Uchtred the Bold High Reeve of Bamburgh

When the Danes seized York and killed the last two kings, Bamburgh and Anglo-Saxon Northumbria disappeared from the records for period of 246 years. Then in 913 Anglo-Saxon Northumbria reappeared, this time ruled not by kings but High-Reeves and one of those rulers was Uchtred ( The Bold).

Uchtred (The Bold) was a High-Reeve (Earldorman) of Bamburgh in Bernicia, a Anglo-Saxon kingdom in The North of England during the time that the Danes ruled Northumbria. Despite constant Danish raids into and though Bernicia, He and his line manage to hold onto the kingdom at a time when most of the county was first in the hands of Saxon and then in the hands of the invaders. Uchtred was probably acting as High-Reeve on behalf of his aging father as early as 995, if not before

1006AD. Uchtred’s father Waltheof was now too old to leave Bamburgh and he allowed King Malcolm II of Scotland to travel the length of Bernica unmolested and besiege Durham. It was left to his son Uchtred to raise an army, defeat the Scots and send them back from whence they came. After the battle local women were given a cow each to wash and braid the hair on the severed heads of the enemy, which were then fixed on stakes and displayed on the walls of Durham.

Ethelred II (The unready) was so pleased with the outcome of the battle that he made Uchtred Earldorman of Bernica even though his father was still alive. In addition Ethelred II had Earldorman Aelfhelm of York murdered and appointed Uchtred in his sted. Uchtred was now in control of both Bernica and Deira. Uchtred also dismissed his wife and married Sige the daughter of Styr a citizen of York.

1013AD. King Sweyn of Denmark invaded England and Ethelred II was forced to flee the country. King Sweyn Sailed up the River Humber and Trent to Gainsborough and Uchtred was one of the Lords that submitted to him there.

1014AD. Ethelred II returned, took up his reign and Uchtred along with the others switch allegiance back to Ethelred II. Uchtred also married again, this time to Ælgifu the daughter of Ethelred II.

1016 Uchtred fought alongside Ethelred’s son Edmund Ironside in Cheshire. While Uchtred was away Cnut’s (Canute’s) forces invaded Yorkshire. Not being strong enough to fight back, Uchtred paid homage to Cnut as king of England.

1018AD. Uchtred was defeated at the battle of Carrun (Carham) also known as the battle of Coldstream, by the Scottish armies of Malclom II and Owen the Bold of Strathclyde.

Uchtred was summoned to a meeting with Cnut. On the way to the meeting Uchtred and the forty men with him, were ambushed and murdered by Thurbrand the Hold. Cnut was behind the killing.

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