Existing burghalhidage after 914 based on areas included regained from Danes.
For example straddle Thames
The burhs were not merely convenient or well-placed strong-points within a defensive system, however important this aspect was in the military and strategic context of the times. The burghal system or network as a whole was, par excellence, a means of territorial control in the political sphere through its power to facilitate and enable the enforcement (and probably the coercion) of obligations of the landholders in each of the burghal territories for service to the king. It was in this way that the king was able to ensure not only that the whole realm was provided with the logistical resources to defend itself against Viking depredations, but also that its people were the more strongly bound to his will, in part through his power of confiscation and forfeiture.
the pole of 16.5 ft, as well as the 4-pole unit of 66 ft, was used as a standard measurement in the late Saxon period. Thirdly, the laying out of a 96-pole (1,584 ft) square on the ground to within an accuracy of less than 0.7% error in the dimensions of its sides, and of only 1% error in one of its diagonals, must be recognized as being a considerable feat of' practical surveying. Its use implies the ability to survey both right angles and possibly also angles of 45 degrees and to set out isosceles triangles on the ground over distances 2,265 ft or more.
The restoration of LondonAlfred the Great (AD 871-99) was king of Wessex, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the far south of England. Although London was not part of this region, one of his coin types has a monogram of the name LONDONIA. These coins have traditionally been linked with a reference in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to Alfred 'restoring' London in 886. This has been taken to mean that Alfred captured London from the Vikings that year, and celebrated his conquest with a new coinage.However, we know that throughout the mid- to late 870s London was in the hands of Alfred's ally Ceolwulf, king of Mercia (reigned 874-about 879). Alfred and Ceolwulf apparently issued a joint coinage throughout Ceolwulf's reign. Alfred's London coinage immediately followed this, suggesting that Alfred took control of London long before 886. According to one theory, Alfred gained London as part of a treaty following his victory over the Vikings in 878. Another theory suggests that it was around 880, following the death or deposition of Ceolwulf.Either way, the coins have nothing to do with Alfred's 'restoration' of London in 886, as reported in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. By 886 London had been in Alfred's hands for several years. The 'restoration' is more likely to refer to repairs to damage done during a Viking raid of 885 than any new conquest by Alfred.
Viking forces from existing settlements as well as new forces from across the North SeaLanding parties stopped by burhs
Following her death, Edward initially allowed her daughter Ælfwynn, who must have been nearly thirty but was still unmarried, to hold a nominal rulership over the Mercians. After six months, however, she was ‘deprived of all authority in Mercia’ and carried off to Wessex
Defense against Viking occupation of Lancashrie and Wirral
Viking, buried about AD 905 Found at Cuerdale, Lancashire, EnglandThe largest Viking Age silver hoard known from north-western EuropeThis exceptional silver treasure consists of over 8,500 objects buried in a lead-lined chest. It was found by workmen in the bank of the River Ribble in 1840. They immediately began to fill their pockets with the silver coins. On the arrival of the bailiff, they were ordered to empty their pockets, but he did allow them to keep one piece each.The hoard mainly consists of coins, together with ingots, amulets, chains, rings and cut-up brooches and armlets. Five bone pins were recorded, which may have originally fastened cloth bags containing the silver, but these have not survived.Such a great weight of silver, almost forty kilos, was probably the collected wealth of many persons, rather than one individual. Silver formed the basis of currency in the Viking Age and it was often buried in times of unrest. The latest coins enable us to establish quite accurately when the Cuerdale hoard was buried. Based on this, and the Irish origin of much of the silver jewellery, we can speculate that it was buried by Vikings after they were expelled from Dublin in 902, who then failed to return to reclaim it. Cuerdale lies at the beginning of an overland route to Viking York.Most of the coins were minted in Viking England. Some are of Anglo-Saxon, Continental and Arabic origin, which indicates extensive trading or political links at this time. Much of the other material is typically Irish or Hiberno-Viking in form and decoration.
