- February 29, 2020
10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Rædwald the Great, First King of England
with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)
at Sutton Hoo on Saturday 29th February 2020
It is often said that Æthelstan (ruled 925-939), grandson of Ælfred the Great, was the first king of England. Yet it seems likely that Rædwald of East Anglia (died c.625) ruled over a similarly wide area, for after his victory at the Battle of the River Idle in 617, he was the first overlord of both southern and northern Britain. His triumph by the River Idle also appears to have been the first time that a baptised English king gained victory on the field of battle. Rædwald may thus have been regarded as a very great king indeed, all of which strengthens the probability that he was the king who lay in state aboard the Sutton Hoo ship-burial.
Tea & coffee on arrival.
10.30 – 11.25: Rædwald in the Historical Record
11.25 – 11.50: Tea, coffee, & biscuits; orders for lunch.
11.50 – 12.45: Rædwald and the Temple of Two Altars
12.45 – 14.00: Lunchtime.
14.00 – 14.50: Rædwald and the Battle of the River Idle
14.50 – 15.10: Tea, coffee, & biscuits.
15.10 – 16.00: Rædwald the Great
16.00: Thanks and Farewell
About Dr Sam Newton
Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991. He published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993, and his second, The Reckoning of King Reckoning of King Rædwald: the Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial, in 2003. He is also the author of several academic papers, some of which are available at https://independent.academia.edu /SamNewton . He has lectured widely around the country and contributed to many radio and television programmes, especially Time Team, for whom he worked from 2005 to 2012. He is a tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, an accredited Arts’ Society lecturer, and a Director of Wuffing Education.
At a previous Study day on Rædwald by Sam, when asked ‘What was best about the day?‘ people said:
- Sam: a master of his subject, and so skilled at conveying his knowledge in an approachable and accessible way.
- Sam playing the lyre. Most happy
- I’m not a specialist but all the lines of research and logic were well explained
- Presentation. Slides very clear. Good narrative from Sam
- Very interesting topic
- All excellent.
- The music
- The excellent speaker
- Sam’s enthusiasm for the subject
Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading
- Bruce-Mitford, R., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974). Evans, A., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986).
- Higham, N., An English Empire: Bede and the Early Anglo-Saxon Kings (Manchester 1995).
- Higham, N., The Convert Kings: Power and Religious Affiliation in Early Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1997).
- Keynes, S., “Rædwald the Bretwalda”, in Voyage to the Other World: The Legacy of Sutton Hoo, ed. C. Kendall & P. Wells (Minneapolis 1992), pp. 103-123.
- Kirby, D.P., The Earliest English Kings (London 1991).
- Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald: The Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (Redbird 2003).
- Plunkett, S. J., Suffolk in Anglo-Saxon Times (Tempus 2005).
- Scarfe, N., The Suffolk Landscape (Hodder & Stoughton 1972, Alastair 1986).
- Scarfe, N., Suffolk in the Middle Ages (Boydell 1986).
- Webster, L., & J. Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991).
Venue: The Court, Sutton Hoo