The Ravens Warband
The defence of the Anglo-Saxon state: from the Treaty of Wedmore
to the Battle of Hastings
his introduction to ‘Gregory’s Pastoral
Care’ King Alfred identified that a
king who ‘obeyed God and his messengers … not only maintained their peace, morality
and authority at home but also extended their territory outside; and they succeeded
both in warfare and in wisdom’. It is in this inclusive sense that I use the
term defence , to mean not only warfare conducted against an
aggressor, but also offensive warfare explicitly for the purpose of territorial
term Anglo-Saxon has recently been preferred for the 5th – 8th
centuries, while Late Saxon / Viking was identified as being preferred for the
9th – mid 11th centuries . I am however using Anglo-Saxon to include the
period 878 AD to 1066 AD . I am using the term State
to encompass ‘the form of government and constitution in a country’
and ‘the rulers, nobles or great men of a realm; the government, ruling body,
grand council or court’ .
shall be examining the defence of the Anglo-Saxon State thematically, from the
conclusion of the peace agreement between King Alfred and King Guthram at Wedmore,
to the loss of the ruler and many of the nobles and great men of the realm at
the battle of Hastings. The themes that
I shall be examining are:
and Sciphere .
The norms of war
seeking to define the Anglo-Saxon norms of war, it is first necessary to review
the pattern of warfare prior to the Viking invasions, and then
to examine the extent to which these patterns changed in response to a changing
situation. In examining the pattern
of Anglo-Saxon Warfare from 600 – 850 Guy Halsall (1989) identified that each
kingdom fought a major war once per generation ,
lesser battles once every six years , and were involved
in ritualised expressions of violence
including raiding activity every year except in times of strictly enforced peace
Harrying was used to establish dominance and payment of geld
and the exchange of hostages were recognised means of getting out of a tight
spot . A force engaged in defensive actions was referred
to as a fyrd an offensive or raiding
force as a here .
following may, in Anglo-Saxon terms, be identified as different or unfamiliar
about the way that the Vikings practised war:
of ships to unexpectedly arrive and leave ;
upon monasteries for wealth
and horses ;
of harrying ;
of battle ;
rapidity of change to the political scene [.
the Vikings settled, warfare rapidly assumed a more ritualistic form, with greatly
reduced intensity and more tightly regulated peace. During the 10th century this was
paralleled across Western Europe by a ‘peace movement’ championed by the church,
although nowhere was it as successful as it was in England .
Frið and Unfrið
unparalleled violence and spectacular success of the micel hæðen here came to an
end with military defeat at the battle of Edington (878) followed by pursuit
to Chippenham , and the spectre
of starvation in defeat
Asser notes that ‘when they had been there fourteen days the Vikings, thoroughly
terrified by hunger, cold and fear, and in the end by despair ,
sought peace. ’ King Alfred ‘was moved
to compassion’ and after taking hostages and oaths received Guthram their king
to baptism and received him as his adoptive son at Wedmore ,
so was concluded the Frið.
to the peace at Wedmore a treaty was agreed between
Alfred and Guthram, defining the accepted border of Guthram’s East Anglian kingdom
The treaty sought to equably adjudicate
against cross border violence and theft . The only other
example that we have of Friðrelates
to 991 or 994 , and indicates similar concerns . These are best understood
from the perspective of a young warrior’s training in which by tradition crime
in another kingdom had not been regarded as punishable in one’s own . Young warriors had traditionally learnt the
warrior’s skill through slaying and raiding away from home ,
in the interests of peace this was no longer to be so . While some of the necessary skills could be
learnt at the hunt , this was a long
way from the thorough curriculum in individual courage and small unit tactics
that low level violence between the kingdoms had previously ensured.
gained peace at Wedmore, Alfred and his advisors prepared for war. Keen interest was shown in the movement of
Viking here abroad ,
meanwhile measures were taken to counter the Vikings on their expected return.
Key amongst these measures was the repair and construction of burh
. Alfred’s burh had three main functions:
the Vikings of their operational mobility ;
as a focus for local defence ;
provide an emergency reserve of operationally deployable troops .
burh enabled Wessex to be defended,
and as Mercia fell under the sway of Wessex so the system of burh was extended. Under Edward the Elder burh were also used in the offence:
an interest in territory;
in a role analogous to that of a Medieval siege castle.
is some evidence that the larger burh,
which along with their smaller neighbours had originally been constructed
with rapid techniques , were subsequently faced with stone . As a result of the long peace in the mid C10th
the defences of many of the burh had
been encroached upon , or were otherwise
in disrepair. The early C11th saw the
construction of a number of smaller, private burh . Only in 1055 does ASC again mention repair
of a larger burh, at Hereford .