Viking, early 10th century AD From Goldsborough, North Yorkshire, EnglandA Viking hoard from YorkshireThe Vikings measured wealth in many ways. The two most important were land and silver. It was only relatively late in the Viking Age that they began to produce their own coins, and silver was often valued only by weight. This meant that all sorts of different coins circulated together, along with silver ingots (small bars), and chopped up bits of silver plate or jewellery, known as hacksilver.Viking hoards often contain a mixture of all these different types of silver. One hoard of this type was found at Goldsborough while drains were being dug there in 1859. The hoard contains several fragments of Viking brooches and arm-rings, together with thirty-nine coins. There are three Anglo-Saxon coins, including half of a rare offering piece of Alfred 'the Great', and two pennies of Edward 'the Elder'. All the other coins are Islamic dirhams from the Middle East. These came to Britain from the Viking trade routes along the rivers of Russia, across the Baltic into Scandinavia, and then across the North Sea.
Anglo-Saxon, AD 899-924 Minted in the kingdom of Mercia, central EnglandOr of Ethelflaed, his sister?When Alfred the Great died in 899, he ruled part of England, while the rest, generally known as the Danelaw, was in the hands of the Vikings. Alfred had inherited most of southern England, including the kingdom of Wessex, along with Sussex and Kent, and he had also become ruler of part of Mercia. Alfred was succeeded by his son Edward the Elder (reigned 899-924), who soon tried to conquer the Danelaw to the north.Edward ruled directly everywhere south of the River Thames, but an unusual situation developed in Mercia, north of the Thames. The kingdom had no king, but was ruled by a royal official called an ealdorman. Ealdorman Ethelred was married to Ethelflaed, the sister of Edward the Elder. Ethelflaed became known as the 'Lady of the Mercians', and until her death in 918, led the campaign against the Vikings of the Danelaw.A series of coins with unusual designs was produced in western Mercia at this time. These were probably issued by Ethelflaed, even though they carry the name of Edward, her brother. The design on this coin includes a tower, copied from a late Roman coin design. Touch the animation button to compare this coin with one issued by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. The tower looks very like surviviving Anglo-Saxon church towers, but it may symbolize the fortresses which Ethelflaed built during her conquest of the Danelaw.
Date of production given as c. 910. This coin belongs to an extensive series of coins without ruler's name whose most literate obverses state that they are 'St Peter's money' and whose reverses bear the name of the city of York. The relative chronology of the different sub-groups set out by Stewart (1967) is now widely accepted: first the swordless type, followed by the sword/cross type (this example), then the sword/ Thor's mallet type (registration no. 1935,1117.369) and the sword/Thor's hammer type (Graham-Campbell 1980 cat. no. 367). None appears in the Cuerdale hoard so all must be dated later than c.903. Thereafter, the absolute chronology presents considerable problems. From the absence of the latest sub-groups from hoards buried in the mid and later 920s, Stewart concluded that the sword/mallet group ought not to be dated much - if at all - before 925, and that the issue of the St Peter coins might have continued after Athelstan took York in 927. There is a serious difficulty with this late chronology for, as Stewart demonstrated, it also requires the St Martin coins of Lincoln (Graham-Campbell 1980 cat. no. 368) to be dated not earlier than the mid 920s although there is no evidence that Lincoln was ever out of English hands between 918 and 939. Stewart therefore had to postulate either a revival of Viking control in Lincoln not historically recorded or, once again, that this coinage was condoned for a time by Athelstan. To explain coinages which thus outlasted several drastic changes in political control, it was necessary to identify their issue either, as had been traditional, with the ecclesiastical authorities, or to postulate 'municipal' coinages which could maintain a sequence of issues despite these upheavals. It is difficult however to accept that, in York, any Archbishop would have produced a coinage bearing a Thor's hammer and that, in Lincoln, any ecclesiastical coinage would not have named the patron of the principal church, St Mary. On the other hand, the proposition of a 'municipal' coinage has revolutionary implications for the commercial and corporate organisation of York and Lincoln at this early date. The suggestion of an issue prolonged into the period of Athelstan's control also seems unlikely in the light of the suppression by Edward the Elder of all coinages not bearing the king's name - in particular of that naming the Archbishop of Canterbury – a policy which was maintained by Athelstan and crystallised in the monetary clauses of his Grateley decrees which, although undated, are not late in the reign and incorporate at this point material from an earlier lost code (Blunt, C. E. (1974): The