Wulfnoth Cild

Wulfnoth Cild (died c. 1014) was a South Saxon thegn who is regarded by historians as the probable father of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and thus the grandfather of King Harold Godwinson.


It is known that Godwin's father was called Wulfnoth, and in the view of Frank Barlow, the Godwin family's massive estates in Sussex are indisputable evidence that the Wulfnoth in question was the South Saxon thegn.[1]

In 1008, King Æthelred the Unready ordered the construction of a fleet, and the following year 300 ships assembled at Sandwich, Kent to meet a threatened Viking invasion. There Brihtric, brother of Eadric Streona, brought unknown charges against Wulfnoth before the king, unjustly according to John of Worcester.[2] Wulfnoth then fled with twenty ships and ravaged the south coast. Brihtric followed with eighty, but his fleet was driven ashore by a storm and burnt by Wulfnoth. After the loss of a third of the fleet the remaining ships were withdrawn to London, and the Vikings were able to invade Kent unopposed. Æthelred almost certainly confiscated Wulfnoth's property as a result.[3][4][5]

Wulfnoth Cild had died by June 1014.[6]


The church of St. Mary Woolnoth in London was founded by an Anglo-Saxon nobleman named Wulfnoth, who may be the same as Wulfnoth Cild of Sussex.

See also


  1. Frank Barlow, The Godwins, Pearson, 2002, p. 25.
  2. Ann Williams, Godwine, Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  3. Barlow, op. cit., pp. 26-27
  4. Williams
  5. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (MSS C, D, E and F) s.a. 1009.
  6. Barlow, op. cit., pp. 27

Secondary sources

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