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Congratulations on surviving the Bastard's hordes. :D I'm sure Waltheof will get a ducal title down the line. Very nice AAR so far, I'm really interested in seeing whether Aethelfrith will one day overthrow the Norman yoke and rule England.
 

tudor

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@Enewald

Well, buying a ducal title was out of question for some years after the war... :(
and William was somehow not in the granting mood ;)

Without spoiling too much:
The Pope will have a word (or two) in the next update...

@ Morsky

I was lucky William decided to attack me when he was in a kind of "weak" position (with only York and Essex as demesne) and that he had four targets at once: me, his son Oxford (which he seemed to hate more than me), Westmoreland and Leinster (kind of).
His army in Essex alone was larger than everything the allies could muster together. But it didn't move! He always used the armies of his other vassals for attacks.
I made my peace proposal when I saw Oxford was going to fall and I thought "In the worst case he says: NO".
 
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kadvael56

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tudor said:
Without spoiling too much:
The Pope will have a word (or two) in the next update...
It sounds interesting, I hope you'll not spend many years rebuilding after this war. Why does William not like the poor Saxons :( ?
 

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Enthusiastically subscribed!

Several things I'd like to add. For a first time AAR writer this is exceptionally good. Of particular note are your maps, world updates, descriptions of campaigns (with campaign maps to illustrate it all) and your nothing-but-the-facts style. Brilliant!

Regards,
Eikinskjaldi
 

tudor

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@kadvael56
I can't say that it was not a / the major part for some years...
William does not like Saxons because there are so many of them... and they don't speak French...

@Eikinskjaldi
Thank You!

I hope, I can make my next update in a few hours.
 

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Part V: 1078 – 1085 Years of Recovery and the Treaty of Lincoln

The Years following Waltheof’s submission to King William are full of contradicting records.
On one hand we have many chronicles praising the earl for establishing peace and repairing the damages of the war, on the other hand there are a number of reports cursing the earl’s lack of organization and control, the impoverishment of his lands and the decline of morals.

In fact the debts of Earl Waltheof had gone beyond repaying and in 1078/1079 he had to sell many of his possessions (especially tile fabrics and parts of his private library). The records of the Northamptonian court state that there were no investments in new provinicial improvements before 1081.

Waltheof spent these years mostly in Durham and York causing the “Earls Party” to lose influence at the royal court rapidly and strengthening the “Dukes Party” now lead by the Bishop of Salisbury. On the advise of the Dukes Party the banishment of Bishop Richard of Carlisle was lifted shortly after Christmas 1079.


In his weakened State Waltheof opts for reconciliation...

The earl only visited the royal court when summoned and even then showed no signs of opposition to the king, showing a low profile for almost three years.


Waltheof's only recorded political act between 1078 and 1081

King William used the months after the war to further strengthen his position. In 1079/1080 he fought the minor Sheikdom of Tripolitania, which had attacked the men of his crusading son Robert, Duke of Normandy.
After extracting a large sum of money from the Sheik King William refused the proposal of a Papal messenger to continue the voyage of his army to Egypt – like his fellow Christian kings – and to free Alexandria. (In fact by summer 1080 England was the only major Christian kingdom not to participate in the first crusade).
King William instead confiscated fiefs and waged war on his own nobles.
When Lanfranc of Salisbury started to preach teachings in contradiction to the catholic faith and finding the support of the king the Papal curia was alarmed. In July Pope Alexander II. send a legate to England pleading William for peace among his princes and nobles, reprimanding him to help the crusaders against the heathens and demanding Bishop Lanfranc’s removal from the court.
William’s reaction left no room for interpretation. He refused all demands of the Pope. He stated that conquering England was enough of a crusade for him and that he had no intentions to die in Africa like his former liege King Philippe of France. He threatened to install Bishop Lanfranc as Pope and even declared war on the Earl of Leicester in presence of the Papal legate (August 13th, 1080). He then kept him in custody for three more months before sending him back to Rome.
It took William almost a year to subdue the Earl of Leicester, but not sooner had he taken his lands (July 8th, 1081) when a new Papal legate appeared. This time the legate had a Papal bull with him, threatening to excommunicate William and putting all England under the interdict if the “men and women of the English realm” would further support the heretical teachings of Bishop Lanfranc.
William refused to yield to the Papal authority and was excommunicated on September 27th, 1081.


William of England... not on good Terms with the Pope...

To the king’s horror the majority of his barons and nobles (among them Waltheof) did not share his point of view (even Bishop Lanfranc, who submitted to the Pope - at last for a short period of time) and distanced themselves from him, some even taking vows to free the realm (or parts of it) from the clutches of heretics.


