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Eadric Streona: One of the Worst Britons Ever?

Eadric Streona: One of the Worst Britons Ever?

– or how one greedy, treacherous Saxon earl weakened the English monarchy and paved the way for the Norman Conquest.

According to an article that appeared in the BBC History Magazine in 2005, a relatively obscure Saxon nobleman called Eadric Streona, who few people have probably heard of, was named the 11th century’s worst Briton! As we approach the 1000th anniversary of Eadric’s most notorious acts of treachery in the year AD 1016, now is a good time to look at how he acquired this terrible reputation.

Ethelred the Unready

The year was AD 1007 and Viking raiders were continuing to plague the Saxon kingdom of England. Far from appeasing them, the payment of Dangeld – in effect bribes of gold and silver bullion to buy off the Vikings (today we might call it protection money) – was just encouraging their fleets of longships to return each year to demand yet more money. As the poet Rudyard Kipling wrote nearly 1000 years later “Once you have paid him the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane!”

Viking Raiders


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