The Viking Payoff

Although Æthelred is not recorded until 883, historians believe that he was “Edryd Long-Hair”, the leader of a Mercian army which invaded Gwynedd in 881, and was defeated by Rhodir Mawr’s sons at the battle of the Conwy. This was described by Welsh annals as “revenge by God for Rhodri”. The battle of Conwy forced Æthelred to abandon his ambitions in north Wales, but he continued to seek overlordship over the south-eastern Welsh kingdoms of Glywysing and Gwent. According to Alfred’s Welsh biographer Asser, Æthelred’s “might and tyrannical behaviour” forced these kingdoms to seek the protection of King Alfred‘s lordship. Alfred was happy to accept, and the defeat at Conwy may have forced Æthelred to accept Mercian submission to Wessex in 883, an important step in creating a single English kingdom.[7][8]

An 18th century map of Great Britain based on ...
An 18th century map of Great Britain based on accounts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, showing “Cornweallas” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 886, Æthelred was given control of London by Alfred. As Alfred had conquered the southern Danelaw, it was useful to place the ruler of the divided Kingdom of Mercia in control of its former eastern region. In 892 the Vikings launched the last invasion of Wessex in Alfred’s reign, and the following year the main army marched from Essex through Mercia to the Welsh border, where it was defeated by a joint Mercian and Welsh army under Æthelred at the Battle of Buttington, in the most decisive victory of the war.[9] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that Æthelred spent much of the 890s leading military campaigns in eastern England.[10]



Another church theft (Dennis Aubrey)

Commentary {ghn}

Things like this are stolen typically if there is a market for it.  I bet that market is somewhere out of the country.

Via Lucis Photography

BBC reports the theft of two screen panels from Holy Trinity church in Torbryan, Devon. The church contains a marvelous medieval carved rood-screen, with panels showing paintings of saints. Two of these were hacked out of the screen by thieves last week.

Here is a link to the BBC story.

There is another story at the Independent.

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Gech? Hatton? Newport?

One of the questions that keeps coming up for me is why a particular person changes their name to NEUPORT/NEWPORT.  I mean what is the motive to use one name over another?   We’re not talking about the reasons due to birth, marriage, adoption or anything like that.  So why did Thomas GECH become Thomas NEUPORT around 1377;  and why did Thomas SPICER do the same thing around the turn of the 15th century?   Then there is one Sir William HATTON who changed his surname from NEWPORT to his mother’s maiden name of HATTON.

I suppose one of the reasons to change your name is to hide something in your past.  Thomas SPICER and his brother John were always in trouble with the law for being pirates or for treason.   So their motive would be more to get rid of a name that was a liability to something respectable.

Same with Sir William HATTON.  I guess he thought being a HATTON was more respectable than being a NEWPORT.  So the same concept occurs here where he went from a liability to a asset.  And I’m thinking that Thomas GECH and family had the same reasoning.  But here  I think Isabella was the force behind their motivation because she has some notable (?) family  and Thomas, as far as I’ve found, did not.

 See Notes, Comments and Obervations

What Day Is It?


A fact that I was not aware of were the effects of changing calendars from the Julian to the Georgian.

The Gregorian calendar did not exist before October 15, 1582. Gregorian dates before that are proleptic, that is, using the Gregorian rules to reckon backward from October 15, 1582.

The Gregorian calendar was soon adopted by most Catholic countries (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Poland, most of Italy). Protestant countries followed later, and the countries of Eastern Europe adopted the “new calendar” even later. In the British Empire (including the American colonies), Wednesday 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14 September 1752. For 12 years from 1700 Sweden used a modified Julian calendar, and adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1753, but Russia remained on the Julian calendar until 1918 (1 February became 14 February), while Greece continued to use it until 1 March 1923 (Gregorian).

Since the Julian and Gregorian calendars were long used simultaneously, although in different places, calendar dates in the transition period are often ambiguous, unless it is specified which calendar was being used. In some circumstances, double dates might be used, one in each calendar. The notation “Old Style” (OS) is sometimes used to indicate a date in the Julian calendar, as opposed to “New Style” (NS), which either represents the Julian date with the start of the year as 1 January or a full mapping onto the Gregorian calendar. This notation is used to clarify dates from countries which continued to use the Julian calendar after the Gregorian reform, such as Great Britain, which did not switch to the reformed calendar until 1752, or Russia, which did not switch until 1918. [Wikipedia “From Julian to Gregorian” 15 July 2013]

The question then is when looking at records what does the date represent?

OMFG It’s Global Warming

So I’m reading the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and I keep coming across that all these Anglo-Saxons and Vikings are bringing their ships to the town of Sandwich in Kent

A.D. 851. This year Alderman Ceorl, with the men of Devonshire, fought the heathen army at Wemburg, and after making great slaughter obtained the victory. The same year King Athelstan and Alderman Elchere fought in their ships, and slew a large army at Sandwich in Kent, taking nine ships and dispersing the rest. The heathens now for the first time remained over winter in the Isle of Thanet.

Ok that’s cool but if you look at a map Sandwich is something like 2 miles from the shoreline.  Huh?  

Well I’ll just try and figure that out later so onto the back-burner.

But then yesterday (10 Jul 2013) I’m reading an article about the ancient trading town of Nidaros in Norway where they mention “…that sea levels were four or five metres higher in this area 1000 years ago.”  This gets me wondering what is the elevation of Sandwich?  I need another map.

Sandwich Sea

Turns out there is a flood map that lets you change the sea level in 1 meter increments and you can see the results on a Google map.  So if I raise the sea level by say 4 meters all of a sudden the town of Sandwich becomes a seaport.