Ealdgyth

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Ealdgyth

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Mercia, England
Death: Died in Rhuddlan Castle,Carnarvan,,Wales
Place of Burial: Spalding, Lincoln, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia and Ælfgifu
Wife of Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, King of the Britons and Harold Godwinsson, King of England
Mother of Nest ferch Gruffydd; Idwal ap Gruffydd; Maredudd ap Gruffydd; Owain Gruffudd; Harold Haraldsson and 1 other
Sister of Eadwyne, Duke of Mercia; Morcar, Earl of Northumbria and Burgheard

Occupation: Queen of England, Queen consort of Wales then England., Queen of Wales, Princess of Mercia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ealdgyth

Ealdgyth of Mercia, not to be confused with Ealdgyth of Northumbria.

Father: Ælfgar, son of Leofric and Godgifu (Lady Godiva) Mother: Ælfgifu, daughter of Morcar & Ealdgyth

Married: 1. Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, three children:

  • Maredudd,
  • Idwal,
  • Nest (Nesta)

2. Harold Godwinson, one son together:

  • Harold

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/WALES.htm#Gruffydddied1063

   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…et Morcarus comites, filii Algari…Edgivam 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).

Gruffydd & his second wife had three children:

ii) MAREDUDD (-1070). The Annales Cambriæ record war in 1068 betweeen "filios Kenwin, scilicet Bledin et Ruallo" and "filios Grifini, scilicet Maredut et Idwal" in which the latter were defeated[133].

iii) IDWAL (-1070). The Annales Cambriæ record war in 1068 betweeen "filios Kenwin, scilicet Bledin et Ruallo" and "filios Grifini, scilicet Maredut et Idwal" in which the latter were defeated[134].

iv) NESTA . m OSBERN FitzRichard of Richard's Castle on the Herefordshire/Shropshire border.

(a) NESTA [Agnes] . A manuscript narrating the history of Brecknock priory records that the founder “Bernard de Nefmarche, Norman” married “Neste qe fut apele Agnes, la file Griffin le fiz Lewelin…cruel tyrant de Gales” by whom he fathered “Mael…noble chevalier” whom it was claimed was not his son and who was deprived of Brecknock in favour of “la file [de] Neste, Sibile” wife of “Miles…fiz Watir le conestable de Gloucestre e de Hereford”[135]. m BERNARD de Neufmarché, son of GEOFFROY de Neufmarché & his wife Ada --- (-1125). “Bernardus de Novo-mercato” donated property to Breckon priory, for the soul of “Philippi filii mei”, by charter dated to the reign of King Henry I[136]. --------- Ealdgyth m secondly ([1064/early 1066][259]) 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.

Ealdgyth of Mercia's parents: ÆLFGAR (-[1062]). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names “Algarus 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:

EALDGYTH of Mercia, widow of GRUFFYDD ap Llywellyn Prince of Gwynedd and Powys, daughter of ÆLFGAR Earl of Mercia & his first wife Ælfgifu. Florence of Worcester´s genealogies name "regina Aldgitha, comitis Ælfgari filia" as mother of King Harold´s son "Haroldum"[2049]. Orderic Vitalis records that "Edwinus…et Morcarus comites, filii Algari…Edgivam sororem eorum" married firstly "Gritfridi…regis Guallorum" and secondly "Heraldo"[2050]. Her parentage and marriage with King Harold is 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[2051].

King Harold II & his wife had one son:

1. HAROLD (posthumously Chester Dec 1066-after 1098). Florence of Worcester´s genealogies name "regina Aldgitha, comitis Ælfgari filia" as mother of King Harold´s son "Haroldum"[2059]. He settled at the court of Magnus II Haraldsen King of Norway. William of Malmesbury records that "Harold the son of Harold" accompanied Magnus III King of Norway when the latter invaded Orkney in 1098, captured the Isle of Man and Anglesey, forced the flight of Hugh Earl of Chester and killed Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury[2060].

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20AngloSaxon%20&%20Danish%20Kings.htm#_Toc214769434

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20AngloSaxon%20nobility.htm#Leofricdied1057A

--------------------

-------------------- Is mentioned as a widow even prior to her supposed 2nd marriage.

Sources: The book, 'Kings & Queens of Great Britain' The book, 'The Oxford History of the British Monarchy' The book, 'Wales' -------------------- more news to follow -------------------- more news to follow -------------------- dith Swannesha (Old English: Ealdgȳð Swann hnesce, "Edith [the] Gentle Swan"; c.1025 – c. 1086), also known as Edith Swanneschals or Edith the Fair,[1] is best known as the unwedded consort of King Harold II of England. Her common name comes from a historical misinterpretation that her nickname represented Old English swann hnecca, "swan neck"[citation needed]. She is sometimes confused with Ældgyth, daughter of Ealdorman Ælfgar of Mercia, and Harold's wife.