the middle of the C8th Brycggeweorc
had been one of the three common burdens reserved by the king in his charters
along with Weallstilling and Fyrdstemn . In
the Laws of Cnut, a fine was introduced for those failing to honour their responsibility
in this regard . Bridges enabled the rapid movement of people
and goods in all weathers . Fords may also have been maintained as an aspect
of Brycggeweorc . It appears that the maintenance of bridges
and fords may have been closely associated with Burh .
and fords both enabled movement and canalised it. Each had their dangers in poor weather, while fords could be impassable
at certain times of day or at certain times of the year. If the structure of
the old Rochester Bridge, based upon Roman piers may be regarded as typical,
then it is interesting to note the removable section of bridge at the city end
. Other bridges are known from Late Saxon times
not only enabled movement by land but could be used to block movement by water.
A Kentish charter of 811 first records the use of a bridge in this role
. The earliest usage of a bridge on the continent
to block riverine movement is recorded in the reign of Charles the Bold across
the Seine at Pont de l’Arche in 862 . King Alfred used this method in 895 to block
the river Lea . In 1016 Cnut was forced to dig a passage to
the south of London Bridge so that London could be besieged .
identified two forms of fyrd raised
under King Alfred, mobile standing armies raised in two separate parts, and
provincial forces which under Alfred appear to have been based on the burgware . While mobile forces continued to be raised
under Edward the Elder and Æthelstan,
there is no evidence for English troops being raised during the peace that lasted
was assumed by the King (with the exception of Æthelred and Edward the Confessor who often delegated their authority),
Ealdorman and later Earl , and also the King’s
In time of war, selection for
office was at least in part based upon martial skill. In the emergent peace following Alfred’s reign selection was more as courtier than as military men .
With the decline of the military role of the burh, the provincial force had to be separately
raised , and were
no longer immediately available when required . The standing forces were not practised, and
the leadership were in general not military men . The requirement
for one mailcoat and one helmet to be produced from every 8 hide in 1008
also suggests a lack of arms. Without
skilled leadership, adequate equipment or trained men there was little choice
but to buy peace until skill at war could gradually be re-learnt .
Under Cnut huscarl
were added to the Anglo-Saxon military scene and Danish lið were maintained until Edward the Confessor’s reign . The capacity to raise mobile standing forces
re-emerged and a low level of war acquainted troops and leaders with skill at arms.
Scipfyrd and Sciphere
850, a Kentish Scipfyrd had struck
a great raiding army at Sandwich, captured 9 ships, and put the others to flight
Alfred and subsequent kings attempted to emulate this success, but as Rodger
explains true naval warfare did not exist, and no absolute command of the sea
was possible, the inability to effectively scout being one of the main limitations
in the defensive application of naval power . While some focus on the ships that Alfred
and later Æthelred ordered to be
the strictly limited success of their defensive endeavours at sea is the more
striking fact .
did in general work were combined operations , with mutual support
between land and sea, such as that used by Æthelstan against the Scots in 934 and Earl
Siward against the Scots in 1054 . What also worked was the use of the tactical
and strategic surprise that attack from the sea gave, such as that argued to
have been used by Edgar’s Viking mercenaries in the Irish Sea ,
termed a Sciphere . The two methods were successfully combined
in 1062-3 when Earl Harold and Earl Tostig launched separate but co-ordinated
strikes against King Gruffydd of the Welsh, resulting in Gruffydd’s death . The poor weather in 1066, which almost prevented
William of Normandy’s expedition, prevented combined operations being used in
the defence when having waited so long for William the ships and fyrd had to be dismissed for lack of supplies
October 14th 1066 Harold II and those who wanted to support him,
the embodiment of the Anglo-Saxon State, died on Hastings Field . In the 870’s Alfred had come close to a similar
fate, as Asser says it was the loss of so many good men that had been hardest
to bare . Nor had William easily rested the crown, on
three separate occasions William had been unhorsed ,
Harold fell only once , but he fell dead
placed his faith in God and preparation
for war . With the rise of the peace movement ,
and the resulting loss of skill at arms faith was in effect being put in God
alone . Under Æthelred
skill at arms was slowly re-learned, and Edmund achieved an honourable peace
. Thereafter low-level war was maintained, the
State thus being in readiness in case of serious threat .
to the Frið at Wedmore the Anglo-Saxon
State had been bought to very low ebb . Alfred’s greatness may be measured by his magnanimity
in victory . The military measures he took were in general
not new but were in most
cases appropriately applied to the circumstances at the time.
