Wulfnoth Godwinson Timeline 1037-1094

Father – Earl Godwin of Wessex (1001 – 1053)
Mother – Gytha Thorkelsdottir (c1000 – c1072)
Spouse – None
Children – None


1037 (during)
Wulfnoth Godwinson was born to Earl Godwin and his wife, Gytha.
1043 (during)
Wulfnoth’s brother, Sweyn became Earl of Hertfordshire.
1045 (23rd January)
Wulfnoth’s sister, Edith, married King Edward the Confessor.
1045 (around)
Wulfnoth’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)
Wulfnoth’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)
Wulfnoth’s brother, 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. 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)
Wulfnoth’s brother, Sweyn, was pardoned and returned to England.
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 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. Wulfnoth Godwinson and his cousin Hakon remained in England as hostages of Edward the Confessor.
1052 (during)
Earl Godwin 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 (29th September)
Wulfnoth’s brother, Sweyn became ill while on Crusade and died.
1053 (15th April)
Wulfnoth’s father, Earl Godwin, died. His brother Harold became Earl of Wessex and the most powerful nobleman in England.
1064 (Spring/Summer)
Wulfnoth’s brother, Harold Godwinson, took a boat journey, setting sail from Bosham in the south of England. The purpose of the journey is not known but it may have been to try to secure the release of Wulfnoth and Hakon, or that he was simply taking a fishing trip. However, his boat was blown off course and he was shipwrecked off the coast of Ponthieu. William, Duke of Normandy ordered that Harold be brought to him. Harold rode into battle with William and helped to defeat Conan II of Brittany at the Battle of Dinan. After the battle William knighted Harold and then claimed that Harold had sworn an oath to support William’s claim to the throne of England after the death of Edward the Confessor. Harold returned to England with Hakon but Wulfnoth remained in custody. William claimed that he had promised to release Wulfnoth once he was crowned King.
1066 (5th January)
King Edward the Confessor died. Harold Godwinson claimed that Edward nominated him as successor to the throne.
1066 (6th January)
Wulfnoth’s brother Harold was crowned King Harold II
1066 (8th September)
Wulfnoth’s brother Tostig Godwinson and Harald Hardrada invaded the north of England.
1066 (20th September)
Battle of Fulford
Harold’s earls Morcar and Edwin were defeated by the forces of  Harald Hardrada and Tostig. The two earls fled the battlefield.
1066 (25th September)
Battle of Stamford Bridge
Harold Godwinson’s English army 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 until Tostig died in the late afternoon. The Earls Edwin and Morcar took no part in the battle.
1066 (28th September)
William, Duke of Normandy sailed overnight and landed at Pevensey on the South coast of England in the morning. Wulfnoth was left in captivity in Normandy.
1066 (14th October)
Battle of Hastings
The forces of Wulfnoth’s brother Harold, were defeated by those of William Duke of Normandy. The battle lasted all day and despite repeated attempts by William, the Anglo-Saxon shield wall held firm. In the late morning a group of Normans believed that William had been killed and fled down the hill. A group of Anglo-Saxons led by Wulfnoth’s brothers Gyrth and Leofwine chased them down the hill but they were surrounded and killed. Harold fought on but was killed in the late afternoon. The northern earls Edwin and Morcar had failed to reach the south with their armies.
1087 (late Summer)
William of Normandy had granted Wulfnoth an amnesty in his will.
1087 (Autumn)
King William II refused to grant the amnesty to Wulfnoth and he remained in captivity at Winchester.
1094 (during)
Wulfnoth died in captivity in Winchester.


Published Jun 16, 2019 @ 3:30 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). Wulfnoth Godwinson 1037 – 1094. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/wulfnoth-godwinson-1037-1094 Last accessed [date]

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