Speak like a Saxon: Happy New Year (and gold treasure)

Gesælige niwe gear!

["Yuh-sail-iy-uh nee-uu-wuh yay-ar"]

Not so very long ago, a new cache of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered in Staffordshire. We're not sure who put it there, or why, yet. "Get yer hands off my gold" or words to that effect probably accompanied the digging efforts.

1100 years ago to roughly this date (give or take a few months), a lovely lady called Athelflæd was in Staffordshire. Did she have anything to do with it??

The Cotton Tiberius A.vi manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says,

913: Her Gode forgifendum for Æþelflæd Myrcna hlæfdige mid eallum Myrcum to Tamaweorðige 7 þa burh ðær getimbrede on foreweardne sumor, 7 þæs foran to Hlafmæssan þa æt Stæfforda.*

In this year, through the Grace of God, Athelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, went with all the Mercians to Tamworth and built the fortress there at the beginning of the summer, and then the one at Stafford before Lammas.

This is just after vikings and pirates and all kinds of unfriendly people had been rampaging around Mercia. The earl of Mercia died in 912 and King Edward very kindly took over. The Mercians were not to be meddled with! Gold theft, land grabbing, interfering governments and pirates (maybe add rail fare increases, gas price manipulation and rubbish on telly)....Lady Athelflæd took action! She built the fortresses - did she hide the money??

*electronic version with much thanks to: http://asc.jebbo.co.uk/b/b-L.html 


Anonymous said…
Hello Eleanor,

First, I love your Blog..I check it weekly to learn more on my ancestry's language.

Second, what a surprise to see you mention my ancestral Great Grand Mother, Æthelflæd.

Keep up the great work.