Only in the way that he attempted to use naval power did Alfred appear
mistaken . All
kings used payment of geld when they needed to , but Æthelred
was rebuilding the military from a very low base . In subsequent years the military regained its
former efficiency, as evidenced by successful expeditions to Scotland and to
Wales . In 1066 the Anglo-Saxon State fell in a very
close run fight .
- In accepting the translation of 'Gregory's Pastoral
Care' attributed to King Alfred as King Alfred's work I am following Keynes
S and Lapidge M 'Alfred the Great' Penguin Books (1983) pp 28, and the authors
acknowledged by Keynes and Lapidge in note 27 on page 214.
- Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983) Ibid. p124.
- The word defence came into the English language from
Old French 'defens', itself deriving from the Latin 'defensum'. As such the
use of the term defence could be viewed as anachronistic. Defence is first
known to have been used in the sense of 'guarding or protecting form attack'
in 1297, and in the sense of 'keeping off or resisting the attack of an enemy'
in 1400 ('Oxford English Dictionary' (OED) Vol. III D-E Oxford at the Clarendon
Press (1933) pp129). There is no single Anglo-Saxon word that has been identified
to embody the concepts of maintaining authority at home and extending territory
outside as aspects of warfare. That these concepts occur together in one of
the books 'which are most necessary for all men to know' (Keynes S and Lapidge
M 'Alfred the Great' Penguin Books (1983) p 126) does however identify that
they were thought of as being associated during the period under discussion.
- Chronological conventions identified in the 'Editor's
Note Medieval Britain and Ireland in 2002', Medieval Archaeology, 47 (2003),
- Here I am following the usage of the scope of the term
Anglo-Saxon made by Stenton F 'Anglo-Saxon England' Third Edition Oxford at
the Clarendon Press (1971), and Campbell J [Ed.] 'The Anglo-Saxons' Penguin
Books (1982) amongst others.
- From the Latin 'status' OED Vol. X Sole - Sz Oxford
at the Clarendon Press (1933) p 849.
- First recorded in 1538 (OED Ibid. p 852).
- First recorded in 1581 (OED Ibid. p 852).
- Agreed terms, (which) generally … stipulated a payment
to the Vikings as well as arrangements for their provisioning during the winter
(Lund N ‘Peace and Non-Peace in the Viking Age – Ottar in Biarmaland, the
Rus in Byzantium, and Danes and Norwegians in England’ Knirk J E [Ed.] ‘Proceedings
of the Tenth Viking Congress: Larkollen, Norway, 1985’ Oslo (1987) p256.
- ‘Hostilities’ or ‘absence of peace’ … (E.g.) Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle … 1001: Her on Þysum geare wæs micel únfrið ón Angel cynnes londe
… (ibid. p256).
- The repair of walls (Clark Hall J R ‘A concise Anglo-Saxon
dictionary: 4th Edition’ University of Toronto Press London (2000) p399).
This term is recorded only in the Burghal Hidage and is discussed by Dodgson
J McN. ‘Appendix I: OE Weal-stilling’ in Hill D & Rumble A R [Ed.] ‘The defence
of Wessex: The Burghal Hidage and Anglo-Saxon fortifications’ Manchester University
- Work of building or repairing bridges (Clark Hall
J R (2000) Ibid. p58).
- Literally army (fyrd (Clark Hall J R (2000) Ibid.
p144) or fierd (Ibid. p118)) summons or turn (of military service) (stemn
or stefn (Ibid. p320).
- Fleet (Clark Hall J R (2000) Ibid. p295).
- Punitive (naval) foray (Abels R ‘Alfred the Great,
the micel hæðen here and the viking threat’ in Reuter T [Ed.] ‘Alfred the
Great’ Ashgate (2003) p 278).
- Here I am using the term ‘Viking’ as shorthand for
the raiding and settlement activities of individuals and groups of Scandinavian
origin. The origin of the word ‘Viking’ is discussed by Brøndsted J ‘The Vikings’
Penguin Books (1960) p36 – 39. More recently concern has been raised as to
the extent to which a complex reality is being hidden by simplistic labels
Svanberg F ‘Decolonizing the Viking Age 1’ Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series
in 8o No 43 (2003). A framework for a deeper understanding of this reality
in the military context has been discussed by Price N S ‘The Viking Way: Religion
and War in Late Iron Age Scandinavia’ Aun 31 Uppsala 2nd Edition (2003) p25-48.
- Halsall G ‘Anthropology and the Study of Pre-Conquest
Warfare and Society: The Ritual War in Anglo-Saxon England’ in Chadwick Hawkes
S [Ed.] ‘Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England’ Oxford University Committee
for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989) p162.
