Earl Godwine may have had a humiliating experience finding himself exiled in the fall of 1051, but by many accounts his absence made the Saxons appreciate him like never before. King Edward the Confessor, ever more at home in
Most likely he sent messages to Harold and Leofwine in
Meanwhile, Godwine was headed toward
When the tide came in, Godwine’s party weighed anchor and traveled under
Bishop Stigand and other negotiators decided that an exchange of hostages would help the situation, and this is probably when Godwine released his son Wulfnoth and grandson Hakon to Edward. It was agreed that the King and the Earl of Wessex would meet at a great Witan Gemot the following day and restore peace.
As soon as the
Regardless, the great gathering was held the following day outside the walls of
Alas, Godwine was not destined to enjoy his triumph for long. The events had taken their toll on his health and he soon fell seriously ill. Within the year he was dead; while feasting at the King’s table he was seized by a powerful convulsion and fell insensible, never to waken again.