“Uhtred the Bold of Bamburgh, A leader, warrior, and chief, Protector of his land, his people's relief.”
The Real Utred of Bebbanburg
Uhtred of Bamburgh was a powerful ealdorman in Northumbria during the late Anglo-Saxon period. He was born around 975 AD, the son of Waltheof I, the ruler of Bamburgh. He succeeded his father as ruler of the region, and played a key role in the politics of northern England.
In 995, according to Symeon of Durham, when the remains of St Cuthbert were transferred from Chester-le-Street to Durham, Uhtred went to Durham with his monks to clear the site of the new cathedral. The new cathedral was founded by Bishop Aldhun, and Uhtred married Aldhun's daughter, Ecgfrida, probably at about this time. From his marriage, he received several derivatives that had belonged to the church, which helped him to secure his position and power in the region.
One of Uhtred's most notable achievements was his victory against King Malcolm II of Scotland in the year 1006. The Scottish king had invaded Northumbria and besieged the newly founded episcopal city of Durham (of or relating to a bishop, an overseer in the Christian church) . At that time, the Danes were raiding southern England and the English King Ethelred was unable to send help to the Northumbrians. Uhtred, acting for his father, called together an army from the south of the region and Yorkshire and led it against the Scots, winning a decisive victory. In a somewhat macabre side note, after the battle the local women washed the severed heads of the Scots, receiving an unusually high payment of a cow for each, then the heads were fixed on stakes to Durham's walls! As a warning I assume...in more contemporary parlance, mess aboot, find oot!
This achievement earned Uhtred the respect and gratitude of King Ethelred, who appointed him ealdorman of Bamburgh, even though his father was still alive. He also granted Uhtred the position of ealdorman of York, uniting northern and southern Northumbria under the house of Bamburgh.
The Battle of Carham, likely fought around 1016/18 (disputed), was an encounter at Carham on Tweed between Uhtred of Bamburgh and the allied forces of Malcolm II of Scotland and Owen the Bald of Cumbria. The battle resulted in a victory for the Scots and Cumbrians but it did help stabilise what is now the English/Scottish border.
Uhtred's death in 1016 was a significant event in the history of Northumbria, as he was assassinated at a 'peace meeting' with the recently crowned Danish King, Cnut..interestingly spelled Knutr in Old Norse. That was some medieval sh*t-wizardry right there!
It's worth noting that some of the dates are conjecture but generally accepted as generally accurate! :)