Earl Leofric Mercia NORTHUMBRIA, III
Countess Godiva MERCIA
(Abt 980-1067)
King Ethelred ENGLAND, II
(Abt 965-1016)
Queen Alfgifu Gunnarsson ENGLAND
(Abt 968-1002)
Earl Alfgar MERCIA, III
(Abt 1002-1059)
Princess Alfgifu ENGLAND
(Abt 968-)
(Abt 1028-1089)


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  • Born: Abt 1028-1030, , Mercia, England
  • Died: 1089, , , England

   Other names for Morcar were Morkere and NORTHUMBRIA Earl.

   General Notes:


From Alfred to Henry III 871-1272, Christopher Brooke, 1961, The Norton Library History of England, p85:
"Tostig, Harold's brother, had been Earl of Northumbria since old Siward's death in 1055. But the Northumbrians owed no natural allegiance to a son of Godwin, and they proved intractable subjects. In 1065 they rebelled and forced the King to appoint Morcar, brother of Edwin, Earl of Mercia, and grandson of Cnut's earl, Leofric, in Tostig's place...

The Political History of England, Vol II, George Burton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch I, p3:
[1066] "In the meantime, as the invading army [of William the Conqueror] was slowly drawing near to London, opinion there had settled, for the time at least, upon a line of policy. Surviving leaders who had been defeated in the great battle, men high in rank who had been absent, some purposely standing aloof while the issue was decided, had gathered in the city. Edwin and Morcar, the great earls of north and middle England, heads of the house that was the rival of Harold's, who seem to have been willing to see him and his power destroyed, had now come in, having learned the result of the battle...Nor was a military force lacking, even if the `army' of Edwin and Morcar was under independent and not trustworthy command. It is clear that the tone of public opinion was for further resistance, and the citizens were not afraid to go out to attack the Conqueror on his first approach to their neighborhood. But from all our sources of information the fatal fact stands out plainly, of divided counsels and lack of leadership...there was too much self-seeking and lack of patriotism. Edwin and Morcar went about trying to persuade people that one or the other of them should be king...England was conquered, not by the superior force and genius of the Norman, but by the failure of her own men in a great crisis of her history...
"...To find a crossing the Norman march was continued up the river, the country suffering as before from the fraging of the army. The desired crossing was found at Wallingford, not farbelow Oxford and nearly fifty miles above London. That he could have crossed the river nearer the city that this, if he had wished, seems probable, and considerations of strategy may very likely have governed William's movements. Particularlymight this be the case if he had learned that Edwin and Morcar, with their army, had abandoned the new king and retired northward, as some of the best of modern scholars have believed, though upon what is certainly not the best of evidence. Ifthis was so, a little more time would surely convince the Londoners that submission was the best policy, and the best position for William to occupy would be between the city and this army in the north, a position which he could easily reach, as he did, from his crossing at Wallingford. If the earls had not abandoned London, this was still the best position, cutting them off from their own country and the city from the region whence reinforcements must come if they came at all. A long sweep about a hostile city was favourite strategy of William's..."
p6: "...The generally accepted opinion, on the authority of English chroniclers, is that the embassy from London went to meet William at Berkhampsted, thirty miles away...Wherever the act of submission occurred, it was in form com;lete and final of the city and for the chief men of England. Edgar came to offer his useless and imperfect crown...and chief men of the state among whom Edwin and Morcar are mentioned by one of the chroniclers who had earlier sent them home to the north. Possibly he is right in both statements, and the earls had returned to make their peace when they saw that resistance was hopeless. These men William received most kinglyand with good promises, and Edgar in particular he embraced and treated like a son..."
p12: [1067] "While William waited at Barking, other English lords in addition to those who had already acknowledged him came in and made submission. The Norman authorities say that the earls Edwin and Morcar were chief of these, and if not earlier, they must have submitted then..."
p24: [1067] "William had decided that he could return to Normandy, and the decision that this could be safely done with so small a part of the kingdom actually in hand,with so few castles already built or garrisons established, is the clearest possible evidence of William's opinion of the situation..."
"No disorders in Normandy demanded the duke's return. Everything had been quiet there, under the control of Matilda and those who had been appointed to assist her. William's visit at this time looks less like a necessity than a parade to make an exhibition of the results of his venture. He took with him a splendid assortment of plunder and a long train of English nobles, among whom the young atheling Edgar, Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, Earls Edwin and Marcar, Waltheof, son of Siward, the Abblot of Galstonbury, and athane of Kent, are mentioned by name. The favour and honour with which William treated these men did not disguise from them the fact that they were really held as hostages..."
p53: [1074] "The Dames had withdrawn from the region of teh Humber, but they had not left the country. In the Isle of Ely, then more nearly an actual island than in modern times, was a bit of unsubdued England, and there they landed for a time. In this position, surrounded by fens and interlacing rivers, accessible at only a few points, occurred the last resistance which gave the Normans any trouble. The rich mythology which found its starting-point in this resistance, and especially in its leader, Hereward, we no longer mistake for history... "...Others gradually gathered in to them, including some men of note. Edwin and Morcar had once more changed sides, or had fled from William's court to escape some danger there. Edwin had been killed in trying to make his way through to Scotland, but Morcar had joined the refugees in Ely. In 1074 William advanced in person against the `camp of refuge.' A fleet was sent to blockade one side while the army attacked from the other. It was found necessary to build a long causeway for the approach of the army and around this work the fiercest fighting occurred; but its building could not be stopped, and just as it was finished the defenders of the Isle surrendered. The leaders were imprisoned, Morcar in normandy for the rest of William's reign. The common men were mutiliated and released..."

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