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King Cnút and the Battle of Assandún (18th October 1016)

St Botulf’s, Hadstock, Essex (Friends of Hadstock Church)

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 17th October 2009

Today is the eve of the 993rd anniversary of the Battle of Assandún, the kingdom winning victory of the Danish king Cnút, an event at least as important in English history as the Battle of Hastings, yet far less known.
Even the location of the battle is a matter of uncertainty, though we know from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that Cnút marked the site with the building of a great minster, just like William the Conqueror did on the site of his kingdom-winning victory, which took place almost exactly 50 years later on 14th October 1066.
We shall thus reconsider the dramatic events of the year 1016 and their consequences, with particular attention to the location of Cnút’s victory and the site of his minster, using the near contemporary authority of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as well as Old Norse skaldic poetry.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 England and Denmark in the late tenth century  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 The Danish conquest of England  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 1016: the year of five battles  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Cnút the Great  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at the University of East Anglia in 1991 and published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993, which has been reprinted three times since. He has lectured widely around the country as a free-lance scholar and has also contributed to many television and radio programmes. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003. He is currently a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Backhouse, J. (ed.), The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art (British Museum, 1984)
Campbell, J., The Anglo-Saxons (Phaidon 1982)
Garmonsway, G., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1953, 1975).
Hart, C., The Danelaw (Hambledon 1992)
Howard, I., Swein Forkbeard's Invasions and the Danish Conquest of England, 991-1017 (Boydell & Brewer 2003)
Jones, G., A History of the Vikings (2nd Edition, Oxford 1984)
Lawson, M. K., Cnut, The Danes in England in the Early Eleventh Century, The Medieval World Series (Longman 1994)
Magnusson, Magnus, The Vikings (rev.ed. Tempus 2000)
Page, R.I., Chronicles of the Vikings: Records, Memorials and Myths (British Museum Press, 2000)
Rumble, A. (ed.), The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway, Studies in the Early History of Britain Series, 10-26 (Leicester 1994)
Stenton, F., Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford 1971)
Swanton, M., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1996; Phoenix 2000)
Turville-Petre, G., The Heroic Age of Scandinavia (London 1951, 1976)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

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

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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