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10-th century in English history

10-th century in English history

The church in the mid IXth century

So the Church made sure that it was closely linked with royalty and in the IXth century, Edmunds son, Edgar (959-975), started to reform the monasteries, and Cantebury, Sherban, Winchester and Worcester all became monastic[] cathedrals. The church was well-inderved, the total income of monasteries and nuneries by the early XIth century was far greater than the income of the king. The Anglo-Saxons Church had long provided missionaries, such as Bonyface and Wilbred to help to convert Germany and the lower countries to Christianity. And that was the sign of great vitality of English Christianity in set others to Scandinavia in the late 10th and the early 11th centuries. This religious revival[] provided a literary and cultural activity, which rebuilt itself in brilliant manuscript illumination, and it was stonecarving and embroidery so the stonecarving and embroidery started in the early 11th century.

The Kingdom of Wessex had by now become what was later termed the Old English Monarchy. This state was still very much centered on Wessex, Ethelstan alone among the 10th century rulers and he spent much time in Mercia. Wessex was administrated from its 4 partland shires: Hampshire, Willshire, Dorset and Somerset the regions, where the kings spent most of their time. However, pretty relations of nationhood was indicated in 957, when the Mercians and Northumbrians renounced eligence to Edward in favour of his brother Edgar. The scheme was healed, although Edgar also became King of Wessex on Edwins death in 959. The eligence of Northumbria to who never ruled at Winchester remained uncertain until well into the 11th century.

The county prospered, however, as a result of agricultural advances and the production of wool and cloth England became wealthy by the standarts of contemporary Northern Europe. And, of course, it became a tempting price to foreign rulers. The power of the Old English Monarchy was displayed in 973, when other British rulers made a formal submission[] to king Edgar at Chester.

The peace and untiy of England was not to survive Edgars death in 975. The reason was that his both sons were too young to rule. The elder, Edward, still succeded, but he was unpopular and he was murded three years later, in 978, by the supporters of the younger son, Ethelred. And he was called Ethelred the Unready, because he was not ready by his age to rule the country. Ethelred has been the subject of scorn throughout history, not least because of the hostile tone of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. In fact Ethelred made major effort to improve the state defences, but he lacked the presence and natural authority. So he was not !! J trusted by the people, so he lacked the natural authority to command or trust. And, of course, consequently this limited his ability to deal with the next crisis to hit the British Isles and it was the return of the Vikings.

England under the recent kings of Wessex, Scotland, under its outstanding 9th century ruler Kenneth[Scottish leader], much of Wales under the rulers of Kenneth had all experienced a welcome measure of statehood. But so two had devided lands, enabling them again to organize themselves into the large armies, so the armies of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales cant be orgainized as one army to fight the Vikings, because they lacked experience in fighting as a large army. Soon after Ethelreds assetion[] the Danes started mounting major attacks, in one of which they defeated the Essex militia[ , ] under ea(r)ldorman Brington at Meldon in 991. Ethelred used a mixture of a very up-to-date thing a mixture of dribes and violence, such as, for example, a pitiless massacres of English resident Danes in 1002 to maintain his power, so he simply killed their king. The Danes retaliated[] with fearsome vigmereance over (of a) decade and in 1013 the resistance collapsed. The following year Ethelred was briefly driven into Normandie by king Swein of Denmark, who was reconsidered but never crowned as king of England. Ethelred, however, returned on Sweins death, but the struggle was continued by Swein s son, Cnut(Canute, Chnut, Knut).

So while the resistance was hamped[] by divisions among the English, especially that between Ethelred and his eldest son, Edmund Ironside violent and severe king. After Ethelreds death England was devided between Cnut and Edmund in 1016 by the Peace of Alney: Cnut received Mercia and Northumbria. Edmund, however, died and Cnut became king of all England from 1016 up to 1035! And England was now almost by default a part of greater Scandinavian Empire.

