Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
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30-08-2016, 11:39 AM
Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
Is this a virgin thread or did something happen when I clicked on it.

Well, if it is virgin ground I am happy to plough the first furrow!

I hasve gone orft history a bit but if I still have a favourite period one must be Anglo-Saxon England. And in the time my favourite character is Æthelflæd, ''Noble Beauty'', eldest child of Alfred the Great and an important figure in England and Gloucerster's history.

Never heard of her? There are hundreds of men and women of importance hidden in history - mainly because (for English speakers) the Victorians wrote the books anyone over about 50 was taught from. Æthelflæd's story is rather thin because the A-S Chronicles were written, years after the events, by monks who did not approve of fighting women, or maybe just women.

Æthelflæd was particularly interesting, born in a time when women were mere adjuncts to the men. The English word ''queen' comes from the A-S ''cwēn'', pronounced more or less thesame, which means wife or woman, though ''wyf'' also existed. It had no aristocratic value.

Girls might have been taught how to use the iconic ''seax'', the large utility knife carried by all free A-S adults and the origin of their name, as a defensive weapon. They may also have been taught to usse a light bow and wrrow for defence, all hands be needed in the case of an attack from the Danes or Norsemen.

This is the article I wrote for my, now defunct, website:

ÆTHELFLÆD: NOBLE BEAUTY, DIPLOMAT, RULER, WARRIOR PRINCESS.

Like Boudicca before and Joan dArc after her Æthelflæd's story is a meld of fact and legend, not an area where the academic historian likes to tread. Add to this the potential for reference to modern gender politics and the story is treated to the whole range from extreme academic caution to a degree of fictitious romanticism. This telling of the story will attempt to take a path through the various versions that avoids some of the anomalies.

Apart from her signature on documents there is little mention of Æthelflæd in the records. Even her year of birth is not known for sure but this story assumes 869 which would make her age 15 at her marriage in 884, which seems to be an accepted date.

As the eldest child of King Alfred the Great part of Æthelflæd's education would have included the use of weapons. The bow was possibly the proper weapon for a woman but she would at least been taught how to use the seax, the large utility knife that all free Saxon adults were entitled to carry and which gave them their ethnic name. It was used for all purposes, from chopping kindling wood and peeling the vegetables to fighting for one's life. From Æthelflæd's later exploits one might well suppose that she was of a character to have attempted other weapons as well. This was a dangerous time and all the family members would need to be able to help defend themselves.

The story should start at the time when King Alfred was driven into virtual exile. At Christmas 877 the Danes had broken their word and attacked the royal family in their palace at Chippenham. The family fled to the stronghold in the Somerset marshes called Æthelney, a fortified island with difficult access. The future of Wessex and the Anglo Saxon lands was very much in the balance.

In 883 the ruler of Mercia, though there is some dispute as to his rank, Æthelred, joined King Alfred in a military alliance. Whether as a diplomatic expediency, through or love or, perhaps, a combination, Æthelred and Æthelflæd were betrothed, to be married the following year. This was to be a wedding that was a major point in the history of the fledgling English nation.

There is an enduring story attached to Æthelflæds journey to be wed. The wedding would form a strong alliance between Wessex and Mercia, which was not in the best interests of the Danish invaders. This was a brutal age when armies and raiding parties swept back and forth over both English and Danish territory, each trying to gain or regain territory. Death might lurk round any corner in a forest path.

And so it was that the Danes sent a band to intercept and murder Æthelflæd and her wedding party. Half of Æthelflæds party were killed in the first onslaught but the remainder fell back to a defensive position in a ditch. Here, is it said, our 15 year old heroine took up a sword and fought alongside her guards, driving the Danes away.

So, the marriage took place and it is evident that Æthelflæd took an active part in running Mercia very soon afterwards, her name appears on charters granting land, possibly acting as her husbands deputy or proxy whilst he was travelling and fighting on the borders. Though the couple never took the titles of king and queen it was evident that they used the royal prerogatives with Alfreds blessing; rulers in fact if not name.

