Talk:Eadric Streona

From Cunnan
Revision as of 03:02, 29 November 2007 by Streona (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Eadric is a fascinating character- I do not accept that he was of ignoble birth. The parentage of Eadric has been variously attributed to Aethelric, Ealdorman of Mercia- which would show he was not of "ignoble" birth, if true- or to Wulfric Spot. Both of these are unlukely. Professor Kelley's opinion is that "Aethelric" was a typo (or "quillo") for Aethelweard the Historian. However Aethelric was Eadric's predecessor as Ealdorman of Mercia, so it may be that it was later assumed that he was his father. In fact Aethelric was fired by King Ethelred for betraying naval secrets to the Danes and the post left vacant for several years- his actual son was Aelfgar, whom the king had blinded. Wulfric Spot was the brother of Aelfhelm, whom Streona assassinated for Ethelred and this is not mentioned in the ASC. Furthermore Brihthelm is described in the ASC as both Eadric Streona's brother and the uncle of Wulfnoth Cild. Wulfnoth is believed to be the son of Aethelmaer the Great and he was the son of Aethelweard the Historian, which implies that he was Eadric's brother and shared the same father. Eadric supposed ignoble birth is probably written as an insult by Florence of Worcester. William of Malmesbury descibes him as "the refuse of mankind and a reproach unto the English" and these monks were quite a snobbish crowd anyway. Much of the "Sermo ad Lupem" is concerned with the lower orders not knowing their place. Aethelweard the Historian rather loudly announces his pedigree as descended from King Ethelred I, which is more royal than the king. Also Ethelred II gave him his daughter to marry, which, no matter how smart he was (which even his detractors acknowledge) would be unlikely were he of "low birth". Aethelweard and St.Alfheah were sent on diplomatic missions to the Danes and these appear to have been related to the payment of Danegeld (which was apparently Aethelweard's idea). Later Eadric attempted to ransom Alfheah from the Danes at Greenwich. The Danes however killed him whilst they were drunk in contravention of orders from their leader Thorkel the Tall. As Thorkel saw he was losing his grip, he defected to the English and thereafter was closely l;inked with Eadric Streona. It seems very likely therefore that Eadric engineered this defection. I suggest that Eadric was a go-between between the Danes and the English king Ethelred II and a capable Mr. Fixit for Ethelred (especially when he wanted someone assassinated. Occupying such an ambiguous position led to his eventual treachery. Streona seems to have been loyal to Ethelred until Ethelred declined into terminal illness. His descent into treachery was chiefly directed against Edmund Ironsides, who pursued a vigorous confrontational policy against the Danes in contrast to the appeasement evidently favoured by Eadric. Moreover Edmund rather pointedly married the wife of one of the Ealdorman Eadric had murdered (Sigebert)and set himself up as king, even though his father Ethelred was not yet dead - technically treason. The cause of Eadric's downfall at the order of Cnut was said to be his admission of having arranged the assassination of Ironsides. Cnut had a ruthless and treacherous streak every bit as bad as Streona, but he was made a Saint. The death of Ironsides in 1015 appears from various accounts, to have happened on the toilet either by Streona's son(s) hiding in the pit with a sword or according to Geoffery of Gaimar by booby trapping the toilet seat with a crossbow. The first referenc4 to crossbows in England is at the Battle of Hastings, where the wages bill for crossbowmen attests to their presence.However a primitive form from Sweden called the Skane lockbow would have been known to the Danes, especially thorkel the Tall, who was Streona's close associate. Streona 03:02, 29 November 2007 (EST)