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Monday 22nd June - Friday 26th June 2020

KQ: Who paid the Vikings to leave?


After the treaty was signed by King Alfred and King Guthrum, there was a period of peace between the Anglo-Saxons in the south and the Vikings in the north. This, however, did not last. Between AD 959 - AD 975 the Danes were led by King Harold Bluetooth who had built a strong and formidable army. Raids into Britain started again. 


In AD 978, the young King Ethelred II was crowned. He was only 7 years old! Though he was not a fierce fighter, he had a couple strategies to deal with the Vikings. The first was to build ties with the Duke of Normandy (Normandy is a region in northern France). The second was to pay the Vikings to leave. Although King Ethelred II was not the first King to pay off the Vikings, under his rule it became known as 'Danegeld' which means 'paying the Dane'. 


The plan to pay off the Vikings didn't work as well as the King had hoped. The Vikings realised that if they kept coming they would keep being paid and so, over the next hundred years, around 22,000kg of silver was given in Danegeld.


Take a look through the PowerPoint to learn more about King Ethelred II and Danegeld. Then have a go at the task.