Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Battle of Stamford Bridge

Today is the 950th anniversary of the battle of Stamford Bridge, fought on September 25th 1066 and one of the key events in that, pace Sellars and Yeatman, memorable year.

There is a good account of the battle and the Norwegian invasion of that autumn in the Wikipedia account which can be seen, with the usual links, at Battle of Stamford Bridge. As one has come to expect the Wikipedia articles on the Anglo-Saxon era are consistently distinctly better researched and more academic than other historical articles on the site. This applies equally to the biographies there of  King Harold II and King Harald III Hardrada which can be viewed at King Harold Godwinson
and King Harald Hardrada. The Oxford DNB life of King Harold II by Robin Fleming can be viewed at  Harold II

The defeat of the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge can be seen as not the actual end of  Scandinavian incursions - there was to be support from there in the 1069 rising and the threat of it in 1085 - but its symbolic and effective end. The Norman Conquest was, in a sense, a Viking invasion, in that the Normans were in origin from Norway, but it linked England to the west rather than the north of Europe, and the scope for Scandinavian involvement and engagement was left to the worlds of trade, mission and high culture, with England taking the initiative in succeeding centuries.   

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