The Siward Estates in October 1081

In March 1082 Waltheof returned (more obviously) to the political stage. The war damages of his counties had been repaired and his financial situation seemed sound again.


On March 14th, the book “The Glorious Reigns of the Kings of Northumbria” was presented to Waltheof.
Waltheof made the author – a monk named Edric (Grey) – his chaplain and ordered that a king list based on this book should be laid out in every major church in his counties.


First Page of the Glorious Reigns of the Kings of Northumbria

At the same time the Siward household records show increased investments in military equipment (e.g. grounds and buildings for military training) in all counties.


The records show also that the marriage of Waltheof and Berthe seemed not to be based on love and understanding (beeing a forced marriage from the start), as large sums of money went into jewels and fashion for Berthe (always with the remark: “to keep the lady content”).

In September William threatened to invade Gwynedd, but he had to redirect his forces when the Earl of Kent rose against his liege (joined by the Earl of Surrey in February 1083). As William could not rely too much on his other vassals - unlike his strategy in the past - he rarely used their troops. Using only his own men, who still had not fully recovered from his Tripolitanian adventure prolonged the time to subdue his unruly vassals.

Although Waltheof saw the weakened state of King William’s forces, it was clear to him that, the Conqueror was still too powerful to be overcome by him alone.
Waltheof’s own army was yet not ready to strike. He hoped for more nobles to rise in rebellion and he wanted to free his son Eadric from the custody of the Duke of Somerset before he could move against the king.


In September 09th, he got the happy message that his wife – after a long illness of about four months - had died.


He remarried almost instantly (September 24th), his bride being the duchess dowager of Burgundy Ermengarde d’Anjou.


Ermengarde d'Anjou

The marriage was of political nature (the bride was in her late forties but she brought a dowry worth a queen), establishing a link to the nobility of France.

The year 1084 started with good news.


On February 8th, the crusaders (mainly the knights from France) had freed Alexandria and several crusader states had established themselves in Egypt. The Fatimid Caliphate itself was lying in ruins only a shadow of its former glory.
Messes and celebrations were held all over Europe, claiming a prominent victim on February 22nd, when Pope Alexander II. died of exhaustion.


The curia gathered in Rome and after short council elected Bishop Alcide of Padua as Alexander II. successor (He chose the name Gregor VII.).

By April William had crushed the rebels in Kent and Surrey, strengthening his own position but alienating his remaining barons even further.
The tensions between monarch and lords became more and more dangerous each month, bringing England at the brink of civil war. This tension attracted many people of dubious nature to England. Even the lands of the Siwards were not immune, when organized bands of thieves and robbers formed all over the country - especially in the rich counties in the south of England.


Organized Crime... will haunt the Siward Counties many Years

Waltheof had meanwhile gained the friendship of the Duke of Somerset, so the life of his son Eadric was no more in danger. In September even Aethelfrith returned to England.
Waltheof gave the young man almost immediately a place in his council and after a few weeks Aethelfrith took over the position of Steward of the Siward estates.


The Council in 1084

Aethelfrith seemed to be quite talented in financial matters. The Siward household records show that within a few months he had reorganized the household so far that the income had almost doubled.
In October the family gathered for a sad occasion in York when Countess Ermengarde succumbed to a fever.

In 1085 the “English Situation” in general had not changed.
William was still excommunicated and Pope Gregor VII. refused to lift the ban, as Bishop Lanfranc had returned to London renewing his heretical sermons with the kings consent.

Waltheof had married again. It seems that it was a love match, as Pétronille de Joigny was a former maid-of-honour of his last wife and had no fortune or political connections.

Pétronille de Joigny - Waltheof's fourth Wife​

In May King William of England and Waltheof, Earl of Northampton met in Lincoln.
It was a quite surreal situation. They had not seen each other for almost three years. Aside from the Northumbrian king list (in which Morcar Leofricson is listed as king reigning 1068-1070) Waltheof had not openly provoked his king (but he had improved his army).
Both men knew that they could not win a armed confrontation - at least not without heavy losses.
In raw strength Northampton alone was still no match to the king, but it was clear would the king attack Northampton he would spark a civil war a destroying the realm.


On May 26th, 1085 they sealed the Treaty of Lincoln, which was a modification of the peace treaty of 1078.
Waltheof would not support the claims of his son as long as King William lived nor would he assist any other rebels against William. Waltheof would pay hommage for Northampton, Suffolk and York, he would pay tribute for Durham. Powys and Northumberland would be under no suzerainty of England.