coinage of Athestan, 924-939: a survey, 'British Numismatic Journal', xlii, 40-1). In view of these difficulties, it is necessary to assess how strong the hoard evidence adduced really is, against the documentary record. The core of this hoard evidence consists of four finds, three of which, Glasnevin and Dunmore Cave from Ireland and Bangor from Wales, were all very small; the other from Morley St Peter in Norfolk, while large, was likewise found outside the Viking kingdom of York and in an area which had been under the control of the English king for almost a decade. The York element in this find could well have reached East Anglia some time previously and the latest coins within it need not have been contemporary with the latest English coins. When it is recalled that the earlier sub-groups of the St Peter coins are much commoner than the later ones, the absence of the latter from Glasnevin and Bangor and their presence in Dunmore Cave, all of which hoards contained only a handful of coins, is less significant. (The important Bossall, Yorkshire, hoard must also be borne in mind.) It therefore seems preferable to recognise the vagaries of coin-representation in hoards and to accept the historical record at face value. To do so, also has its own problems but they appear less formidable than those raised by a late chronology. It is suggested therefore that the St Peter and St Martin coins were neither ecclesiastical nor 'municipal' issues but were instead the coins of the Christianised Danish hosts of York and of Lincoln. The addition of a Thor's hammer to the sword of St Peter is understandable if the issuing authority were the recently-converted leaders, not all of whom may have been fully convinced of the unaided power of the new Faith. On this interpretation, all the St Peter coins would have been issued before the conquest of York by the Hiberno-Norse Regnald in 919. This dating would allow the St Peter coins of the middle period (this example) from which the St Martin pennies were copied, to have been struck from c.910, giving the Danes of Lincoln time to have produced their coins before they submitted to Edward the Elder in 918. Unlike the Danish host whom they replaced, the Hiberno-Norse conquerors had one acknowledged leader, and so, it was the name of the pagan Regnald which replaced that of St Peter on the next issues at York (Graham-Campbell 1980 cat. nos. 369-371). When Regnald submitted in turn to Edward in 920, an issue in the latter's name may possibly have been made (registration no. 1959,1210.2). After Regnald's death, his successor Sihtric did include a sword type among his coin-designs, but it was copied not from coins contemporaneously in issue but from earlier coins still present in circulation; this must certainly have happened in 952 when the same type was again revived by Eric Bloodaxe (Graham-Campbell 1980 cat. no. 377).
Athelstan (reigned AD 923/4 -939) was the son of Edward 'the Elder' and the grandson of Alfred the Great. On his father's death he was accepted as king first of Mercia, then of Wessex. Between the two kingdoms, he was effectively ruler of the whole of England south of the River Humber. In 927 he drove the Viking king Guthfrith out of York and seized the kingdom of Northumbria, thus bringing the whole of England under his control. Various rulers of neighbouring kingdoms in Wales and Scotland are said to have submitted to his authority, and it was probably around this time that Athelstan began to use the title Rex TotiusBritanniae ('King of All Britain'). This appears on the coin in the form REX TO BRIT.Athelstan's claim to rule the whole of Britain was certainly exaggerated, but it was a claim which he worked hard to enforce, invading Scotland by land and by sea in 934. His greatest power came in 937, with the Battle of Brunanburh, in which he defeated an alliance of Vikings, Scots, and Britons from Strathclyde and probably also Wales. This battle is commemorated in a splendid contemporary poem. Following the battle, Athelstan's nominal overlordship throughout Britain was probably unchallenged, but he died in 939, and his authority died with him.
One of Æthelstan's sisters, Eadgifu, had already been given in marriage to Charles the Simple, king of the Franks, during her father's lifetime. When Charles was deprived of power and Robert, count of Paris, made king in 922, Eadgifu returned to England with Charles's son and heir, Louis, taking shelter at her father's court and remaining there after Æthelstan's accession. Æthelstan'sdefence of his nephew's interests is clear from his receipt of the Frankish embassy that sought the return of Louis d'Outremer (so named from his sojourn in England) as king in 936; the king demanded oaths of goodwill from the legates and arranged for an English escort to accompany the young king back to Francia. But it was expediency rather than sentiment that governed Æthelstan's diplomatic policy. Despite his obvious support for the Carolingian line in West Francia, the king married another of his sisters into the rival Robertian family; the marriage of Eadhild in 926 to Hugh, duke of the Franks and son of Count Robert, is reported in both English and Frankish sources from the tenth century.