In 888 Æthelred was struck down with a debilitating illness of an unknown duration and Æthelflæd took on more of her husbands tasks, including active command of the fighting forces. It became a joint rule in all aspects.

The following year the Mercians started the process of fortifying their territory, building defensive fortresses, burhs, at strategic places on borders and lines of travel. As well as providing defence these would also form the springboards for raids into enemy territory.

In 890 the Mercian couple established the minster in Gloucester that was to become St Oswalds and, eventually, the final resting place for both of them. It was evident that Gloucester held an important position strategically, as an administrative centre and, seemingly, of some personal importance to Æthelflæd in particular. She was instrumental in rebuilding the city and laying out many of the roads and lanes we still use today.

It seems evident from the histories that there was a high degree of communication and cooperation between the armies of Mercia and Wessex. Even after the death of Alfred the Great, in 899, this continued into the reign of Æthelflæds brother, Edward.

Both armies took part in a combined operation against the Vikings in Leicestershire in 909. As a part of this campaign they acquired the relics of St Oswald, once a very important Anglo-Saxon king. These relics were deposited in the new minster near Gloucester, causing it to be rededicated to St Oswald. The minster was to be endowed with so much wealth by the ruling couple that it became known as The Golden Minster.

In 910 there was a major battle at Tettenhall, a battle in which the Mercia -Wessex alliance was triumphant with three enemy kings being killed. There is no record that Æthelred was wounded at this battle, but he died the following year and was interred in St Oswalds.

In those times the normal fate of a noble widow was to enter a nunnery, even have a new one established for her if she was of royal rank. Then, in the case of a ruler, the ealdormen would elect one of their number to become the new leader.

But, here was an able politician and diplomat and battle proven military leader whose only fault was her gender. Æthelflæds Mercian relations and predecessors where to come to her aid in this. This familial link may have proved decisive in the Mercian ealdormen (earls) accepting Æthelflæd where they might not have done so with a person of purely Wessex descent, especially a woman!

Æthelflæd needed a title that would both indicate her authority and acknowledge her sex, thus she was given a title unique in its time, Lady of the Mercians. It is obvious that her brother, Edward, now well established as the king of Wessex, agreed to this, though he took control of London from the Mercians.

This was a sensible move for all. Wessex bordered on the Thames west and south of the then limits of London they were in a prime position to defend it and make use of its resources. It also meant that the Mercian army was not extended far to the southeast; it could concentrate on defending its eastern and northern borders to the benefit of all.

Æthelflæd stepped up the building of burhs on the eastern border, defending the present line and acting as springboards for raids into enemy territory to gain more land. It must be remembered that the people in these lands held by the Danes were mainly Anglo-Saxon in what was once a part of Mercia and would probably welcome Æthelflæd as a liberator.

Some sub-kings, nominally under Æthelflæds rule, had a little trouble believing that a woman was hard enough to control them. One Welsh ruler, Twdr (think Tudor) did not prevent the death of an abbot and then failed to apprehend the murderers. Æthelflæd sent a force, from Gloucester, that broke Twdrs stronghold and they took his wife and 34 others hostage by way of punishment.

In cooperation with her brothers forces Æthelflæd recaptured Derby and Leicester in 917. Derby was a large battle where Æthelflæd lost three of her closest thegns (pronounced thanes), the equivalent of knights, but the inhabitants of Leicester welcomed her into the city. In other cases she took advantage of Edwards attacks on the Danes north of London, which kept their attention and forces focussed there, to attack the Danelaw from the west.

Æthelflæd also recaptured York and the Viking leaders there swore fealty to her, asking her help in protection from the Norse raiders!

Æthelflæds final battle was to be at Tamworth in the year 918, but the only record, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (written many years later) do not say how she actually died. Her age would have been about 49 at this time, less than ten percent of women reached this age in Anglo-Saxon England. Even with the benefits of being a noble it must have been a hard life, much of it spent travelling to or in the battlefields with little luxury and only very basic medical knowledge. Whether it was a natural cause or a wound that killed her Æthelflæd did well to live so long.

