Making England, 796-1042: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making England, 796-1042

1st Edition

By Richard Huscroft

Routledge

306 pages

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Description

Making England, 796–1042 explores the creation and establishment of the kingdom of England and the significant changes that led to it becoming one of the most successful and sophisticated political structures in the western world by the middle of the eleventh century.

At the end of the eighth century when King Offa of Mercia died, England was a long way from being a single kingdom ruled by a single king. This book examines how and why the kingdom of England formed in the way it did and charts the growth of royal power over the following two and a half centuries. Key political and military events are introduced alongside developments within government, the law, the church and wider social and economic changes to provide a detailed picture of England throughout this period. This is also set against a wider European context to demonstrate the influence of external forces on England’s development.

With a focus on England’s rulers and elites, Making England, 796–1042 uncovers the type of kingdom England was and analyses its strengths and weaknesses as well as the emerging concept of a specifically English nation. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, and containing a selection of maps and genealogies, it is the ideal introducion to this subject for students of medieval history and of medieval England in particular.

Reviews

'Richard Huscroft brings his trademark combination of eloquence and erudition to Making England. He sets out the twisting, turning narrative that leads from a series of separate kingdoms in the eighth century to a single strong one in the eleventh, and at the same time brings out the slow-burning institutional and social changes that underpin this story.'

Rory Naismith, King's College London, UK

'Richard Huscroft has written an admirably clear account of the formative period of English history from the death of King Offa of Mercia to the accession of Edward the Confessor – the period that witnessed the first emergence of a single kingdom of England and the origin and early development of so many key institutions of English political life. Making England, 796–1042 is the essential companion to Huscroft's Ruling England, 1042–1217.'

Timothy Graham, The University of New Mexico, USA

Table of Contents

Preface

Chronology of Main Events

A Note on Money

References and Abbreviations

List of Debates

Maps

Genealogies

 

Introduction. England and the English in 796

Part I. The Origins of a Kingdom, 796-899

  1. The Events, 796-899
  2. 796-839

    839-858

    858-871

    878-892

    893-899

    Notes

  3. Ruling the Kingdoms, 796-899

Becoming King

The Requirements of Kingship

‘Tools and Resources’

Ruling at a Distance

Military Organisation

The Reign of Alfred the Great

The Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons

Notes

3. The Kings and the Law, 796-899

Principles and Practice

Alfred the Great and the Law

The Limits of the Law

Notes

4. The Kings and the Church, 796-899

The Structure of the English Church

English Kings and the Pre-Viking Church

The English Church and the Vikings

Alfred the Great and the Church

Between a Viking Rock and a Royal Hard Place

Notes

Part II. The Birth of a Kingdom, 899-975

5. The Events, 899-975

899-902

903-918

919-924

924-939

939-946

946-955

956-959

959-975

Notes

6. Ruling the Kingdom, 899-975

The Bumpy Road to a Single English Kingdom

Military Power

Household Government

Government by Assembly

Regional Government

Mints and Coins

Royal Power in the North

Royal Wealth

Edgar’s English Kingdom

Notes

7. The Kings and the Law, 899-975

Law and Government

Law Codes and their Concerns

Courts

Hearing a Case

Policing and Punishment

The Longer Arm of the Law

Notes

8. The Kings and the Church, 899-975

Royal Government and the Church

Kings and Dioceses

Monasticism and Realpolitik

Reform and Reality

Notes

Part III. The Testing of a Kingdom, 975-1042

9. The Events, 975-1042

975-979

979-991

992-1005

1006-1012

1013-1016

1016-1035

1035-1042

Notes

10. Ruling the Kingdom, 975-1042

King and Nobility

Household Government

Local Government

Military Organisation

Royal Finance

A Kingdom Worth Fighting For

Notes

11. The Kings and the Law, 975-1042

Aethelred’s Laws

Cnut’s Laws

Law in Action

The Roots of the Common Law

Notes

12. The Kings and the Church, 975-1042

All Churches Great and Small

The Church and Royal Power

Aethelred II and the Church

Cnut and the English Church

Out of the Frying Pan …

Notes

Glossary of Terms

Suggestions for Further Reading

Index

About the Author

Richard Huscroft is Head of History at Westminster School, London, and is the author of several books on medieval history, including Ruling England, 1042-1217 (2016), and Tales from the Long Twelfth Century (2016).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS015000
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HIS037010
HISTORY / Medieval