Eadric the Grasper: Sons of Mercia: 1

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Eadric the Grasper: Sons of Mercia: 1

Eadric the Grasper: Sons of Mercia: 1

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Fortunately for Canute, Edmund died of battle injuries not long afterwards; Canute now ruled all of England.

Eadric’s advice to the young man lands him an audience with King Ethelred and changes his life forever. The Chronicler’s main charge against Eadric is that at the battle of Assandun he instigated the flight that led to Edmund’s defeat. He appears to have endeared himself to Ethelred II - to whom he was on the whole loyal - by arranging the assassinations of his internal opponents.

It follows the life of Eadric, a former swineherd from Mercia who due to a chance meeting, becomes an important figure, and villain in 11th century medieval history. Canute, the son of Sweyn, landed in England in August accompanied by an invasion force of about 200 ships. Bugs of all sorts accosted him wherever he turned, a rash had developed on his arm for no apparent reason, and the air beneath the trees was so humid he had sweated almost entirely through his tunic. England itself could be further divided into four parts roughly equating with the old Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of Wessex (South), Mercia (West), East Anglia (East) and Northumbria (North), each of these would be ruled by an ealdorman.

Edric Streona was not to enjoy his new exalted position for long, considering himself to have not been amply rewarded by Canute, he quarrelled with the King. In 2005, Eadric Streona (Streona is not his real last name, rather a nickname assigned to him meaning ‘grasper’ or ‘acquisitor’), a little known man to most, was voted the worst Briton of the 11 th century in a poll conducted by BBC History Magazine. As Streona argued with the King, Eric of Northumbria stepped forward and struck him with his battle axe.After a final defeat at Otford, Eadric met Edmund at Aylesford and was accepted back into his favour. Without betraying the known facts, "Eadric the Grasper" presents another conception of this historical figure: he is suave, charming, intelligent, and values peace above all things. it was told the king, that [the Danes] would beshrew him of his life, and afterwards all his council, and then have his kingdom without any resistance. Edmund's forces did flee initially, but when they realised he was still alive, fought with him until dusk. If anything, he acted boldly and through astute observation of the swift changes coming to England, he did his best to forge a good life for him and his family.

Eadric came from a large family, being one of at least eight children and was of relatively humble origins. Even before becoming an ealdorman, Eadric seems to have acted as Æthelred's enforcer; in 1006 he instigated the killing of the Ealdorman of York, Elfhelm. The first day was bloody but inconclusive; on the second, Edmund had the upper hand but the traitor Eadric- cut off the head of a man named Osmear, whose face and hair was very like king Eadmund's, and, holding it up, cried out that it was useless for the English to fight, saying, "Oh! The horses had little choice but to skid to a walk or trample some human beings, so they cast clouds of bitter dust into the air and snorted with dismay.In the case of Eadric the Chronicler shows foreknowledge of events by writing in the entry for 1009 “ But the plan was then frustrated through Earl Eadric, as it ever is still”. Eadric was one of at least eight children and had relatively humble beginnings: his father Ethelric attended the court of King Æthelred the Unready, but was of no great significance and is not known to have had any titles. Ingrid Barrøy, her father, Hans, mother, Maria, grandfather Martin, and slightly addled aunt Barbro are the owners and sole inhabitants of Barrøy Island, one of numerous small family-owned islands in an area of Norway barely touched by the outside world.

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