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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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