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The Government In The Localities Of Southumbrian England In The Reign Of Cnut

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to perceive the form of the administration in Æthelreds final years, and assesses how well it was functioning in 1017. It then examines Cnut the Greats impact on local government in the various regions of England. In western Wessex and the eastern Danelaw the seriousness of the threat to Cnuts rule necessitated the most radical alterations to the local political structure. In Mercia and in the case of London, presumably to counteract the influence of elements loyal to Eadric Streona and Æthelred, more overt seizure of the political machine was required. Cnut redrew the political boundaries of Mercia to break up any existing blocks of resistance, and he settled Danish earls across Eadrics former support-base. Kent appears to have been placed in the hands of the archbishop, local figures of significant importance, and a handful of Scandinavians with little connection to the royal court.

Keywords: Cnut the Great; eastern Danelaw; England; Kent; London; Mercia; western Wessex



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