Æthelflæd only had a single child, a daughter, Ælfwynn. She suffered so much pain at the birth that she swore never to have another, that it was not good that a princess might suffer so. She had evidently coached her daughter to take her place. At the age of about 20 Ælfwynn was older than her mother when she attempted to establish her position as leader of Mercia. Unfortunately for her Uncle Edward, now undisputedly king of the Anglo-Saxons, was having none of this. He called Ælfwynn to his court for Christmas and then stripped her of all power.

Little is know of Ælfwynns fate. She could not be allowed to marry for fear of using her husband to stir rebellion in an attempt to regain what she might see as her lawful inheritance. There is also no evidence that she was placed, effectively imprisoned, in a nunnery.

There the story ends, Æthelflæd is buried, next to her late husband, in St Oswalds Minster in Gloucester. During excavations a high status stone casket lid was found in the ruins, but there is no proof that this was either Æthelflæds or Æthelreds. Mercia was fully absorbed into Wessex to form the core of the new nation of England. Gradually the Danes were drawn into the net and, even when they revolted briefly some years later, they remained part of the English Nation and took English as their own language.

Alfred started the process of forming the English nation and Edward, Æthelflæd, Æthelred and others carried it out. Without these rulers Old Danish might now be the main international language! Or England might never have had the important history that it did.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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30-08-2016, 10:04 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
(30-08-2016 11:39 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Is this a virgin thread or did something happen when I clicked on it.

Well, if it is virgin ground I am happy to plough the first furrow!

I hasve gone orft history a bit but if I still have a favourite period one must be Anglo-Saxon England. And in the time my favourite character is Æthelflæd, ''Noble Beauty'', eldest child of Alfred the Great and an important figure in England and Gloucerster's history.

Never heard of her? There are hundreds of men and women of importance hidden in history - mainly because (for English speakers) the Victorians wrote the books anyone over about 50 was taught from. Æthelflæd's story is rather thin because the A-S Chronicles were written, years after the events, by monks who did not approve of fighting women, or maybe just women.

Æthelflæd was particularly interesting, born in a time when women were mere adjuncts to the men. The English word ''queen' comes from the A-S ''cwēn'', pronounced more or less thesame, which means wife or woman, though ''wyf'' also existed. It had no aristocratic value.

Girls might have been taught how to use the iconic ''seax'', the large utility knife carried by all free A-S adults and the origin of their name, as a defensive weapon. They may also have been taught to usse a light bow and wrrow for defence, all hands be needed in the case of an attack from the Danes or Norsemen.

This is the article I wrote for my, now defunct, website:

ÆTHELFLÆD: NOBLE BEAUTY, DIPLOMAT, RULER, WARRIOR PRINCESS.

Like Boudicca before and Joan dArc after her Æthelflæd's story is a meld of fact and legend, not an area where the academic historian likes to tread. Add to this the potential for reference to modern gender politics and the story is treated to the whole range from extreme academic caution to a degree of fictitious romanticism. This telling of the story will attempt to take a path through the various versions that avoids some of the anomalies.

Apart from her signature on documents there is little mention of Æthelflæd in the records. Even her year of birth is not known for sure but this story assumes 869 which would make her age 15 at her marriage in 884, which seems to be an accepted date.

As the eldest child of King Alfred the Great part of Æthelflæd's education would have included the use of weapons. The bow was possibly the proper weapon for a woman but she would at least been taught how to use the seax, the large utility knife that all free Saxon adults were entitled to carry and which gave them their ethnic name. It was used for all purposes, from chopping kindling wood and peeling the vegetables to fighting for one's life. From Æthelflæd's later exploits one might well suppose that she was of a character to have attempted other weapons as well. This was a dangerous time and all the family members would need to be able to help defend themselves.

The story should start at the time when King Alfred was driven into virtual exile. At Christmas 877 the Danes had broken their word and attacked the royal family in their palace at Chippenham. The family fled to the stronghold in the Somerset marshes called Æthelney, a fortified island with difficult access. The future of Wessex and the Anglo Saxon lands was very much in the balance.

