The Battle of Maldon

On this day in the year 991, one thousand and twenty-four years ago, a battle took place.

A Viking expedition had been sent to plunder Anglo-Saxon England.

King Æthelred sent an army lead by Byrhtnoth, Earldorman of Essex, to defend the coast. The Vikings landed on Northey Island, near Maldon in Essex. They demanded money to sail away again, but Byrhtnoth refused. A battle was fought and Byrhtnoth was killed and most of his companions died with him.

It was not a major battle. The next time the Vikings came the King paid them off.

It is famous because later, perhaps within a generation, a poem was written about the battle. It is one of the few surviving poems of this period.

To find out more about the poem see this fascinating post by A Clerk of Oxford.

In 1991 I attended the millennium event at Maldon.

Battle of Maldon Programme

I will write about that another time.

 

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