Kettle in England 1000 - 1100

997-1016 ... to his three kinsmen Eadwold, Æthelnoth and Grimcetel to each of them 20 mancuses of gold and to each of them a horse and to his kinsman Wulfgar ... and to his brother in law Godric ... [Witnesses] Wulfgar, Godric of Crediton
Source: Old English will of Bishop Ælfwold of Crediton

1004 In this year Swein came with his fleet to Norwich and completely ravaged and burnt the borough. Then Ulfcetel with the councillors in East Anglia determined that it would be better to buy peace from the army before they did too much damage in the country, for they had come unexpectedly and he had not time to collect his army. Then, under cover of the truce which was supposed to be between them, the Danish army stole inland from the ships, and directed their course to Thetford. When Ulfcetel perceived that, he sent orders that the ships were to be hewn to bits, but those whom he intended for this failed him; he then collected his army secretly, as quickly as he could. And the Danish army then came to Thetford within three weeks after their ravaging of Norwich, and remained inside there one night and ravaged and burnt the borough. Then in the morning, when they wished to go to their ships, Ulfcetel arrived with his troops to offer battle there. And they resolutely joined battle and many fell slain on both sides. There the flower of the East Anglian people was killed. But if their full strength had been there, the Danes would never have got back to their ships; as they themselves said that they had never met worse fighting in England than Ulfcetel dealt to them.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1009 There came at once after Lammas [1st August] the immense raiding army which we call Thorkel's [Thorkel the Tall] army to Sandwich.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1009 A force which appeared in Denmark was led by Thorkell.
Source: Florence of Worcester i 160-1

1009 [Olaf took part in Thorkel's invasion. Like Thorkel, he may have changed sides.]
Source: Ólafsdrápa by Sighvat the scald

1009-1012 & on Earl Thorkell. A leader of the raiders 1009-12 with whom Swegen was possibly associated. Florence calls him a 'Danicus Comes' = Danish Count and says that he was joined by forces under Hemming and Eglaf. Hemming may have been his brother. He is the only Scandinavian mentioned in Thietmar of Merseburg's account of Archbishop Ælfleh's martyrdom of 1012 when he entered Æthelred's service with 45 ships. The Encomiast claims that he was Swegn's military commander, who got permission to take part of the Danish army to England to avenge his brother, became a friend of the English and remained among them.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1010 In this year the aforementioned [Danish] army came to East Anglia after Easter and landed at Ipswich, and went straightaway to where they had heard that Ulfcetel was with his army¹. That was on Ascension day and at once the East Angles fled. The men of Cambridgeshire stood firm against them. The King's son in law Athelstan was killed there, and Oswig and his son, and Wulfric, Leofwine's son and Eadwig, Æfic's brother, and many other good thegns and a countless number of the people. It was Thurcetel Mare's Head who first started that flight. The Danes had control of the field and there they were provided with horses and afterwards had control of East Anglia, and ravaged and burnt that country for three months and even went into the wild fens, slaying the men and cattle, and burning throughout the fens; and they burnt down Thetford and Cambridge ...
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle
¹ Florence says it was at 'the place which is called Ringmere'. Old Norse poems also give this name to the battle; see the next two items.


1010 [Olaf (who fought with Earl Thorkel in 1009) fought Ulfcetel at Ringmere.]
Source: Ólafsdrápa by Sighvat the scald

(1010) Battle west of London ... Ulfcetel ... Ringmere Heath ... [The same battle, though the year is not mentioned]
Source: Eiríksdrápa by Thord Kolbeinsson

1010 Resistance fron Ulfcytel, an English leader of the old school.
Source: The Warrior kings of Saxon England - Ralph Whitlock

1012 ... Ealdorman Eadric and all the chief councillors of England came to London before Easter and they stayed there until the tribute ... was all paid ... The Danish army then dispersed ...then 45 ships from that army [commanded by Earl Thorkel] came over to the king.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1013 King Swein came ... to London ... the citizens would not yield but resisted with full battle because King Ethelred was inside and Thorkel with him ... After that the citizens of London submitted. Then Swein demanded full payment and provisions for his army that winter and Thorkel demanded the same for the army which lay at Greenwich and in spite of it all they ravaged as often as they pleased.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1013 Sweyn of Denmark became King of East Anglia. He died in 1014 and it seemed likely that his son would succeed him, but then Ethelred died.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1013 King Sweyn of Denmark arrived and within a few months was declared king.
Source: The Warrior kings of Saxon England - Ralph Whitlock

