnut, Cnut's son by Emma of Normandy, when Cnut died in 1035.[4] However, Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by his brother Harthacnut, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area.[5] This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacnut died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time, Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.[6]

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia.[7]

Historians disagree extensively on the character of Leofric. Folklore tends to depict him as an unfeeling taxer of the people, whereas many object to this as part of the Lady Godiva myth and claim that he was a strong and respected leader. There is also great differentiation in interpreting his reputation as a military leader, with some believing Leofric to have been weak in this respect, but others go as far as even giving him the title 'Hammer of the Welsh'. Religious works Medieval depiction of King Edward the Confessor and Earl Leofric top left.

Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry.[8] John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."[6]

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester,[9] and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire.[10] She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.[6] Family

Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers: Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039 and Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric later than about 1010, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar, Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia. In popular culture

On screen, Leofric has been portrayed by Roy Travers in the British silent short Lady Godiva (1928), George Nader in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), and Tony Steedman in the BBC TV series Hereward the Wake (1965). Reigned from 1017 to 1057 (death). Predecessor: Eadric Streona Successor: Aelfgar, his son.

Leofric (died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia. He founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is most remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva. He died at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire of old age.

Leofric was the son of Leofwine, Ealdorman of the Hwicce, who witnessed a charter in 997 of King Æthelred II. Leofric had three brothers: Northman, Edwin and Godwine. It is likely that Northman is the same as Northman miles ("Northman the knight") to whom in 1013 King Æthelred II granted Twywell in Northamptonshire.[1] Northman, according to the Chronicle of Crowland Abbey, the reliability of which is often dubious, says he was a retainer of Eadric Streona, the Earl of Mercia.[2] It adds that Northman had been killed by Cnut along with Eadric and others for this reason.[2] Cnut "made Leofric ealdorman in place of his brother Northman, and afterwards held him in great affection."[3] Earl of Mercia Earldoms of England in 1025

Having become earl of Mercia it made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to the ambitious Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. Leofric may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he was the chief supporter of her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacnut, Cnut's son by Emma of Normandy, when Cnut died in 1035.[4] However, Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by his brother Harthacnut, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area.[5] This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacnut died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time, Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.[6]

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia.[7]

Historians disagree extensively on the character of Leofric. Folklore tends to depict him as an unfeeling taxer of the people, whereas many object to this as part of the Lady Godiva myth and claim that he was a strong and respected leader. There is also great differentiation in interpreting his reputation as a military leader, with some believing Leofric to have been weak in this respect, but others go as far as even giving him the title 'Hammer of the Welsh'. Religious works Medieval depiction of King Edward the Confessor and Earl Leofric top left.

Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry.[8] John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."[6]

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester,[9] and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire.[10] She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.[6] Family

Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers: Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039 and Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric later than about 1010, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar, Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia. In popular culture

On screen, Leofric has been portrayed by Roy Travers in the British silent short Lady Godiva (1928), George Nader in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), and Tony Steedman in the BBC TV series Hereward the Wake (1965). Leofric (died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was an Earl of Mercia. He founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is most remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva.

Leofric was the son of Leofwine, Ealdorman of the Hwicce, who witnessed a charter in 997 for King Æthelred II. Leofric had three brothers: Northman, Edwin and Godwine. It is likely that Northman is the same as Northman Miles ("Northman the knight") to whom King Æthelred II granted the village of Twywell in Northamptonshire in 1013 . Northman, according to the Chronicle of Crowland Abbey, the reliability of which is often doubted by historians, says he was a retainer (knight) of Eadric Streona, the Earl of Mercia. It adds that Northman had been killed upon Cnut's orders along with Eadric and others for this reason. Cnut "made Leofric ealdorman in place of his brother Northman, and afterwards held him in great affection."

Becoming Earl of Mercia made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to the ambitious Earl Godwin of Wessex, among the mighty earls. Leofric may have had some connection by marriage to Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut, which might help to explain why he was the chief supporter of her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacnut, Cnut's son by Emma of Normandy, when Cnut died in 1035. However, Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by his brother Harthacnut, who made himself unpopular by implementing heavy taxation during his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste to the surrounding area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric, since Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacnut died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when Edward came under threat at Gloucester, from Earl Godwin, in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. His advisors counseled Edward that battle would be folly, since there would be important members of the nobility on both sides the loss of these men, should many die in battle, would leave England open to its enemies. So in the end the issue was resolved by less bloody means: Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time. Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 Leofric's own son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Ælfgar raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.[6] Leofric was succeeded by his son Ælfgar as earl.

Religious works. Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly as benefactors in a document granting land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester, and the endowment of the minster at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire. They are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries as well, at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.

Family Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers: Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039, and Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu (Godiva), it is not clear whether she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric later than about 1010, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar.

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal emblem, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia.

