Tostig (Earl of Northumbria)

 Born  circa 1025   Born At  
 Died  25 Sep 1066   Buried At  
 Father  Godwin (Earl of Wessex)   Mother  Gytha
Tostig was the third son of Godwine, the important Earl of Wessex and brother of the future King of England, Harold II. In 1051 Tostig married Judith the daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders (some sources say Baldwin IV). In the same year Tostig was expelled from Britain with the rest of his family after they rebelled against Edward the Confessor. A year later they returned and were reinstated into their powerful positions. Tostig was given the position of Earl of Northumbria in 1055 and was tasked with bringing the area under his control. In 1058 Malcolm III became the King of Scotland uniting the country under one leader. With Scotland under his control Malcolm was able to take his army into the north of England and Northumbria. Tostig did not confront Malcolm in battle preferring diplomacy to war and the attacks continued. Then in 1061 when both Tostig and Judith were on a pilgrimage to Rome the Scots again invaded Northumbria. The Northumbrian people were tired of Tostig's failure to protect their land and in 1065 a rebellion forced Tostig to flee to Flanders. The rebels chose Morcar as their new ruler. Tostig did not stay long in Flanders and in May 1066 he raised an army and attempted to invade England's south coast around the Isle of Wight. His attempts here must have failed as his fleet travelled up the east coast of England where they attacked Lincolnshire. Again his army was defeated and Tostig sailed to Scotland where was was able to spend time with King Malcolm. Still intent on invading England Tostig joined Harald Hardrada who's plans for invasion must have been well advanced. In September of 1066 Harald and Tostig invaded and after defeating the English at Gate Fulford took control of York. But on the 25th of September both were killed at the Battle of Stamford by an army led by Harold, the King of England.

Family Tree Details
Father: Godwin (Earl of Wessex) ( - d.1053)
Mother: Gytha
Tostig (Earl of Northumbria) (b.1025 - d.1066)

View Graphical Family Tree

Family Tree Details

Father: Godwin (Earl of Wessex) ( - d.1053)
Mother: Gytha


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1051   26yrsEdward expels the Godwine family
 An incident occurred when Eustace II Count of Boulogne visited Edward the Confessor, his brother-in-law. The incident occurred in Dover where a fight broke out between the Norman visitors and the locals. Several people were killed. The area of Dover was under the control of the Godwine family and Edward the Confessor, who blamed the people of Dover for the fight, told Godwine to deal with them. Godwine refused to obey Edward's order and in response Edward raised an army and forced the Godwine family into exile.

Episode: Edward the Confessor and Earl Godwine  
1055   30yrsTostig becomes Earl of Northumbria
 King Edward gave Tostig the important position of Earl of Northumbria and the difficult job of bringing the northern state under control.[1] 
1065 Oct  40yrsMorcar becomes Earl of Northumbria
 A rebellion against Tostig, Earl of Northumbria leads to Tostig fleeing to Flanders and Morcar becoming the new Earl.

Episode: Reasons for the Norman Invasion  
1066 May  41yrsTostig invades the south of England
 After being expelled from Northumbria Tostig spent time in Flanders. Here he raised an army and fleet and attempted to invade the south of England. The English armies around the Isle of Wight area were too strong and Tostig was forced to look for another place to attack. His fleet sailed up the east coast of England to Lincolnshire.[1]

Episode: Norman Invasion  
 Sep 25  Stamford Bridge Battle
 King Harold II defeated the invasion threat from Harold Hardrada, King of Norway and his own brother Tostig, both of whom were killed. This stretched his forces to the limit as they quickly had to march south to defend against William of Normandy's invasion at Hastings.

Episode: Norman Invasion  

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