She bore Harold several children and was his common law wife (according to Danish law, by a civil "handfast" marriage) for over 20 years. Though she was not considered Harold's wife by the Church, there is no indication that the children she bore by Harold were treated as illegitimate by the culture at the time. In fact, one of Harold Godwinesson and Edith Swan-Neck's daughters, Gyda Haraldsdatter, (also known as Gytha of Wessex), was addressed as "princess" and was married to the Grand Duke Of Kiev, Vladimir Monomakh.

Though King Harold II is said to have lawfully married Edith of Mercia, the widow of the Welsh ruler Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, (whom he defeated in battle), in 1064, this is seen by most modern scholars as a marriage of political means, or even dismissed as misunderstanding or propaganda.[citation needed] Since at the time Mercia and Wales were allied against England, the political marriage would give the English claim in two very troublesome regions, as well as give Harold Godwinesson a marriage deemed "legitimate" by the clergy of the Church, something his longtime common law wife, Edith Swan-Neck unfortunately could not provide.

Edith Swan-Neck would be remembered in history and folklore for one very important thing: it was she who identified Harold after his defeat at The Battle of Hastings. Harold's body was horrifically mutilated after the battle by the Norman army of William the Conqueror and despite the pleas by Harold's own mother for William to surrender Harold's body for burial, the Norman army refused even though Harold's mother offered William Harold's weight in gold. It was then that Edith Swan-Neck walked through the carnage of battle so that she may identify Harold by markings on his chest known only to her. It was because of Edith Swan-Neck's identification of Harold's body that Harold was given a Christian burial by the monks at Waltham. This legend was recounted in the well-known poem by Heinrich Heine, "The Battlefield of Hastings" (1855), which features Edith Swan-neck as the main character and claims that the 'marks known only to her' were in fact love bites.

Historical fiction

The relationship between Harold Godwinson and Edith Swan-neck is the subject of the novel Harold the King by Helen Hollick.

Ealdgyth was portrayed by Janet Suzman in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series Theatre 625.

References

^ Her first name is also spelled Ealdgyth, Aldgyth, or Eddeva, and sometimes appears as Ēadgȳð and Ēadgifu. Sources

A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World, 3500 BC - 1603 AD by Simon Schama, BBC/Miramax, 2000 ISBN 0-7868-6675-6 The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06: Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English in Twenty Volumes by Kuno Francke http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12473 Great Tales from English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionheart, and More by Robert Lacey, 2004 ISBN 031610910X House of Godwine: The History of Dynasty by Emma Mason, 2004 ISBN 1852853891 Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 176-2, 176A-4, 177-1 Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Swanneck" Categories: 1080s deaths | House of Godwin | Anglo-Saxon women | 11th century in England | Women in Medieval warfare | 11th-century English people -------------------- Ealdgyth was also called Algatha of Mercia. She married Gruffyd ap Llywelyn, Brenin Cymru, son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll, King of Gwynedd and Deheubarth and Angharad verch Maredudd o Deheubarth; later she married Harald II Godwinesson, King of England, son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex and Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, in 1066--and she was made a widow during that year (as a result of the Battle of Hastings)..

See "My Lines"

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p59.htm#i7151 )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm ) -------------------- died after 1066 Flanders

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_of_Mercia -------------------- English royalty Preceded by Edith of Wessex Queen consort of the English 4 January – 14 October 1066 Vacant Title next held by Matilda of Flanders

This article is about the wife of Harold II. For his unwedded consort, also named Ealdgyth or Edith, see Edith the Fair. Ealdgyth Queen consort of England Tenure January 1066 - 14 October 1066 Spouse Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Harold Godwinson Issue Maredudd ap Gruffydd Idwal ap Gruffydd Nesta ferch Gruffydd Ulf of England Harold of England Father Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia Mother Ælfgifu

Ealdgyth (fl. c. 1057–1066), also Aldgyth or in modern English, Edith, was a daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, the wife of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063), ruler of all Wales, and later the wife and queen consort of Harold Godwineson, king of England in 1066.[1]

Contents

   1 Family
   2 Marriages and issue
       2.1 Gruffudd ap Llywelyn
       2.2 Harold Godwinson
   3 In fiction
   4 Notes
   5 References

Family

Ealdgyth was the daughter of Ælfgar, who had been earl of East Anglia a number of times in the 1050s and was appointed earl of Mercia in c. 1057, in succession of his father Earl Leofric. Ælfgar's wife Ælfgifu was probably her mother, and Eadwine, the later earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, were her brothers.[1]