Historians disagree extensively on the character of Leofric. Folklore tends to depict him as an unfeeling overlord who imposed over-taxation, whereas many historians object to this, and consider it as part of the Lady Godiva myth they suggest that he was a strong and respected leader. There is also great disagreement over his reputation as a military leader: some historians believe Leofric to have been weak in this respect, but others go as far as to give him the title 'Hammer of the Welsh'.

Please see Darrell Wolcott: What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022? http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id216.html. (Steven Ferry, May 28, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id211.html. (Steven Ferry, June 3, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Edwin of Tegeingl and His Family - The Ancestry of Edwin of Tegeingl http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id42.html. (Steven Ferry, June 5, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id210.html. (Steven Ferry, July 22, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id148.html. (Steven Ferry, July 23, 2020.)

Om Leofric III, earl of Mercia (Norsk)

Leofric Herre av Coventry. Jarl av Mercia

Jarl av Mercia fra c.1017-1057 En av de mektigste i landet på den tiden. Han innførte skatt og blir beskrevet som hensynsløs, men også en sterk og respektert leder. Hans rykte som en militær leder beskrives som svak, men andre vil ham tittelen 'Hammer av walisiske'.

Før han konverterte til kristendommen angrep. han ofte kirken

Jarl Leofric og Godiva var kjent for stor sjenerøsitet av religiøse hus. I 1043 grunnla og utstyrte et benediktinerkloster i Coventry. Florence av Worcester forteller oss at "han og hans kone, den edle grevinne Godgifu, tilbeder av Gud og hengiven elsker av St Mary stadig virgin, bygde klosteret av egne arv, og utrustet den tilstrekkelig med land og gjorde det så rik på ulike ornamenter at ingen kloster i England kan har så mye gull sølv, edelstener i sin besittelse.

Leofric makt var en del av grunnen til at kong Knuds sønn og etterkommere kunne beholde sin fars grep på Nord-Europa etter hans dྍ i 1035. Han c d i 1057 og ble gravlagt ved klosterkirken i Coventry

Leofric var gift med Godiva, De hadde sønnen Ælfgar, datteren Emmirhild og kanskje flere.


Peeping Tom showed up centuries after Lady Godiva's death

So the story of Lady Godiva is 100 percent not-true, and that makes the Peeping Tom part of the tale like 150 percent not true because according to Harvard Magazine it didn't even show up in the story until well into the 17th century. And Tom's appearance in the legend really changed the entire scope of it — it went from a story of a noblewoman who made a selfless sacrifice for the benefit of the townspeople to a story about the evils of lust and the blessings of chastity. In Lady Godiva: A Literary History of the Legend, Professor of English and American literature and language Daniel Donoghue writes, "Over time, Tom would become the scapegoat and bear the symbolic guilt for people's desire to look at this naked woman."

And in case you needed more proof that the legend is just that — a legend — there's the issue of what happened to Tom after he peeked at Godiva. In Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem "Godiva," Tom's eyes "shrivell'd into darkness in his head, and dropt before him," which implies some sort of divine punishment. Generally speaking, stories that include divine punishment tend to be made up.


Many of us are familiar with the legend of Lady Godiva, who rode through the streets of Coventry naked, covered only by her long hair, so her husband would reduce taxes. This legendary story actually originates with a real early medieval English woman. Godgifu (who flourished from c.990-1067) was the wife of Earl Leofric of Mercia, and she was a major landholder in England before the Norman Conquest.

Godgifu married Leofric around 1010, who was a younger son of the ealdorman Leofwine, who had been promoted into his role by Æthelred II in 994. Leofwine retained his rank after the Danish conquest of England in 1016, though his eldest son, Northmann, was killed on King Cnut’s orders. Leofric thus inherited his father’s title when he died in the mid-1020s, and by 1032 he had been promoted to Earl of Mercia. He held this title through the reigns of four kings: Cnut, Harold, Harthacnut and Edward the Confessor. Godgifu’s social position thus rose both unexpectedly and meteorically from the wife of an ealdorman’s younger son to the wife of the Earl of Mercia.

As powerful members of the nobility, Leofric and Godgifu were generous benefactors. As 'the earl's wife', Godgifu is associated with her husband in the endowment and rebuilding of Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire in the 1050s, which was said to have been in ruins since it was burned down by Vikings. Leofric also endowed Coventry Abbey, an act with which Godgifu was associated in later accounts. Orderic Vitalis says that Godgifu gave 'her whole store of gold and silver’, and this is said to include a necklace which was worth 100 silver marks. The Evesham Chronicle also names Leofric and Godgifu as founders both of Coventry, but also of the church of Holy Trinity, Evesham, to which they apparently gave a crucifix with figures of the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist.

