Earl Edwin MERCIA
- Born: Abt 1026-1028, , Mercia, England
- Died: 1071, , , England
Other names for Edwin were Eadwine and MERCIA Earl.
Ancestral File Number: 915Z-0V.
Earl of MERCIA.
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:
 "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 outto 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 far below 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. Particularly mightthis 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. If thiswas 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 hedid, 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 byone 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 kingly and with good promises, and Edgar in particular he embraced and treated like a son..."
p12:  "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:  "William had decided that he could return to Normandy, and the decision that this could be safelydone 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'sreturn. 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 a thaneof 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..."
p30:  "...What seemed to the Normans a great conspiracy of the north and west was forming. The Welsh and English nobles were making common cause; the clergy and the common people joined their prayers; York was noted as especially enthusiastic in the cause, and many there took to living in tents as a kindof training for the conflict which was coming. The Normans understood at the time that there were two reasons for this determination to resist by force any further extension of William's rule. One was, the personal dissatisfaction of Earl Edwin. He had been given by William some undefined authority, and promoted above his brother, and he had even been promised a daughter of the king's as his wife. Clearly it had seemed at one time very necessary to conciliate him. But either that necessity had passed away, or William was reluctant to fulfil his promise; and Edwin discontented with the delay, was ready to lead what was for him at least, after he had accepted so much from William, as rebellion. He was the natural leader ofsuch an attempt; his family history made him that. Personal popularity and his wide connexions added to his strength, and if he had had in himself the gifts of leadership, it would not have been even then too late to dispute the possession of England on even terms. The second reason given us is one to which we mus attach much greater force than to the personal influence of Edwin. He in all probability merely embraced an opportunity. The other was the really moving cause. This is saidto have been the discontent of the English and Welsh nobles under the Norman oppression...
"...Early in the summer of 1068 the army began its march upon York, advancing along a line somewhat to the west of the centre of England, as the situation would naturally demand. As in William's earlier marches, so here again he encountered no resistance. Whatever may have been the extent of the conspiracy or the plans of the leaders, the entire movement collapsed before the Norman's firmdietermination to be master of the kingdom. Edwin and Morcar had collected an army and wre in the field somewhere between Warwick and Northampton, but when the time came when the fight could no longer be postponed, they thought better of it, besought the king's favour again, and obtained at least the show of it..."
p53:  "The Dames had withdrawn from the region of the Humber, but they had not left the country. In the Isle of Ely, then more nearly an actual island than inmodern 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..."
Ancestral File Ver 4.11 915Z-0V Edwin, HPGJ-7S Eadwine.