1014 To my father I grant ... except ... the silver hilted sword which belonged to Ulfketel.
Source: Old English will of the Atheling Athelstan, eldest son of King Ethelred

1016 Ethelred dies. Accession of Edmund II (Ironside). Fought Cnut in East Anglia. He had the support of London and was likely to have won, but Alderman Elfric changed sides, so a peace treaty was drawn up.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1016 Edmund II dies or is assassinated. Accession of Cnut (Canute). Although Danish, he called 'home' England. The country was at peace.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1016 Uhtred ... submitted then out of necessity, and with him all the Northumbrians, and he gave hostages. And nevertheless he was killed by the advice of Ealdorman Eadric, and with him Thurcetel, Nafena's son.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1016 Thurgut [could be Lord Thorkel] beseiged London in July.
Source: Thietmar of Merseburg
Thurgut captured Ælfheah the prelate of Canterbury, and prevented his companions from torturing Ælfheah


1016 Thorkell was a largely independent warlord, probably with 40 ships under him and was part of the army with which Cnut conquered England in 1016 - having been in the interval in English service.
A reference to Thorketil (where?) almost certainly related to Thorkell.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1016-1035 A shire meeting met ... there were present ... Thurkil the White. There came Edwin, Emiaun's son and brought a charge against his own mother for ... Wellington and Cradley ... She became extremely angry with her son and called to her kinswoman Leofflæd the wife of Thurkil the White; "Here sits my kinswoman Leofflæd to whom I grant after my death my land and my gold and my clothing and my raiment and everything I possess" ... And Thurkel rode then ... to St Ethelbert's minster [Hereford Cathedral] and had it entered in a gospel book.
Source: Old English record of a family lawsuit in Herefordshire
Both Thurkil the White and his wife Leofflæd are mentioned in the Domesday book, Thurkil as pre-Conquest holder of Wellington


1017 King Cnut received the dominion of the whole of England and divided it into four parts ... East Anglia for Earl Thorkel ...
Source: Florence of Worcester

1017-1035 Thored nephew of Thorkell was witness to Kentish Charter S1465.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1017-1023East Anglia was ruled by the Scandinavian Thorkell in 1017. Thorkell was married to Edith. By 1021 he was in exile. Liber Eliensis mentions a seige of Ely; perhaps the outlawing of Thorkell is connected? Had Thorkell dreamed of dominating the youg king? Thorkell then establised a strong position in Denmark. In 1023 Cnut was there making terms with him, leaving it to his care and exchanging sons. He then disappears from the records. He would be expected to have played a significant role in Cnut's Scandinavian wars 1025-28 but there is no mention of him. Perhaps he was dead.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1017-1035Thorkell Hoga is a witness to 5961 Thorney 'Liber Vitae'. Could have been Cnut's man. Could be the same person as Turkilis Hoche who gave a Nottinghamshire estate and monetarium in Stamford to Peterborough Abbey.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1017-1035Earl Thorkell. Entered in te 'Liber Vitae' of Thorney Abbey. witnessed a gift to Ramsey. Monks introduced to Bury St Edmunds with his authority.
Source: Cnut. The Danes in England in the early eleventh century by MK Lawson pub Longman

1018 Thorkell, earl [witness, Scandinavian]
Source: Grant by King Cnut of lands at Landrake and Tinnell, Cornwall to Burhwold, Bishop of Cornwall

1019 Witness ... Thorkel, earl ... Thurkil, King's thegn ...
Source: Restoration by King Cnut of New Minster, Winchester of land at Drayton, Hampshire which he had wrongfully granted to a citizen of Winchester

1019-1020 King Cnut greets in friendship his archbishops and his diocesan bishops and Earl Thorkel and all his earls ... if anyone ... defy God's law and will not make amends ... I command Earl Thorkel ... to cause the evildoer to do right.
Source: Cnut's letter to the people of England

1020 The church which King Cnut and Earl Thorkel had erected on the hill which is called Ashingdon was dedicated ...
Source: Florence of Worcester

1020 The king went to Ashingdon and Archbishop Wulfstan and Earl Thorkel ... and they consecrated the minster at Ashingdon.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1021 Cnut ... expelled from England Earl Thorkel and his wife Edith.
Source: Florence of Worcester

