Wulfnoth Cild, Earl of Wessex
b.abt 0983 Wessex, England
d.bef Jun 1014
Facts and Events
Wulfnoth Cild (died c. 1014) was a South Saxon thegn who is regarded by historians as the probable father of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and thus the grandfather of King Harold Godwinson. It is known that Godwin's father was called Wulfnoth, and in the view of Frank Barlow, the Godwin family's massive estates in Sussex are indisputable evidence that the Wulfnoth in question was the South Saxon thegn.
In 1008, King Æthelred the Unready ordered the construction of a fleet, and the following year 300 ships assembled at Sandwich in Kent to meet a threatened Viking invasion. There Brihtric, brother of Eadric Streona, brought unknown charges against Wulfnoth before the king, unjustly according to John of Worcester. Wulfnoth then fled with twenty ships and ravaged the south coast. Brihtric followed with eighty, but his fleet was driven ashore by a storm and burnt by Wulfnoth. After the loss of a third of the fleet the remaining ships were withdrawn to London, and the Vikings were able to invade Kent unopposed. Æthelred almost certainly confiscated Wulfnoth's property as a result.
Wulfnoth Cild died by June 1014.