By alancaster149 – from alancaster149.hubpages.com/hub
Northumbrian Nobility at War with itself joins Forces to rebut
Arnkell, son of Ecgfrith, had married into the Bamburgh kindred.
His wife Sigrid was half-sister to Ealdred, and had been married to Eadulf, by whom she was mother to Earl Osulf. She was also aunt to Gospatric, son of Maldred. Arnkell’s own kindred were from Deira – south of the Tees, now Yorkshire – and he and his son Gospatric held about 285 carucates* of land in Deira, to which should be added the estates of the Bishopric of Durham. It was claimed in her mother’s right as grand-daughter of Bishop Ealdhun of Durham.
The four sons of Karli, another clan in the eastern Deira region now the East Riding of Yorkshire, were connected to the House of Bamburgh (Baebbanburh) by a long-standing feud that dated back to the first year of Knut’s reign, when Karli’s father Thorbrand the Hold killed Earl/Ealdorman Uhtred of Bamburgh. Thorbrand was in turn killed by Uhtred’s son Ealdred and Ealdred fell to Karli Thorbrandsson. In AD1038 Karli invited him to his hall in the Forest of Risewood (near Stamford Bridge, East Riding) and murdered him in an ambush.
The matter rested there for a while. Karli himself was dead by 1069, when his four sons were listed amongst the rebel leaders of the Northumbrian rising against William. The presence of both Gospatric and the sons of Karli in the same host (army) shows the depth of feeling amongst the rebels, although the feud could always flare up again (it did begin anew in AD1074). A powerful motive was needed for these entrenched enmities to be buried, even if only briefly, and the key had to be the Norman presence in the north – and in particular a castle within the bounds of York (Eoferwic).
A writ of AD1069 addressed to “all the thegns, French and English, of Yorkshire” shows that the Norman settlement, or was it entrenchment, in the North had begun in earnest.
William de Percy and Gilbert de Ghant – a Fleming – were established by AD1069 at the latest and it may be significant that the latter’s only manor in the shire was at Hunmanby (near Scarborough), once owned by Karli Thorbrandsson. William Malet held three estates in Holderness which had been Knut Karlason’s and in AD1086 the jurors of Holderness testified concerning these and other lands that they had not seen the king’s writ or seal for them! This suggestion of Norman waywardness on the part of Malet does not stand alone. The jurors of the Ansty Wapentake (Danelaw equivalent of the Saxon Hundred, an administrative district) testified about land in Scagglethorpe and Poppleton that “they saw William Malet in possession… but they did not know in what manner he held it”, i.e., how he came by it.
The community of York Minster later believed that Malet had seized the goods, if not the land, of the Church. If Malet’s remit included collection of the geld levied in AD1068 his actions may well have aroused hostility. The Anglo-Norman historian William of Malmesbury mentions a quarrel between Archbishop Ealdred and the king over an ‘unsupportable tax’ levied on the diocese, presumably in AD1068.
West Saxon customs (particularly in respect to tithes) was only ended by King Eadward’s promise to ‘renew the laws of Knut’. As for those nobles north of the Tyne they had been as likely to submit to the authority of the Scots’ kings as those of the Wessex dynasty. The men of the north killed Robert de Commines and his Norman knights in AD1069 in the same spirit as they had despatched Tostig’s Danish huscarls in AD1065. In only one respect did they go further. In AD1065 they chose a new earl – Morkere – and in AD1069 they had a rival candidate (Eadgar the aetheling) for the kingship to William.
This was an eventuality that had been feared by the powers that be in Winchester as far back as rule over the infant Aengla Land by the kings of Wessex had begun under King Aelfred’s grandson Aethelstan. In AD1013 Uhtred of Bamburgh, ealdorman of Northumbria, and the northern nobility shocked Wessex by being the first to acknowledge Svein ‘Forkbeard’ Haraldsson as king of England. Now there was a West Saxon aetheling Archbishop Ealdred had been willing to crown after the death of Harold. However, if Eadgar had expected to be crowned by him in AD1069 he would be bitterly disappointed. By then Ealdred was a staunch supporter of William’s. Nevertheless the treat to the Norman king was real. Eadgar’s rights were still being voiced by 12th Century writers.
William’s recognition of the danger to him posed by support for Eadgar was demonstrated by his ostentatious crown-wearing amidst the smouldering ruins of York at Christmas, AD1069 after the rebellion had been savagely put down.
There would be no doubt as to who was the crowned head of the Aenglish state.
Next – 4: Uprising in Northumbria
The land measure ‘Carucate’
* The land measure ‘Carucate’ touched on in the body text above was used primarily in the Danelaw counties in the east of England between East Anglia and Northumbria. It was around 120 acres in size, or about 490,000 square metres (or 490 hectares). The carucate was introduced to England by the Danes under Knut and was comparable to the hide in Wessex, and was sub-divided into ‘oxgangs’ or ovates. The land tax levied was known as ‘carucage’.