- Halsall G (1989) Ibid. pp163.
- Halsall G (1989) Ibid. p161.
- Halsall G (1989) Ibid. p164 & p167.
- For example the raiding by Guthlac in his youth (Felix’s
‘Life of Guthlac’), Halsall G (1989) Ibid. p160 & p165.
- The earliest example of the offer of Geld, hostages
and the swearing of oaths occurred in 655 during the conflict between Oswy
and Penda, Halsall G (1989) Ibid. pp164.
- Clark Hall J R (2000) Ibid. p118 p144 & p179, Halsall
G (1989) Ibid. p175 and Abels R (2003) Ibid. pp266.
- The sea going potential of Viking ships has been widely
praised, for example Brøndsted J (1960) Ibid. pp139 - 147. The value of the
strategic mobility which the ships offered has also been extensively commented
upon, for example Marcus G J 'The Conquest of the North Atlantic' The Boydell
Press (1980) p100 - 118 and Griffith P 'The Viking Art of War' Greenhill Books
(London) 1995 p73-98.
- I refer here more to the activity of the micel hæðen
here than that of subsequent raiders. It may however be noted that as late
as 1055 the outlawed Mercian Earl Ælfgar led a great band which burned the
Minster in Hereford … and seized all the treasures (Swanton M [Trans. and
Ed.] 'The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The Worcester Manuscript (D)' (ASC D) 1055
p185 and p187).
- Alfred lamented the former wealth of the monasteries
in his introduction to Gregory's Pastoral Care Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983)
- In a charter of 875 King Ceowulf of Mercia freed the
diocese of Hwicce from the feeding of the King's horses (Sawyer 215). If royal
horses were more generally kept at religious establishments it would explain
another part of their attraction to the [Vikings], Davies R H C 'Did the Anglo-Saxons
have Warhorses ?' in Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] 'Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon
England' Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989)
p142. The other known source of good quality horses were the stud farms mentioned
in C10th wills Davies D H C (1989) Ibid. p142, and implied by earlier place
names E.g. Horsham.
- Prior to the Viking raids and settlement, while forces
raided and harried, the time that they spent in each other's territory was
likely to have been limited by the time for which they were called up. Following
the Berkshire Domesday this may have been in the order of two months, Abels
R P 'Lordship and Military Obligation in Anglo-Saxon England' British Museum
Publications (1988) p99. Encounters often took place in border locations such
as fords, Halsall G (1989) Ibid. p166. Smaller raids may have been limited
to border areas by an extensive series of burgh tentatively identified for
both Wessex and Mercia from as early as 650 AD by Gelling M 'The Place-Name
Burton and Variants' in Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] 'Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon
England' Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989)
p145-153. By contrast Viking armies over wintered, often without formal agreement
as to how they gained their food, and on occasion continued to raid even when
such agreement was in place (E.g. Swanton M (2000) ASC E 1013).
- Prior to the Viking raids campaigns typically involved
no more than a single battle Halsall G (1989) Ibid. p162, and their frequency
may have been limited by limitations placed upon the King by his councillors,
similar to those exercised by the Welsh in the Laws of Hywel Dda, Halsall
G (1989) Ibid. p164. In contrast, the Vikings arrived and battled until they
won, were defeated, or had plunder sufficient that they decided to leave.
An extreme example of the intensity of war against the Vikings is provided
by the '9 national fights fought against the raiding-army in the kingdom to
the south of the Thames' Swanton M (2000) ASC A 870 p72.
- Alfred Smyth asked 'How … did a 'Great Army' of Danes
succeed in accomplishing in eleven or thirteen years what the most able English
warlords failed to accomplish in over three centuries? This simple but grim
reminder of overwhelming Danish military superiority has rarely if ever been
acknowledged by historians.' Making reference to how two kingdoms were taken
over (Northumbria and East Anglia), a third was divided in two (Mercia), and
a fourth (Wessex) was bought to the brink of defeat. Smyth A P 'The effect
of Scandinavian raiders on the English and Irish Churches: a preliminary reassessment'
in Smith B [Ed.] 'Britain and Ireland 900 - 1300: Insular Responses to Medieval
European Change' Cambridge (1999) p2.
- Campbell J 'The Anglo-Saxon State' London (2000) pp180,
also Abels R ''From Alfred to Harold II: The military failure of the Late
Anglo-Saxon State' in Abels R P & Bachrach B S [Eds.] 'The Normans and their
Adversaries at War' The Boydell Press (2001) p22 & p30.
- Great ((micel) Clark Hall J R (2000) Ibid. p235) Heathen
((hæðen) Ibid. p166)) raiding force (here (Ibid. p179).
