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Sweyn Forkbeard: England's forgotten Viking king
BBC News ^ | David McKenna

Posted on 12/30/2013 6:09:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv

On Christmas Day 1013, Danish ruler Sweyn Forkbeard was declared King of all England and the town of Gainsborough its capital. But why is so little known of the man who would be England's shortest-reigning king and the role he played in shaping the early history of the nation?

For 20 years, Sweyn, a "murderous character" who deposed his father Harold Bluetooth, waged war on England.

And exactly 1,000 years ago, with his son Canute by his side, a large-scale invasion finally proved decisive.

It was a brutal time, which saw women burned alive, children impaled on lances and men dying suspended from their private parts...

Ethelred the Unready had ordered the slaughter of all Danes living in England in 1002, in what became known as the St Brice's Day massacre.

Another reason why Sweyn's story remains largely untold may be the lack of physical evidence.

Mr Childs says there was once a fortification in Gainsborough on the site of what is now the Old Hall, with evidence of a moat fed from the nearby River Trent.

And clues to a "sizeable" army camp can also be found in the town's Castle Hills.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; sweynforkbeard; thevikings; vikings

Bluetooth Ping! I knew it was an old protocol, but had no idea how old.
Sweyn Forkbeard (shown left), England's shortest reigning king, remains in the shadows of both his son Canute the Great, and father Harold Bluetooth

Sweyn Forkbeard (shown left), England's shortest reigning king, remains in the shadows of both his son Canute the Great, and father Harold Bluetooth

1 posted on 12/30/2013 6:09:06 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

My maternal grandfather’s family came from Nutsford. I suspect it’s a contraction of Canutes Ford.


2 posted on 12/30/2013 6:14:30 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Could be!


3 posted on 12/30/2013 6:18:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

4 posted on 12/30/2013 6:18:43 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Among my ancestors were men using the first name “Athe” which I believe comes from northern England, and could be a means of noting their Nordic ancestry?


5 posted on 12/30/2013 6:19:57 PM PST by truth_seeker (Nissan)
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To: truth_seeker

Mine were Vingen. From Vingen Fjord.


6 posted on 12/30/2013 6:27:19 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (This is not just stupid, we're talking Democrat stupid here.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

My English Grandmother’s maiden name was Nutting. I researched the origin of the name and came across this:

This is a famous English surname, believed to be from Yorkshire, which is certainly where the first recording comes from. The style and spelling suggests that it may have an Olde English or Danish-Viking pre 7th century origin, and derive from the word “knut”, which literally means a hard fruit. To this has been added the term “inga”, normally used to indicated a people or tribe. “Knut” was used for many centuries as a baptismal or given name before the introduction of hereditary surnames, and can be found in a such a name as the famous “King Canute”.


7 posted on 12/30/2013 6:31:48 PM PST by heylady (“Sometimes I wish I could be a Democrat and then I remember I have a soul.”( Deb))
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To: truth_seeker

Athe is a Saxon first name, like Aethelstan and Ethelred.

In Search of Aethelstan (pts 1 thr 6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCsXLdytwj8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhZPeM8cjNU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apAoRnAMiN4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdYtYZ4DePg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbpG_fkMTnU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoPqV0n4fz8


8 posted on 12/30/2013 6:33:49 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

9 posted on 12/30/2013 6:43:00 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: SunkenCiv
For 20 years, Sweyn, a "murderous character" who deposed his father Harold Bluetooth, waged war on England.

In the 1970's, science fiction writer John Norman wrote a series of novels that take place on a planet called Gor, where life resembles that of ancient Greece and Rome, Aztec Mexico, Viking-ruled Scandinavia, etc., with some exotic beasts and space aliens thrown in. Two of his Viking-type characters are named Ivar Forkbeard and Sweyn Bluetooth.

10 posted on 12/30/2013 6:48:23 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: SunkenCiv
The St. Brice's Day massacre should not be confused with the battle of Brice's Cross Roads, almost 862 years later. No Danes harmed on the latter occasion.

Speaking of crossroads, tomorrow is the anniversary of the battle of Parker's Crossroads (NBF: "Charge them both ways!"), Dec. 31, 1862.

11 posted on 12/30/2013 6:55:32 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Fiji Hill

I always liked the covers of those paperbacks.


12 posted on 12/30/2013 6:58:51 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

According to Wikipedia, Sweyn was an ancestor of James VI of Scotland, and therefore also of Queen Elizabeth II.


13 posted on 12/30/2013 7:01:06 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv
I always liked the covers of those paperbacks.

Those stories would be considered highly politically incorrect today.

14 posted on 12/30/2013 7:06:49 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Fiji Hill
Possibly.