Eadgyth died relatively young and Otto’s successor was by a second wife.Her tomb is located in the Cathedral of Magdeburg. A lead coffin inside a stone sarcophagus with her name on it was found and opened in 2008 by archaeologists during work on the building. An inscription recorded that it was the body of Eadgyth, reburied in 1510. It was examined in 2009, then brought to Bristol, England, for tests in 2010. Professor Mark Horton of Bristol University said that "this may prove to be the oldest complete remains of an English royal." The investigations at Bristol, applying isotope tests on tooth enamel, checked whether she was born and brought up in Wessex and Mercia, as written history has indicated. Testing on the bones revealed that they are the remains of Eadgyth, from study made of the enamel of the teeth in her upper jaw. Testing of the enamel revealed that the individual entombed at Magdeburg had spent time as a youth in the chalky uplands of Wessex."Tests on these isotopes can give a precise record of where the person lived up to the age of 14," noted The Times of London in its story on the testing. "In this case they showed that the woman in the casket had spent the first years of her life drinking water that came from springs on the chalk hills of southern England. This matched exactly the historical records of Eadgyth’s early life."The bones "are the oldest surviving remains of an English royal burial," Bristol University announced in a press release.Following the tests the bones were re-interred in Magdeburg Cathedral on 22 October 2010
First to show crownÆthelstan's successes inaugurated what John Maddicott called the imperial phase of English kingship between about 925 and 975, when rulers from Wales and Scotland attended English kings' assemblies and witnessed their charters. The Welsh poem ArmesPrydeinFawr lamented the unwillingness of Welsh rulers to resist English claims of overlordship.
Edward the Elder AR Penny. East Anglia mint. Portrait type. +EADVVEARD REX around central circle enclosing diademed & draped bust leftAethelstan AR Penny. Norwich mint. Crowned Bust type, Moneyer, Eadgar. +Ã~FÃ~PELSTAN REX, crowned & draped bust right
it is ironic that he was killed in a brawl, at the royal vill of Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire. ‘It is well-known how he ended his life, that Leofa stabbed him’, says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC, text D, s.a. 946), and John of Worcester adds that Edmund had intervened to save the life of his seneschal whom Leofa, a convicted outlaw, had attacked
2 In a dining hall, the king wrestles a figure to the ground, a surrounding crowd running to his aid; illustration to Lyttleton's History of England. 1802
Viking, AD 947-54 York, EnglandThe last Viking king of YorkEric Bloodaxe was the last Viking king of York (AD 947-48 and 952-54), and a rather colourful figure. The son of HaraldFinehair, king of Norway, Eric earned his nickname by murdering several of his brothers in order to secure his succession to the Norwegian throne. According to later sagas, Eric was unpopular because of the cruelty of his wife Gunnhild. The people gave their support instead to Eric's younger brother, Håkon the Good, who had been brought up in England.Eric fled to England, and became a client king, ruling the kingdom of York on behalf of the Wessex dynasty. However, he ruled in York only intermittently, spending some years raiding in Scotland and around the Irish Sea. He was also driven out of York at least twice, and following his death at the battle of Stainmore in 954, York was absorbed into the emerging kingdom of England.Eric's coins reflect his changing relationship with the Anglo-Saxon dynasty in Wessex. His early coins had a small cross on each side, like contemporary Anglo-Saxon coins. This later coin shows a Viking sword. The sword was the symbol of St Peter, and had earlier been used on Viking coins struck at York in the name of St Peter. However, it also symbolised warfare and conquest, and may signify that in his later years Eric tried to hold York by force against his former overlords.
