Gyrth Godwinson (Old English: Gyrð Godƿinson; c. 1032– 14 October 1066) was the fourth son of Earl Godwin, and thus a younger brother of Harold Godwinson. He went with his eldest brother Sweyn into exile to Flanders in 1051, but unlike Swegen he was able to return with the rest of the clan the following year. Along with his brothers Harold and Tostig, Gyrth was present at his father's death-bed.
Following the death of his father in April 1053, the Godwinsons managed to retain their hold on England. Harold inherited the Earldom of Wessex and became second in power only to the king. Gyrth was made Earl of East Anglia, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire some time between 1055 and 1057.Together with his brother Leofwine's Earldoms of Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Hertford, Surrey and probably Buckinghamshire the Godwinsons now controlled the entirety of East England.
According to Orderic Vitalis and William of Malmesbury, Gyrth tried (ineffectually) to prevent Harold from engaging William of Normandy in battle, saying that he instead could lead the English forces and that he must stay in London to lead another battle and reminding him of the oath which he had sworn to William. Harold, however, ignored Gyrth's advice. Gyrth fought at and was killed in the Battle of Hastings alongside his brothers Harold and Leofwine.
Gyrth was portrayed by actor Malcolm Webster in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series Theatre 625 .
| Earl of East Anglia |
Ralph the Staller
1066 (MLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.
Harold Godwinson, also called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. His death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England.
Godwin of Wessex became one of the most powerful earls in England under the Danish king Cnut the Great and his successors. Cnut made Godwin the first Earl of Wessex. Godwin was the father of King Harold Godwinson and of Edith of Wessex, who in 1045 married King Edward the Confessor.
Edward the Confessor was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. Usually considered the last king of the House of Wessex, he ruled from 1042 to 1066.
The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place approximately 7 mi (11 km) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England, on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a bloody battle, both Hardrada and Tostig, along with most of the Norwegians, were killed. Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his army was defeated by the Normans at Hastings less than three weeks later. The battle has traditionally been presented as symbolising the end of the Viking Age, although major Scandinavian campaigns in Britain and Ireland occurred in the following decades, such as those of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark in 1069–1070 and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway in 1098 and 1102–1103.
The Norman Conquest was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of Normans, Bretons, Flemish, and men from other French provinces, all led by the Duke of Normandy later styled William the Conqueror.
Tostig Godwinson was an Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumbria and brother of King Harold Godwinson. After being exiled by his brother, Tostig supported the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada's invasion of England, and was killed alongside Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.
Magnus Haraldsson was King of Norway from 1066 to 1069, jointly with his brother Olaf Kyrre from 1067. He was not included in official Norwegian regnal lists until modern times, but has since been counted as Magnus II.
The Battle of Fulford was fought on the outskirts of the village of Fulford near York in England, on 20 September 1066, when King Harald III of Norway, also known as Harald Hardrada, and Tostig Godwinson, his English ally, fought and defeated the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar.
Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, also called Githa, was a Danish noblewoman. She was the mother of King Harold Godwinson and of Edith of Wessex, queen consort of King Edward the Confessor of England.
Edith of Wessex was Queen of England from her marriage to Edward the Confessor in 1045 until Edward died in 1066. Unlike most English queens in the 10th and 11th centuries, she was crowned. The principal source on her life is a work she herself commissioned, the Vita Ædwardi Regis or the Life of King Edward who rests at Westminster, which is inevitably biased.
Siward or Sigurd was an important earl of 11th-century northern England. The Old Norse nickname Digri and its Latin translation Grossus are given to him by near-contemporary texts. 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. 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.
Edwin was the elder brother of Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, son of Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia and grandson of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. He succeeded to his father's title and responsibilities on Ælfgār's death in 1062. He appears as Earl Edwin in the Domesday Book.
Leofwine Godwinson was a younger brother of King Harold Godwinson, the fifth son of Earl Godwin.
Sweyn Godwinson, also spelled Swein, was the eldest son of Earl Godwin of Wessex, and brother of Harold II of England.
Ralph the Timid, also known as Ralf of Mantes, was Earl of Hereford between 1051 and 1055 or 1057. His mother was Godgifu, the daughter of King Æthelred the Unready and his second wife Emma. His father was Drogo of Mantes, Count of the Vexin, who died on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1035.
Events from the 1060s in England.
The House of Godwin was an Anglo-Saxon family, one of the leading noble families in England during the last 50 years before the Norman Conquest. Its most famous member was Harold Godwinson, king of England for nine months in 1066.
Ansgar the Staller or Esegar was one of the wealthiest and most powerful nobles in late Anglo-Saxon England. He escaped badly wounded from the Battle of Hastings in October 1066, then led the defence of London.