15 posted on 12/30/2013 7:12:31 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: SunkenCiv
"Bluetooth Ping! I knew it was an old protocol, but had no idea how old."

Bluetooth does take it's name after Harold because of his role as a uniter. The Bluetooth icon is an old rune...


16 posted on 12/30/2013 7:15:18 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: SunkenCiv

‘Aethel’ is simply an Anglo-Saxon word meaning noble or glorious. It is a common element in Germanic first names for obvious reasons. The modern German cognate is ‘edel’.


17 posted on 12/30/2013 7:18:23 PM PST by proxy_user
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To: SunkenCiv

“Ethelred The Unready”?
Now, there’s a name that will strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.

“”Who is leading them?”

“Ethelred The Unready.”

“They couldn’t get Steve The Sleepy?”


18 posted on 12/30/2013 7:35:43 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SunkenCiv

19 posted on 12/30/2013 8:11:08 PM PST by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: proxy_user
‘Aethel’ is simply an Anglo-Saxon word meaning noble or glorious. It is a common element in Germanic first names for obvious reasons. The modern German cognate is ‘edel’.

The girl's name Ethel is the only purely Anglo-Saxon first name that has survived to this day that I can think of. The German name Adelheid, which becomes Adelaide or Adeline in English, is also related.

20 posted on 12/30/2013 8:47:15 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: blueunicorn6
“Ethelred The Unready”? Now, there’s a name that will strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.

Brings to mind Louis the Fat, who ruled France a few decades later.

21 posted on 12/30/2013 8:50:51 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: SunkenCiv

I have been to see the Jelling Stones in Jutland, a surprisingly impressive site and the earliest marker of Christianity in Scandinavia. Harald’s direct descendent, Dronning Magrethe, is Queen of Denmark and leader of the oldest royal family in Europe.


22 posted on 12/30/2013 11:25:02 PM PST by Psiman (PS I am not a crackpot)
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To: SunkenCiv

Another little known fact is that Sweyn’s attempt to force the English to eat lutefisk led to more popular revolts resulting in his ultimate downfall. Uff da.


23 posted on 12/31/2013 2:25:01 AM PST by driftless2
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To: driftless2

You mean lutefisk wasn’t proto-English cooking?


24 posted on 12/31/2013 2:42:37 AM PST by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: SunkenCiv
It was a brutal time, which saw women burned alive, children impaled on lances and men dying suspended from their private parts...

Or using obamacare as a baseline, as socialist democrats would state "A good time was had by all..."

25 posted on 12/31/2013 3:35:16 AM PST by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: blueunicorn6

I should check before typing this (in case it has ULready been posted), but Ethelred the Unready is a modern joke, used to help UK kids remember the name. His nick was Unraed, which means without counsel, or counsel-less, given because of his practice of making up his mind and just charging on in.


26 posted on 12/31/2013 5:43:44 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: driftless2; RichInOC

The Vikings never invaded mainland Scotland, probably the haggis kept them out, *that’s* how bad it was.


27 posted on 12/31/2013 5:45:13 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Here's a place where you can still down a pint in honor of the old bugger:


28 posted on 12/31/2013 10:16:42 AM PST by colorado tanker
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To: SunkenCiv

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelred_the_Unready


29 posted on 12/31/2013 3:04:54 PM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER; SunkenCiv

The legend that this town name was supposed to be where King Canute crossed the Lily is bogus. He crossed a lot of rivers after all and there aren’t a lot of Nutsfords, are there?

No, the name Nutsford actually was a descriptive term for a ford on the river Lily that was almost waist deep.


30 posted on 01/01/2014 10:50:45 AM PST by wildbill
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To: SunkenCiv

I believe that the Viking/Germanic law had a great impact on resultant Manorial law which gave us trial by jury, notions of trespass and tort and individual rights defined in physical, psychological and property. It also recognized a natural law right to secure rights against aggression.

In addition, King Cnut withdrew certain lands from free common access and reserved them for his own use, maintaining them primarily for exclusive royal hunting purposes or “chases.” In later reigns, it became a practice for kings to “forest” occupied areas by virtue of “sovereign ownership” of all land. At one time, it has been estimated that almost one-third of the country had been converted into “royal forest.” by royal proclamation.

The Latin term “foris” actually referred to exclusion from the application of the ordinary law and not to a wooded land. A separate system of “Forest Laws” and enforcement mechanisms were introduced by the Normans. That has transferred in America into our National Forests.

The harshness of the forest laws and the enlargement of “forested” areas became one of the issues dealt with in the Magna Carta (Parva Carta.) Seems we have not learned from history.


31 posted on 01/01/2014 12:27:10 PM PST by marsh2
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