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HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY of
SAXON ENGLAND
PART 8: AD 954-1006

954 - Expulsion and death of King Eric Bloodaxe of Norse York. King Edred of England can accurately use his title for the first time. High-Reeve Osulf of Bamburgh is appointed Ealdorman of Northumbria.

955 - Kings Iago of Gwynedd, Owain of Deheubarth and Morgan Hen of Glywysing & Gwent attend the court of King Edred of England. King Edred falls ill and dies. He is buried in the Old Minster at Winchester and succeeded by his nephew, Edwig All-Fair. Edwig asserts his independence from his uncle's counsellors.

c.955 - Archbishop Oda of Canterbury rebuilds Canterbury Cathedral.

956 - St. Dunstan is sent into exile by King Edwig All-Fair. Edwig attempts to create a new base of loyal retainers.

957 - The Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against King Edwig. The kingdom is partitioned and his brother, Edgar, becomes King of Mercia. Edgar recalls St. Dunstan from exile.

958 - Archbishop Oda of Canterbury divorces King Edwig of England from his Queen, Aelfgitha, on the grounds of consanguinity.

959 - Death of King Edwig. His younger brother, Edgar the Peacemaker, becomes King of a reunited realm.

960 - Marriage of King Edgar the Peacemaker of England to Ethelflaeda Eneda (White-Duck) daughter of Thegn Ordmaer from Hertfordshire. Death of Princess Edburga, aunt of King Edgar, at the Nunnaminster in Winchester where she is as a nun. She is buried there and later reverred as a saint.

961 - First Coronation of King Edgar the Peacemaker of England, at Kingston-on-Thames. King Edgar abducts St. Wulfthrith from her nunnery at Wilton and seduces her. She gives birth to St. Edith of Wilton at Kemsing in Kent. Tavistock Abbey is founded by Ealdorman Ordgar of Devon.

962 - After secretly marrying King Edgar the Peacemaker of England's prospective lover, Ealdorman Aethelwold of East Anglia dies, traditionally at the hands of the King in Harewood Forest.

963 - Death of Ealdorman Osulf of Northumbria. He is succeeded by his son, Waltheof I. Death of Bishop Brihthelm of Winchester. He is succeeded by St. Aethelwold, Abbot of Abingdon.

c.963 - Death of Queen Ethelflaeda Eneda (White-Duck) of England.

964 - St. Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester begins his monastic reforms, replacing secular priests with monks at Winchester Cathedral, Chertsey Abbey and Milton Abbey. King Edgar the Peacemaker of England marries his second wife, Aelfthrith, daughter of Ealdorman Ordgar of Devon and widow of Ealdorman Aethelwold of East Anglia.

966 - Re-foundation of Peterborough (Medshamstead) Abbey and the New Minster in Winchester as Benedictine Monasteries by Bishop Aethelwold of Winchester.

967 - Re-foundation of Romsey Abbey by King Edgar of England and Ealdorman Aethelwold of Wessex, with St. Merewenna as Abbess.

969 - Foundation of Ramsey Abbey. King Edgar the Peacemaker of England sends an army to ravage Thanet and impose law and order.

970 - Re-foundation of Pershore Abbey. It acquires the relics of St. Edburga from Winchester.

971 - St. Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, instigates massive building operations at Winchester. He extends the Old Minster westward with two enormous apses and a crossing tower to cover St. Swithun's external tomb and make it the centre of a 'shrine-church'. It supposedly rains there for "forty days and forty nights". Foundation of Crowland Abbey.

973 - Second coronation of King Edgar the Peacemaker of England in a great public show at Bath Abbey. Afterwards, the King marches his army north to Chester. His navy meets him there via the Irish Sea. This show of strength persuades the Northern Kings to submit to his overlordship. Legend says he is rowed across the Dee by Kings Kenneth of Alba, Malcolm of the Cumbrians, Magnus of Man & the Isles, Donald of Strathclyde, Iago of Gwynedd, Princes Hywel of Gwynedd, King Idwallon of Morgannwg and Siferth (the latter of unknown origin). The Council of Winchester calls for English monastic reform and draws up a code of practice known as the Regularis Concordia. Foundation of Thorney Abbey. Reform of the English coinage. Nine new mints and a system of periodic recoinage is established.

974 - King Edgar gives English help to Prince Hywel in ousting his uncle, King Iago of Gwynedd from his kingdom. The tomb of St. Swithun is opened at Winchester Old Minster and his body dismembered. His head shrine is placed in the sacristy and his major shrine behind the high altar.

975 - Death of King Edgar the Peacemaker. He is buried at Glastonbury Abbey and succeeded, after some dispute, by his eldest son, Edward the Martyr.

c.977 - St. Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, rebuilds the western end of Winchester Old Minster, with twin towers and no apses.

978 - Edward the Martyr murdered at Corfe Castle upon the orders of his step-mother. He is succeeded by his half-brother, Aethelred II the Unready (or ill-counselled). English troops are deployed on the Lleyn Peninsula on behalf of King Hywel of Gwynedd in order to prevent his uncle, Iago, invading with Viking allies from Dublin. St. Dunstan completes the cloisteral buildings and his western extensions to the Abbey Church of St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. The church is rededicated to St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Augustine.

980 - The Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton. Manx Vikings led by King Godfred I ally themselves with Prince Custennin of Gwynedd and raid Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula. Custennin is killed. Foundation of Amesbury Abbey.

983 - Ealdorman Aelfhere of Mercia allies himself with King Hywel of Gwynedd and together they attack the lands of Prince Einion of Deheubarth.

984 - Death of Bishop Aethelwold of Winchester. He is buried in Winchester Old Minster and later revered as a saint.

985 - The English kill King Hywel of Gwynedd by treachery.

987 - Re-foundation of Cerne Abbey.

c.988 - Manx Vikings, under King Godfred I, ravage Anglesey.

991 - Battle of Maldon: Bertnoth of Essex is defeated by Danish invaders; Aethelred II buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld).

992 - Aethelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy.

993 - King Aethelred the Unready appoints Aelfhelm as Ealdorman of Northumbria in place of the aging Waltheof I. Re-foundation of Sherborne Abbey.

994 - Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by Aethelred.

995 - Uhtred, son of Ealdorman Waltheof I of Northumbria, establishes an episcopal see at Durham and moves the monastic community of Chester-Le-Street there. Foundation of Evesham Abbey.

c.1000 - Medshamstead is made into a Burgh. It soon becomes known as St. Peter's Burgh (Peterborough).

1003 - Sweyn and an army of Norsemen land in England and wreak a terrible vengeance.

1006 - Ealdorman Aelfhelm of Northumbria falls foul of King Aethelred the Unready who has him murdered.

Part 9: AD 1007-1066

 

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