|Earl Godwin of Wessex|
1019 – 1053
|Died||April 15, 1053 (aged 52)|
Sweyn Godwinson, Earl of Herefordshire (c. Events 1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English Gytha Torkelsdotter (also called Githa was the daughter of Torkel Styrbjörnsson (also called Thorkill Sweyn (Old English Swegen Godwinson (c 1023-1052 was the eldest son of Earl Godwin of Wessex, and brother of Harold II of England. Earl was the Anglo-Saxon form and jarl the Scandinavian form of a title meaning " Chieftain " and referring especially to chieftains Constitution Herefordshire was reconstituted both as a new Non-metropolitan district (effective 19th July 1996 and as a new County comprising the area of the 1023-1052)
Godwin of Wessex, also known as Godwine, Goodwin, Godwyn or Goodwyn (c. 1001–April 15, 1053) was one of the most powerful lords in England under the Danish king Canute the Great and his successors. Events 1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English The Kingdom of England was a State (927-1707 located in Western Europe dating from the ninth or tenth century to the early eighteenth century when it was legally The Kingdom of Denmark ( ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊ (archaic ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊ commonly known as Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe } Canute the Great, also known as Cnut in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, or Knut ( Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki, Norwegian Canute made him the first Earl of Wessex. The title Earl of Wessex has been created twice in British history once in the pre-Conquest Anglo-Saxon nobility of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Godwin was the father of King Harold Godwinson and Edith of Wessex, wife of King Edward the Confessor. Harold Godwinson, (c 1022 &ndash 14 October 1066 also known as Harold II, is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Edith of Wessex, (c 1029 &ndash December 19 1075) married King Edward the Confessor of England in 1045 King Edward the Confessor (c 1003 &ndash 5 January 1066 son of Ethelred the Unready, was the penultimate Anglo-Saxon King of England and the last
Godwin's father was probably Wulfnoth Cild who was Thegn of Sussex, although later documents describe his father as a churl. Wulfnoth Cild (died 1015 is thought to have been the father of Godwin Earl of Wessex and thus the grandfather of King Harold Godwinson. A thegn or thane was an attendant servant retainer or official in Early Medieval Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon culture. Sussex is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. A churl (etymologically the same name as Charles / Carl and Old High German „karal“ in its earliest Anglo-Saxon meaning was simply "a man" Wulfnoth was supposedly a sixth generation descendant of King Ethelred of Wessex, the older brother of Alfred the Great; Ethelred's descendants were passed over in the royal succession, but became prominent nobles in the kingdom. King Ethelred of Wessex ( Old English: Æþelræd) (c 840 &ndash April 23, 871) was the fourth son of King Ethelwulf of Wessex Alfred the Great (also Ælfred from the Old English Ælfrēd ˈælfreːd (c However this descent of Godwin is still being researched, and should not be taken as certain. Wulfnoth led a section of the royal fleet into piracy and as a consequence had his lands forfeited, and was exiled. Piracy is Robbery committed at sea or sometimes on shore without a commission from a sovereign Nation (as distinct from Privateering It was left to his young son, Godwin, to improve the family fortunes after his father's death in 1014. In his day, Earl Godwin was seen as very much of a new man, who had been "made" by two advantageous marriages to Danish noblewomen.
Godwin was a major supporter of Edmund Ironside, the son of King Ethelred the Unready. Edmund Ironside or Eadmund (c 988/993 – 30 November 1016 surnamed " Ironside " for his efforts to fend off the Danish invasion Ethelred II ( c. 968 – 23 April 1016 also known as Æthelred II, Aethelred II, Ethelred the Unready, Æthelred the Unready While Edmund was in rebellion against his father, Canute and his army invaded England. Edmund was killed, along with many of his supporters, but Godwin survived and pledged his loyalty to Canute. He befriended Canute's brother-in-law, Earl Ulf, and became one of Canute's advisors, accompanying him to Denmark to suppress a rebellion there. By 1018 he was an earl , becoming Earl of the Wessex in about 1019. In 1022 he married Thyra Sveinsdóttir (also called Thyra Swensdottir) Canute's sister. She died soon afterwards without issue, but Godwin continued to gain prestige and by 1023 he was the most powerful earl in England.
On November 12, 1035, Canute died. Events 764 - Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days His kingdoms were divided among three rival rulers. Harold Harefoot, Canute's illegitimate son with Aelgifu of Northampton, seized the throne of England. Harold Harefoot (c 1015&ndash17 March 1040 was King of England from 1035 to 1040 Aelgifu of Northampton, also known as Ælfgifu, Alfgifu, Alfgitha or Elfgifu, "Eilfgiva" "Aelfgyfu""Aelfgiuae" Harthacanute, Canute's legitimate son with Emma of Normandy, reigned in Denmark. Harthacanute ( Canute the Hardy, sometimes Hardicanute, Hardecanute, Hörthaknútr; Danish: Hardeknud) (1018 – 8 June Emma (c 985&ndash March 6, 1052 in Winchester, Hampshire) was daughter of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, by Norway rebelled under Magnus the Noble. Magnus I (1024 - October 25, 1047) was the King of Norway from 1035 to 1047 and the King of Denmark from 1042 to 1047 In 1037, the throne of England was reportedly claimed by Alfred Aetheling, younger son of Emma of Normandy and Ethelred the Unready, and half-brother of Harthacanute. Alfred Aetheling ( Old English Ælfred Æþeling) was one of the eight sons of the English king Ethelred II, called 'The Unready' Emma (c 985&ndash March 6, 1052 in Winchester, Hampshire) was daughter of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, by Ethelred II ( c. 968 – 23 April 1016 also known as Æthelred II, Aethelred II, Ethelred the Unready, Æthelred the Unready Godwin is reported to have either captured Alfred himself or to have deceived him by pretending to be his ally and then surrendering him to the forces of Harold Harefoot. Either way Alfred was blinded and soon died at Ely. Blindness is the condition of lacking Visual perception due to Physiological or Neurological factors Ely (, rhyming with "freely" is a Cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England.
