Skip to main content


Hereward (11th cent.), known as ‘the Wake’ (‘the watchful one’) was the leading figure in the fenland revolt against William the Conqueror. In 1070, the appearance of a Danish fleet in the waters of Ely raised hopes of resistance among Englishmen of that district, many of whom had Danish blood. Hereward, leading a band of outlaws and Danish allies, sacked and plundered the monastery at Peterborough, but soon afterwards the Danes agreed terms with William and sailed away. Hereward was joined by other English leaders and their men in the defence of the Isle of Ely. In 1071 William attacked with ships, constructing a causeway for his main force. The outlaw's deeds are legendary. The alleged treachery of the abbot and monks of Ely after William seized monastic lands is blamed for the ultimate surrender. Hereward escaped by water, after which nothing certain is known of him, although there are legends of subsequent adventures. His fame is as a symbol of English resistance to Norman oppression.

Audrey MacDonald

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hereward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Hereward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (January 21, 2019).

"Hereward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.