BoAr: FNQ: Hereward V
http://boar.org.uk/ariwxo3FNQsupV.htm Latest edit 19 Jul 2009.
Web page & commentary © 2007 R.J.PENHEY With thanks to the trustees of the Willoughby Memorial Library
The Bourne Archive
This thread begins with the title page
De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis.
Igitur Herwardus a filio regis Hiberniæ et a rege, his cognitis, honorifice susceptus est, et eum secum aliquantis diebus, licet invitum, commanere fecerunt, quoniam ad paternam domum legatione præcepta functa, et ad matrem viduam repedare voluit, duobus præclarissimis viris, Siwardo albo et Siwardo rufo1, ipsius patrui filiis jamdudum inventis, patrem obiisse nunciantes et suam matrem in hæreditate sibi2 tradita solam esse. Ubi non multo ipse demoratus, mox imminere proximum bellum contra ducem3 de Munestre regi nunciatur. Accepto siquidem die omnes vicinius regi adhærentes Herwardum cum suis consortem in prælio et adjutorem fieri exorbant et deprecabantur, quoniam multa insignia fortitudinum de eo audierant, et nunc quia in modico tempore ipsi etiam plurima prædicanda de eo compererant. Igitur Herwardus illorum deprecationibus et verbis obtemperans cum majoribus ad bellum et in bello statuta die cuncta strenuissime perordinavit et disposuit, aciesque instruxit et conduxit4, constitutis interim septem sodalibus inter dubiabelli ducem adversarii exercitus in medio suorum aggredi debere, si manus eorum aliquantum deficeret. Quod et fecerunt in mediis hostium cuneis interficientes a dextris et a sinistris, ad ducis tentorium usque pervenientes, illum in foris cum duobus suis senibus concubantem repererunt5. Cui cito Herwardus adventus causam dixit, domino suo statim ut cedat et honorem conferat, alioquin scitote sciret, eos in eum irruituros. Nec acquievit, suos viriliter agere sciens, propria manu interdum defendens sese occisis duobus senibus suis paulumper protexit, clamans a suis hostibus præventum adjuvari. Tunc illum solitarie Herwardus aggrediens stravit, aliis introitus tabernaculi custodientibus. Qui repente per cohortem reversi, accepto ense ducis pro signo et lituo, circumdederant enim eos graviter, et unum e suis regis videlicet nepotem prostraverant, ipsis in reversione pene subactis, duobus adhuc admissis sociis et ambobus nepotibus Herwardi graviter vulneratis, tandem ad socios reversi lituum ducis personant, unde nimis territi terga verterunt. Hinc inde nomen Herwardi in omni regno valde laudabile erat, et fama illius in circuitu vicinarum gentium quotidie crescebat. Qua de re namque multi robustissimi ac filii potentum comperto de eo, ad illum confluebant, cum eo armis et liberalitatibus instruendi. Verum ipse porro cum filio regis recollecta militari manu, omnem locum et terram regi adversariam atque in circuitu inimicos ejus in uno anni spatio sibi subjugavit ; cujus medietatem nec ulla ipsius antecessorum virtus aggredi quievit.
The Exploits of Hereward the Saxon.
the war which took place in
when these things were known, was honourably received by the son of the king of
Ireland ; and they made him remain with them for several days ; although he was
unwilling, because he wished, after delivering his message to return to his
father’s house and to his widowed mother ; for he had found two very
distinguished men, Siward the White and Siward the Red1,
sons of his own uncle, who told him that his father was dead and that his
mother was by herself in the inheritance consigned to him2.
When he had been there no long time it was announced to the king that a war
against the Duke3
Hereward’s father died in September 1057 (ASC) (The Chronicle for 1057
includes: ‘The same year died Earl Leofric, on the second before the calends of
October; who was very wise before God, and also before the world; and who
benefited all this nation. He lies at
As a matter of context: in 1054,
Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches had separated. On October 24 1055
an alliance of Gruffyd, Prince of Wales and Hereward’ half-brother, Ælfgar
There were several kings in
1. ↑ These two, as sons of Hereward’s uncle were of his generation but perhaps significantly older, if they were on his father’s side of the family. Leofric had two known brothers, Northman (died 1017) and Edwin (died 1039). The Siwards may of course, have come from his mother’s side: whether she had a brother is not recorded.
2. ↑ In
Chapter XIV, ‘his
father’s lodging’ (ad sui patris
mansionem) is placed at Bourne. The phrase
‘to his father’s house’ (ad paternam
domum) is used here. That difference may carry significance, implying that
Bourne was a local caput while Edith was at the central caput in somewhere like
Sweeting has translated sibi as ‘to him’ (Hereward) but it could
equally well mean ‘to her’ (Adeva) except in as far as inheritance implies
membership of a succeeding generation. In other words, it seems the property may
have been set aside for Adeva, Leofric’s widow (more danico). He was exiled so that in
It is here made quite clear that Adeva was Hereward’s mother and by implication, Leofric’s widow. If this is accurate, we might expect his mother to have been the lady known today as Godiva. However, Adeva’s marriage to Leofric will have been according to more danico: see the discussion under Chapter II. Here we have an indication that his family had set Bourne aside for her. She may have needed Hereward’s support, despite his outlawry, because Edwin and Morcar, Hereward’s nephews by his half brother, Ælfgar may have been more concerned about their mother and Godiva, their grandmother. The Domesday Book tells us that, on the death of King Edward, the major holding in Bourne was in the ownership of Morcar (MorrisJ 42,1) but this does not contradict the sentiment of the text’s statement, merely the legal arrangements; the writer was a priest, not a lawyer. Whatever the views of his family in 1057, Hereward could not formally own Bourne because he was an outlaw. If it was legally in the hands of Morcar, a family understanding could set it aside for Hereward as a place in which to accommodate his mother, Adeva and from which she could obtain a livelihood. Possibly they were hoping to apply to king Edward to have Hereward’s exile ended but the process moved too slowly and was overtaken by events. In the first instance, after Leofric’s death in 1057, Bourne was probably put into the name of Ælfgar, Morcar’s father and Hereward’s half brother.
In Chapter II, we are told that
Adiva was the great-great-granddaughter of ‘Duke’ Oslac. Venables reports that
according to the pseudo Ingulph, Oslac was lord of Bourne in 960. If we
calculate a generation length of eighteen years and take Adiva’s birth as being
in 1020, Oslac’s child would have been born in 966. It therefore seems possible
that Leofric’s connection with Bourne arose from his connection with Adeva’s
family; so it would be appropriate that it should have been seen as hers.
Though the pseudo Ingulph may contain some errors and needs therefore to be
treated with some caution, it may also contain many truths. Oslac seems to be
an Anglicization of the Scandinavian Aslakar,
a name represented in later and in modern
4. ↑ Hereward
is acting here as he will in the later Flemish campaigns against elements of
5. ↑ Clearly, since he was lying about his tent during the battle, like Hereward’s ‘King of Ireland’ the ‘Leader of Munster’ was employing a ‘master of soldiers’ as Hereward’s counterpart. This chapter’s description of the way in which an eleventh century war was organized gives a very useful insight into understanding what was to be happening later, around Ely.