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Tostig, earl of Northumbria

Tostig, earl of Northumbria (c.1025–66), younger brother of Harold, who was briefly, in 1066, king of England, and of Eadgyth, Edward the Confessor's queen. With Tostig's appointment to Northumbria, his family seemed set to dominate the English kingdom. But he was driven out by a local rebellion in 1065. He blamed Harold for not attempting to secure his reinstatement, and in exile raised a force which raided the English coast. Achieving little, he joined the army led by Harold Hardrada, king of Norway, and was killed at the battle of Stamford Bridge. Tostig's unpopularity in Northumbria may well have made the wary Harold reluctant to support him. Whatever the case, their bitter quarrel had disastrous results since, united, the two brothers would surely have been able to do much more to prevent the Norman Conquest than was ultimately possible.

David Richard Bates

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Tostig

Tostig (tŏs´tĬg), d. 1066, earl of Northumbria; son of Earl Godwin of Wessex. He was banished with his father in 1051 and returned with him in their armed invasion of 1052. Made earl of Northumbria in 1055, Tostig jointly invaded (1063) Wales with his brother Harold (later King Harold of England). The Northumbrians revolted against Tostig's severe rule in 1065 and chose Morcar, brother of the earl of Mercia, to be their earl. Tostig fled to Flanders. The next year he raided the English coast, then joined the Norwegian king Harold III in defeating Morcar. Tostig and his ally were killed by Tostig's brother Harold at Stamford Bridge.

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