Tostig Godwinson Timeline 1026-1066

Likeness UnknownFather – Earl Godwin of Wessex (1001 – 1053)
Mother – Gytha Thorkelsdottir (c1000 – c1072)
Spouse – Judith of Flanders (c1035 – 1095)
Children – Skuli Tostisson (b. c1052), Ketil Tostisson (b. c1054)


1026 (during)
Tostig Godwinson, was born to Earl Godwin of Wessex and his wife, Gytha. He had two elder brothers, Sweyn and Harold and an elder sister, Edith.
1032 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Gyrth, was born to Earl Godwin and his wife Gytha.
1035 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Leofwine was born to Earl Godwin and his wife Gytha.
1037 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Wulfnoth, was born to Earl Godwin and his wife, Gytha.
1043 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Sweyn became Earl of Hertfordshire.
1045 (23rd January)
Tostig’s sister, Edith, married King Edward the Confessor.
1045 (around)
Tostig’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.
1047 (during)
Tostig’s brother, 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.
1049 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Sweyn, returned to England to ask for forgiveness. Tostig’s brother, Harold and his cousin Beorn did not support the return as they had been allocated Sweyn’s lands in his absence. Tostig’s cousin Beorn eventually agreed to support Sweyn but while accompanying Sweyn to meet the King he was murdered by Sweyn’s men. Sweyn was again exiled.
1050 (during)
Tostig’s brother, Sweyn, was pardoned and returned to England.
1051 (during)
Tostig married Judith of Flanders, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders and his wife Eleanor of Normandy.
1051 (September)
A group of Normans 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.
1052 (around)
A son, Skuli, was born to Tostig Godwinson and his wife Judith of Flanders.
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. Many prominent NOrmans, including Archbishop Robert of Jumieges, fled to Normandy. Wulfnoth and his cousin were taken with them and handed over to William Duke of Normandy.
1052 (Summer)
Tostig’s brother, Sweyn chose not to return to England. He embarked on a Crusade instead, possibly seeking atonement for the crimes he had committed.
1052 (29th September)
Tostig’s brother, Sweyn became ill while on Crusade and died.
1053 (15th April)
Tostig’s father, Earl Godwin, died. Tostig’s brother Harold became Earl of Wessex and the most powerful nobleman in England.
1054 (around)
A son, Ketil, was born to Tostig Godwinson and his wife Judith of Flanders.
1055 (during)
Earl Siward of Northumbria died and Tostig was appointed to the position. Tostig chose to adopt a dictatorial style of rule which was not popular with the Northumbrians.
1055 (during)
Earl Siward of Northumbria died and Tostig was appointed to the position. Tostig chose to adopt a dictatorial style of rule which was not popular with the Northumbrians.
1063 (during)
Tostig supported his brother, Harold during his conflict with Wales. They successfully defeated the Welsh leader Gruffyd ap Llewelyn.
1063 (late)
Tostig ordered the assassination of Gamal and Ulf, the sons of two leading Northumbrian families who were visiting Tostig under safe conduct.
1065 (3rd October)
The people of Northumbria rebelled against Tostig’s rule. The thegns of Yorkshire marched on York and occupied the city. After killing Tostig’s men they outlawed him and his family.
1065 (late October)
The thegns of Northumbria marched south to petition King Edward the Confessor to exile Tostig and replace him with Morcar, younger brother of Earl Edwin of Mercia.
1065 (November)
Tostig’s brother, Harold, had been sent north by the King to deal with the situation. However, after listening to the complaints of the Northumbrian thegns, Harold exiled Tostig and his family. Tostig was furious with his brother and took his family to his wife’s relatives in Flanders.
1066 (5th January)
King Edward the Confessor died. It was claimed that he nominated Harold Godwinson as his successor.
1066 (6th January)
Tostig’s brother Harold was crowned King Harold II
1066 (Spring)
It is believed that Tostig attempted to form an alliance with William Duke of Normandy but William was not ready to invade and Tostig did not want to wait.
1066 (5th May)
Tostig had been provided with ships by his brother-in-law, Count Baldwin V of Flanders, and made a series of raids along the South Coast and landed on the Isle of Wight.
1066 (May)
Tostig had continued to raid the south coast but was forced to retreat after Harold called out forces to repel his attacks.
1066 (late May)
Tostig tried to convince his brother, Gyrth, to join him but was unsuccessful. He then made raids on Norfolk and Lincolnshire but was defeated by the northern Earls, Edwin and Morcar. In the face of such strong opposition, many of Tostig’s men deserted him. Tostig fled to Scotland.
1066 (Summer)
Tostig spent time in the court of King Malcolm III. He made contact with King Harald Hardrada of Norway and may have sailed to Norway to meet the Viking. Tostig successfully persuaded Harald to invade England.
1066 (September)
Tostig and Harald Hardrada sailed from the Orkney Islands towards the Humber.
1066 (8th September)
Tostig Godwinson and Harald Hardrada sailed through the Humber estuary and into the River Ouse.
1066 (9th September)
Harald and Tostig began raiding villages and towns as they marched towards York.
1066 (11th September)
Harold Godwinson learned of Harald Hardrada’s invasion. Having just disbanded his army he was forced to recall his troops.
1066 (20th September)
Battle of Fulford
Harold’s earls Morcar and Edwin were defeated by Harald and Tostig at this battle. The two earls fled the battlefield.
1066 (25th September)
Battle of Stamford Bridge
Harold Godwinson’s English had marched north and surprised Harald Hardrada and Tostig who had not expected the Anglo-Saxon army to reach the north so quickly. They were completely unprepared for battle and many of their soldiers had not put on their chain mail due to the heat of the day. The English had to cross a small bridge which legend states was defended by a very large Viking. The English had to get under the bridge and kill him by thrusting a sword upwards. Once the bridge was cleared the English army defeated the Norwegians, many of whom had not put on their protective chain mail or armour. Harald Hardrada was killed around midday. After Harald’s death Tostig Godwinson was offered a pardon by his brother, Harold, but he refused and the fighting continued.
1066 (25th September)
Tostig was killed in the early evening.


Published Jun 11, 2019 @ 9:50 am – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). Tostig Godwinson 1026 – 1066. Last accessed [date]


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