Morcar, High Reeve of Northumbria

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Also Known As: "Morcar", "Morkere", "Morukare"
Birthplace: Wessex Kingdom, Anglo Saxon, , England
Death: Died in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Cause of death: Murdered by Eadric
Place of Burial: Northumbria, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Earngrim of Northumbria and NN
Husband of Ealdgyth
Father of Ælfgifu and Ealdgyth "Swan Neck" of England
Brother of Sigeferth, Thane in England

Occupation: Earl of Northumbria
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Morcar, High Reeve of Northumbria

Morcar, son of Arngrim

Married Ealdgyth, daughter of Ælftryth

FATHER: ARNGRIM. m ---. The name of Arngrim's wife is not known. Arngrim & his wife had two children:

BROTHER: SIGEFERTH (-murdered Oxford summer 1015). Simeon of Durham records that "Sigeferth and Morkar the sons of Earngrim" were killed in 1015 on the orders of "duke Edric Streona" and that the king took possession of their estates[715]. Ætheling Æthelstan, under his will dated [1014], made a bequest to "Sigeferth, an estate at Hockliffe"[716]. With his brother, he was one of the leading thegns of the northern Danelaw. He was murdered on the orders of Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor" Ealdorman of Mercia[717].


m as her first husband, ÆLDGYTH, daughter of ---. After her husband was killed, she was arrested, but abducted against the wishes of King Æthelred II by his son Edmund, later Edmund "Ironsides" King of England, whom she married as her second husband. Simeon of Durham records that Edmund married "Algitha widow of Sigeferth" in 1015[718].


   MORCAR (-murdered Oxford summer 1015).  King Æthelred II granted land in Derbyshire to "Morcar minister" under a charter dated 1009[719].  With his brother, a leading thegn of the northern Danelaw.  Simeon of Durham records that "Sigeferth and Morkar the sons of Earngrim" were killed in 1015 on the orders of "duke Edric Streona" and that the king took possession of their estates[720].  


m EALDGYTH, daughter of ÆLFTHRYTH & his wife ---. The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified. Morcar & his wife had one child:


i) ÆLFGIFU. The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m as his first wife, ÆLFGAR Earl of Mercia, son of LEOFRIC Earl of Mercia & his wife Godgifu --- (-1062).,%20AngloSaxon%20nobility.htm#AelfgifuNorthumbriaMAelfgarMercia

Morcar or Morkere, son of Ælfgar of Mercia and his first wife Ælfgifu, Morcarsdóttir. Chosen Earl by Northumbrians in 1065 when they deposed Tostig, King Harold's brother. Rebelled with his brother Edwin in 1071. in prison in 1086.,%20AngloSaxon%20nobility.htm#AelfgifuNorthumbriaMAelfgarMercia

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.

Earl Ælfgar & his first wife had three children:

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.

Morcar High Reeve Of OF NORTHUMBRIA7,15,20,21,46,47,48 was born in 960.20,50 Downloaded from Bradford_Taylor on Parents: Unknown EARNGRIM. Parents: .

Spouse: Ealdgyth OF MERCIA. Morcar High Reeve Of OF NORTHUMBRIA and Ealdgyth OF MERCIA were married. Children were: Queen Of Ealdgyth Algitha ENGLAND, Eadric Streona EALDORMAN OF MERCIA, Aelfgifu Of NORTHUMBRIA.


Morcar (died 1015)

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For other persons named Morcar, see Morcar (disambiguation).

WestonCrichMorleyInglebySmalleyMorcar was given land in Derbyshire in 1009Morcar or Morkar (? – 1015) was a thegn (minister) of King Æthelred the Unready. He was given lands in Derbyshire in 1009 including Weston-on-Trent, Crich and Smalley by King Æthelred,[1] 1011[2] and 1012. He was also given the freedom from the three common burdens.[1] He and his brother were murdered in 1015. Morcar's brother's wife was later married to King Edmund Ironside.