Eadwig was a young man about fifteen years old when he succeeded his uncle in late November 955, and seems to have been determined from the outset to establish his own independence of action. The position of Ealdorman Æthelstan Half-King, north of the River Thames and in eastern England, was effectively impregnable, although the fact that the king made a number of new appointments in 956, in precisely those areas where Æthelstan was dominant, suggests that he had it in mind to institute some different arrangements. Soon after his accession, Eadwig deprived his grandmother Queen Eadgifu of all her possessions. Eadred had made generous provision for her in his will and Eadgifu herself seems to have regarded his death as an event which led to proceedings as the result of which she was ‘despoiled of all her property’ (AS chart., S 1211); the author of the life of St Dunstan also alludes to her discomfiture, without further explanation. The story of the king's quarrel with Archbishop Oda and Abbot Dunstan, on the occasion of his coronation at Kingston, in Surrey, probably towards the end of January 956, is first told in the same life. At a banquet on the day following the coronation ceremony, Eadwig left the assembled company in order to debauch himself with a certain woman of noble birth, and her daughter, said to be ‘a girl of ripe age’; Dunstan, and his kinsman Cynesige, bishop of Lichfield, were dispatched by Archbishop Oda to induce Eadwig to return to the coronation feast; and Dunstan was obliged to use force in order to achieve their purpose. Not surprisingly, the firm action aroused the resentment of Eadwig and the two women. At the instigation of the mother, called Æthelgifu, Abbot Dunstan was deprived of his status, and of his possessions, and was driven into exile.The tale of Eadwig and the two women, as told about forty years after the event, is the kind of story which enlivens a period always in need of enlivenment, quite apart from its significance as the earliest circumstantial account of the ceremonial attending a royal coronation. There is no reason to believe, however, that the author of the life of St Dunstan was necessarily correct in the construction that he chose to put upon these events. It is known that in 956 King Eadwig was married to a woman called Ælfgifu, daughter of a woman called Æthelgifu (AS chart., S 1292; also named in the Liber vitae of the New Minster, Winchester) , and that in 957 or 958 Archbishop Oda separated Eadwig and Ælfgifu ‘because they were too closely related’ (ASC, s.a. 958, text D); and it is a reasonable presumption that these are the two women who feature in the life of St Dunstan. Ælfgifu has been identified further as the testatrix of a will (AS chart., S 1484), and on that basis as the sister of a certain Æthelweard, who has himself been identified as the person of that name appointed ealdorman of the western provinces c.977, and best known as the author of the Latin chronicle which bears his name. Since Æthelweard the chronicler is known to have been descended from Æthelred I, king of the West Saxons (r. 865–71), this identification would have the effect of making his putative sister Ælfgifu a member of a dispossessed branch of the royal family, and King Eadwig's third cousin once removed.In the account of Archbishop Oda which forms the first part of Byrhtferth's life of St Oswald (written c.1000), and which should be authoritative on a matter concerning a prelate who was St Oswald's uncle, it is related how King Eadwig was enamoured of a woman who was below his wife in rank, and eloped with her; whereupon Oda intervened, and managed to induce the king to mend his ways (Vita S. Oswaldi, i.2). In view of the obvious discrepancies, the possibility must exist that stories about Eadwig and his women became confused and conflated.
TreatyThis is the peace that King Alfred and KingGuthrum, and the witan of all the Englishnation, and all the people that are in EastAnglia, have all ordained and with oathsconfirmed, for themselves and for theirdescendants, as well for born as forunborn, who reck of Gods mercy or ofours.
Treaty• 878 Guthrum is baptized• Agrees to abandon campaign against Wessex• Guthrum retreats to Gloucester, then Cirencester and East AngliaIn the year of our Lords incarnation 880 … went among theEast Angles, where they divided out the country and began tosettle.’ Asser, Life of Alfred
Treaty1. Set land boundaries along rivers and a Roman road..2. If a man be slain, we estimate all equally dear, English and Danish, at 8 half marks of pure gold; except the ceorl who resides on rented land and their [the Danes] freedmen; they also are equally dear, either at 200 shillings.
Treaty3. And if a kings thegn be accused of manslaying, if he dare clear himself on oath, let him do that with 12 kings thegns. – For a man of lesser degree, 11 equals and one thegn – Similarly for civil suits above a threshold.
