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Scandinavians and Normans
Laurel and the list,
Very good synopsis, thanks.
As far as the Angles, Saxon, and Jutes go, well Angles never made much
continental history. Their claim to fame was being part of the Anglo-Saxons.
The Saxons were the bulk of the Anglo-Saxons. Before that, they were one of
the last Germanic tribes converted over to Christianity, with great
difficulty. They had a lot of history on the continent. As for the Jutes,
they never made much of a mark on the continent either, but I may be wrong
as they were the origin for the name of Jutland. I think they joined the
Angles and Saxons just in the nick of time.
Didn't Rollo and company agree to convert to Christianity when given their
duchy? I thought that and the recognition of the overlordship of the King of
France were the two main conditions. There were some isolated pockets of
Northmen in Normandy who resisted becoming romanized Normans for 2 or 3
generations (they kept their Norse longer and were the last to convert), but
they had been romanized by the time of the Conquest. King Edward the
Confessor had many Norman advisors etc in his court. He was maybe even more
of a Norman than an Anglo-Saxon. He had promised the throne of England to
William years before Harold became anything of a royal possibility. Harold
once swore an oath to William recognizing William's right to the English
crown in Normandy or Brittany when he was there. Harold was on a voyage and
was shipwrecked and William kinda rescued him, but also kinda kept him close
at hand too. There was some controversy over the oath, as Harold thought
that maybe it wouldn't "stick", but William had hidden a Bible under
something Harold was touching, therefore he "swore upon a Bible." There was
also controversy in Harold's coronation in London. Apparently he was the
only one who heard Edward name him his successor on his deathbed, and
immediately jumped up and claimed the throne. I think Harold was crowned
quicker than ususal, reflecting his concern over William. Of course, William
was pissed: he gathered his followers and mercenaries, and the rest is
history. The Irish PRENDERGAST family had their origin in William's Flemish
mercenaries, whether they took part in the Conquest or came a little later.
I am a Prendergast descendent. One of the main points in William getting
Papal approval or acquiescence was Harold's breaking of his oath.
The French were a mixture of Germanic Frankish etc and Celtic Gaulic blood
with a little Roman blood mixed in, but speaking a Romance language. The
English were Germanic Teutons, later adding in Scandinavian Danish blood
from the Danelaw settlers mainly in the north. The Scandinavians were Nordic
Teutons, and regarded the English as cousins. Cnute even reigned over a
short-lived superkingdom of Denmark, England, and Norway(?) in the early
1100s. I think he was the one who supposedly put his chair in the surf and
commanded it to stop. The "pure" Celts of Britain were driven to Wales,
Scotland, Cornwall, and the Islands, and there resisted Anglo-Saxon and
Norman cultural invasion for a while. However, it was the interesting
mixture of descendents of Normans, Welsh, and Flemish settlers in Wales that
were the main component of the "English" invasion of Ireland starting in the
1170s. The Prendergasts of Ireland were Cambro-Normans. And the Scots, who
also had some Norse blood in them, were lucky enough to get the Norman blood
that has produced us Sinclairs! And it was the Norman-Scots (is that the
correct term?) who were responsible for reintroducing British blood back
into the Norman monarchy in England.
Please don't roast me too badly on errors here, this is from memory.
Rick (descendant of Alexander SINKLER)
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