Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Earl of Mercia

Earl of Mercia was a title in the late Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Danish, and early Anglo-Norman period in England.

Expansion of the Kingdom of Mercia: dark green 6th century; green 7th century; yellow 8th century.

During this period the earldom covered the lands of the old Kingdom of Mercia in the English Midlands. First governed by ealdormen under the kings of Wessex in the 10th century, it became an earldom in the Anglo-Danish period.[1] During the time of King Edward the earldom was held by Leofric and his family, who were political rivals to the House of Godwine.

Godwine Seal

Following the Conquest in 1066 Edwin was confirmed as earl by King William[2].

William the Conqueror

However he was implicated in the rebellion of 1071 and was dispossessed[3]. Following the death of Edwin the earldom was broken up, the power and regional jurisdiction of the earl passing to the newly formed earldoms of Chester and later Shrewsbury.

The Earls of Mercia were:
Eadric Streona (1007–17), ealdorman of Mercia[4]
Leofric (c.1030–1057)
Ælfgar (1057–1062)
Edwin (1062–1070)

1. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 1017: "This year King Knute took to the whole government of England, and divided it into four parts: Wessex for himself, East-Anglia for Thurkyll, Mercia for Edric, Northumbria for Eric."
2. Crouch p100
3. Mason p192
4. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 1007: "In this year also was Edric appointed alderman over all the kingdom of the Mercians.", 1017: "This year also was Alderman Edric slain at London".

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