The Treaty of Lincoln (Copy lying in the Cathedral of Durham)

With this quite unspectacular document, the Siwards separated their counties from England into some kind of semi-independence.

On May 31st, Waltheof proclaimed himself King of Northumbria.
The recognition of the other rulers of the British Isles was miniscule: William and Malcolm III. continued to refer to Waltheof as the Earl of Northumberland as did most of the Irish and Welsh kings (even Waltheof’s ally Donnchad V. of Leinster). Only the Kings of Glamorgan and of Mide acknowledged Waltheof’s new royal title.


Northumbria in 1085

Even some minor nobles within Waltheof’s realm challenged his authority, feeling that he had stretched his influence and – more important - his resources to the limit, holding his many counties together.
It became clear that he had to proof to his fellow lords - and to his subjects - that a new era had begun for Northumbria.

- To be continued with Part VI: 1085 – 1094 From the War of Acknowledgement to the Petty Wars-​
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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And the second Northumbrian Kingdom has been born.
You should really just mod yourself that tittle, explain us that the pope created the tittle for him against a sum of money. :D
That would be just like with de Hautevilles becoming dukes of Apulia and Calabria. ;)
 

unmerged(111886)

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Nicely done! Independent after just 20 years and you actually gained a province while surrendering! I'm looking forward to seeing you reclaim England for the Saxons and conquer Normandy.

EDIT: BTW, what CoA mod are you using?

Regards,
Eikinskjaldi
 

tudor

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Eikinskjaldi said:
BTW, what CoA mod are you using?

Regards,
Eikinskjaldi
I have downloaded every available mod I could find and picked the CoAs I liked (renaming the ones they replaced).
I'm not completely finished with the process: I don't want counties, duchies and kingdoms with the same CoA and some CoAs are still wrong (Alsace with an portugese CoA and Brunswick with CoA of Berwick for example).
As for the Siward CoAs, I have tried to make them myself.
 

tudor

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@ Enewald & jordarkelf
I have never changed the "real" game settings before. It might be a good idea, but...my actual gameplay is just a few years ahead of the anounced Part VI (still in the 11th century) and at the moment creating a king title (gamewise) is one of the least problems the Siward family has...
 

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The Siwards have come impressively far in a short period of time, surviving the wrath of the Conqueror to boot! I really enjoy the graphics of your AAR - I'm impressed, and I'm definitely going to be following Waltheof's adventures as the "King of Northumbria," and, perhaps, his son's as King of England? ;)
 

tudor

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@General_BT
Thank You and welcome.
At the moment I hope I find enough (any) pictures fitting to the update I want to make today...
 

tudor

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Part VI: 1085 – 1092 From the War of Acknowledgement to the Petty Wars

In autumn 1085 the first priority of the new proclaimed King of Northumbria was to strengthen his authority against the nobles within his realm and to be recognized as king by the other British rulers.


His first step to reach this goal was more of a familiar kind. On October 29th, 1085 he married his eldest son Aethelfrith to Godgifu, the eldest daughter of Estmond Leofricson, Earl of Derby. Connecting the two most distinguished (and powerful) Saxon families this way.

Waltheof also wanted to give a sign of strength on the battlefield. He just had to choose the right opponent. England and Scotland were out of the question, being the major powers of the time they could easily muster two to three times more men than Northumbria. Additionally challenging one would call the other one to his side.
The Irish kingdoms were a second possibility and Leinster would certainly honour its alliance with Northumbria. But every war in Ireland would include several naval operations, which were costly and would put an unacceptable strain on the Northumbrian treasury.
This left the three Welsh kingdoms:
Glamorgan had already acknowledged Waltheof as king, so a war against them seemed pointless.
Deheubarth had no common border with Northumbria and Waltheof’s realm was already scattered enough.
So Gwynedd remained as an ideal target: Gwynedd itself being a well established British kingdom, having a common border with Waltheof’s possessions in Powys and being already weakened by the war against England in 1068/69.
Waltheof used some petty border disputes as an excuse and declared war on Gwynedd on October 30th, 1085. Surprisingly it was not Waltheof but Bleddyn of Gwynedd who gave the first blow.


His forces entered Powys but were defeated on November 29th. Waltheof ordering reinforcements from York followed the retreating Welsh army. On January 3rd, 1806 he surprised them near Caernarfon. King Bleddyn was killed in the first onslaught of the Northumbrian forces and when the reinforcements from York arrived the next day the Welsh troops were scattered.