Cnut following the death of his older brother Harold had also become King of Denmark for a short while, and thereby the newly conquered Norway, so he was a very powerful king at that time. The Vikings now largeraly pulled the Western sea bord of Europe including Normandy, which still bears their name as call of the Northern, so Normandy means the call(coal) of the Northmen. Cnut ruled all these dominants from England where he largely followed by the visible(peaceable)-?? practice of the local kings of Wessex, although he introduced a number of Danes in aristocracy and devided the kingdom into a small number of counties or at that time they were called earldoms. The earldem of Wessex was given to Godwin, an English protegy of Cnut who married a Danish princess and gave Danish names to four of his 6th sons, including Harold. And Anglo-Viking aristocracy was being created at that time and England started to look increasingly overseas to the land of her Scandinavian conquerers.

The End of the Anglo-Saxon England

So Cnut died in the year 1035 and there were several possible successors. The Wessex dinasty was represented by Ethelreds younger sons Edward and Elthred. Cnut in his turn had 2 sons by two different wives, and they were Harold and Halferchant. Cnut had wanted Halferhat to succeede to his own Empire and his Empire included: Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway), Normandie and all England. So, but while Hatherchart delayed in Denmark, the Witan appointed Harold as (a) regent and in 1037 the Witan made Harold king. He didnt live long and when he died, in 1040, Hatherchat as the second son was recalled, but he died 2 years later. Very violent times there were

Ethelreds son Edward had been living for a year at the English court and in 1042 he was made(probably elected) king. And he is known under very prominent name Edward the Confessor. He lived quite long (1042-1066). So Edward the Confessor inherited the strongest government in the 11th century Europe. Edward had a clerical staff of priests, headed by a chief clerk whose office developed into that of the medieval C(h)ouncellor and then later it was formed into Parliament and now into the Privy Council, it existed up to the year 1970 (members:the King, the Queen). One of their duties was to keep records. From the late Anglo-Saxon period comes evidence of very detailed surveys recording land Tenna-?? and tax obligations.

The government changed greatly and so did the English society. The mid 9th to mid 11th century saw rapid growth in the population and economy, not surprisingly more people meant bigger counts. By the conquest there were English towns in a sence that we understand the towns today(large concentration of people, markets and tradesmen, groups of craftsmen in specialised quarters, numerous churches and the most prominent figure of a modern town is extending suburbs). The country-side was also changing, though its hard to trace the changes clearly. Scattered farms developed, however, into smaller villages. Agriculture was becoming more complicated and more complex. By the year 1066 many parts of England had common fields (was farmed by peasants and the results of the farming was devided among them; also they paid tax from the common field). Peasant society was becoming more satisfied and pleased and lots were making greater demands on their tenna.

Edwards reign although brief, though many historians consider its a long one, of course, youve put them /// twidders of somebodys reign, so but still it was brief one, if we compare it to Victorias reign, it was very prosperous for Britain. But it was overshadowed by a great problem(the problem of succesion). When Edward died, and he died childless, and the year was 1066, the Witan elected as their king Harold Godwinson, he was earl of Wessex, who claimed that Edward had made his death-bed promise of throne. King Harold came to the throne facing another problem. Duke William of Normandy, the head of a warlike[spelling-??] people had a claim to the English succession on the very same grounds, that he was the late king Edward the Confessors second cousin. However, he allerged[] that, when visiting Edward in 1051, the old king had solemnly promised the throne to him. So he had 2 reasons to become a king of England: 1)he was his second cousin and another that king Edward had promised him the throne. And with a strong army(it was another good reason) he assembled on the northern side of the English Channel and he was out to get in.