- Where they were besieged,Swanton M (2000) ASC A 878
- Swanton M (2000) ASC A 878 p74.
- In this regard it may be noted that in mythological
terms Oðinn may be regarded as having withdrawn his support (Price N (2002)
Ibid. p96). Yet, rather than welcoming Guthram and his warriors to Valhalla
they appeared doomed to the ignominy of Hel's domain, Price N (2002) Ibid.
- Asser Chapter 56, Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983) Ibid.
- Asser Chapter 56, Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983) Ibid.
- Key features to note of this peace are that Guthram
had been abandoned by his gods, and in compassion Alfred had bought him to
baptism in the name of the Christian Saviour, as his own adoptive son. In
doing so, Alfred not only welcomed Guthram into the family of European Kingship
but also enabled him to complete the mythological quest of the Viking war
leader by taking land, Ellis Davidson H 'The Training of Warriors' in Chadwick
Hawkes S [Ed.] 'Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England' Oxford University
Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989) p18.
- While being aware of the dating arguments for this
treaty put forwards by Dumville D N 'Wessex and England from Alfred to Edgar'
(Studies in Anglo-Saxon History V, general editor Dumville D N) Woodbridge
(1992) p1-p27, and the evidence for the history of London in Keynes S 'King
Alfred and the Mercians' in Blkackburn M A S & Dumville D N [Eds.] 'Kings,
currency and Alliances: History of coinage of Southern England in the Ninth
Century (Studies in Anglo-Saxon History IX, general editor Dumville D N) Woodbridge
(1998) p1-p45, I prefer the dating suggested by Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983)
Ibid. p171, namely 886.
- 'The treaty between Alfred and Guthram' Keynes S and
Lapidge M (1983) Ibid. pp171.
- Dating following Whitlock D 'English Historical Documents
Vol. 1 c. 500-1042' 2nd Edition Eyre Methuen London (1979) p437.
- Of particular interest amongst the measures in this
treaty is the first recorded recognition that the past must be let go for
peace to work. 'Concerning all the slaughter and all the harrying and all
the injuries which were committed before the truce was established, all of
them are to be dismissed, and no one is to avenge it or to ask for compensation'
(Whitlock D (1979) Ibid. p439).
- Ellis Davidson H (1989) Ibid. p14, also Halsall G
(1989) Ibid. p161.
- Ellis Davidson H (1989) Ibid. pp15.
- The Law codes, II Æthelstan 1 (Attenborough F L [Trans.
& Ed.] 'The Laws of the Earliest English Kings' (1922) pp126) and VI Æthelstan
12 (Attenborough F L (1922) ibid. pp168) show a conscious targeting of the
'crimes' of youth which had previously been accepted as a key part of a young
- Hooper N 'The Anglo-Saxons at War' in Chadwick Hawkes
S [Ed.] 'Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England' Oxford University Committee
for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989) p196.
- Asser Chapters 62, 63, 65, 66 & 69 Keynes S and Lapidge
M (1983) Ibid. pp86.
- Asser Chapter 91 Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983) Ibid.
- Lavelle R 'Fortifications in Wessex c. 800-1066' Fortress
14 Osprey Publishing (2003) p28 &p47.
- Lavelle R 'Fortifications in Wessex c. 800-1066' Fortress
14 Osprey Publishing (2003) p26.
- Consider for example the call out of troops 'from every
stronghold east of the Parret, both west and east of Selwood, and also north
of the Thames and west of the Severn' Swanton M (2000) ASC A 893 p87 or the
' great tribe [that] gathered together in King Edward's domain, from the nearest
strongholds' Swanton M (2000) ASC A 917 p102.
- Hill D 'The Calculation and the purpose of the Burghal
Hidage' in 'The defence of Wessex: The Burghal Hideage and Anglo-Saxon fortifications'
Hill D and Rumble A R [Eds.] p 96.
- Consider for example the construction of Burh at Towcester,
Huntingdon & Colchester and the subsequent submission of the local people,
Swanton M (2000) ASC A 917 pp102.
- Consider for example the construction of Burh at Stamford
in 918 , Swanton M (2000) ASC A 918 p103.
- Wilkinson D R P 'Excavations at 24A St Michael's street
1985' in 'Oxford before the University: The late Saxon and Norman Archaeology
of the Thames Crossing, the defences and the town' Dodd A [Ed.] (2003) pp150.
- For example Towcester, Swanton M (2000) ASC A 917
p102, and the archaeological evidence from Hereford, Cricklade, Lydford, and
at least one part of the circuit at Oxford (Wilkinson D R P (2003) ibid. pp150.
