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Waltheof of Bamburgh

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(Redirected from Waltheof of Bernicia)

Waltheof was high-reeve or ealdorman of Bamburgh (fl. 994). He was the son of Ealdred, and the grandson of Oswulf I[1] and was father of Uhtred the Bold, Ealdorman of Northumbria.

The name 'Waltheof' remained in his family when Earl Siward married his great-granddaughter and named his son Waltheof. This son of Siward became Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, and one of his descendants being Saint Waltheof of Melrose. Additionally, another branch of the family would use the Waltheof name including: Waltheof of Allerdale who was son of Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria. Waltheof of Inverkeithing and Dalmeny was son of Cospatric, and grandson of Waltheof of Allerdale. Another descendant of Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria was Waltheof, Earl of Dunbar.


In 1006 Malcolm II of Scotland invaded Northumbria and besieged the newly founded episcopal city of Durham. At that time the Danes were raiding southern England and King Æthelred was unable to send help to the Northumbrians. Ealdorman Waltheof was too old to fight and remained in his castle at Bamburgh. Ealdorman Ælfhelm of York also took no action. Waltheof's son Uhtred, acting for his father, called together an army from Bernicia and Yorkshire and led it against the Scots. The result was a decisive victory for Uhtred. Local women washed the severed heads of the Scots, receiving a payment of a cow for each, and the heads were fixed on stakes to Durham's walls. Uhtred was rewarded by King Æthelred II with the ealdormanry of Bamburgh even though his father was still alive.


Waltheof has been identified as the father of two sons; their mothers are unknown:


  1. ^ De Northumbria post Britannos says that Oswulf had a son named Ealdred, father of Waltheof of Bamburgh, father of Uhtred of Northumbria; see McGuigan, ′Ælla and the descendants of Ivar′, pp. 25, 33.


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Regnal titles
Preceded by Ruler of Bamburgh
fl. 994
Succeeded by