In 1040, Harold Harefoot died and Godwin supported the accession of his half-brother Harthacanute to the throne of England. When Harthacanute himself died in 1042 Godwin finally supported the claim of his half-brother Edward the Confessor to the throne. King Edward the Confessor (c 1003 &ndash 5 January 1066 son of Ethelred the Unready, was the penultimate Anglo-Saxon King of England and the last Edward was another son of Emma and Ethelred, having spent most of the previous thirty years in Normandy. Normandy (Normandie Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. His reign restored the native royal house of Wessex to the throne of England.
Despite his alleged responsibility for the death of Edward's brother Alfred, Godwin secured the marriage of his daughter Edith (Eadgyth) to Edward in 1045. Edith of Wessex, (c 1029 &ndash December 19 1075) married King Edward the Confessor of England in 1045 As Edward drew advisors, nobles and priests from his former place of refuge in a bid to develop his own power base, Godwin soon became the leader of opposition to growing Norman influence. The Normans were the people who gave their names to Normandy, a region in northern France. After a violent clash between the people of Dover and the visiting Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, Edward's new brother-in-law, Godwin was ordered to punish the people of Dover (as he and Leofric, Earl of Mercia had done in Worcester, in Leofric's own earldom). Dover is a town and major ferry port in the county of Kent, England. Eustace II, (c 1015-1020 &ndash 1087 was Count of Boulogne from 1049-1093 fought on the Norman side at the Battle of Hastings, and afterwards received a The county of Boulogne (Dutch Bonen) was a historical region in the Low Countries. Leofric (born 968 died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia and founded Monasteries at Coventry and Worcester (ˈwʊstə is a city and County town of Worcestershire, in the West Midlands of England. This time, however, Godwin refused, choosing to champion his own countrymen against a (visiting) foreign ruler and his own king. Edward rightly saw this as a test of power, and managed to enlist the support of Siward, Earl of Northumbria and Earl Leofric. Sigurd Björnsson, also known as Siward the Dane (died 1055 was an English nobleman in the eleventh century and the Earl of Northumbria. Godwin and his sons were exiled from the kingdom in September 1051. However, they returned the following year with an armed force, which gained the support of the navy, burghers, and peasants, so compelling Edward to restore his earldom. This however set a precedent to be followed by a rival earl some years later, and then by Godwin's own son in 1066.
On April 15, 1053 Godwin died suddenly, after collapsing during a royal banquet at Winchester. Events 1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English Winchester or Winton ( archaic) is a historic city in southern England, with a population of around 40000 within a radius of its centre Some colourful accounts claim that he choked on a piece of bread while denying any disloyalty to the king.  However this appears to be later Norman propaganda, contemporary accounts indicate that he just had a sudden illness, possibly a stroke. The Normans were the people who gave their names to Normandy, a region in northern France. A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain 
His son Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex, an area then covering roughly the southernmost third of England. With the death of Earl Siward (1055) and later Earl Ælfgar (1062), the children of Godwin were poised to assume sole control. Ælfgar (c1030-1062 was son of Leofric Earl of Mercia, possibly by his well-known wife Godgifu ( Lady Godiva) although more probably by an earlier marriage Tostig was helped into the earldom of Northumbria, thus controlling the north. The Mercian earl was sidelined, especially after Harold and Tostig broke the Welsh-Mercian alliance in 1063. Harold later succeeded Edward the Confessor and became King of England in his own right. At this point, both Harold's remaining brothers in England were earls in their own right, Harold was himself king and in control of Wessex, and he had married the sister of Earl Edwin of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria (who had succeeded his brother Tostig). Morcar (or Morkere) (d 1087 was the son of Ælfgār (earl of Mercia) and brother of Ēadwine. Godwin's family looked set to inaugurate a new royal dynasty.
Godwin married a second time to a Danish noblewoman, Gytha Thorkelsdóttir (also known as Githa), said to be the granddaughter of the legendary Viking Styrbjörn Starke and great-granddaughter to Harold Bluetooth, king of Denmark and thus also ancestor to King Canute. Gytha Torkelsdotter (also called Githa was the daughter of Torkel Styrbjörnsson (also called Thorkill Styrbjörn the Strong ( Styrbjörn Sterki) or Styrbjörn the Swedish Champion ( Styrbjörn svía kappi) (died c Harald Bluetooth Gormson (Harald Blåtand Haraldr blátönn, Harald Blåtann was born around 935 the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra (also The marriage resulted in the birth of many children:
|Peerage of England|
|New title||Earl of Wessex|
c. The Peerage of England comprises all Peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union in 1707. The title Earl of Wessex has been created twice in British history once in the pre-Conquest Anglo-Saxon nobility of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. 1019–1053
|New title||Earl of Kent|