Guthfrith, King of York


Guthfrith, King of York

Guthfrith or Guthred (Old Norse "Guðroðr") (died 24 August 895?) was the king of the Viking kingdom of Jórvík, or York, from circa 883 until his death.

The first known king of Viking York, Halfdan, was expelled in 877. In c. 883, Symeon of Durham's "History of the Kings" simply states, "Guthred, from a slave, was made king", but his "History of the Church of Durham" gives a longer account. Here he writes that after Halfdan was driven out:

During this time the [Viking] army, and such of the inhabitants as survived, being without a king, were insecure; whereupon the blessed Cuthbert himself appeared in a vision to abbot Eadred [of the monastery at Carlisle] ... [and] addressed him in the following words:—"Go to the army of the Danes," he said, "and announce to them that you are come as my messenger; and ask where you can find a lad named Guthred, the son of Hardacnut, whom they sold to a widow. Having found him, and paid the widow the price of his liberty, let him be brought forward before the whole aforesaid army; and my will and pleasure is, that he be elected and appointed king at Oswiesdune, (that is, Oswin's hill), and let the bracelet be placed upon his right arm. [Symeon of Durham, "History of the Church of Durham", Chapter XXVIII."]

It is not clear whether was a Christian, but his relations with the community of Saint Cuthbert, which was a major force in the former Bernicia, which had lain outwith the influence of Halfdan, whose authority was limited to the former Deira—approximately Yorkshire—were good. He granted much land between the River Tyne and the River Wear to the community. This had once belong to the Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery, and formed the core the lands of the church of Durham. Other lands, at the mouth of the River Tees, Guthred allowed Eadred to purchase for the church. [Higham, "Northern Counties", pp. 310–311.]

Symeon recounts that Guthred faced a large invasion by the Scots, which was defeated with the aid of Saint Cuthbert. [Symeon of Durham, "History of the Church of Durham", Chapters XXVIII–XXIX.]

Guthred died on 24 August 895 (or perhaps 894) and was buried at York Minster. [Stenton, pp. 262–263.] His father was Hardicnut of Norway.Fact|date=December 2007

Notes

References

*
* Higham, N.J., "The Northern Counties to AD 1000." Harlow: Longman, 1986. ISBN 0-582-49276-9
* Higham, N.J., "The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350-1100." Stroud: Sutton, 1993. ISBN 0-86299-730-5
*
* Stenton, Sir Frank, "Anglo-Saxon England." Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 1971. ISBN 0-19-280139-2


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