Leofric, Earl of Mercia (968 - 1057) MP

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Nicknames: "Leofric", "Earl of Mercia"
Birthplace: Mercia, England
Death: Died in King's Bromley, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation: Founder of the church of Coventry, Earl of Mercia, EARL OF MERCIA, founder of the Church of Coventry, Earl of Leicester, Earl of Chester, Lord of Coventry, King of Mercia
Managed by: Margaret, (C)
Last Updated:

About Leofric, Earl of Mercia

Leofric (b 968, d 31 Aug or 30 Sep 1057) Earl of Mercia

Parents: Leofwine & his wife Spouse: "Lady Godiva" Godgifu Child: Ælfgar of Mercia

LINKS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leofric,_Earl_of_Mercia http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20AngloSaxon%20nobility.htm#Leofricdied1057B

MEDIEVAL LANDS

LEOFRIC, son of LEOFWINE Ealdorman of the Hwicce in Mercia (-Bromley 30 Oct 1057, bur Coventry[222]). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names “Leofricum postea comitem, et Edwinum occisum per Walenses, et Normannum occisum cum Edrico duce Merciorum per Cnutonem regem” as sons of “Leofwinus comes Leicestriæ”[223]. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre", when recording that he was father of "Herwardus"[224]. This "comitis Radulfi…Scalre" has not otherwise been identified nor any possible relationship with Leofric. Simeon of Durham records that King Canute appointed "Leofric" as Earl of Mercia after his brother Northman was killed in 1017[225], although this was apparently during the lifetime of their father. He and his wife founded the abbey of Coventry in 1043[226]. “Leofricus comes” founded the monastery of Coventry by undated charter[227]. ”Leofricus comes…et conjux mea Godgyve” donated property to Evesham Monastery by undated charter which names “frater meus Normannus”[228].

m GODGIFU, sister of THOROLD de Bukenhale, Sheriff of Lincolnshire, daughter of ---. She is named as wife of Earl Leofric by Florence of Worcester, who specifies that she and her husband founded monasteries at Leominster, Wenlock, Chester and Stowe[229]. The Annals of Peterborough record that “Thoroldus vicecomes et frater germanus Godivæ comitissæ Leycestriæ” founded Spalding Monastery in 1052[230]. Her family origin is also indicated by the undated charter under which “Thoroldus de Bukenhale…vicecomiti” donated Spalding monastery to Croyland abbey which names “domino meo Leofrico comite Leicestriæ et…comitissa sua domina Godiva sorore mea…et cognati mei comitis Algari primogeniti et hæredis eorum”[231]. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Aediva trinepta Oslaci ducis" as wife of "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre", when recording that they were parents of "Herwardus"[232]. "Oslaci ducis" could be "Oslac" recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as "earl [of Northumbria]" in 966[233], but any precise relationship has not been identified. ”Leofricus comes…et conjux mea Godgyve” donated property to Evesham Monastery by undated charter which names “frater meus Normannus”[234]. Godgifu wife of Leofric granted property to St Mary's, Stow by charter dated [1054/57][235]. She was the Lady Godiva of legend.

Leofric & his wife had [two] children:

1. 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:

a) EDWIN (-killed 1071). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names “Edwinum et Morcar postea comites” as sons of “Algarus tertius”[243]. He succeeded his father in 1062 as Earl of Mercia. With support from his brother, he expelled Tostig Godwinsson from Lindsay in 1066. John of Worcester records that they at first supported the claim of Edgar Atheling to succeed Harold II as King of England after the battle of Hastings, but soon withdrew their armies and swore allegiance to King William I at Berkhamsted[244]. Florence of Worcester records that "…comites Edwinum et Morkarum…" went with King William to Normandy 21 Feb [1067][245]. They rebelled against William in 1068, leaving court for Yorkshire, but were soon brought to submission. Orderic Vitalis says that the rebellion was triggered because King William broke his promise to give his daughter in marriage to Edwin[246], and in a later passage that Edwin was killed by his servants while on his way to relieve his brother in Ely[247]. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Edwinus et Morkarus" rebelled against King William in [1071], and that Edwin was killed[248].

b) MORCAR (-after 1087). The Genealogia Fundatoris of Coventry Monastery names “Edwinum et Morcar postea comites” as sons of “Algarus tertius”[249]. Snorre names “Earl Morukare”, although stating that he was the son of “Earl Gudin Ulfnadson” and “Earl Ulf´s sister Gyda”[250]. He was chosen by the Northumbrians as Earl of Northumbria in 1065 to replace Tostig, son of Godwin Earl of Wessex. With support from his brother, he expelled Tostig Godwinsson from Lindsay in 1066. John of Worcester records that they at first supported the claim of Edgar Atheling to succeed Harold II as King of England after the battle of Hastings, but soon withdrew their armies and swore allegiance to King William I at Berkhamsted[251]. Florence of Worcester records that "…comites Edwinum et Morkarum…" went with King William to Normandy 21 Feb [1067][252]. They rebelled against William in 1068, leaving court for Yorkshire, but were soon brought to submission. Orderic Vitalis states that Morcar joined the resistance at Ely in 1071[253], but surrendered to the king. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Edwinus et Morkarus" rebelled against King William in [1071], and that "Morkarus…et Siwardus cognomento Barn" took refuge in Ely[254]. Florence of Worcester records that "comites Morkarum et Rogerum, Siwardum cognomento Barn, et Wlnothum regis Haroldi germanum" were released by King William on his deathbed in 1087[255]. He was taken to England by King William II but placed in confinement again in Winchester.

c) 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). 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.

