Monday, 21 November 2011

Saint Edmund's Day

So, my belief that I'm of Viking descendants still holds true but the good news for all of you is that I may not be of the violent crew of Vikings. Today, 20th November, is Saint Edmund's Day; the former Patron Saint of England before Edward III replaced him with Saint George. Today I went to a lecture about Norman occupation in East Anglia and the general whereabouts of Edmund the Martyr (in short: nobody knows). Despite having no clue what they were on about for most of it (and being the youngest in the audience by about 80 years) I was fascinated by the fact that many peaceful Norseman settled in East Anglia before the violent Vikings came along. In addition to rape, pillage and plunder, you can add racketeering to the resume of violent Vikings because Edmund, King of East Anglia, paid them to leave the area alone. So they went north and broke stuff instead. In fact, Vikings spent a few winters in East Anglia because they were too late to go back to Norway/ Denmark.
The rest of my day was taken up searching for old Fenton gravestones and I visited 5 different church grave yards hoping for more- it's a strange sensation searching for the death of a family member. Tomorrow I hope to meet the church warden of the church my ancestors are buried next to. After that I head up to York to find out whether my more violent Viking ancestors had any cool names like Mottull Foemangler or Helgi Hjorvardson.

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