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Restoration of the Saxon Kings

At the beginning of the 11th century, in 1018, England was conquered by the Danish King Canute, who became King of Denmark, Norway and England. He made England the centre of his power.

The country was divided into four earldoms of Wessex, Mercia, North-umbria and East Anglia, they were ruled by earls appointed by the king. As part of the thanes and knights did not want to continue as professional warriors, the permanent army of well-trained soldiers, who were paid for their service (the "Housecarls") was created.

During Canute's reign the Godwin family came to power in England southwest of the line marking the "Danelaw" territory.

After the death of Canute in 1035, and the death of his sons (the last died in 1042), the Godwin group, who held three of the six large earldoms of the country, succeeded in restoring the old Saxon dynasty to the throne of England. Edward, the son of Aethelred the Unready, was brought back from Normandy, where he had to stay at the court of his cousin.

He brought crowds of Norman counsellors, sly Norman monks and nobles, who soon got best land and church posts, preparing the ground for the Norman Conquest. In his reign the Westminster Abbey was built and the royal residence moved into a new palace in Westminster.

Task 12. Fill in the dates in the table, which represents the Scandinavian Invasion.


Date Events
  Norsemen start the raids to England and Ireland
  London is burnt up
  The first permanent settlements are founded
  "Alfred's great year of battles" — the Danes are pushed from Wessex by King Alfred the Great
  Fighting between the Danes and Anglo-Saxons
  A peace treaty is signed to divide the country into two equal parts "Danelaw" and England proper
  The Danish invasions are resumed. The Anglo-Saxon kings give the Danes money to leave them in peace
  The government imposes a heavy tax called Danegeld, or Dane money
  England is conquered by the Danes once more. The Danish King Canute becomes King of Denmark, Norway and England and makes the latter the centre of his power
  After Canute' o the throne and the line of Danish kings comes to an end


Task 13.Using the scheme describe the transformation of the Anglo-Saxon society from the 6th century to the end of the Scandinavian Invasion.


  Ihe Anglo-Saxon society of the 6th—7th centuries The English society of the 8 th—9 th centuries
Main classes Thanes — professional warriors Ceorls — peasants landowners peasants
Land common property of the village community private property, which could be sold, inherited or used as a payment for debts
Local division village communities   hundreds   shires   kingdom townships   hundreds   shires   kingdom
System of judgment and manning folk-moots in the village communities   hundred-moots, presided by elected elders   shire-moots, presided by sheriffs landowners   hundred-moots of the most influential landlords presided by royal officials   shire-moots, presided by the kings chief official   the king as a supreme judge



Task 14. Historical consequences. The Scandinavian Invasion. Match two statements from columns A and B into a compound sentence with a conjunction "so".


1. The Anglo-Saxons had to stop constant attacks of the Danes a) they signed the peace treaty, which, divided the country into 2 parts
2. The Danes every year went to different places b) today many countries on the former Danelaw territory have similar names to the main city
3. Alfred the Great failed to push the Danes away from England c) they paid the tribute called Danegeld
4. The Anglo-Saxon villages were fortified and secured d) the Anglo-Saxons organised Danish massacre in 1002
5. Each Danish shire had a market town e) they had to unite in order not to lose their independence completely
6. In 991, the Anglo-Saxons were unable to resist the Danes f) he soon lost control over its biggest part
7. The Danes tried to raise the tribute they got from the Anglo-Saxons g) they made the basis for the first English towns
8. The empire of Canute included three distant countries h) all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms experienced Danish raids

Task 15. Here are different events, which happened during the 5th—11th centuries in England. Discuss them in groups and rank them to their importance. Prove your choice.

1.Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.

2.Political unification of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

3.The written history of England called "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" was started by King Alfred the Great.

4.The Code of English Law was drawn up.

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