1021 King Cnut outlawed Earl Thorkel.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1023 King Cnut came back to England and Thorkel and he were reconciled and he entrusted Denmark and his son to Thorkel to maintain and the king took Thorkel's son with him to England.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle (one version only)

1035 Cnut dies. Accession of Harold I. Hardacnut was due to be king, but he was out of the country when Cnut died, so his half brother was chosen.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1038 The Welsh killed ... Thorkel ...
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1039 The Welsh killed the noble King's thegns Thorkel and ...
Source: Florence of Worcester

1038 Grimcetel [succeeded] to the bishopric of Sussex.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1039 Accession of Grimketel (1) as bishop of Selsey.
Source: English Historical Documents II

1038 Æthelric, bishop of the South Saxons died ... he was succeeded by Grimcetel. Ælfric bishop of the East Angles died ... and Grimcetel was elected ... and held the two dioceses, but Stigand was again restored and Grimcetel ejected.
Source: Florence of Worcester
Florence has the date wrong; an authentic Suffolk writ of 1043/4 includes Bishop Grimcetel.


1043 Accession of Grimketel (2) as bishop of Elmham, also his ejection.
Source: English Historical Documents II

1042-7 Edward the King to Grimketel the bishop ... and all my theigns in Suffolk ... The soke ... that pertains to Thingoe shall be held ... by St Edmund [The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds]
Source: English Historical Documents II; E Harmer; Anglo Saxon Writs (1952) p155
Writ in Anglo Saxon of Edward the Confessor to Bishop Grimketel, Earl Ælfgar and Toli, Sheriff of Suffolk.


1040 Harold I dies of illness. Accession of Hardacnut. Unpopular because he demanded Danegeld and exhumed Harold's body. The court is mostly composed of Danish nobles.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1042-3 Hardacnut dies in a drinking bout. Accession of Edward III (The Confessor). A peaceful regn. Denmark and England agree to be separate kingdoms.
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1043-5 ... and it is my wish that Ulfketel's and my partnership shall hold good on the terms to which we have agreed; namely that the estate at Borough shall go to whichever of us shall live the longer - except half a hide at Westley and a hide at Dullingham which I grant to my servant, Viking - and Ulfketel has laid down on his side 4 marks.
... And I desire that the estate at "Bidicheseye" shall be sold and that ... my partner [probably Ulfketel] (shall receive) 1 mark of gold and one mark of gold is to be given to his child, Thorth's brother, and 1 mark of gold to his child.
These are the witnesses in Norfolk ... and in Suffolk ... Ulfketel and in Cambridgeshire ... Ulfketel Cild and in Essex ...
And Thurston and Æthylgyth and Askil grant to Æthelswith the estate at Henham after their death; and after the death of all of them the estate is to go to St Etheldreda's for her own soul and for ... Askil's.
Source: English Historical Documents II; Anglo Saxon Wills 1930 pp 81,82
"Will" in Anglo Saxon of Thurstan, son of Wine (1043-5); He was an important thegn in the time of Edward the Confessor.


1043-53 probably 1046 I grant the estate at Stisted [Essex], with the witness of God and my friends to Christ Church [Canterbury] for the sustenance of the monks in the community on condition that my sons Ælfketel and Ketel may have the use of the estate for their lifetime and afterwards the estate is to go to Christ Church without controversy for my soul and for my lord Ælfwine's and for the souls of all my children: and after their lifetime half the men are to be free. And I grant to the church at Stisted besides what I granted during my life, Eldemes land and in addition so much that in all there shall be after my death 60 acres of woodland and of open land. And I grant to my sons Ælfketel and Ketel the estates at Walsingham and at Carlton and at Harling [all Norfolk]; and I grant to my two daughters Gode and Bote, Saxlingham and Somerton [or Somerleyton] [Suffolk]. And to the church at Somerleyton 16 acres of land and 1 acre of meadow. And to my daughter Ældgyth I grant the estates at Chadacre [Suffolk] and at Ashford [Kent?] and the wood which I attached to the latter. And I grant Fritton [Norfolk or Suffolk] to Earl Godwine and Earl Harold. And I grant to Christ's altar at Christ Church a little gold crucifix and a seat cover. And I grant to St Edmonds two ornamented horns. And I grant to St Etheldreda's [Ely] a woolen gown. And I grant to St Osyths [Essex] half a pound of money and that my children shall give. And I grant to St Augustine's [Canterbury] one dorsal [An ornamented cloth usually hung at the back of an altar] ...
Source: English Historical Documents II; D Whitelock; Anglo Saxon Wills (1930) pp 85 197
"Will" in Anglo Saxon of the Lady Wulfgyth. She was the mother of Ketel the thegn (will bef.1066), sister of Edwin the thegn (will bef.1066) and wife of Ælfwine. Ælfketel is an Anglicised form of the Scandinavian Alfketill.


