At the risk of raising more discussion of the location of Brunanburh, I have another query about the infamous 937 battle:
Was Oswulf I earl of Bamburgh (fl. 934-66) there either on the side of Constantine mac Aeda et. al. or King Athelstan’s?
Oswulf certainly survives to betray Eric Bloodaxe last king of York in 954 (according to Roger of Wendover; cf. Rollason, Northumbria 300-1100, pp. 265-66). In PASE, he may be Oswald 14 as well as Oswald 17.
Oswald 17 is noted as dux Bamburgh in charters of King Eadred (r. 946-55), so two kings after our battle.
But Oswald 14 dux (of what?) signs Athelstan charters in 930 (S406), 934 (S407, S425, S428), and supposedly 937 (S434, S435), although those two charters discussed earlier are now dated to 935, two years before our battle (see the easy to use Electronic Sawyer for these charters).
Oswulf’s attestations in 934 are significant. That year King Athelstan returned to the north to settle matters with Scots king Constantine and Owain king of Strathclyde that he thought had been stabilized in 927 at the Eamont Bridge treaty with these two rulers and Oswulf’s predecessor at Bamburgh, Ealdred. After Athelstan’s 934 victory over these northern kings (and his gifts to the community of St. Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street), Constantine and Owain begin attesting as subkings in submission to Athelstan. Oswulf’s appearance in 934 and 935 charters suggests he may be part of the group, or merely that he is already a loyal vassal to Athelstan. Unfortunately, the northern kings’ submission does not last long, given the bloody battle at Brunanburh three years later.
So was Oswulf there and on whose side?
On another note, I have a few days this summer between conferences to visit Heysham and environs. Any suggestions on B&Bs and places to visit, please send to my email.