The Death of Bleddyn of Gwynedd on the Battlefield​

The Northumbrians started to besiege Caernarfon and other major castles of Gwynedd.
By February 9th, almost the entire country was under Northumbrian control and the welsh troops under the leadership of Bleddyn’s son Ysgawyn surrendered to Waltheof.



On the fields of Caernarfon Waltheof’s army proclaimed him King of Northumbria and Gwynedd.


Northumbria in 1086

The coronation took place a month later in Durham, where the Irish and the remaining Welsh kings acknowledged Waltheof as a fellow monarch while England and Scotland still refused to acknowledge Waltheof as king but addressed him as Prince of Gwynedd from now on.


The Coronation of Waltheof at Durham Cathedral


At the end of the day Waltheof installed Aethelfrith as Earl of Durham – his wife Godgifu taking his place as steward at his father’s court, choosing Harlech as new residence for himself.


The new Royal Residence

The short campaign against Gwynedd, which was later called the War of Acknowledgement, had fulfilled (almost) all targets. Waltheof had established himself among the other British Princes, gained a prestigious additional title and had shown to the Northumbrian nobles that he was their prince, not a primus inter pares.

Pope Gregor VII. learned that the ancient and holy city of Antiocheia had fallen into the hands of the heathens in early July. Confident that the Christian princes of Europe could repeat their success of the First Crusade he send priests and preachers to all European courts to preach for the liberation of the city.



From the view of an historian, it is again surprising, that the fall of this “minor” town started a new crusade. Jerusalem itself stayed in the hands of a minor Muslim prince. Certainly it could have been much easier to free the holy city than Antiocheia. Antiocheia was part of the Empire of the Seldjuk Turks, without question the most powerful Muslim realm of that time.

Waltheof gave no signs that he intended to go on a crusade anytime soon.


In November he arranged the marriage of his second son Eadric to Blodwen, daughter of King Maredudd of Deheubarth and granted him – as a marriage gift – the county of Powys, while Blodwen took Eadric’s place as master of the royal wardrobe.

The Year 1087 saw Waltheof traveling his estates and investing on improvements of his provinces. Even when he learned that his friends Ralph de Bohun , Earl of Norfolk and Robert de Couscelles, Duke of Somerset had risen against King William he stayed true to the Treaty of Lincoln and did not support them in any way.

January 1088 saw the courts at Harlech and Durham in great joy and festivities, as Godgifu and Aethelfrith had given Waltheof his first grand child – Egbert (January 9th).
Waltheof and his wife had no such luck as six months later Petronille gave birth to a stillborn child and died herself a few days later.
Again the question of a wife for Waltheof rose. The council decided to strengthen the connections to the Saxon origins and asked for the hand of the dowager duchess of Saxony Ulfhild Olafsdottir.




Ulfhild Olafsdottir, fifth Wife and second Queen

The ceremony was held with great pomp at York in late August (29th).
In December Godgifu and Aethelfrith celebrated the birth of their second son Aethelhere (11th) and in March 1089 Waltheof had his first grand son from Eadric – Elfwine (March 8th).

Waltheof continued to restrict himself to improve and strengthen his own realm keeping peaceful relations with his neighbouring princes.
Several Northumbrian chronicles report of the king’s amusement when he observed the creation of the Kingdom of Gwent by King Cadwgan of Glamorgan for his eldest son Arthfael in August 1089 only to have the new King of Deheubarth - Maredudd’s son Tador - declare war on both of them in October (The so called “Petty War” 1089-1092).
But it is not totally clear if he was unwilling or unable to intervene, when Deheubarth annexed Glamorgan in November 1090. He certainly was not amused anymore, seeing the possible danger of Deheubarth defeating Gwent and establishing itself as regional power in Wales.

With the birth of Aethelfrith’s third son Aethelstan (April 5th, 1091) the future of the Siward family seemed secured and in August Waltheof expanded his diplomatic net by marrying his third son Saebert to Coblath O’Neill, daughter of King Domnall of Ulster (August 28th).


Although Coblath did not get a position in the Northumbrian council, Waltheof provided his son with a county, installing him as Earl of Northumberland.


The Northumbrian Council 1092

In February 1092 the marriage question was raised again, when Queen Ulfhild died of old age (February 3rd). Although this time some critical voices from the clergy could be heard due to the many wives the king had already had. Nonetheless Waltheof remarried in March, this time Estefania de Foix, a councilor of the King of Navarra.

