Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-pftt2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-26T15:31:32.703Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Remembering the Vikings in Thirteenth-Century England and Denmark

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2020

Get access

Summary

In 1240, Matthew Paris recorded in the Chronica Majora that:

rumour abounded in England that the Danes were preparing to invade the kingdom. This did not, however, happen, for the ships loaded with men and women were sent elsewhere in order to repopulate, cultivate and occupy the lands that the Mongols had devastated.

In the entry for 1241, Matthew returned to the subject of the Danes and their ambitions against England. Matthew had learned that the powerful king of Denmark, the elderly Valdemar II (r. 1202–41), had passed away that year:

Valdemar, the king of the Danes, he who had been bold enough to threaten to invade England, while indulging in arrogant threats of this sort, passed away after having ruled for forty years. In order that he should experience the power of the prayers of St Edward, which that saint had poured out before God for the defence of the English against the tyranny of the Danes, the same king's only son and heir had gone the way of all flesh and the realm of Denmark was left defenceless.

Later, probably sometime before 1251, Matthew returned to this story and added further information at the bottom of the folio, concerning Valdemar's victories over the pagans in the eastern Baltic. He also corrected the claim that the son who had predeceased Valdemar II, the young Valdemar III, was his father's only heir. In fact, Valdemar had three other sons, the two oldest of whom, Erik IV ‘Ploughpenny’ (r. 1241–50) and Abel (r. 1250–2), were now at war with each other.

Although Valdemar II was dead and the rumoured invasion never took place, Matthew remained interested in the subject. He returned to it in the Historia Anglorum (c. 1250–5), an abbreviated version of the Chronica Majora, offering more details about the Danish claims and their preparations for the invasion of England. Allegedly, Valdemar II had, ‘in his last days gathered a fleet and an army for the invasion of England, which he claimed belonged to him by ancient right’. That Matthew retained the invasion story here is interesting, given that the Historia Anglorum otherwise significantly reduced the number of anecdotes relating to developments outside England.

Type
Chapter
Information
Thirteenth Century England XVII
Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference, 2017
, pp. 1 - 22
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×