Edwin, Earl of Mercia

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Edwin
Earl of Mercia
Reign c.1062 – 1071
Predecessor Ælfgar
Successor Office abolished
Father Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia
Mother Ælfgifu[not verified in body]
Died 1071

Edwin (Old English: Ēadwine) (died 1071) was the elder brother of Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, son of Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia and grandson of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.[1] He succeeded to his father's title and responsibilities on Ælfgār's death in 1062. He appears as Earl Edwin (Eduin comes) in the Domesday Book.[2]

His younger brother, Morcar was elected Earl of Northumbria when Tostig Godwinson was ejected by the Northumbrians (October 3, 1065). In 1066 Tostig raided in Mercia but was repulsed by Edwin and Morcar and fled to Scotland. Later in the year he returned, accompanied by King Harald Hardrada of Norway at the head of a huge Norwegian army, which defeated Edwin and Morcar at the Battle of Fulford near York (September 20). Harald and Tostig were in turn defeated and slain by Harold Godwinson's army, five days later at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25). After Harold's death at the Battle of Hastings, Edwin and Morcar were the principal supporters of a new regime under Edgar the Ætheling, but failed to take effective steps against the invading Normans and soon submitted to Duke William.

In 1068, Edwin and Morcar attempted to raise a rebellion in Mercia but swiftly submitted when William moved against them. In 1071 they again sought to rebel but Edwin was soon betrayed to the Normans by his own retinue and killed.

Edwin's sister, Edith, had been married to Harold Godwinson until the latter's death at Hastings on 14 October 1066.

Edwin's lands centred at Gilling West in his brother's Northumbrian earldom, were given to Alain Le Roux in 1071 and the district was renamed Richmondshire.

Edwin was portrayed by Adam Bareham in the TV drama Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990). He is mentioned in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when the mouse attempts to dry itself and other characters by reciting a dry example of English history.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eadwine, earl of Mercia" (d. 1071): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52351 in Ann Williams, ‘Ælfgar, earl of Mercia (d. 1062?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 18 April 2008
  2. ^ BoAr: FNQ: Hereward II
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Ælfgār
Earl of Mercia
1062–1071
Succeeded by
None
Role abolished