Alfred-Military Reforms• Fyrd and hidage• Burhs• Navy• Rotating army
Anglo-Saxon Armed GroupsLaw of Ine• “Thieves" less than seven• "band of marauders" [or "war-band"] 7-35• Here army >35• Fyrd Militia The military array of the whole country before the Conquest; also, the obligation to military service.[OED]
Fyrd Offa Alfred• Service for • Service for expeditions, expeditions, bridges and bridges and construction of construction of fortifications fortifications• Conscription as needed • Conscription on regular basis – standing army • Home guard to maintain burhs • Add thegns as mounted warriors to match Viking mobility
Support for fyrd Offa Alfred• Tribal hidage - tribute • Burghal hidage based on size of burhs • Taxation for ship building in later period
Burh• Defensible dwelling house → Fortified town• House populace during raids• Use prehistoric and Roman fortifications• Maintained by local population ~one man/four feet of perimeter
Burhs – Learning from the enemy• Vikings used Roman defenses at York in 867• Vikings build fortifications at Reading in 871 and Repton in 874• Use fortified bases as foci for obtaining local supplies and moving forward
Burhs - Location• Strategic points – River crossings – Road junctions• Use of Roman structures and roads• Within ~days travel from any point
Defensive Fortifications-Burhs Offa Alfred• Offa’s Dyke • Planned set of burhs to• Burhs insure regional defense – Combine bridges and • Some reuse Offa’s sites fortifications to secure rivers• Church and administrative centers?• May have been used by Vikings as administrative centers
Roman Mid-Saxon Viking Alfred fortified army base burh city or trading center Bedford X X X Cambridge X X X X Godmanchester X X X X /HuntingdonReuse of Hcreford X XFortifications Leicester X X X ? Lincoln X X X London X X X X Nottingham X X X Northampton X X X Oxford X Stamford ? X X Tamworth X Winchcombe ? Worcester X X (Canterbury) X X (Norwich) X X
Burhs – Further significance• Secure storage of supplies for fyrd leads to marketing areas and foster trade• Location of mints• Means for political control of the area – Provision of haga for king or local leaders – Coincidence of hidal area with later boroughs• Under Æthelflaed, Edward the Elder and Athelstan these became the basis for territorial extension
Burhs – Further significance II• Regular distributed defense• Basis for local administrative control• Haga grant of land within the burhs that conferred political obligation• Under Æthelflaed, Edward the Elder and Athelstan these became the basis for territorial extension
Design of burhs• Rectangular – Except where constrained by topography• Main street – Side streets at right angles• Units in 2-4-8-16 ratio• Use 16.5’ pole with 0.7% error
Alfred’s Navy• Use of captured Viking ships(885)• Destruction of ships at Viking bases (893, 895)• 896 De novo production of large 60 oar ships – Report 90 ships; 3380 sailors – Viking forces of 200 ships
Alfred and Anglo-Saxon Literature• Religion – Translation of Gregory, Boethius, etc.• History – Anglo-Saxon Chronicle• Law – Codification of Laws
Alfred’s Advisors• Grimbald, Benedictine (monk from France)• John the Old Saxon, Abbot of Athelney (monk from Saxony or France)• Plegemund, archbishop of Canterbury – Organize sees on shire basis• Werferth, bishop of Worcester• Asser, authorized biographer
After Alfred• Edward the elder, King of Wessex• Æthelred, ealdorman of Mercia called Myrcna hlaford (Lord of the Mercians) married to Alfred’s daughter, Æthelflæd called Myrcna hlœfdige (Lady of the Mercians) after Æthelred’s death
More Burhs• 25 burhs established by Edward and Æthelflæd – Chester, Manchester on Roman foundations – Buckingham (2), Hertford(2), Bedford, Nottingham used to attack Danes – Welsh border (temporary?) – Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, Hertford, Warwick, Maldon develop into later towns
Silver penny of Edward the Elder’ or Ethelflaed
Jorvik (York)• 866 Captured by Ivar the Boneless• Ragnall (d. 920), grandson of Ivar• Sihtric Cáech (d. 927), brother of Ragnall? – Allied w. Æthelstan• Erik Bloodaxe (d.954), King of Northumbria including York; last Viking King of York
Marriage as DiplomacyÆthelstans sister, Eadgifu marries Charles theSimple, King of the Franks922 Charles displaced by Robert, count of ParisEadgifu returns to England with her son, LouisdOutremer926 Sister, Eadhild marries Hugh, duke of theFranks and son of Count Robert
Marriage as Diplomacy929 Two sisters sent for Otto of Saxony tochoose; Otto marries Eadgyth. Other sister, Ælfgifu, marries into Burgundian royal familyOtto becomes Otto the Great, Holy RomanEmperor