adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

The Reckoning of King Rædwald

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo,
Saturday 19th February 2005

Who was the great king who lay in state in the treasure-laden longship berthed beneath Mound One at Sutton Hoo? The East Anglian king Rædwald is thought by many to have been the most likely and we shall spend the day reconsidering this by exploring what can be ascertained about him in the context of the history of the early seventh century. Of great interest are his military and political achievements, for he can be seen to have been the first English overlord of all Britain. We shall also assess the part he plays in the coming of Christianity to England and the possibility that he may have been a more central figure than has been previously acknowledged.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15-11.15 Rædwald in the Historical Record  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30-12.30 The Temple of the Two Altars  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00-15.00 Rædwald and the Crisis of Christianity  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15-16.15 Rædwald the High King  

About Dr Sam Newton

After early experiences in archaeology, Sam Newton graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first in English Literature in 1983. His Ph.D for research into the Old English epic of Beowulf, supervised by Professor Michael Lapidge at the Dept of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, & Celtic at the University of Cambridge, was awarded in 1991. The thesis provided the basis for his book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, published in 1993 (with D.S. Brewer) and now in its 3rd print-run.

He has been researching the history of the East Anglian kingdom and working as a free lance tutor in Early Medieval Studies (Old English and Viking Literature, Language, History, & Archaeology) for nearly twenty years. He is currently working on a book about the history of King Rædwald.

For further information on his work, see Dr Newton’s Wuffings’ Web site at

Some Suggestions for reading (not essential)

Bruce-Mitford, R ., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974)

Chadwick, H.M. , “The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial: Who Was He?”, Antiquity, 14 (1940), pp.76-87

Higham, N. , An English Empire: Bede and the Early Anglo-Saxon Kings (Manchester 1995)

Higham, N. , The Convert Kings: Power and Religious Affiliation in Early Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1997)

Keynes, S., “Rædwald the Bretwalda”, in Voyage to the Other World: The Legacy of Sutton Hoo, ed. C.Kendall & P.Wells (Minneapolis 1992), pp.103-123

Kirby, D.P ., The Earliest English Kings (London 1991)

Newton, S.,The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993)

Newton, S.,The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird Press 2003)

Sherley-Price, L., Bede: A History of the English Church and People (Penguin Classics 1955, 1968)

Scarfe, N.,The Suffolk Landscape (Hodder & Stoughton 1972, Alastair 1986)

Scarfe, N.,Suffolk in the Middle Ages (Boydell 1986)

Warner, P.,The Origins of Suffolk (Manchester 1996)

Can I just turn up and book-in on the day?


No, because spaces are limited for the benefit of all participants. Occasionally there are spaces which are still available at the last minute but you MUST ring beforehand to check availability - it is very embarrassing to turn people away especially if they have traveled long distances.



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Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

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