Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Waltheof, Earl of Northumberland, Hunyingdon & Northampton

Male Abt 1035 - 1076  (~ 41 years)

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  • Name Waltheof  
    Suffix Earl of Northumberland, Hunyingdon & Northampton 
    Born Abt 1035 
    Gender Male 
    History Waltheof was the son of Siward \'the Dane\', earl of Northumberland, and Elfleda of Northumberland. In 1054 Waltheof\'s brother Osbearn, who was much older than him, was killed in battle, making Waltheof his father\'s heir. Siward himself died in 1055, and Waltheof being far too young to succeed as earl of Northumbria, King Edward appointed Toste Godwinson to the earldom.

    Waltheof is described as strong and of great repute as a warrior, but also pious. He had learnt the Psalter in his youth, was liberal to the clergy and the poor, and was a benefactor in particular in Jarrow and Crowland. The chief stain on his memory is his part in a family blood feud, for he ordered the murder of the sons of one Carl, who had killed Earl Ealdred, Waltheof\'s grandfather.

    In October 1065, when Toste Godwinson, earl of Northumberland and brother of the future King Harold II was banished, Waltheof became earl of Huntingdon and earl of Northumberland. He is not known to have opposed William the Conqueror in 1066, but in the following year he was taken to Normandy. In 1069 he joined the Danes in their descent on Yorkshire, distinguishing himself in the attack on the city of York. In January 1070 when the Danes left, he submitted himself to William the Conqueror and was restored to his earldom, and in 1072 to his father\'s earldom of Northumberland.

    In 1070 Waltheof married Judith of Lens, daughter of Lambert, comte de Lens and Adela of Normandy, comtesse d\'Aumale, the sister of William \'the Conqueror\', they had two daughters, both of whom would have progeny.

    While attending the wedding of Ralph de Gael, earl of Norfolk, at Exning in the spring or summer of 1075, Waltheof was enticed to join the conspiracy of the earls of Norfolk and Hereford to seize England for themselves. He quickly repented, and on Lanfranc\'s advice he went to Normandy and asked pardon of the king, who treated the matter lightly at the time; but at Christmas Waltheof was brought to trial at Westminster, his wife Judith being a witness. He was imprisoned at Winchester, and on the resumption of the trial in May he was condemned and beheaded on St. Giles\'s Hill on 31 May 1076, and hastily buried. \'And here Earl Waltheof was beheaded in Winchester on the Feast of St. Petronella; and his body was led to Crowland, and there he is buried.\' (_The Worcester Manuscript_)

    A fortnight after Waltheof was beheaded, the Abbot Ulfketel, at Judith\'s request and by the king\'s permission, removed his body to Crowland, where it was honourably entombed. Many miracles are recorded as many regarded Waltheof as a saint.

    His widow, recorded in Domesday as \'Judith the Countess\', held Huntingdon as dower. She is recorded as holding estates in many counties in 1086, most of them apparently gifts from the king her uncle. She founded the Nunnery of Elstow, near Bedford.   [1
    Died 31 May, 1076 
    Person ID I1379  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 29 Jan 2018 

    Father Siward \"The Dane\", Earl of Northumberland, Hunyingdon & Northampton,   b. Abt. 1000,   d. Abt 1055/56  (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Mother Elfleda, of Northumberland,   d. yes 
    Family ID F465  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Judith of Lens,   b. Abt 1054 
    Married 1070 
    +1. Alice of Northumberland, Heiress of Walthamstow,   d. Aft 1126
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F814  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Last Modified 29 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F816  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Judith of Lens,   b. Abt 1054 
    Married 1070 
    +1. Maud, of Huntingdon,   b. Abt 1074,   d. 1130/1131  (Age ~ 57 years)
    Last Modified 20 Feb 2018 
    Family ID F1095  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00108320&tree=LEO.