In 883 the ruler of Mercia, though there is some dispute as to his rank, Æthelred, joined King Alfred in a military alliance. Whether as a diplomatic expediency, through or love or, perhaps, a combination, Æthelred and Æthelflæd were betrothed, to be married the following year. This was to be a wedding that was a major point in the history of the fledgling English nation.

There is an enduring story attached to Æthelflæds journey to be wed. The wedding would form a strong alliance between Wessex and Mercia, which was not in the best interests of the Danish invaders. This was a brutal age when armies and raiding parties swept back and forth over both English and Danish territory, each trying to gain or regain territory. Death might lurk round any corner in a forest path.

And so it was that the Danes sent a band to intercept and murder Æthelflæd and her wedding party. Half of Æthelflæds party were killed in the first onslaught but the remainder fell back to a defensive position in a ditch. Here, is it said, our 15 year old heroine took up a sword and fought alongside her guards, driving the Danes away.

So, the marriage took place and it is evident that Æthelflæd took an active part in running Mercia very soon afterwards, her name appears on charters granting land, possibly acting as her husbands deputy or proxy whilst he was travelling and fighting on the borders. Though the couple never took the titles of king and queen it was evident that they used the royal prerogatives with Alfreds blessing; rulers in fact if not name.

In 888 Æthelred was struck down with a debilitating illness of an unknown duration and Æthelflæd took on more of her husbands tasks, including active command of the fighting forces. It became a joint rule in all aspects.

The following year the Mercians started the process of fortifying their territory, building defensive fortresses, burhs, at strategic places on borders and lines of travel. As well as providing defence these would also form the springboards for raids into enemy territory.

In 890 the Mercian couple established the minster in Gloucester that was to become St Oswalds and, eventually, the final resting place for both of them. It was evident that Gloucester held an important position strategically, as an administrative centre and, seemingly, of some personal importance to Æthelflæd in particular. She was instrumental in rebuilding the city and laying out many of the roads and lanes we still use today.

It seems evident from the histories that there was a high degree of communication and cooperation between the armies of Mercia and Wessex. Even after the death of Alfred the Great, in 899, this continued into the reign of Æthelflæds brother, Edward.

Both armies took part in a combined operation against the Vikings in Leicestershire in 909. As a part of this campaign they acquired the relics of St Oswald, once a very important Anglo-Saxon king. These relics were deposited in the new minster near Gloucester, causing it to be rededicated to St Oswald. The minster was to be endowed with so much wealth by the ruling couple that it became known as The Golden Minster.

In 910 there was a major battle at Tettenhall, a battle in which the Mercia -Wessex alliance was triumphant with three enemy kings being killed. There is no record that Æthelred was wounded at this battle, but he died the following year and was interred in St Oswalds.

In those times the normal fate of a noble widow was to enter a nunnery, even have a new one established for her if she was of royal rank. Then, in the case of a ruler, the ealdormen would elect one of their number to become the new leader.

But, here was an able politician and diplomat and battle proven military leader whose only fault was her gender. Æthelflæds Mercian relations and predecessors where to come to her aid in this. This familial link may have proved decisive in the Mercian ealdormen (earls) accepting Æthelflæd where they might not have done so with a person of purely Wessex descent, especially a woman!

Æthelflæd needed a title that would both indicate her authority and acknowledge her sex, thus she was given a title unique in its time, Lady of the Mercians. It is obvious that her brother, Edward, now well established as the king of Wessex, agreed to this, though he took control of London from the Mercians.

This was a sensible move for all. Wessex bordered on the Thames west and south of the then limits of London they were in a prime position to defend it and make use of its resources. It also meant that the Mercian army was not extended far to the southeast; it could concentrate on defending its eastern and northern borders to the benefit of all.

Æthelflæd stepped up the building of burhs on the eastern border, defending the present line and acting as springboards for raids into enemy territory to gain more land. It must be remembered that the people in these lands held by the Danes were mainly Anglo-Saxon in what was once a part of Mercia and would probably welcome Æthelflæd as a liberator.