Godgifu outlived her husband, who died in around 1057, and she is recorded as a landholder in the Domesday Book. Noble wives often had dower lands, allocated for the widow to inherit for her upkeep after her husband’s death. There is evidence that Godgifu also retained lands in Worcester that were seized from the church illegally by her father-in-law Leofwine, which her husband had promised would be returned on his death. Instead of giving up these lands, she endowed the church with expensive vestments and ornaments and promised to pay the annual dues from the estates and to return them on her death. Once again, these plans failed, as the lands were seized from Godgifu by her own grandsons, Earl Edwin of Mercia and Earl Morcar of Northumbria. She probably died after the Norman Conquest in around 1067, outliving both her husband and her son, Ælfgar. Godgifu’s status as an extensive landowner was not typical even for elite women in pre-conquest England, and was a result of a combination of her family’s unexpected rise in status and her widowhood.

In the centuries after her death tales of her beauty, piety and devotion to the Virgin Mary are known, though it is not until the early thirteenth century that we see the story of Godgifu’s naked horse ride through Coventry appear in sources. Roger of Wendover in his Flores Historiarum, writes that:

The countess Godiva, who was a great lover of God's mother, longing to free the town of Coventry from the oppression of a heavy toll, often with urgent prayers besought her husband, that from regard to Jesus Christ and his mother, he would free the town from that service, and from all other heavy burdens when the earl sharply rebuked her for foolishly asking what was so much to his damage, and always forbade her ever more to speak to him on the subject and while she on the other hand, with a woman's pertinacity, never ceased to exasperate her husband on that matter, he at last made her this answer, 'Mount your horse, and ride naked, before all the people, through the market of the town, from one end to the other, and on your return you shall have your request.' On which Godiva replied, 'But will you give me permission, if I am willing to do it?' 'I will,' said he. Whereupon the countess, beloved of God, loosed her hair and let down her tresses, which covered the whole of her body like a veil, and then mounting her horse and attended by two knights, she rode through the market-place, without being seen, except her fair legs and having completed the journey, she returned with gladness to her astonished husband, and obtained of him what she had asked for earl Leofric freed the town of Coventry and its inhabitants from the aforesaid service, and confirmed what he had done by a charter.1

Roger of Wendover is known for his exaggerations. This story is not corroborated by earlier sources and cannot be verified thus historians must treat it simply as a colourful anecdote. Over the years, elements have been added to the legend, such as the fourteenth century miraculous version where Godiva is invisible, a sixteenth century modest version in ballad form, in which she requests that all the townsfolk stay indoors so as not to see her nakedness, or the late eighteenth century moralistic addition of Peeping Tom, who is struck blind after trying to glimpse her naked body.

It might seem as if the later legend of Godiva has very little to do with the real evidence we have about the eleventh-century noblewoman and landowner Godgifu. However, some links can be made between the two figures. Godiva’s lack of adornment in her nudity would have seemed shocking to a medieval audience, not necessarily because nudity was an indication of sexual promiscuity, but because nobility was indicated by outer wear, like clothing and jewellery. By removing these, Godiva was not only removing her clothes, but also her status. Her nudity in this story does not function as a moral failure, but the converse, as an act of piety, in which she lowers herself in order to help those less fortunate, and her hair covers her ‘like a veil’ to protect her modesty. This piety is also present in the act of the real Godgifu giving away her precious necklace, an important symbol of status for elite women, to Coventry Abbey, as well as great quantities of gold and silver. Within the legend of Godiva and the real life of Godgifu there is a common thread of unadornment as a way of elite and wealthy women expressing religious piety.


Appearance and Personality

Sir Leofric Galeron is quotidian in nearly every sense of the word. Auburn tresses are neatly cut, though the occasional lock might dangle precariously or dance in the wind. Cobalt eyes peer out into the world with a look of wariness, relaxing only in the briefest of moments when amongst friends, though it has become an increasingly rare occurrence. A lightly freckled visage is almost always locked into an unbreakable look of utter neutrality, often disguised beneath a well-kept beard hugging his face tightly. His lips are often twisted into a tight frown, only parting to offer simple responses or while exhaling. 

Simple chainmail blankets a weathered body, loosely hanging from broad shoulders. The slightest shift in the knight's weight results in the gentle jingling of steel rings. An unornamented, cerulean tabard covers his torso, lacking a sigil. Calloused hands are often clasped beneath a simple mantle. As longsword of Lordaeronian make hangs from his hip, typically hidden within a simple leather sheath, held in place by a frog. Opposite the sword, a libram is oft' seen stuffed between his belt if it is not being read diligently, however the contents of the libram are illegible to the untrained eye.

The man rarely speaks, often happily observing from afar. When he does speak, however, a deep, refined voice booms, commanding an aura of respect from those present. Eloquent and clear, the knight orates with the tone of a nobleman.


Watch the video: Leofric. In the Spotlight. The Last Kingdom (August 2022).