Sweyn Godwinson Timeline 1020-1052

Sweyn Godwinson Likeness UnknownFather – Earl Godwin of Wessex (1001 – 1053)
Mother – Gytha Thorkelsdottir (c1000 – c1072)
Spouse – Unknown
Children – Hakon (b. c1045)


1020 (around)
A son, Sweyn, was born to Godwin, Earl of Wessex and Gytha of Denmark, sister-in-law of King Cnut.
1022 (around)
Sweyn’s brother, Harold was born to Earl Godwin and his wife, Gytha
1025 (during)
Sweyn’s sister, Edith, was born to Earl Godwin and his wife Gytha.
1026 (during)
Sweyn’s brother, Tostig, was born to Earl Godwin of Wessex and his wife, Gytha.
1032 (during)
Sweyn’s brother, Gyrth, was born to Earl Godwin and his wife Gytha.
1035 (during)
Sweyn’s brother, Leofwine was born to Earl Godwin and his wife Gytha.
1037 (during)
Sweyn’s brother, Wulfnoth, was born to Earl Godwin and his wife, Gytha.
1043 (during)
Sweyn became Earl of an area that included Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Somerset.
1045 (23rd January)
Sweyn’s sister, Edith, married King Edward the Confessor.
1045 (around)
Sweyn’s brother, Harold married Edith the Fair who was also known as Edith Swanneck by the Danish handfasting ceremony which was not recognised by the Church.
1045 (around)
A son, Hakon, was born to Sweyn. The identity of the child’s mother is not known.
1046 (during)
Sweyn allied himself with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and fought with him to defeat the Welshman’s enemies.
1047 (during)
Sweyn, was exiled for abducting the abbess of Leominster. It is thought that he intended to marry her and take control of the abbey estate, but he was denied permission. He went to the court of Flanders.
1048 (during)
Sweyn paid a visit to Denmark and was expelled for an unknown reason.
1049 (during)
Sweyn, returned to England to ask for forgiveness. His brother Harold and his cousin Beorn did not support the return as they had been allocated Sweyn’s lands in his absence. Sweyn’s cousin Beorn eventually agreed to support him and accompanied him to meet the King. However, Sweyn had him murdered and he was again exiled.
1050 (during)
Sweyn, was pardoned and returned to England.
1051 (during)
Sweyn’s brother Tostig married Judith of Flanders, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders and his wife Eleanor of Normandy.
1051 (September)
A group of Normans, including William Duke of Normandy, had visited Edward the Confessor in London. On their return journey they had been involved in a conflict with the people of Dover and some were killed. Edward the Confessor asked Harold’s father, Earl Godwin to punish the townspeople of Dover. Earl Godwin refused to carry out the King’s demand and instead raised an army against the King. Not wanting civil war, the Witan intervened and the Godwin family were exiled. Earl Godwin, Gytha, Sweyn, Tostig and Gyrth went to Flanders while Harold and Leofwine went to Dublin. Harold’s brother Wulfnoth and Sweyn’s son Hakon were taken hostage. It is believed that Edward may have told William he would nominate him to be King on his death.
1052 (during)
Harold and his family returned to England at the head of an army. King Edward was unable to raise a force that would defeat the Godwins and was forced to sue for peace terms. It was agreed that the Godwin family could return and their former lands would be restored to them. Edward agreed to reduce the number of Norman advisors at court.
1052 (Summer)
Sweyn Godwinson chose not to return to England. He embarked on a Crusade instead, possibly seeking atonement for the crimes he had committed.
1052 (29th September)
Sweyn became ill while on Crusade and died.


Published Jun 11, 2019 @ 10:05 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Sweyn Godwinson 1020 – 1052. Available: http://www.thetimelinegeekhttps://www.thetimelinegeek.com/sweyn-godwinson-1020-1052 Last accessed [date]


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