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Siward, earl of Northumbria

Siward, earl of Northumbria (d.1055). Of Danish descent and gigantic stature, Siward seems to have come to England with Cnut and had been made earl of Deira by 1026. He subsequently served Harthacnut and Edward the Confessor, becoming earl of all Northumbria. In 1054 he led an expedition to Scotland, defeated Macbeth, and installed Malcolm Canmore on the throne. A man of great valour, he was said by Henry of Huntingdon to have lamented in York in 1055 that he was not dying in battle but ‘like a cow’, and arming himself from head to foot, met death as a warrior. His earldom went to Tostig, Harold Godwineson's brother. Siward appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

J. A. Cannon

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Siward

Siward (syōō´ərd), d. 1055, earl of Northumbria. A Danish warrior, he probably came to England with King Canute. At the behest of King Harthacanute in 1041 he ravaged Worcestershire and perhaps murdered Eadwulf of Northumbria; thereafter he was himself earl of Northumbria. He supported Edward the Confessor against Earl Godwin in 1051 and in 1054 defeated Macbeth, king of Scotland, on behalf of Siward's nephew, later Malcolm III.

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