Encyclopedia > Godwin, Earl of Wessex

  Article Content

Godwin, Earl of Wessex

Godwin (sometimes Godwine) (c.992-1053), son of the otherwise obscure Wulfnoth, was one of the most powerful lords in England under the Danish king Canute and his successors.

Created earl of Wessex in 1018, Godwin supported the accession of Canute's legitimate son Harthacanute (1040) and the subsequent restoration to the English kingship (1042) of the native royal house of Wessex under Edward the Confessor, who had spent most of the previous thirty years in Normandy.

Despite his alleged responsibility for the death (1037) of Edward's brother Alfred, Godwin secured the marriage (1045) of his daughter Edith (Eadgyth) to Edward. Godwin soon became the leader of opposition to growing Norman influence as Edward drew advisers, nobles and ecclesiastics from his former place of refuge.

Exiled from the kingdom in September 1051 for refusing to punish the people of Dover for a violent clash with the visiting Eustace, count of Boulogne, Godwin returned the following year with an armed force, compelling Edward to restore his earldom.

On his death Godwin was succeeded as earl of Wessex (an area then covering roughly the southernmost third of England) by his son Harold, later (1066) king of England.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... three members from each state or federal district are elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third elected after a four-yea ...

This page was created in 24.9 ms