At Wallingford and Wareham a stone wall was built on the crest of the rampart
- Abels R 'English Tactics & Military Organization in
the late Tenth Century' in 'The Battle of Maldon AD 991' Scagg D [Ed.] (1991)
p144 referring to the work of Halsam J 'Early Medieval Towns in Britain 700
- 1140' (1985) p50. p144.
- Such as Guthlo Manor, Abels R P (1988) Ibid. p92, Aldsworth
F G ''The Mound' at Church Norton, Selsey, and the Site of St. Wilfrid's Church'
Sussex Archaeological Collections Volume 117 (1979) p103 - 106, and Holden
E W 'Excavations at Old Erringham, Shoreham, West Sussex Pt II The 'Chapel'
and Ringwork' Sussex Archaeological Collections Volume 118 (1980) p257 - 297.
- Swanton M (2000) ASC C 1055 p186.
- Brooks N 'The Development of Military Obligations in
Eighth and Ninth Century England' in Brooks N 'Communities and Warfare 700
- 1400' (2000) p 32 - 47.
- The charters are in general in Latin, but the Anglo-Saxon
equivalents have been used here for consistency with usage in the rest of
- Clause 65 in Whitlock D 'Extracts from the Laws of
Cnut (1020 - 1023)' in 'English Historical Documents Volume 1 c. 500-1042
2nd Edition (1979) p464.
- Brooks N (2000) Ibid. p 35.
- Brooks N 'European Medieval Bridges' in Brooks N 'Communities
and Warfare 700 - 1400' (2000) p 21.
- Brooks N (2000) Ibid. p.35.
- Brooks N 'Rochester Bridge, AD 43-1381' in Brooks N
'Communities and Warfare 700 - 1400' (2000) p 239.
- Documentary evidence strongly implies the existence
of bridges at Rochester, Cambridge, Chester and Worcester, while archaeology
confirms the existence of London Bridge and the bridge on the London Derby
road over the Trent (Brooks N (2000) ibid. p21 & p35). Circumstantial evidence
suggests the existence of a bridge by Sashes burh where the old Roman road
crosses the Thames by Cookham Minster (Brooks N 'The Unidentified Forts of
the Burghal Hidage' in Brooks N 'Communities and Warfare 700 - 1400' (2000)
p 100). While there appears to have been an earlier bridge at Oxford, archaeology
suggests that it was replaced by a ford in late Saxon times (Robinson M 'The
paleohydrology of the St Aldgate's area of Oxford in relation to archaeology
and the Thames crossing' in 'Oxford before the University: The late Saxon
and Norman Archaeology of the Thames Crossing, the defences and the town'
Dodd A [Ed.] (2003) p75 & p79-p81.
- Brooks N (2000) Ibid. p35.
- Abels R P (1988) Ibid. p72.
- Swanton M (2000) ASC A 895 p89.
- Swanton M (2000) ASC E 1016 p149.
- Abels (1991) Ibid. p144.
- Abels (1991) Ibid. p147.
- Consider for example the victory of the burgware of
Chichester in Swanton M (2000) ASC A 894 p88 in the context of the 'king's
ðegn who were occupying the fortifications' Swanton M (2000) ASC A 893 p87.
- 'there was no head man who wanted to gather an army'
Swanton M (2000) ASC E 1010 pp140.
- Abels estimated that in the time of Alfred, the demands
of providing the burgware may have impacted on 6% of the kingdom's total population
(Abels R 'English logistics and military administration, 871-1066: The impact
of the Viking wars ' in 'Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society: In a European
Perspective AD 1-1300' Nørgård Jørgensen A & Clausen B L (1997) p261).
- It has been estimated that to raise troops openly could
take 2 - 3 weeks, and to do it in secret 3 - 7 weeks, Hooper N 'The Anglo-Saxons
at War' in Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] 'Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England'
Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989) pp192.
- Consider for example the uncontrolled fear evident
in the retching and vomiting of Ealdorman Ælfric as he attempted to lead the
fyrd of Wiltshire and Hampshire against the Vikings, such that those who were
led were not resolute, and all dispersed, Swanton M (2000) ASC E 1003 p135.
- Swanton M (2000) ASC E 1008 p138.
- Consider for example the much improved performance
of Anglo-Saxon troops under Edmund Ironside, Swanton M (2000) ASC F 1016 p148
- Campbell J 'Agents and Agencies of the Late Anglo-Saxon
State' in Campbell J 'The Anglo-Saxon State' (2000) p205.
- Hooper N (1989) Ibid. p193.
- Hooper N (1989) Ibid. p198.