To any invasion by William Harold concentrated his forces among the south coast. Meanwhile Duke Williams fleet, which had been delayed by very unpleasant weather, landed at Evancy on 28st of September. Harold didnt expect that and he rushed southwards. But the preparations, which he had made two months earlier(so he had waited for 2 months for the Duke to come), had fallen apart. The reason is very clear: the soldiers were tired, there was not enough food etc. And the whole of his army was exhausted by the battles in Scotland. And on the 14th of October 1066 the English and Norman armies met near a very famous place, Hastings. Harolds forces gathered on the Crestally Hill and formed a wall of shields. The battle lasted all day, and at first the English position seemed quite strong, but apparently was lost, through different reasons, but the 1streason was, of course, the lack of discipline rather than the lack of force. And gradually the English troops were broken up. The centre held untill dask, but the outcome was already clear, when Harold fell on the spot marked in later centuries by the High by Battle Abbey. So Harold was killed, and later there was built a High Alter of Battle Abbey on the spot where proposely Harold had been killed.

William adnavced to Dover and then to Canterbury, where he received the submission of Winchester. But the main goal for him was, of course, London. But he met opposition at London Bridge. So William encircled then the city leaving a trial of delastation. What happened during three weeks of this (en)circling in London? Starvation came into London, and so English nobles offered their fuilty and on Christmas Day(and that was the 25th of December, 1066)Duke William of Normandy was acclaimed king in a church(Westminster Abbey, which built by Edward the Confessor). And at last some stability was coming to England.

The Normands recognized that although the country they had conquered was wealthy, a proper administrative system had to be established to ensure future prospert. And indeed it became a time of great power building by a people, who were basicly warriors and they didnt know anything but war. Castles were built to emphasise the Norman(s) presence and authorities.

Castles were initially[ ] earth and timber constructions, which could be quickly erected in areas, where defence was considered of immediate importance. These castles laid a gab way to more permanent stone castles, such as a very famous tower in London, which is called the White Tower, and another very famous castle coming from the Norman time, it is Windsor Castle, which is not far from London.

Some cathedrals soon appeared too, and again those such as Darem Cathedral are testimony []to Norman architectural skills. All these buildings were evidence of the conquerers control providing centres for both: political and religious rule.

Now too came the beginnings of a defined social structure with Norman lords, the masters, the lower orders very much their servants. Creating what was to become known historically as the FEUDAL SYSTEM, the lords lurched support and protection of their people and provided them with land in return for their loyal service(principally, this service was military). For the understanding, what this military service meant, Norman lords were obligated to provide a number of knights for service rufly proportioned to the size of their estate. Despite the keeping problems of feudalism, newly introduced lords, highered taxes and different tuns, the nation still, very slowly, but it started to become united.

But while the common people adapted to this new system, the Norman nobility fought among themselves. Nobles and monarchs wanted more power and more land. Inheritence at that time was almost all disputed[], leading to the establishing of a rule, under which the eldest male child automatically enjoyed a rightful claim and a poor younger children had nothing.

Even this wasnt done without problems. William I (1066-1087) died after being thrown from his horse in the French town of Monte, which he had burnt as a result of a border conflict. William left Normandy to his eldest son, Robert, and England to his second son, William II, believing that he was the right man to rule over a very often troublesome country. Robert, however, wanted to be lord of the two countries. He and William(1087-1105), known as Rufus(=red, cz he had not only red hair, but a red face as he drank a lot), became bitterphones. Eventually Robert recites Normandy to William in 1096 in order to rate fun to inmbar on the first crusade. He wanted to be famous and he decided to go on a first crusade. William was a very warrior person and he had an impressive military record. He was successful against Norman rebel(l) and the French army. He would recognize overlord in Scotland, but William earned a reputation not only of a fine soldier, but the patron of fine buildings too. His greatest achievements was Westminster Hall, whose vast interior is still used on state occasions.

William died in 1105 in a very suspicious hunting accident in the New Forest, while he was hunting out with his brother Henry. Henry I moved quickly to secure power and eventually defeated elder brother Robert in 1106. Robert was imprisoned in Cardiff, where he died in 1134. Henry was not the man with whom to come into conflict. Anyone, for instance, considered responsible for irregularity in minting money was blinded and costrated. The wars Henry was forced to wage[] in Normandy were a considerable g(d)rain on his income, on his money resources. He was poorer that Rufus had been, but this was conpensated for his efficient management. Henry was also respected more by the Church than his brother. Despite talk of siring more than 20 children only two of whom were legiment[]. His other legiment son William died at sea at 1119. But the Norman kings like their Anglo-Saxons predecessors were closely with the Church and supported the reforming popes of the late 11th centuy.

