The Vikings (1958)





Director:     Richard Fleischer.

Starring:     Kirk Douglas (Einar),  Tony Curtis (Erik),  Ernest Borgnine (Ragnar),  Janet Leigh (Morgana),  James Donald (Egbert),  Alexander Knox (Father Godwin), Maxine Audley (Enid),  Frank Thring (Aella),  Eileen Way (Kitala), Edric Connor (Sandpiper), Dandy Nichols (Bridget), Per Buckhøj (Bjorn), Orson Welles (Narrator).


You may be wondering what a group of movies on the Vikings is doing in a history of England.  The truth is that the Vikings dominated England, Scotland, and Ireland for a couple of centuries, in the case of Britain from 787 to the Norman Conquest in 1066.   The movie was shot on-location in Norway and Brittany stand out.




Spoiler Warning:






787 first Danish invasion of Britain

792 beginning of the Viking era in Britain; Vikings attack the English island monastery of Lindisfarne

793 East Anglia annexed to Mercia by Offa

796 Offa, king of Mercia dead; succeeded by Cenwulf (-821)

798 Cenwulf of Mercia subdues Kent

802 Egbert, formerly an English refugee at the court of Charlemagne, establishes himself as king of Wessex (-839)

806 Monastery of Iona sacked by Northmen

815 Egbert of Wessex defeats the Britons of Cornwall

821 Cenwulf of Mercia dead; end of Mercian supremacy in England

824 Egbert subdues and unites English part-states

825 Battle of Ellandum: Mercia defeated by Egbert

828 Egbert of Wessex recognized as overlord of the "Seven Kingdoms of the Heptarchy"

834 the Danes raid England

837 War between Wessex and the Danes

839 Ethelwulf, king of England (-858)

844 Kenneth, king of the Scots, defeats the Picts and becomes sole monarch

849 Alfred the Great born (d. 899)

851 Danish forces enter Thames estuary, land and march on Canterbury; they are defeated by

Ethelwulf at Oakley

856 Ethelbald's rebellion against his father Ethelwulf

858 King Ethelwulf dead; succeeded by his son Ethelbert (-865)

860 Kenneth I MacAlpine dead, the first king of united Scotland

865 Ethelbert I, king of England, dead; succeeded by Ethelred (-871)

865 the Danes occupy Northumbria

866 the Danes establish a kingdom in York

870 the Danes occupy East Anglia, kill its last king, St. Edmund, and destroy Peterborough   Monastery

871 Alfred the Great, king of England (-899)

877 Mercia partitioned between the English and Danes

878 King Alfred recaptures London from Danes & defeats them at Edington: Treaty of Chippenham

881 Constantine II of Scotland, defeated & killed by the Danes, succeeded by King Eocha (-889)

886 King Alfred gives London and Eng. Mercia to his son-in-law Ethelred

889 Donald I, king of Scotland (-900)

890 Alfred the Great establishes a regular militia and navy, extends the power of the king's courts, and institutes fairs and markets

893 The Danes renew their attacks on England but are defeated

895 Alfred defeats and captures Danish fleet on the Lea River

899 Alfred the Great dead; Edward the Elder, king of England (-924)

900 Constantine III, king of Scotland (-942)

900 England divided into shires, w/ county courts as safeguard of civil rights of inhabitants

901 Edward the Elder takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons"

910 Ethelred of Mercia dead, & brother-in-law Edward the Elder takes possession of London & Oxford

912 Valley of the Thames annexed by Wessex

913 Edward the Elder recaptures Essex from the Danes

924 Edward the Elder dead

925 Athelstan becomes king of England (-940)

926 Athelstan drive Guthfrith out of Northumbria & annexes his realm; kings of Wales, Strathclyde, of the Picts and Scots, submit to him

937 Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats Danes, Scots, and Strathclyde Britons

940 Edmund I, brother of Athelstan, becomes king of England

941 the Danes in England make war on Edmund I

942 Malcolm I, king of Scotland

945 Cumberland and Westmorland annexed by Scots

946 Edmund I, king of England, succeeded by Edred, his brother (-955)

953 Indulf, king of Scotland (-962)

954 Expulsion of Eric Blodoxe, last Danish king of York

955 Edwy, son of Edmund, becomes king of England (-959)

956 Edwy exiles St. Dunstan

957 rebellion by Mercians and Northumbrians against Edwy

959 Edgar the Peaceful, king of England (-975)

965 the English invade Celtic kingdom of Gwynedd

967 Cuilean, king of Scotland (-971)

971 Kenneth II, king of Scotland (-995)

975 St. Edward, the Martyr, king of England (-979)

979 King Edward murdered at Corfe Castle

980 renewal of Danish raids on England; they attack Chester, Southampton, and Thanet