- Rodger N A M 'The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History
of Britain' Volume One 660-1649 (1997) p7 and Swanton M (2000) ASC E 850 p65.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. p4.
- Gifford E & Gifford J 'Alfred's new longships' in 'Alfred
the Great' [Ed.] Reuter T (2003) p281- 289.
- Abels R (1988) pp109 & Abels R (1991) Ibid. p145.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. p10 & pp21.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. p4.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. pp18 & Hooper N (1989) Ibid.
- Abels R (1988) Ibid. p180 & Hooper N (1989) Ibid. p198.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. pp19.
- See note 15.
- Abels R (1988) Ibid. p180.
- Rodger N A M (1997) Ibid. pp32.
- Swanton M (2000) ASC D 1066 p199.
- Asser Chapter 91 Keynes S and Lapidge M (1983) Ibid.
- William of Poitiers 'Gesta Willelmi' in 'The Battle
of Hastings' [Ed.] Morillo S (1996) p14.
- Florence of Worcester 'Chronicon ex Chronicis' in 'The
Battle of Hastings' [Ed.] Morillo S (1996) p31.
- Hooper notes how few battles successful warrior kings
choose to fight, Hooper N (1989) Ibid. p197.
- See note 2.
- See notes 48, 49, 50, 51, 65 & 72.
- See note 31.
- Consider in this light 'The edict when the "Great
Army" came to England (VII Ethelred [Sic.], probably 1009' in Whitlock D 'English
Historical Documents Volume 1 c. 500-1042 2nd Edition (1979) p464.p447-p448.
- See note 80.
- See note 83.
- See note 97.
- See note 38.
- Consider for example notes 28 & 60.
- See note 88.
- Hooper N (1989) Ibid. p197.
- See notes 75, 76, 77 & 78.
- See notes 91 & 94.
- Abels (2001) Ibid. p29.
|| ‘Editor’s Note: Medieval Britain and Ireland
||‘Medieval Archaeology’, 47 (2003) n4
||‘Oxford English Dictionary’ Vol. III D-E
Oxford at the Clarendon Press (1933) n3
||‘Oxford English Dictionary’ Vol. X Sole-Sz Oxford at the Clarendon Press (1933)
n6, n7, n8
|Abels R P
|| ‘Lordship and Military Obligation in Anglo-Saxon
England’ (1988) n28, n58, n69, n87
||‘English Tactics and Military Organization in
the late Tenth Century’ in Scagg D [Ed.] (1991) n57, n72, n73, n87
||‘English Tactics and Military Organization in
the late Tenth Century’ in Nørgård Jørgensen A & Clausen B L [Eds.]
|| ‘From Alfred to Harold II: The military failure
of the Late Anglo-Saxon State’ in Abels R P & Bachrach B S [Eds.]
(2001) n31, n114
|Abels R P
||‘The Normans and their
Adversaries at War’
B S [Ed.]
Boydell Press (2000) n31, n114
|| ‘Alfred the Great, the micel hæðen here and the viking threat’ in
Reuter T [Ed.] (2003) n15, n23
|Aldsworth F G
||‘ ‘The Mound’ at Church Norton, Selsey, and the Site of St
Wilfrid’s Church’ Sussex Archaeological Collections Volume 117 (1979)
|Attenborough F L
[Trans. & Ed.]
| ‘The Laws of the Earliest English Kings’ (1922)
|Blackburn M A S
Dumville D N [Eds.]
|‘Kings, currency and Alliances: History of Coinage of Southern
England in the Ninth Century’ ‘Studies in Anglo-Saxon History IX’ Dumville
D N [General Ed.] Woodbridge (1998) n39
Penguin Books (1960) n16, n24
||‘Communities and Warfare 700 - 1400’ (2000)
n60, n63, n64, n65, n66, n67,
|| ‘The Development of Military Obligations in
Eighth and Ninth Century England’ in Brooks N (2000) n60, n63, n65, n67, n68
||‘European Medieval Bridges’ in Brooks N
|| ‘Rochester Bridge, AD 43-1381’ in Brooks
N (2000) n66
||‘The Unidentified Forts of the Burghal Hidage’
in Brooks N (2000) n67
|Campbell J [Ed.]