In 1055, Ælfgar was exiled on the charge of treason. He went to Ireland to muster troops and formed an alliance with Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, who had been king of Gwynedd (1039–1055) but assumed the sovereignty of all Wales in 1055. Ælfgar and Gruffudd invaded England and plundered Hereford, bringing great humiliation to Earl Ralph, who needed to call in external support to repel the invaders. When peace was made, Ælfgar resumed office before succeeding his father as earl of Mercia in c. 1057.[2] Marriages and issue Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Silver penny depicting King Harold II of England, the second husband of Edith of Mercia

   See also Gruffydd and Harold

It was presumably in the year of her father's appointment (c. 1057) that Ealdgyth married his political ally, King Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. William of Jumièges describes her as a woman of considerable beauty.[1] Walter Map also wrote of a beautiful lady much beloved by the king and so he may have had Ealdgyth in mind.[3] On her marriage, she was given a modest amount of land in England, though the only estate which can be certainly identified as having belonged to her is one at Binley, Warwickshire. She bore the king a daughter called Nest. Nest later became the wife of Osbern fitz Richard, a marcher lord on the Herefordshire border, who acquired Binley.[1][4] Nest and Osbern had a daughter who married Bernard de Neufmarché, also a marcher lord.[3] The chronicles also record two of Gruffudd's sons, Maredudd and Ithel, probably for Idwal, who died in 1069, and a third son may be Owain ap Gruffudd (d. 1059).[3]

The alliance between Ealdgyth's father and husband was of great significance in resisting the growing power of the Godwinesons. On the death of Earl Ralph in 1057, Hereford was added to Harold's earldom. The following year, Ælfgar was outlawed for a second time, but he was restored to office before long. Ælfgar is last heard of in 1062 and seems to have died by 1063, when Harold Godwineson invaded Wales. Gruffudd was killed in the event.[2] Harold Godwinson See also: Battle of Hastings

Ealdgyth later became the wife and queen consort of her late husband's enemy Harold. The date of the marriage is unknown, but it must have taken place at some stage before the Conquest, whether before or after Harold's coronation as king of England (January 1066). It seems that Harold's choice of bride was "aimed not only at securing the support of the Mercian house for himself in his royal ambitions, but also at weakening the links between that same house and the rulers of north Wales".[1] In any event, Ealdgyth was soon to be widowed for a second time. In October that year, Harold was defeated and died in the Battle of Hastings, which was fought against the invading forces of William, Duke of Normandy, who would subsequently ascend the English throne. At the news of Harold's death, Ealdgyth's brothers went to London to fetch her and immediately sent her to Chester for shelter. It is unknown what happened to her thereafter.[1] Harold had a number of children with his common law wife Edith the Fair, but his marriage to Ealdgyth may not have produced any offspring. It has been suggested that Ealdgyth may have been the mother of Harold's son Harold, but this possibility is not universally accepted.[1][2][5] In fiction

Edith is the main character in the historical romance The Wind From Hastings, which was written by Morgan Llywelyn, and published in 1978.

Eadgyth's story is told in 'Peaceweaver', a novel by Judith Arnopp published in November 2009. Notes

   Maund, "Ealdgyth (fl. c.1057–1066)"
   Williams, "Ælfgar, earl of Mercia (d. 1062?)".
   Walker, "Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063)"
   Edith appears in the Domesday Book as Algid uxor Grifin. Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900, Volume 01
   "Harold II". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12360
    
   . (Subscription or UK public library membership
    
   required.)

References

   "Harold II". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12360
    
   . (Subscription or UK public library membership
    
   required.)
   Maund, K. L. (2004). "Ealdgyth (fl. c.1057–1066)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
   Walker, David (2004). "Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 Dec 2008.
   Williams, Ann (2004). "Ælfgar, earl of Mercia (d. 1062?)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 Oct 2008.

-------------------- English royalty Preceded by Edith of Wessex Queen consort of the English 4 January – 14 October 1066 Vacant Title next held by Matilda of Flanders

This article is about the wife of Harold II. For his unwedded consort, also named Ealdgyth or Edith, see Edith the Fair. Ealdgyth Queen consort of England Tenure January 1066 - 14 October 1066 Spouse Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Harold Godwinson Issue Maredudd ap Gruffydd Idwal ap Gruffydd Nesta ferch Gruffydd Ulf of England Harold of England Father Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia Mother Ælfgifu

Ealdgyth (fl. c. 1057–1066), also Aldgyth or in modern English, Edith, was a daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, the wife of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063), ruler of all Wales, and later the wife and queen consort of Harold Godwineson, king of England in 1066.[1]

Contents

   1 Family
   2 Marriages and issue
       2.1 Gruffudd ap Llywelyn
       2.2 Harold Godwinson
   3 In fiction
   4 Notes
   5 References