988 Vikings attack Devon and Somerset, and Irish Danes raid Wales

991 at the Battle of Maldon Byrhtnoth of Essex is defeated by the Dane

993 Vikings ravage Yorkshire

994 Olaf of Norway and Sweyn of Denmark besiege London

995 Constantine IV, king of Scotland (-997)

997 Kenneth III, king of Scotland (-1005)

998 Isle of Wight attacked by Danes

1000 Ethelred II ravages Cumberland and Anglesey

1002 Massacre of St. Brice's Day; Danish settlers in England murdered by order of Ethelred II

1003 Sweyn lands with his army in England

1005 Malcolm II, King of Scotland (-1034)

1007 Ethelred II pays 30,000 pounds to the Danes to gain two years' freedom from attacks

1011 Ethelred invades South Wales and the Danes take Canterbury

1012 Ethelred pays additional 48,000 pounds to the Danes

1013 the Danes masters of England; Ethelred flees to Normandy --- HIGH POINT

1014 Sweyn dead; succeeded by Canute: Ethelred returns

1015 Wessex submits to Canute

1016 Ethelred II, the Unready dead and Canute ascends English throne

1017 Canute divides England into four earldoms

1018 Union of southern and northern Scotland

1018 Council of Oxford: Canute confirms laws of Edgar

1020 Faroes, Shetlands, and Orkneys recognize Olaf Haraldsson as King

1025 indecisive battle between Canute and Olaf at Holy River, Sweden

1026 Canute goes on pilgrimage to Rome

1028 Canute conquers Norway

1030 Battle of Stiklestad: Canute defeats & kills the former Norwegian king, Olaf Haraldsson

1034 Malcolm II of Scotland dead; succeeded by his grandson Duncan (-1040)

1035 Canute dead, his kingdom being divided among his three sons: Harold is given England, Sweyn Norway, Hardicanute Denmark

1039 Prince Gruffydd of Gwynedd and Powys defeats the English

1040 Duncan of Scotland murdered by Macbeth, who becomes king (-1057)

1040 Harold dead, succeeded by Hardicanute (1042)

1041 Siward murders Eardwulf and becomes sole ruler of Northumbria

1042 Hardicanute dead; succeeded by Ethelred's son Edward the Confessor (-1066)

1042 Magnus, king of Denmark (-1047)

1047 Sweyn Estrithson, king of Denmark (-1076)

1047 Harald Hardrada, king of Norway (-1066)

1050 Normans penetrate into England

1053 Harold succeeds his father Godwin as Earl of Wessex

1054 Macbeth defeated by Malcolm and Siward of Northumbria, at Dunsinane

1055 Siward of Northumbria dead; succeeded by Tostig, son of Godwin

1056 Gruffydd does homage to Harold of Wessex & Leofric of Mercia

1057 Macbeth murdered by Malcolm; succeeded by his stepson Lulach

1057 Leofric of Mercia dead; succeeded by Alfgar

1058 Malcolm slays Lulach and becomes King of Scotland (-1093)

1061 Malcolm of Scotland invades Northumbria

1063 Harold and Tostig subdue Wales

1065 King Edward the Confessor was near death and childless. William, duke of Normandy had some claim to the throne. His rival was Harold Godwin, Earl of Wessex, Edward's lieutenant and virtual ruler of England.


1066 Edward the Confessor dead on May 1

1066 Harold II is crowned June 1

1066 Harold II defeats invaders at Stamford Bridge Sept. 25

1066 William of Normandy lands at Pevensey Sept. 28

1066 Harold killed in Battle of Hastings Oct 14

William the Conqueror and his invading Normans defeated the Anglo-Saxon forces at Hastings on the south eastern coast of England. Norman men-at-arms and mounted knights attacked Harold's force. He became King William I (1066-1087). He established efficient royal administration in England.

1066 William I, the Conqueror, crowned Dec. 25


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