10?? Here in this document it is made known how I,Thurketel, grant my possessions after my day. First, I grant that land at Caister and at Thorpe with meadow and with marsh, with ingress and with egress, to God and St Benedict and St Edmund at Bury and at Holme, for the redemption of my soul. And my wife's portion is to be for ever uncontested, for her to hold or to give where she pleases. And to my lord his due heriot.
And my daughter Ælgwyn is to have the estate at Ormesby witht the proviso that she may not forfeit it; and after her time the estate is to goto Holme for my soul and for hers, except that land which Omund had; that my nephew Ketel is to have. And my nephew's children, the sons of Swegn and of Ealhmund, are to have the estate at Scratby.
And the Abbot of Holme is to have a pound and the Abbot of Bury another. And my men are to be free, those who will work for it (?).
And whosoever wishes to despoil this will, may God deprive him of the kingdom of heaven, unless he repent it here.
There are three of these documents: one is at Holme and the second at Bury; the third with Thurketel himself.
Source: The will of Thurketel Heyng
I have a vague memory that the Ketel referred to is the same Ketel who wote the will above.


1047 Translation or death of Grimketel (1), bishop of Selsey.
Source: English Historical Documents II

1047 In this year Bishop Grimcetel, the bishop of Sussex, died, and he lies in Christchurch at Canterbury.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

bef 1066A reference I haven't yet looked at.
Source: The late Saxon town of Thetford: an archaeological and historical survey by Dunmore S and Clark R. 1976

1052 - January 1066 Here in this document is Ketel's will, namely that I grant Stisted to Christ Church after my time for the sake of my father's soul and for Sæflæd's [his wife?] And it is my will that all my men shall be free and that my reeve, Mann, shall occupy the free land which I have given over into his possession for ever during his life; and after his death the estate is to go with the other. And I grant to the church the land which Wihtric had in his possession and Leofwine and Siric and Goding to where the fence reaches Leofric's hedge and I enjoin that noone shall refuse him egress. And I desire that all the men to whom I grant freedom shall have all things which are in their possession except the land. And I grant to Archbishop Stigand, my lord, the estate at Harling just as it stands except that the men shall be be free and that I grant 10 acres to the church. And if I do not come back again, I grant to him as my heriot a helmet and a coat of mail and a horse with harness, with a sword and a spear [heriot of a median thegn as described in Cnut's second code] And I desire that in accordance with the agreement Edwin and Wulfric shall after my time succeed to everything that is mine everywhere in that village except so much as I grant to the church; namely the land let for service which my man Ælfwold holds and he is to occupy the other during his lifetime and afterwards all the land which comes into his possession is to go with the other to the church. If Edwin my uncle will maintain the partnership with me and my uncle Wulfric with regard to the estate at Little Melton. If we outlive him we are to succeed to the estate at Thorpe on condition that after the death of both of us the estate of Melton shall go to St Benedict of Holme for our ancestors souls and for our own souls and the estate at Thorpe to Bury St Edmunds. And this is the agreement between me and my sister Bote. If I end my life before her, she is to succeed to the estate at Ketteringham and a mark of gold or the equivalent. And if I outlive her then I shall have the land at Somerleyton. And my sister Gode and I have made a similar agreement; if she survives me she is to take possession of the estate at Walsingham except 10 acres which are to go to the church and if I live longer than she then I shall have the estate at Preston. And I grant to my brother Godric the estate at Hainford just as it stands in my possession and Coggeshall. And for the land at Stratton [Strawless] he shall give Ælfwig my servant 2 pounds. And I and my stepdaughter Ælfgifu have made an agreement about the estate at Onehouse that whichever of us shall live the longer is to have as much land as the two of us have there. And if death befall us both on the way to Rome the estate is to go to Bury St Edmunds for me and for Sæflæd and for Ælgifu but all the men are to be free. And I grant to Earl Harold after my time the half estate at "Marai" [Probably DB Mora, Blofield Hundred] as fully and completely as I rightfully acquired it with my wife in the witness of God and of many men. And I have since neither lost it by lawsuit not have I forfeited it. And I beseech you by the Lord who created you and by all creatures that if I do not come back you will never let it be possessed after my time by my enemies who wrongly occupy it and make use of it to my continual injury. And grant the estate at Frating according to the agreement which you yourself and Archbishop Stigand my lord, have made. And I grant to Ælfric my priest and relation the estate at Rushford. And if anyone is so foolish as to wish to detract from my will my God and all his saints destroy him at the day of judgement.
Source: English Historical Documents II; Anglo Saxon Wills (1930) pp 89, 201. D Whitelock.
"Will" in Anglo Saxon of Ketel the thegn, nephew of Edwin the thegn. Once described in the Domesday book as thegn of King Edward and once as thegn of Archbishop Stigand and the latter statement is borne out in his "will". It was made on the occassion of Ketel making a pilgrimage to Rome.
Both Ketel and Edwin appear in the Domesday book as having held land in East Anglia at the time of Edward the Confessor. After the Norman Conquest some of their land passed to the Abbey of St Benet of Holme and in the case of one estate its seigneural history can be watched in the subsequent period. See: DC Douglas; Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds (1932) pp cxii-cxvii
In Domesday book there are two Norfolk Walsinghams, both held by landowners called Ketel but only the Walsingham in East Carleton is held by the Norman landowner who succeeds Ketel in other estates, Ranulf Peverel. It may be the same Ketel who has a few acres in Stoke Holy Cross (Domesday book) but the landowner who was succeeded by Reynold son of Ivo is no doubt a different person.
Ketel is given the byname Alder in the Latin headings in the cartuleries and in the list of benefactors to Bury in the Cambridge mss. This may represent O.E. Ealdor, but is more likely to mean 'the elder'.