>> Upps, the court artist forgot to paint a picture of Estefania... <<​

It was during the wedding ceremony that Waltheof announced his decision to declare war on Deheubarth (March 7th) and to end the conflict causing so much unrest at his southern borders.
His armies were set in motion on March 10th. Two weeks later Tador of Deheubarth ended his strife with Gwent to concentrate his forces on Northumbria.
But the armies of Deheubarth had no chance, weakened by the three years of war against Glamorgan and Gwent. The first victory of the Northumbrian army at Glamorgan (April 2nd) was so decisive, the reinforcements from York were redirected to Suffolk to root out the robber bands which had established themselves in the 1080s.


In May after the occupation of Glamorgan by his troops Waltheof refused a peace proposal of Tador based on Deheubarth keeping Glamorgan.


Instead his levies started besieging Pembroke.
Tador’s resistance collapsed and on June 28th he surrendered Glamorgan to Northumbria.



- To be continued with Part VII: 1092 - 1094 Vassal Duties and the Norman Marriage -​
 
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tudor

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Part VII: 1092 - 1094 Vassal Duties and the Norman Marriage

After the successful conclusion of his Welsh campaign Waltheof returned his attention to the ongoing unrest in the English realm. To his surprise he found the Earl of Derby had just declared independence and was not at war with King William. Before the King of England could change his mind Waltheof offered Earl Estmond the relative security of his Kingdom. After a month of consideration Estmond Leofricson agreed to become a vassal of the Kingdom of Northumbria (October 1st).


Having led two offensive wars in Wales had left a stain on the reputation of the Nortumbrian king. The annals show him as one of the more powerful princes of the British Isles but surrounded by a certain air of aggression second only to William the Conqueror.



Pope Gregor VII. advised the monarch to found a bishopric to atone for his sins and to smooth his soul and so on February 1st, 1093 Waltheof created the Bishopric of Glamorgan.
As first bishop he chose Cadwgan ap Ynyr, former courtier from Glamorgan, who had taken the vows and was now living at the Northumbrian court in Harlech.

In November Waltheof was approached by a messenger of William of England, who ordered him to obey his duties as English vassal and to suppress the rebellion of the Countess of Chester. William himself was occupied in preparing to meet with Pope Gregor VII. on neutral ground (The castle of the independent Duchess Mathilde of Toscana at Canossa).
The Countess of Chester was Cecile de Normandie, a daughter of William and a staunch supporter of the teachings of Bishop Lanfranc of Salisbury. She opposed her father who tried to reconcile with the Pope.
Waltheof agreed on the condition that he would incorporate Chester into his welsh possessions, stop paying tribute for Durham and that the status of York would be changed from fief to payment of tribute.
William agreed to the conditions. It was more important for him to see his daughter humbled and then to care for the loss of provinces he had no real influence on.
Waltheof declared war on St. Nicolas’ day.
His levy from Gwynedd and the army of Chester met in Powys in January, where Waltheof's army handed Cecile’s Marshall his first defeat (January 25th, 1094).


He followed the retreating army to Chester, where he defeated it again, laying siege to the town.


On February 25th news reached him in Chester, that Bishop Cadwgan of Glamorgan had installed himself as King claiming to be the reincarnation of the former King (who in fact was alive and well, living in Buda). Waltheof ordered his army south immediately, he also ordered troops from Suffolk to Chester and from Northampton to Glamorgan.


The army of the rebellious king bishop was destroyed in March, the town of Glamorgan conquered in June.


On June 7th, Cadwgan was confirmed as Bishop of Glamorgan after doing repentance in public, but he had to accept Waltheof of Northumbria as overlord.
Six days before the siege of Chester had ended.


The Suffolk men had repelled two further attempts of the army of Chester to lift the siege in April and May and on June 1st, Chester finally surrendered and became part of the royal demesne.


Northumbrian Soldiers attacking Chester... and Countess Cecilie fleeing the City



The Movements of the Northumbrian Armies 1085/1086, 1092 and 1094

1094 was also the final year in the life of Queen Estefania, who forever closed her eyes on August 18th.
This time Waltheof wanted to secure the future of his realm with a very special alliance. He proposed to Elise de Normandie, daughter of Robert, Duke of Normandy and grand daughter of William the Conqueror himself. In mid September his proposal was accepted.




Elise de Normandie... Hope or Threat?

The ceremony took place in London on September 26th, 1094.

Waltheof Siward, King of Northumbria and Gwynedd was at the height of his power.


- To be continued with Part VIII: 1094 – 1096 The Rising of the Whelps -​
 
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Enewald

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A man can build a kingdom. And hope his family won't destroy it. :p
 

tudor

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Yeah, ungrateful brats!
I don't know what came over them... I only gave them away as hostages... forced them to marry women they didn't knew... and gave dirt-poor and/or sickness ridden counties to them... :D