Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Godwine (d. 1053), Earl of the West Saxons, an early English statesman, is said to have been the son of a certain Wulfnoth. Neither his parentage nor the date of his birth are, however, certainly known; but early in the reign of Cnut he was a powerful personage. He was made by him Earl of Wessex, and became the second man in the kingdom. He supported Harthacnut, but afterwards accepted Harold I. He used all his influence in the Witan to get Edward the Confessor elected king, and now became head of the English party in the kingdom. His daughter Eadgyth (Edith) was married to the king in 1045, but the Normans soon began to undermine his influence and the lawless deeds of his sons Swegen and Tostig were of great use to his enemies. In 1051 the Earl refused to avenge on Dover some insults that had been offered to the Normans, and he and his sons were outlawed. Next year he landed in the south, and was supported by the country-side. He sailed up the Thames, and, the Witan declaring him innocent, Edward gave him the kiss of peace. He died in all probability of an apoplectic fit.