The British History Podcast
Summary: The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won't find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you'll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the histories of England, Scotland, and Wales. iTunes is restricting our list to 300 episodes for some reason. To access all episodes, click subscribe. Support the Show
It was November 11 of 1035 and King Cnut was dead. He was buried at Winchester Cathedral. Cnut, and likely the Court, seemed to anticipate his death. Possibly because he had been ill for some time. But the ruling classes of Europe were still completely unprepared for the chaos that followed.
I wonder if Cnut could see what was coming. All the signs were in front of him. Everything was starting to line up. But was he actually putting it together?
We have another mystery on our hands. We have a missing year. And I don’t think it was because nothing was happening.
Successful Kings don’t rule alone. This is especially true for Kings with as much going on as Cnut. And one of Cnut’s most influential right-hand men was actually his Queen. And Emma was more than just an advisor. She was wielding considerable power in her own right, power that likely expanded every time Cnut journeyed out of England. But Queen Emma wasn’t Cnut’s only wife.
Europe was in chaos in the 1020s. Crises just kept coming, and the powerful were trying to capitalize on disorder. And in times like these, actions can have outsized impact, even the smaller ones.
What we call history was, at one point, just current events. And world affairs never happen in a vacuum. It’s never just one thing happening after another…
It’s 1025 Cnut had a problem on his hands. Barely a year after putting down Thorkell’s rebellion, Cnut was sailing for Denmark… again. To war, again.
In the early 11th century, the English were crushed by the Scots in the Battle of Carham. We are told that King Malcolm of Scotland, supported by King Owain of Strathclyde, brought their combined armies to bear against the forces of Ealdorman Uhtred of Bernicia in 1018… and there, they slaughtered the English.
More material is coming, but here is a bonus episode to keep you company while you're practicing social distancing.
In the year of 1021, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells us two things. A Bishop died. And Thorkell the Tall was expelled from the country. And that’s all it tells us.
This is a story of palace intrigue, murder, and atypical alopecia… and it all begins where these things usually do… with a real estate transaction.
Today is Shrove Tuesday. And if you’re not in Britain, you might be wondering what Shrove Tuesday is, and even if you are British, you might be wondering why you’re celebrating it.
If you have heard of King Cnut, what you probably heard was the story of Cnut and the Tides. The most common version of it goes like this.
Cnut made a lot of smart moves in a very short amount of time. He outlawed much of the corruption that had plagued the courts of AEthelred. He scrubbed his new kingdom of the loyalists to Edmund Ironsides. He granted key lands to key followers. Executed the main claimant to the throne, Eadwig. He executed Eadric Streona.
When we left off, Cnut had managed to get Eadric to go on the record calling for the execution of the English claimants to the throne… and then Cnut rejected the suggestion, and instead outlawed Eadwig, and exiled the sons of Edmund to Sweden.