Family

Ealdgyth was the daughter of Ælfgar, who had been earl of East Anglia a number of times in the 1050s and was appointed earl of Mercia in c. 1057, in succession of his father Earl Leofric. Ælfgar's wife Ælfgifu was probably her mother, and Eadwine, the later earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, were her brothers.[1]

In 1055, Ælfgar was exiled on the charge of treason. He went to Ireland to muster troops and formed an alliance with Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, who had been king of Gwynedd (1039–1055) but assumed the sovereignty of all Wales in 1055. Ælfgar and Gruffudd invaded England and plundered Hereford, bringing great humiliation to Earl Ralph, who needed to call in external support to repel the invaders. When peace was made, Ælfgar resumed office before succeeding his father as earl of Mercia in c. 1057.[2] Marriages and issue Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Silver penny depicting King Harold II of England, the second husband of Edith of Mercia

   See also Gruffydd and Harold

It was presumably in the year of her father's appointment (c. 1057) that Ealdgyth married his political ally, King Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. William of Jumièges describes her as a woman of considerable beauty.[1] Walter Map also wrote of a beautiful lady much beloved by the king and so he may have had Ealdgyth in mind.[3] On her marriage, she was given a modest amount of land in England, though the only estate which can be certainly identified as having belonged to her is one at Binley, Warwickshire. She bore the king a daughter called Nest. Nest later became the wife of Osbern fitz Richard, a marcher lord on the Herefordshire border, who acquired Binley.[1][4] Nest and Osbern had a daughter who married Bernard de Neufmarché, also a marcher lord.[3] The chronicles also record two of Gruffudd's sons, Maredudd and Ithel, probably for Idwal, who died in 1069, and a third son may be Owain ap Gruffudd (d. 1059).[3]

The alliance between Ealdgyth's father and husband was of great significance in resisting the growing power of the Godwinesons. On the death of Earl Ralph in 1057, Hereford was added to Harold's earldom. The following year, Ælfgar was outlawed for a second time, but he was restored to office before long. Ælfgar is last heard of in 1062 and seems to have died by 1063, when Harold Godwineson invaded Wales. Gruffudd was killed in the event.[2] Harold Godwinson See also: Battle of Hastings

Ealdgyth later became the wife and queen consort of her late husband's enemy Harold. The date of the marriage is unknown, but it must have taken place at some stage before the Conquest, whether before or after Harold's coronation as king of England (January 1066). It seems that Harold's choice of bride was "aimed not only at securing the support of the Mercian house for himself in his royal ambitions, but also at weakening the links between that same house and the rulers of north Wales".[1] In any event, Ealdgyth was soon to be widowed for a second time. In October that year, Harold was defeated and died in the Battle of Hastings, which was fought against the invading forces of William, Duke of Normandy, who would subsequently ascend the English throne. At the news of Harold's death, Ealdgyth's brothers went to London to fetch her and immediately sent her to Chester for shelter. It is unknown what happened to her thereafter.[1] Harold had a number of children with his common law wife Edith the Fair, but his marriage to Ealdgyth may not have produced any offspring. It has been suggested that Ealdgyth may have been the mother of Harold's son Harold, but this possibility is not universally accepted.[1][2][5] In fiction

Edith is the main character in the historical romance The Wind From Hastings, which was written by Morgan Llywelyn, and published in 1978.

Eadgyth's story is told in 'Peaceweaver', a novel by Judith Arnopp published in November 2009. Notes

   Maund, "Ealdgyth (fl. c.1057–1066)"
   Williams, "Ælfgar, earl of Mercia (d. 1062?)".
   Walker, "Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063)"
   Edith appears in the Domesday Book as Algid uxor Grifin. Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900, Volume 01
   "Harold II". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12360
    
   . (Subscription or UK public library membership
    
   required.)

References

   "Harold II". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12360
    
   . (Subscription or UK public library membership
    
   required.)
   Maund, K. L. (2004). "Ealdgyth (fl. c.1057–1066)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
   Walker, David (2004). "Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d. 1063)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 Dec 2008.
   Williams, Ann (2004). "Ælfgar, earl of Mercia (d. 1062?)"
    
   . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 Oct 2008.
view all 16

Ealdgyth's Timeline

1034
1034
Mercia, England
1036
1036
Age 2
1050
1050
Age 16
Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales
1055
April 7, 1055
Age 21
Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales
1057
1057
Age 23
Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales
1064
1064
Age 30
Of Wessex, England
1066
December 1066
Age 32
December 1066
Age 32
England
1086
1086
Age 52
Rhuddlan Castle,Carnarvan,,Wales
1086
Age 52
Spalding, Lincoln, England