Siward, Earl of Northumbria

Siward, Earl Of Northumbria

Siward, Earl of Northumbria

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Siward or Sigurd (Old English: Sigeweard)The English name Siward or Sigeweard was cognate to the single Old Norse name written variously as Sigvarðr and Sigurðr; see Holman, Northern Conquest, p. 103; Munch (ed.), Chronica regum Manniae et Insularum, vol. i, p. 140; Stevenson, Simeon of Durham, p. 119 was an important earl of 11th-century northern England. The Old Norse nickname Digri and its Latin translation Grossus ("the stout") are given to him by near-contemporary texts.Barlow (ed.), Life of King Edward, p. 35 (= Vita Ædwardi, i. 3); Aird, "Siward"; see also reference in on the Vita Waldevi below Siward was probably of Scandinavian origin, perhaps a relative of Earl Ulf, and emerged as a powerful regional strongman in England during the reign of Cnut ("Canute the Great", 1016–1035). Cnut was a Scandinavian ruler who conquered England in the 1010s, and Siward was one of the many Scandinavians who came to England in the aftermath of that conquest. Siward subsequently rose to become sub-ruler of most of northern England. From 1033 at the latest Siward was in control of southern Northumbria, that is, present-day Yorkshire, governing as earl on Cnut's behalf.

He entrenched his position in northern England by marrying Ælfflæd, the daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Bamburgh. After killing Ealdred's successor Eadulf in 1041, Siward gained control of all Northumbria. He exerted his power in...
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