Manors Owned by Edric in 1066
Amport – SU301442
Cholderton (now East Cholderton) – SU298452
Wallop (now Over Wallop) – SU282383
Sherfield (now Sherfield English) – SU291223
Elvetham – SU786572
Kinnersley – SO345495
Burrington – SO439720
Elton – SO456708
Staunton (now Staunton-on-Arrow) – SO370600
Cuple (now How Caple) – SO603304
Birley – SO454533
Laysters (now Laysters) – SO559638
Adforton – SO402709
Lingen – SO366670
Osbaston – SK425044
Ackhill – SO283649
Stretton (now Stretton Baskerville) – SP420911
Eudon (now Eudon George) - SO685888
Middleton Scriven - SO680876
Berwick (now Berwick Wharf) – SJ543107
Loppington – SJ470293
Cantlop – SJ521054
Catsley - SO725795
Cressage – SJ591039
Harley – SJ596015
Kenley – SJ560003
Overton - SO665868
Pitchford – SJ530038
Walton (now Walton Savage) - SO673811
Culmington - SO489820
Hope (now Hope Bowdler) – SO474924
Siefton - SO486829
Weston (now Weston-under-Redcastle) – SJ565282
Leintwardine Hundred, Shropshire
Acton (now Acton Scott) - SO454895
Alcaston – SO459860
Chelmick – SO467913
Lurkenhope – SO288741
Menutton – SO303774
Halston – SJ339316
Melverley – SJ333166
Wootton - SJ336276
Bourton – SO596965
Oxenbold (now Great Oxenbold) – SO592919
Hanwood – SJ443096
Loton (now Pecknall) – SJ349141
Wattlesborough (now Wattlesborough Heath) – SJ355115
Yockleton – SJ401101
Clun - SO302808
Hopesay - SO390833
Hopton (now Hopton Castle) - SO366780
Lydham - SO335910
Middleton – SJ297993
Shawbury – SJ558213
Wild Edric (aka Eadric Silvaticus, Eadric the Wild and Eeadric Salvage) was an Anglo-Saxon noble who led a resistance movement against the Normans in Shropshire between 1067-70. He was a nephew of Eadric Streona, a Mercian ealdorman, and was one of the wealthiest noblemen in Shropshire. Like many of his kind, he spent most of his time drinking or hunting around the Long Mynd, Stiperstones and Forest of Clun. In total he ruled over 56 manors and around 3,500 people, from who he collected annual rents that totalled the equivalent of £585,600 in today’s money.
1066 – there is no evidence that Edric took part in the Battle of Hastings and it is highly unlikely that he did, since King Harold relied on his professional army. However, like most of the Saxon nobles, his manors were confiscated by King William and distributed to Norman lords and members of his army. Large areas of land were allocated to important nobles in return for military service or to abbeys. These were called Tenants-in-Chief and they used the rents from some of the manors to support themselves. Other manors were sub-let to Normans who became the Lords of the Manor. Large manors were sometimes split between two or more Lords. The manors that Edric had confiscated were :-
1067 – Although Edric lost control of his manors outside Shropshire, he refused to submit to the Normans and came under attack from forces based at Hereford Castle, under Richard FitzScrob. They were trying to take control of the land in Shropshire that King William had given them but which Edric was refusing to hand over. The Normans suffered heavy losses in these incursions. In retaliation, Edric raised a rebellion and joined with Welsh forces under Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, Prince of Gwynedd and his brother Riwallon, Prince of Powys. They raided Herefordshire as far as the River Lugg at Leominster but could not capture Hereford Castle. The city of Hereford was devastated instead and they retreated to plan further raids. Skirmishing continued between Edric and the Normans but they were unable to defeat him.