New religious orders were intoduced to England and Henry I married Matilda, daughter of Melcom III of Scotland in 1100. And by 1107 his throne was finally secure, so it is now quite clear why he was also king and overlord of Scotland, because he had married the daughter of king. With his imprisoned brother and a victory over the Church to appoint his own bishops, because he went into the conflict with Church: who should appoint bishops, the Church or the king? So he won it. The king felt a confident ruler and he felt very secure. He had also sild[] a treaty with Archbishop of Anthem of Canterbury, under which bishops must pay homage to[] Henry for their estate, that accomponied their offuce. It was the first time in history and probably the last one, when the bishops paid the monarch. The deal ended the suedy, which began under William an gave Henry the support of the pope.

Henry I died in France in 1135 from food poisoning after going fishing. Only one child his elegiment son Robert, Earl of Glocester, was at his death bed. Because his older elegiment son was dead, Henry left behind him another very disputed inheritance. His daughter Matilda had married Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 1128. And his fathers death made Matilda and, of course, her husband rightful rulers of England, because his elegiment son Robert was elegiment , ?? But Geoffrey was at that time at war with Normandy, and he never set foot in England. So far from uniting the kingdoms of England and Anjou, Henrys death led to 20 years of civil war. Matilda despite her husband detachment was a very powerful lady and she was determined to take the throne probably not for her husband or for herself.

And one man was equally determined she shouldnt take the throne. As soon as he heard of Henrys death. Henrys nephew, Stephen of Blois, son of Williams I daughter, Adella, sailed from Boulon to seek power and he was crowned king by Archbishop of Canterbury. Ironically, as always goes in history, the woman Stephan chose for his Queen was also called Matilda, so he had a rival[], who was Matilda and a wife, who was Matilda. The period of his reign is known as the Anarchy, when Christ and the Angels slander and not without good reasons. Stephen was recrowned king in 1141 after an astonishing year, which had seen him defeated, captured, deposed and finally victorious. In february he was overwhelmed by the superior forces of Matilda led by her half-brother Robert of Gloucester. Refusing to slee Stephen fought until he was captured. He was held in Robert of Gloucesters castle while Matilda made her way to London to seek the succession. But she met a very strong resistance. The citizens of London already wary of her became hostile, when she demanded large sums of money from them. And while preparing for her coronation the Londoners rose and drove her out of the city. Stephens supporters led by his wife, Matilda, defeated her army outside Winchester and captured Robert of Gloucester in whose castle Stephen was. Robert was exchanged for Stephen, who once again sat on the throne victorious, because the Londoners didnt accept Matilda.

In 1148, seven years later, Stephen was recrowned, Matilda left England and returned to her husband in Normandy dropping her claim to the throne. King Stephen died in 1154, two years after his beloved wife Matilda. The question of succession had been resolved only a year earlier, when Stephen had dramatically disinherited his son, Ustas, in favour of Henry Plantagenet, son of his older enemy and claimer to the throne, Matilda. And actually it was the comprise, why Matilda had left England in 1148, because Stephen had promised, that her son would become next king of England.

And a new royal House now had the task of trying to end English Anarchy, and it was the House of Plantegenet. The crowning of king Henry II in 1154 healed the rift between Englands royal rivals and these rivals were Stephen and Matilda. The death of Ustas, son and hier to Stephen paid the way for a compromise deal, in which Henry took the throne. Stephens second son, William, was paid off very handsomely with large grounds, with large tracks of land. Henrys father was Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, and the dinasty consequently became known as the Plantegenet.

