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​OSGOD CLAPA (d. 1054), a thegn in the service of Cnut, was no doubt a Dane by birth. He first appears as witness to a charter in 1026, when he is styled 'Osgod minister' (Codex Diplomaticus, iv. 748). His name occurs frequently witnessing charters down to 1046, generally under the title of 'minister,' but sometimes as 'miles,' In 1033 he is mentioned in conjunction with Tofig Pruda (ib. iv. 749). It was on the occasion of the wedding feast of Osgod's daughter, Gytha, and Tofig, on 8 June 1042, that Harthacnut died while drinking in Osgod's house at Lambeth. Freeman suggests that Osgod opposed the accession of Edward the Confessor, and that his subsequent exile was due to this. However, Osgod witnesses a number of royal charters in 1044 and 1045, and one in 1046 (ib. iv. 768-83). The last shows that the 'Abingdon Chronicle ' is correct in stating that it was in 1046, before midwinter, that Osgod was outlawed, and not in 1044, 1045, or 1047, as elsewhere stated. Osgod apparently went to Denmark, and took service with Swegen Estrithson. In 1049 there came news that he was at Ulp, on the coast of Flanders, with thirty-nine ships. Edward sent ships to watch him; but Osgod, having fetched his wife from Bruges, went back to Denmark with six ships, while the remainder harried the coast of Essex. In 1054 Osgod died suddenly in his bed (English Chron.) He had, as it would seem, come back to England, but 'we have no account of the time or circumstances of his return' (Norman Conquest, ii. 373). Heremann and Abbot Samson, in their narratives on the 'Miracles of St. Edmund,' relate how Osgod was miraculously punished for his pride in entering the abbey church armed with his battle-axe, when he once happened to be at Bury St. Edmunds with King Edward. Before this Osgod had been an enemy to the saint and his abbey, but afterwards he reformed his life and ways. Samson says he was of such power and repute as to be held second only to the king. Heremann calls him 'Major domus,' which is no doubt the equivalent of 'staller,' by which title he is once referred to in the 'English Chronicle' (Monuments Historica Britannica, p. 436). Osgod was a benefactor of Tofig's foundation of Waltham Abbey.

Clapham, Surrey, is said to owe its name to Osgod's house there.

[English Chronicle; Florence of Worcester; Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus Ævi Saxonici; Memorials of St. Edmund's Abbey, i. 54-6, 135-136 (Rolls Ser.); Freeman's Norman Conquest, ii. 90, 373, his William Rufus, ii. 268, and Old English History.]

C. L. K.