1069 - King William had to take an army north to defeat a rebellion by the Saxon Earls of Northumberland and Mercia, Morkar and Edwin. Edric took the opportunity to raid Norman lands in the north of Shropshire and burned the town of Shrewsbury, although he was unable to capture Shrewsbury Castle. He was helped in this by rebels from Cheshire and his old Welsh allies. As soon as he heard this, King William headed south again and Edric wisely retreated to his lands with his Shropshire and Herefordshire men. The Welsh and Cheshire rebels, however, did not retreat and they were defeated by King William in a battle near Stafford. He then proceeded to devastate the lands held by Edric, who finally surrendered and swore allegiance to King William. William left Edric with only 3 manors so he could support himself and his family. These included Bourton Manor in Shropshire, which in 1066 had belonged to Edric’s father Aelfric. Edric now leased it from Much Wenlock Abbey and it provided him with rents of £2.5s.0d a year. He also had the rents from 2 small manors in Herefordshire, Cuple which gave him 3 shillings a year and Laysters which gave him 8 shillings. In total he now had to live on rental income of only £2.16s.0d a year compared to the £½ million he had received before the conquest.
1072 – Edric accompanied King William when he invaded Scotland and forced King Malcolm to pay homage to Norman rule.
Edric’s surrender and support of King William did not please his local people who are said to have placed a curse on him as a punishment. Under the terms of the curse, Edric was imprisoned in the Stiperstones lead mines with his wife Lady Godda and his men. It is said that, when danger threatens England, Edric and his men are released from the mines so that they can fight again, only to return underground once the danger is passed. He cannot die until all wrong is made right and England is returned to the state it was before the Norman conquest. Mortals watching them would be killed on the spot. People tell of seeing Edric and his followers galloping across Shropshire on several occasions, including in 1853 before the Crimean War, 1914 before the First World War and 1939 before the Second World War.
The story of Wild Edric’s ride probably arises from the legend of the “Wild Hunt”, an ancient myth prevalent across Northern, Western and Central Europe. In this, a phantom group of huntsmen with horses and hounds in mad pursuit, rides across the skies or just above the ground. The hunters were lost souls and anyone getting in their path would be kidnapped and taken to the land of the dead. Others believed that people's spirits could be pulled away during their sleep to join the Hunt.
Miners working in the Stiperstones lead mines have claimed to have heard Edric knocking from below, telling them where to dig for the best deposits of lead. This, however, is a common belief amongst metal miners across Britain. The “knockers”, as they are usually called, are said to be the souls of dead miners who direct the living miners to where the best ore is by knocking on the rock. One thing miners must never do is whistle underground, since this annoys the knockers and they will either steal away the lead ore or cause a roof fall.
Another legend is that Wild Edric haunts the Stretton Hills as a large black dog with fiery eyes.
Wild Edric's Lament
by Deborah Gaudin
Godda, we are here forever,
trapped in the resinous amber
of the past, honeyed flies,
carved faces staring each to each across
the arc of time.
I see you standing wind whipped hair in your mouth,
seeing me mouthing words of treaty
while you hear betrayal.
I wanted a firm fist against them,
not fragile fingers poking sores.
I thought I’d got you, my Godda
but you were wort wise full of cunning,
while I a wild dog roved the kingdoms.
Sometimes it’s like that, all your pigeons flocking
home under one eave, the crux
of house Carls holding homes together against the storm.
Now I understand, you were retreating,
an anchoress to the cell of the wild wood.
And we needed hope, a cruel way to give it, prisoned in rock
your sweet revenge.
I cannot catch you now.
So, near to where Arthur bore all before him,
drawing his sword from the stone of standing,
your forebears wounding mine, I sleep, waiting
for danger to wake me.
We’re all a little tender by night.
Like a fetch off Marsh Pool,
you drift over my out crops
softening the strongest jerkin,
touch a deft magic in the rain,
love bite of frost shattering.
Muscles crack against confinement,
hands drumming the tap tap of impatience
knowing full well that the horn’s winding
cannot tear time.
As sure as swallows in summer,
I will be a revenant.
is a legend that Edric’s wife Godda was a fairy. It all began one day when
Edric had been out hunting, alone. On his way home through the Clun Forest he
found himself in an unfamiliar part of that great woodland tract and realised
he was lost. Looking around for any signs of life he saw lights burning in a
large and ancient dwelling deep in the forest and heard sounds of wild music
and singing. Edric made his way towards the place and, dismounting, went to a
window and peered inside. What he saw there took his breath away. Inside the
house six maidens were singing and dancing in a ring around the seventh of
their number. The girls in the ring were the tallest and fairest that Edric
had ever seen, but none of them could compare with she whom they danced
around. The maiden who stood smiling in the centre of the circle was simply
the most beautiful girl imaginable.