Although king of England, Henry was much concerned with matters in France, after all, he was born there, and he didnt visit England until he was 9 years old. And he eventually died in France. Henry certainly had his work cut out. There were troublesome Scots to contend with as well as very troublesome Celts and greedy and unpredictable barrers from the Scottish borders to the Pyrenees. Energetically he sackled the celtegies that dolmed[ ] his reign. Yet his new rule swift clean approach,which undoubted the House to restore some order to England is largerly forgotten by history. Henry is remembered as the king who was responsible for the death of /// Thomas Becket. But he is not remembered as the king who put the end of the Anarchy in the country. Who was Becket? Becket was the son of a London merchant who rose to become Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry was convinced, he had a tay churchment in the form of Thomas Becket, who was Henrys personal and loyal friend. On that count the appointment suited Henry well as he was aiming to reduce(renew) the power of the Church. He wanted an end to the system, in which the Church organized its own lands and often they were bigger than the Kings lands. Likewise Henry felt flue in the state of his own authority. He was too sure of Thomas Beckets loyalty.

Henry /// into the Church was known as the Constitutions of Clarington of 1164. It was a written document and it contained 15 points. There, in those Constitutions, Becket and his bishops ought the proposals for two days before caming in. Almost immediately Becket regretted his decision and stood once again for the intract of the Church, and he became in opposition to the King. Consequently Henry had Becket arrested and in 1165 the countrys most emenant and very prominent churchman sled into exire. It was five years before his return to England to review his battle of will with Henry. In a sit of altrage at his court in Normandie Henry burst out: Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?? In a response four knights made their way to England, found Becket in Canterbury Cathedral and on 29th of December 1170 slade him with their swords. It was a disastrous fact, that an elegement and illument churchman was killed in a cathedral. Henry was grief-stricken, when he heard about the killing. He even imprisoned himself in a room for three days. And, as it all goes in history, three days later after his death Thomas Becket was canonized. And Henry always maintained that he had never ordered the killing, but he is remembered in the history as a king, who had killed a churchman in the church.

If Henry believed his worst enemies were abroad, he was sadly mistaken. In the last years of this life his wife and three of his sons plotted against him. Eleanor(of Aquitaine, his wife) imprisoned the knights misstress, when his eldest son, who was also called Henry, was crowned successor in 1169, his second son Richard was insensed by a considential work both later joined forces with Philip II of France and waded war on their father. John, Henrys favourite son, joined them. By now both, Henry the younger and Geoffrey, Henrys other son, were dead. The aggressors compelled a heart-broken king Henry to accept a shamefully humiliating peace. He couldnt take that and a month later he died.

Richard was crowned King of England in 1189 in Westminster. It was one of the few occasions he visited the country during his reign. It is calculated that during a decade of his rule he spent less than a year with his foot on English soil, so he was always at war with someone. Nor was it the happy occasion he might have wished. By his eld(own) degree Jews were bent from the coronation. With some turned up they were attacked by Richards people. Many Jews were killed during the coronation and their belief(though released-??) was badly damaged and injured. The incident sparkled a pogrom in London and Jews were routed out for a century out of London.

Richard, despite his foreign travels, was a very popular king. He won the name Richard Lionheart, although his personal brevity is always the question, because many historians think, that in many cases he simply left the battle field and he didnt fight for it. It was the lewer[] of the first crusade, that took Richard overseas. Jerusalem,at that time and still it is the centre of Christianity, was once again under control of Muslims and it was led by ///. Prompted by attacks of pilgrims the both sanction another crusade. Richard though stayed in England long enough to raise taxes to pay for this Third Crusade. He jokingly said that he would have sold London if only he could find a buyer to London. In 1198 he set off for the Holy Land with his old ely, Philip II of France. And in 1199 near the castle of Chale Richard was hit in the shoulder and consequently he died.

Richards younger brother John succeeded him to the throne. He was an awful king for England. He was stretcherous, empitious, foolish and unwise. John found a capacity to eliminate one and all. Before his succession in 1199, he had been sent to Ireland by his father to rule. He and his competence rudely laughed aloud at the beard worn by the Irish chieftain, who came to pay homage to him. His rule there was disaster.