Shortly before 1066 ... Algarsthorpe [Norfolk] to [Bury] St Edmunds, Leofric ... and Little Melton to St Benedicts [Holme], Bergh [Bergh Apton = Ashwell] south of King Street except Applesco to St Etheldredas, Turfpit to Apton ... 10 acres south of the street to Bergh Church ... 10 acres north of the street to Apton Church ... 4 acres to Holverston Church [Suffolk], 4 acres to Blyford Church, 10 acres to Sparham Church.
... This is the free property [probably in the sense that Edwin can dispose of it as he wishes without making agreement with other members of his family] which Edwin has granted to Christ and St Mary and all Christ's saints for the redemption of his soul. And this is the agreement which the two brothers Wulfric and Edwin made between them about the two estates Thorpe and Little Melton: That is; that whichever of them shall live the longer is to have both the estates and after the death of both of them the estate at Melton is to go to St Benedicts for the souls of them both. And that Ketel is to succeed to the estate at Thorpe after the death of both of them on such terms as are set forth here: Namely that Ketel is to pay each year to St Edmunds 2 pounds - that is the rent of the estate - and one mass shall be said every day for the souls of both of them. And after Ketel's death the estate is to go to St Edmunds without controversy and that at Melton to the church which Thurward owned; and the land which Edwin Ecgferth's son had free to the church ... 8 acres from Wreningham to the old church ... 2 acres to Fundenhall church, 2 to Nayland church.
Source: English Historical Documents II; Anglo Saxon Wills (1930) pp 87, 199. D Whitelock.
"Will" in Anglo Saxon of Edwin the thegn.


1066? Edward III dies. Accession of Harold. Son of Earl Godwin, he defeated the Danes in the north, so allowing William the Conqueror to slip in ...
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1066 William the Conqueror invades
Source: The House of Wessex & Danish Kings (I didn't note the author)

1069 Three sons of King Swein came from Denmark, with two hundred and forty ships into the Humber, together with Earl Osbeorn and Earl Thorkil.
Source: Anglo Saxon Chronicle

After 1086
In Whittlesford hundred the following gave sworn evidence ... Ansketill "de Herolfvilla" ...
In the double hundred of Broadwater the following gave sworn evidence ... Thorkill of Digsvell ...
Source: English Historical Documents II; The Ely Inquest

Last update
27 December 1998
Kettle Genealogy
home page