[edit] Biography

Morcar was the son of Earngrim according to John of Worcester[3] and his brother was Sigeferth. He was mentioned in the will of Wulfric Spot, brother of Ælfhelm and son of Wulfrun. In 1004, when Wulfric died, he made Morcar a major beneficiary along with Burton Abbey and Ælfhelm.[4]

It is reported that Morcar was married to Ealdgyth who was the daughter of Ælfthryth, the sister of Wulfric and Ælfhelm.[5]

Morcar was a king's thegn (Latin minister) in 1009 when King Æthelred the Unready issued a charter, in which he gave lands to his minister Morcar.[1] The charter shows that he would control the crossings of the River Trent at, Weston-on-Trent, Wilne and King's Mills in Leicestershire. Although not mentioned explicitly the land described at Weston on Trent included ownership of what is now the villages of Shardlow and Aston-on-Trent.

The river crossings at Weston, King's Mill and Wilne control one of the main routes for travelers moving up or down England as this river was a boundary within Mercia. The Domesday book also used the river as a boundary between counties later that century.

The land that Morcar received was listed as eight hides at Weston upon Trent, and a hide each at Morley, Smalley, Ingleby, Crich and Kidsley.[6] This land was given to Morcar, the King's chief minister, and he was unusually given rights that were normally reserved for the King alone. He was given the responsibility for all types of justice and exemption from the Trinoda necessitas. The three fold tax of Trinoda necessitas usually required an obligation on the land to surrender soldiers, to repair fortifications and to repair bridges.[7] Morcar alone could decide a fate of life or death without the need of the authority of the King or his sheriff.[1] Morcar was given further lands in Derbyshire. In 1011 he was given five hides at what (maybe) Mickleover[8] and in 1012, two more at Eckington.[9]

[edit] Death

These land grants again came under the control of King Æthelred, when Morcar and his brother, Sigeferth, were murdered by Eadric in 1015. Williams speculates that Morcar may have been involved in swinging support in Northumbria behind Swein who was King of Sweden.[10]

King Æthelred seized both Morcar's and Sigeferth's lands, and imprisoned Sigeferth's widow who was called Ealdgyth. King Edmund Ironside then freed the widow and married her. Edmund redistributed some of the lands that had previously belonged to Sigeferth.[11]

[edit] References

1.^ a b c d Charter of Æthelred, The Great Council, 1009, accessed April 2009

2.^ Charter

3.^ John of Worcester,, accessed April 2009

4.^ Williams, Æthelred the Unready (p. 74-75).

5.^ Williams, Æthelred the Unready.

6.^ Kidsley is no longer a place in Derbyshire, but translations give this as Kidsleygrange. Both of these names appear on properties today near Heanor

7.^ The English Peasantry and the Growth of Lordship, Rosamund Faith, p95, ISBN 0718502043, accessed April 2009

8.^ 1011 agreement re Mickleover,, accessed April 2009

9.^ Agreement re Eckington, 1012,, accessed April 2009

10.^ Williams' Æthelred the Unready (p. 120)

11.^ These are charters S 947; Williams, Æthelred, p. 134 & note 13.

[edit] Secondary sources

Williams, Ann. 2003. Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London. ISBN 1-85285-382-4

Faith, Rosamund J. 1997. The English Peasantry and the Growth of Lordship. London.

"Morcar 2 (Male)." Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE).

[edit] Primary sources

Anglo-Saxon Charters

S 922 (AD 1009). Archive: Burton Abbey. Available from and The British Academy.

S 924 (AD 1011). Archive: Burton Abbey.

S 1536 (AD 1002 x 1004), will of Wulfric. Archive: Burton Abbey.

S 1503 (AD 1014), will of Æthelstan, the ætheling. Archive: Christ Church, Canterbury, and Old Minster, Winchester.

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Morcar, High Reeve of Northumbria's Timeline

Wessex Kingdom, Anglo Saxon, , England
Age 37
Wessex, England
Age 55
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Age 55
Age 55
Northumbria, England