Another Murder for the Crown

Sure, the British are revolting.  You won’t get any argument out of Lunghu on that one.  But on occasion, rebellion is justified.   Case in point:  a long-forgotten event one thousand and nine years ago in not-so-merrie Olde England.

The St. Brice’s Day massacre was the killing of Danes [residing] in the Kingdom of England on 13 November 1002, ordered by King Æthelred the Unready.  England had been ravaged by Danish raids every year from 997 to 1001, and in 1002 the king’s advisers told him that the Danish men in England “would faithlessly take his life, and then all his councillors, and possess his kingdom afterwards.” In response, Æthelred “ordered slain all the Danish men who were in England.”

Tactical success; strategic error.  Among the slain were the sister and brother-in-law of the Danish King, Sven Forkbeard.  Sven redoubled his attacks on England for the next decade, finally conquering the kingdom and driving Æthelred into exile in 1013.  After a brief Danish occupation followed by a barely-longer Saxon reconquista, the Normans decided to take care of business across the Channel themselves.  And the rest is history.

So, three months from today, tip your mitre in memory of Saint Brice and the unnumbered Danes who were put to the sword on his feast day a millenium ago.

Fun Fact:

Saint Brice, fifth century Bishop of Tours, has his feast day celebrated (somewhere) on November 13th.

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