Godwins family

Jenny Simple
Mind Map by Jenny Simple, updated more than 1 year ago
Jenny Simple
Created by Jenny Simple about 4 years ago
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The Godwin family
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Godwins family
1 Overview for Godwins' power & wealth

Annotations:

  • Godwin first became a very powerful man, in 1020 he was appointed earl of Wessex, the wealthiest part of England. By 1057 the sons of Godwin controlled the earldoms of Northumbria & East Anglia (3 largest earldoms of England). However, in 1065 Tostig Godwinson was forced out of the earldom of Northumbria, and by 1066 Harold Godwinson took the throne of England, thus the Godwins reached the height of their power.  
1.1 Estates

Annotations:

  • Most of the Godwins'  landed empire is revealed by the Domesday survey, undertaken in 1086-87 by order of William the Conqueror.  According to Domesday, the estates of the Godwins (Harold, Tostig, Gyrth, Leofwine & Edith) in 1066 were concentrated in the south and east of England. However, they were not confined to these areas, and the family's holdings were more widely scattered and extensive than their rivals': principally, the descendants of Earl Siward of Northumbria (d.1055), of Earl Leofric of Mercia (d.1057) and the king himself. 
1.1.1 Most of the Godwins' landed empire is revealed by the Domesday survey, undertaken in 1086-87 by order of William the Conqueror. According to Domesday, the estates of the Godwins (Harold, Tostig, Gyrth, Leofwine & Edith) in 1066 were concentrated in the south and east of England. However, they were not confined to these areas, and the family's holdings were more widely scattered and extensive than their rivals': principally, the descendants of Earl Siward of Northumbria (d.1055), of Earl Leofric of Mercia (d.1057) and the king himself.
1.2 Godwin first became a very powerful man, in 1020 he was appointed earl of Wessex, the wealthiest part of England. By 1057 the sons of Godwin controlled the earldoms of Northumbria & East Anglia (3 largest earldoms of England). However, in 1065 Tostig Godwinson was forced out of the earldom of Northumbria, and by 1066 Harold Godwinson took the throne of England, thus the Godwins reached the height of their power.

Annotations:

  • The Godwin family estates were valued at around 7000 pounds, in 1066, with Harold's own share about 5000 pounds. By contrast, the estates of Leofric's family were worth 2,400 pounds and Siward's 350 pounds. The king's lands were valued at about 5000 pounds. Such great wealth so widely spread allowed the Godwin's to recruit and find support across England. The Godwin's and their followers probably controlled about a third of all the land in England in 1066. The unrestrained growth of the family's power gave the Godwin's a huge amount of land.
1.3 Wealth
1.3.1 The Godwin family estates were valued at around 7000 pounds, in 1066, with Harold's own share about 5000 pounds. By contrast, the estates of Leofric's family were worth 2,400 pounds and Siward's 350 pounds. The king's lands were valued at about 5000 pounds. Such great wealth so widely spread allowed the Godwin's to recruit and find support across England. The Godwin's and their followers probably controlled about a third of all the land in England in 1066. The unrestrained growth of the family's power gave the Godwin's a huge amount of land.
2 Political & Military roles
2.1 Evidences for political roles

Annotations:

  • Godwin's prominence is the marriage he made in 1019, to Gytha, the sister of earl Ulf of Denmark. Also,when Edward came to the throne Godwin supported the king,and consolidated his position by marrying his daughter Edith to the King in 1045. Government continued to function effectively during Harold's (II) brief reign- his main preocuppations were to unite the nobility & to counter invasion. By marriage to Edith (daughter of Earl Alfgar of Mercia) he gained alliances with Edwin (Earl of Mercia), & his brother Morcar (Earl of Northumbria)
2.1.1 Godwin's prominence is the marriage he made in 1019, to Gytha, the sister of earl Ulf of Denmark. Also,when Edward came to the throne Godwin supported the king, and consolidated his position by marrying his daughter Edith to the King in 1045. Government continued to function effectively during Harold's brief reign- his main preocuppations were to unite the nobility & to counter invasion. By marriage to Edith (daughter of Earl Alfgar of Mercia) he gained alliances with Edwin (Earl of Mercia), & his brother Morcar (Earl of Northumbria)
2.2 Military roles

Annotations:

  • Harold led a series of successful campaigns (1062-1063) against Gruffudd ap Llewelyn of Gwynedd, the ruler of Wales. He was an able soldier and an inspiring leader. Moreover, Godwins' family had their own private armies and navies. Sweden Godwinson spent some time in Belgium, & returned to England with a number of his men in 7 or 8 ships; he managed to gain support from his cousin Beorn. Whereas, Tostig accused his brother Harold, of secretly organizing the rebellion. Hardrada & Tostig defeated the earls Edwin & Morcar in battle at Fulford.
2.2.1 After the exile, Godwin returned in 1052 having gathered an army which grew as they travelled trough Kent. They were very violent, attacking their own lands. However, he knew this rebellion would weaken England, therefore he asked Edward to be granted his former lands. Edward restored the Godwin family, his decision might be influenced by huge Godwin army. Godwins' family had their own private armies and navies. Harold led series of successful campaigns (1062-1063) against Gruffudd ap Llewelyn of Gwynedd, the ruler of Wales. He was an able soldier and an inspiring leader. Tostig Godwinson was also a great military leader, he was campaigning with his brother Harold. They defeated Irish raiders in 1051, & invaded Wales in 1063. However, Harold saw him as a problem for the throne, & was against him: the king had to strip him from his earldom. On his return he gained the support of the king Harald Hardrada. Their army defeated the earls Edwin & Morcar in battle at Fulford.
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