Byrhtnoth ("Byrhtnoþ", also spelled "Byrhtnoð", "Byrihtnoð", "Brihtnoþ", "Beorhtnoþ", "Beorhtnoð", "Baeorhtnoð") was a 10th century Ealdorman of Essex. His name is composed of Old English "beorht" (bright) and "noth" (courage).

He was the leader of the Anglo-Saxons defence force in the Battle of Maldon in 991. He was said to stand well over six foot in height, and was around the age of sixty years at the Battle of Maldon. Although it is believed that he fell early in the battle, some say that it took three men to successfully kill him, one of them almost severing Byrhtnoth's arm fully in the process. Recently, a statue created by John Doubleday has been placed at the end of the Maldon Promenade Walk, facing the battlesite of Northey Island and the Causeway. He was a patron of Ely Cathedral, and his body is buried there, alongside that of Archbishop Wulfstan the homilist.

Byrhtnoth was married to Ælfflæd, sister of Dowager Queen Æthelflæd of Damerham, and thus a kinsman of King Edgar by marriage. Post-Norman Conquest material mentions a daughter of Byrhtnoth named Leofflæd.

External links

* [ Byrhtnoth] at the Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

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