Eadulf Rus

Male, Deceased Person


Who is Eadulf Rus?

Eadulf Rus was an 11th-century Northumbrian noble. He was the first to take the name Swinton, having been granted the barony by his cousin, Malcolm III of Scotland, in return for military support - thus making this one of the oldest extant surnames in the British Isles. He was either the son or grandson of Gospatric, possibly the man who soon after Christmas 1064 was allegedly killed on behalf of Tostig, Earl of Northumbria. This murder by Tostig led to a great northern revolt against Edward the Confessor, a revolt that turned both King Edward and Harold Godwinson against Tostig and led to the appointment of the Mercian, Morcar, as Earl of northern England.

Eadulf is primarily remembered for his involvement in the death of Walcher, Earl of Northumbria and Bishop of Durham. The sources says that the attack occurred as revenge for the murder of Walcher's English right-hand man, Ligulf. Ligulf had been connected into the Bamburgh kindred marrying, according to the Historia Regum, Ealdgyth daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Bamburgh.

The Worcester Chronicle and the Historia Regum allege that the murder of Ligulf was planned by Walcher's chaplain Leobwin after Ligulf had argued with him during one of the earl's councils. It was Walcher's kinsman Gilbert, however, who is alleged to have entered Ligulf's hall, and attacked and killed him. Kapelle thought that, perhaps due to his failure to protect Northumberland against the Scots in 1079, Walcher's relations with Ligulf broke down, leading to the loss of Ligulf's support and then to hostility.

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on July 23, 2013


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