The Legacy of Uhtred
- Mar 3, 2012
The Legacy of Uhtred
My name is Osulf Eadulfson of House Bamburgh, the Earl of Bernicia as well as Westmorland. My family claims to trace its lineage back to the famous Uhtred of Bebbanburg who, according to my family tradition anyway, single-handedly placed Alfred ‘the Great’ and his descendants in the House of Wessex onto the throne of England and drove the Vikings from our shores some 200 years ago. Whether you believe it or not, we Bamburghs have been here in the north for a long time, on both sides of the border. Hell, most of my relatives, the Dunkelds, the Dunbars and the Durhams, are on the wrong side of Hadrian’s Wall, subjects to the King of the Scots. Actually, come to think of it Bebbanburg was actually north of Hadrian’s Wall as well, but whatever, it’s just an expression. And King Malcom III ‘Cannore’ is actually my first cousin as well, though once removed, grandson of my late Uncle Ealdred. The only other surviving Bamburghs, other than my younger brother and heir Halden, are my cousin Eadulf, the Earl of Teviotdale and Lanarkshire, who is also just over the border in Scotland, and some other cousins in his court. Leaving me to hold our ancestral home all alone on Angle-Saxon soil.
I had spent my youth fighting along the border, mainly against my cousins who were trying to steal cattle and anything else they could lay hold of. Eventually, my worth was recognized and I was finally able to reclaim my ancestral home, and Westmorland to boot, as my own, though as vassal to Duke Morcar of Northumbria. Now being past my third decade, I decided it was time to settle down and start a family, raise another generation of Bamburghs to carry on. So with that in mind, I married a Breton girl, Elina verch Edouarzh de Penthievre, the daughter of Edouarzh mab Jafez, then Count of Penthievre in Brittany. The man had an army of children, so if his daughter was even half as fertile as her old man, there would be plenty of Bamburghs running around soon enough. To raise the odds even higher I arranged for my brother, Halden, to marry an Irish woman, named Éua nic Cú Uladh Dál Fiatach, daughter of Earl Cú Uladh mag Aed of Ulster. The marriage gave me an Irish ally a little closer to hand than my new father-in-law.
But as the saying goes, the gods laugh while men make plans. Because, like my ancestor Uhtred before me, the men of Bebbanburg would once again be called upon to help England survive the coming of the Northmen. And not just one invasion, but two at the same time.