2. [HEREWARD . The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis names "Herwardus" as son of "Lefricus de Brunne, nepos comitis Radulfi cognominati Scalre" and his wife "Aediva trinepta Oslaci ducis", being the "Hereward the Wake" of semi-legend[260]. m firstly TURFRIDA, daughter of ---. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis records that "Herwardus" married "Turfrida", adding in a later passage that she became a nun "in Cruland" after she was repudiated[261]. m secondly as her second husband, ---, widow of DOLFIN, daughter of ---. The De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis records that "Herwardus" married secondly "uxor Dolfini comitis"[262].] -------------------- WIKIPEDIA Leofric (born 968, died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia and founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is best remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva.

Life and political influence Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.[1]

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.[1]

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that [1]. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.[2]

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area.[3] This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counseled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.[1]

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.[4]

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia [2].

Religious works Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry.[3] John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."[4]

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester,[4], and the endowment of the minster at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire.[5] She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.[4]

Family Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039.[1] Godwine died some time before 1057.[5]

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
  2. ^ M. Lapidge, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England (1999), p.282; The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1036 E.
  3. ^ The Chronicle of John of Worcester ed. and trans. R.R. Darlington, P. McGurk and J. Bray (Clarendon Press: Oxford 1995), pp.533.
  4. ^ a b c The Chronicle of John of Worcester ed. and trans. R.R. Darlington, P. McGurk and J. Bray (Clarendon Press: Oxford 1995), pp.582-3.
  5. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ed. M. Swanton (1996), p. 294.

-------------------- Wikipedia: Leofric (died 31 August or 30 September 1057) was the Earl of Mercia and founded monasteries at Coventry and Much Wenlock. Leofric is remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva. Life and political influence

Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia. [edit] Religious works

Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester, and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire. She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham. Family

Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039. Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia. [edit] In popular culture

On screen, Leofric has been portrayed by Roy Travers in the British silent short Lady Godiva (1928), George Nader in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), and Tony Steedman in the BBC TV series Hereward the Wake (1965). -------------------- Leofric was the son of Ealdorman Leofwine of the Hwicce, who died c. 1023. Leofric's elder brother Northman was killed in 1017, in the losing battles against Cnut.

The victorious Cnut divided England into four great provinces: Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria each of which he eventually placed under the control of an earl (a title new to the English, replacing the Anglo-Saxon "ealdorman"). Mercia he initially left in the hands of Eadric Streona, who had been Ealdorman of Mercia since 1007, but Eadric was killed later in the same year of 1017.

Mercia may have been given to Leofric immediately after that. He had certainly become Earl of Mercia by the 1030s. This made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to Earl Godwin of Wessex among the mighty earls. He may have had some connection by marriage with Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut. That might help to explain why he supported her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacanute, Cnut's son by Emma, when Cnut died in 1035.

However Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by Harthacanute, who made himself unpopular with heavy taxation in his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals. The king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric. Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people.

When Harthacanute died suddenly in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when he came under threat at Gloucester from Earl Godwin in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin. Wise heads counselled that battle would be folly, with the flower of England on both sides. Their loss would leave England open to its enemies. So the issue was resolved by less bloody means. Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.

Earl Leofric's power was then at its height. But in 1055 his son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and severely damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And then when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar".

Leofric died "at a good old age" in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried at Coventry.

Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal device, and this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia.

RELIGIOUS WORKS Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, and endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver, gems and precious stones that was at that time in its possession."

In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly in the grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester, and the endowment of the minister at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire. She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock, and Evesham.

FAMILY Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers. Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039. Godwine died some time before 1057.

Leofric may have married more than once. His famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or later wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear that she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric only in 1040, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar (whose own children were born in that decade or earlier). If she was married earlier (as early as 1017, as some sources claim), she could have been Ælfgar's mother.

Ælfgar succeeded Leofric as Earl of Mercia.

-------------------- Leofric was the son of Leofwine. Founder of the church of Coventry, seen as thegn from 1005, "dux" from 1026, Earl of Mercia by 1032. He married Godgifu. died at Bromley, county Stafford, England.

Child of Leofric and Godgifu

Aelfgar+ -------------------- Earl of Mercia -------------------- http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/w/i/l/Lisa-A-Wilsonpennington/GENE3-0045.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leofric,_Earl_of_Mercia

Leofric married Lady Godiva DE COVENTRY, daughter of Sheriff Of Lincolnshire Thorold DE BUCKINGHAM and Edith MALET. (Lady Godiva DE COVENTRY was born in 980 in Coventry, England and died on 10 Sep 1067 in Coventry, Warwick, England.)

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~whosyomama/18806.htm -------------------- King Hardiz, Founder of Counts

view all 12

Leofric, Earl of Mercia's Timeline

946
946
968
May 14, 968
Mercia, England
1002
1002
Age 33
Lincolnshire
1002
Age 33
England
1008
1008
Age 39
Bromley, Staffordshire, , England
1057
August 31, 1057
Age 89
King's Bromley, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
August 31, 1057
Age 89
Coventry
1993
May 15, 1993
Age 89
May 26, 1993
Age 89
June 22, 1993
Age 89