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BATTLE OF ASHINGDON

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  BATTLE OF ASSENDUN, BATTLE OF ASSANDUN, BATTLE OF ASSINGDON, BATTLE OF ASSUNDUN
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Possible site of the Battle of Ashingdon which is thought to have been located in one of a few areas. One of these is in Ashingdon, Rochford in Essex. The battle was fought in 1016 as a result of Danish invasion of England. The Battle of Ashingdon is also known as the Battle of Assundun, the Battle of Assingdon, the Battle of Assandun and the Battle of Assendun. The 990s had seen many raids by the Danish on England and in 1016 they were led by Cnut (Canute). They sailed with a fleet of 160 ships and besieged London twice and raided across the country. The Vikings were forced out of London by King Edmund ‘Ironside’, the English King and went up the River Orwell and into Mercia. King Edmund, along with Earl Eadric, overtook Cnut at Ashingdon Hill in Essex; the location of the battlefield is disputed.

Not much is known about the events of the battle itself but it is thought that Edmund was fighting on top of a hill with Cnut below him. Edmund seems to have been betrayed by Eadric who fled from the battlefield taking his men with him. Cnut became the victor of the battle and killed many English earls and Edmund escaped to Deerhurst in Gloucestershire. He was followed by Cnut and was allowed to retain Wessex due to a treaty that was drawn up. Cnut became king over the remainder. Edmund’s death in November of the same year meant that Cnut became the king of the whole country.

Parts of a spear, shield and penny of Canute have been found in a nearby churchyard.

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