Some sub-kings, nominally under Æthelflæds rule, had a little trouble believing that a woman was hard enough to control them. One Welsh ruler, Twdr (think Tudor) did not prevent the death of an abbot and then failed to apprehend the murderers. Æthelflæd sent a force, from Gloucester, that broke Twdrs stronghold and they took his wife and 34 others hostage by way of punishment.

In cooperation with her brothers forces Æthelflæd recaptured Derby and Leicester in 917. Derby was a large battle where Æthelflæd lost three of her closest thegns (pronounced thanes), the equivalent of knights, but the inhabitants of Leicester welcomed her into the city. In other cases she took advantage of Edwards attacks on the Danes north of London, which kept their attention and forces focussed there, to attack the Danelaw from the west.

Æthelflæd also recaptured York and the Viking leaders there swore fealty to her, asking her help in protection from the Norse raiders!

Æthelflæds final battle was to be at Tamworth in the year 918, but the only record, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (written many years later) do not say how she actually died. Her age would have been about 49 at this time, less than ten percent of women reached this age in Anglo-Saxon England. Even with the benefits of being a noble it must have been a hard life, much of it spent travelling to or in the battlefields with little luxury and only very basic medical knowledge. Whether it was a natural cause or a wound that killed her Æthelflæd did well to live so long.

Æthelflæd only had a single child, a daughter, Ælfwynn. She suffered so much pain at the birth that she swore never to have another, that it was not good that a princess might suffer so. She had evidently coached her daughter to take her place. At the age of about 20 Ælfwynn was older than her mother when she attempted to establish her position as leader of Mercia. Unfortunately for her Uncle Edward, now undisputedly king of the Anglo-Saxons, was having none of this. He called Ælfwynn to his court for Christmas and then stripped her of all power.

Little is know of Ælfwynns fate. She could not be allowed to marry for fear of using her husband to stir rebellion in an attempt to regain what she might see as her lawful inheritance. There is also no evidence that she was placed, effectively imprisoned, in a nunnery.

There the story ends, Æthelflæd is buried, next to her late husband, in St Oswalds Minster in Gloucester. During excavations a high status stone casket lid was found in the ruins, but there is no proof that this was either Æthelflæds or Æthelreds. Mercia was fully absorbed into Wessex to form the core of the new nation of England. Gradually the Danes were drawn into the net and, even when they revolted briefly some years later, they remained part of the English Nation and took English as their own language.

Alfred started the process of forming the English nation and Edward, Æthelflæd, Æthelred and others carried it out. Without these rulers Old Danish might now be the main international language! Or England might never have had the important history that it did.

Actually, I have heard of this lady. I once had this odd and curious deck of cards and it had unknown queens pictured on the queen cards and she was one of the queens. I'd never heard of her so I looked her up and found some of the same things that you mentioned.

This is some sort of document in the British Library about her but I can't read the text. Her image is in the lower right.

[Image: 6a00d8341c464853ef019104b621ab970c-500wi]

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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31-08-2016, 01:33 AM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
Interesting, Dancer, thanks.

Ærhelflæd was never titled "queen" her dad would not have allowed that.

She was almost certainly married off for political reasons. Æthelred needed Alfred's support and Alfred needed allies at his back, allies that would stay loyal. He allowed the couple autonomy but cut it short of monarchy, even as a client kingdom. That was still just a bit too far.

But, makes a good story and one that kids enjoy at up to about age 12. But, it seems, it and other stories of women who made their marks in history are rarely tol in schoolsd. Even in the local girls' high school, which has a house called Saxon.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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31-08-2016, 02:07 AM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
Dancer, the text looks like Norman French to me, rather than Latin. Could well be wrong, the image gets fuzzy expanded too far and I have not looked for it on line as yet.