Anglo-Saxons’ Penguin Books (1982) n5
||‘Agents and Agencies of the Late Anglo-Saxon
State’ London (2000) n81
||‘The Anglo-Saxon State’ London (2000) n31, n81
|Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.]
and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England’ Oxford University Committee for
Archaeology Monograph No. 21 (1989) n17,
n18, n19, n20, n21, n22, n23, n27, n28, n29, n38, n43, n44, n46, n77, n82, n83, n90, n91, n100, n111
|Clark Hall J R
|| ‘A concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: 4th Edition’ University
of Toronto Press London (2000) n11,
n12, n13, n14, n23, n32
|Davies R H C
||‘Did the Anglo-Saxons have Warhorses’ in Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] (1989)
|Dodd A [Ed.]
|| ‘Oxford before the University: The late Saxon and Norman Archaeology of
the Thames Crossing, the defences and the town’ (2003) n55, n67
|Dodgson J McN
I: OE Weal-stilling’ in Hill D & Rumble A R [Ed.] (1996) n12
|Dumville D N
||‘Wessex and England from Alfred to Edgar’ ‘Studies in Anglo-Saxon History V’ Dumville D N [General Ed.] Woodbridge
|Ellis Davidson H
Training of Warriors’ in Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] (1989) n38, n43, n44
‘The Place-Name Burton and Variants’ in
Chadwick Hawkes S [Ed.] (1989) n28
| ‘Alfred’s new longships’ in Reuter T [Ed.]
‘The Viking Art of War’ Greenhill Books
(London) (1995) n24
|| ‘Anthropology and the Study of Pre-Conquest
Warfare and Society: The Ritual War in Anglo-Saxon England’ in Chadwick
Hawkes S [Ed.] (1989) n17, n18, n19, n20, n21, n22, n23, n28, n29, n43
|| ‘The Calculation and the purpose of the Burghal
Hideage’ in Hill D & Rumble A R [Ed.] (1996) n52
|‘The Defence of Wessex:
The Burghal Hideage and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications’
Manchester University Press (1996) n11, n52
|Holden E W
||‘Excavations at Old Erringham,
Shoreham, West Sussex Pt II The ‘Chapel’ and Ringwork’ Sussex Archaeological
Collections Volume 118 (1980) n58
|| ‘The Anglo-Saxons at War’ in Chadwick Hawkes
S [Ed.] (1989) n46, n77, n82, n83, n90, n91, n100, n111
|‘Alfred the Great’ Penguin Books (1983)
n1, n2, n26, n36, n37, n39, n40, n47, n48, n97
||‘King Alfred and the Mercians’ in Blackburn
M A S & Dumville D N [Eds.] (1998) n39
|Knirk J E [Ed.]
||‘Proceedings of the Tenth Viking Congress: Larollen, Norway, 1985’
Oslo (1987) n9, n10
||‘Fortifications in Wessexc.800-1066’ Fortress
14 Osprey Publishing (2003) n49,
||‘Peace and Non-Peace in the Viking Age – Ottar
in Biarmaland, the Rus in Byzantium, and Danes and Norwegians in England’
in Knirk J E [Ed.] (1987) n9,
|Marcus G J
||‘The Conquest of the North Atlantic’ The
Boydell Press (1980) n24
|Morillo S [Ed.]
||‘The Battle of Hastings’ The Boydell Press (1996) n98,
|Nørgård Jørgensen A
Clausen B L
|‘Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society: In
a European Perspective’ (1997) n76
|Price N S
Way: Religion and War in Late Iron Age Scandinavia’ Aun 31 Uppsala 2nd Edition (2003) n16, n35
|| ‘Alfred the Great’ Ashgate (2003)
|| ‘The Paleohydrology of the St Aldgate’s area
of Oxford in relation to archaeology and the Thames crossing’ in Dodd
A [Ed.] (2003) n67
N A M
of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain Volume One 660-1649’ (1997)
n84, n85, n88, n89, n90, n92, n95
|Scagg D [Ed.]
||‘The Battle of Maldon AD 991’ (1991) n57
|Smith B [Ed.]
||‘Britain and Ireland 900 – 1300: Insular Responses to Medieval European
Change’ Cambridge (1999) n30
|Smyth A P
||‘The effect of Scandinavian Raiders on the English
and Irish Churches: a preliminary reassessment’ in Smith B [Ed.] (1999)
||‘Anglo-Saxon England: Third Edition’ Oxford
at the Clarendon press (1971) n5
the Viking Age 1’ Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series in 8o
No 43 (2003) n16
[Trans. & Ed.]
Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (ASC)’ (2000) n25,
n28, n29, n33, n34, n51, n53, n54, n56, n59, n70, n71, n74, n75,
n78, n79, n80, n84, n96
|Wilkinson D R P
at 24A St Michael’s street 1985’ in Dodd A [Ed.] (2003) n55, n56
||‘English Historical Documents Vol. 1 c. 500-1042:
2nd Edition’ Eyre Methune London (1979) n41, n42, n62, n104
Back to essays page.
Back to the main page.