Archives: General Topics

WHO PROMISED DUKE WILLIAM THE CROWN?

August 8, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 1 Comment | Filed in General Topics, William the Conqueror

That is one of the most debated questions in Pre-Conquest history, with no answer in sight. Was William’s claim to the English throne the result of wishful thinking? Was he promised the crown directly by King Edward, or was the offer presented by a third party? Did Harold Godwineson even know about William’s designs on […]

The Fall of Edwin and Morcar, Ill-fated Earls

June 30, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, William the Conqueror

I imagine the chaos at the end of October, 1066 must have unsettled more than a few Anglo-Saxons. But it’s apparent they weren’t ready to accept William as their king just because he won the Battle of Hastings. As soon as word spread of the terrible battle, men started gathering at London—so many men that […]

Edwin and Morcar in 1066

June 7, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 2 Comments | Filed in General Topics

When Tostig was exiled from England in November, 1065, Earls Edwin and Morcar (or Eadwine and Morkere) must have felt pretty secure in their earldoms. Is it possible they were trying to re-establish a northern entity similar to the Danelaw? Professor Edward A. Freeman seemed to think so, and other historians make the same suggestion. […]

Rise of Edwin and Morcar, Ill-fated Earls

May 11, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

If the mid-eleventh century is dominated by any theme, the rivalry between the great houses ranks close to the top. When Edward the Confessor became king, England was dominated by the Three Great Earls: Godwine of Wessex, Leofric of Mercia, and Siward of Northumbria. Edward made it his policy to leverage one (or two) against […]

Harald Hardrada plans to invade England

April 5, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 2 Comments | Filed in General Topics

Harald Hardrada certainly wreaked havoc with Harold Godwineson’s efforts to protect his new kingdom. I assume King Harold knew there was a threat from the Norse, though historians seem pretty quiet on the subject. It all started back in Harthacnut’s day. In 1040, the soon-to-be King of England and Magnus I of Norway made a […]

New Release: THE SONS OF GODWINE

March 10, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

Emerging from the long shadow cast by his formidable father, Harold Godwineson showed himself to be a worthy successor to the Earldom of Wessex. In the following twelve years, he became the King’s most trusted advisor, practically taking the reins of government into his own hands. And on Edward the Confessor’s death, Harold Godwineson mounted […]

Calm Before the Danes: Guest Post by Annie Whitehead

February 7, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 4 Comments | Filed in General Topics

It was 1984. I was in a seminar room in Kentish Town in North London and my tutor, Ann Williams, was talking to us about the 10thc anti-monastic rebellion. Ealdorman Aelfhere, one of the three most powerful noblemen in the country, was the leader of this rebellion, and he was described as the ‘Mad blast’ […]

What is Sac and Soke in Anglo-Saxon England?

December 7, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics

Sac and Soke and their derivitives (socage, sokeman, sake, soc) are found so frequently in so many different contexts, I finally started to question whether I understood them at all. It appears that these terms are more complicated than I first thought. The basic definition implies a feudal-like tenancy, where the sokeman rendered non-military services […]

York Before the Conquest: Guest Post by Regan Walker

October 26, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | 7 Comments | Filed in General Topics

Medieval York is the setting for my new novel, Rogue Knight. Today it is a prominent city in Yorkshire in the North of England. And it was before the Conquest. Though it has ancient origins, the city was founded by the Romans in 71AD. At one time, there was an old Roman fortress where the […]

My Review of The Norman Conquest of the North: The Region and Its Transformation, 1000-1135

October 25, 2015 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in Book Reviews, General Topics, William the Conqueror

I had to order this book direct from England, but the title fell right into the middle of my research and I am so glad I stumbled across it. It’s hard for me to believe someone went to so much trouble to document every smidgen of information about this period, but it seems that William […]