Problem is, though we have Æthelflæd's name and signature on contracts, charters and treaties I never found any contemporary writings about her. Bishop Asset, Alfred's biographer, barely mentions her as just one of the kids. So, most stories range from accounts written years later, by less than objective historians, to legend.

But, why let that spoil a good yarn, so long as the caveats are mentioned.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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31-08-2016, 02:16 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
(31-08-2016 01:33 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Interesting, Dancer, thanks.

Ærhelflæd was never titled "queen" her dad would not have allowed that.

She was almost certainly married off for political reasons. Æthelred needed Alfred's support and Alfred needed allies at his back, allies that would stay loyal. He allowed the couple autonomy but cut it short of monarchy, even as a client kingdom. That was still just a bit too far.

But, makes a good story and one that kids enjoy at up to about age 12. But, it seems, it and other stories of women who made their marks in history are rarely tol in schoolsd. Even in the local girls' high school, which has a house called Saxon.

The deck of cards I mentioned previously that had the obscure four queens on it took some liberties with whom they considered to be an English queen. (I guess I didn't mention that they were all supposed to be English queens.) Anyway I looooooove history.

I think part of my interest in history stems from my frustration regarding the genealogy on my mother's side. She was sort of an orphan so I've tried to peace her family history together scouring through old online documents and family trees. In the process I've learned about human migration, plagues, wars and other historical events.

I had my DNA tested recently. The results came back that I was 35% Scandinavian which was a real shock. I thought I was mostly an English, Scots-Irish mix.

This history section of TTA is probably the deadest part of the forum. I'm not sure why. By the way, a year or so ago I ran across the British Library's copy of a handwritten letter Queen Elizabeth the First wrote and I started a thread about the topic.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...lizabeth+I

The British Library has several things online now which I find fascinating and I think you can find some of it in the thread I linked. Geeze, I need to join and online history forum ......anyway, I'm starting to meander so I'll just shut up now. Rolleyes

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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31-08-2016, 02:28 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
Had a quick shufti at the BL online site but found nothing on Æthelflæd, probaby using it wrongly.

Re your genes, don't forget there was a lot of Norse infiltration into both Scotland and Ireland, and Yorkshire and Northumberland for that matter. Irish redheads probably have high Norse gene counts.

What colour is your hair! Smile

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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31-08-2016, 02:30 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
Expand your browser to 200% and you can read the document fairly easily. I think it's in French.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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31-08-2016, 02:31 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
AEthelflaed ... sounds like a swear word.

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31-08-2016, 02:51 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
(31-08-2016 02:30 PM)Dom Wrote:  Expand your browser to 200% and you can read the document fairly easily. I think it's in French.

Carolinian French to be more precise. Its French has spelled and written after Charlemagne imposed the caroligian letter (the difference between capital and normal letters as well as word separation, before all letters in french were Capitalised and word stringed together to save space and paper, its an evolution of Merovingian French).

PS: I always wondered how are you supposed to pronounce her name?

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31-08-2016, 02:54 PM
RE: Æthelflæd: Noble Beauty, ruler, diplomat, warrior princess
(31-08-2016 02:28 PM)Gloucester Wrote:  Had a quick shufti at the BL online site but found nothing on Æthelflæd, probaby using it wrongly.

Re your genes, don't forget there was a lot of Norse infiltration into both Scotland and Ireland, and Yorkshire and Northumberland for that matter. Irish redheads probably have high Norse gene counts.

What colour is your hair! Smile

Yeah, lots of red hair in the family, though I myself am blond with green eyes and I have very, very pale skin. My sister and nephew have red hair. My mother's hair was originally a beautiful auburn red. The DNA testing I did was geared towards my maternal side since my cousin had already traced my father's family, whose name was Sherman, back to 14th century England. The Shermans were weavers and produced textiles so there is documentation of the taxes they paid and that makes them easier to trace. I'm an American, by the way. The Shermans, at least a branch of the Sherman family I'm related to, came here before the Revolutionary War. I'm related to Roger Sherman who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. Kinda neat. Also related to General William Tecumseh Sherman from the US Civil War. He burned down the city of Atlanta.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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