Found by my roving Antiquarian reporter :-
Public apologies being all the rage these days, it is perhaps not over the top for an entire weekend conference at Cambridge University to have been devoted to effectively apologising to the Vikings.
It appears that in the 793 edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – obviously a scurrilous rag of the worst sort – Viking raiders were blamed for ‘lamentable havoc in the church of God . . . by raping and slaughter’.
Thus they gained a reputation for rape and pillaging that has stuck with them ever since, whereas it turns out that they behaved like perfect gentlemen, who probably came ashore only for a glass of water.
Over now to the Customs shed at Tilbury, where a party of Norsemen have just docked.
‘Good morning, sir. Is this your longboat? Any weaponry on board?’
‘Just a couple of swords, spiked shield, bludgeon, helmet with sharpened wings and a battle-axe for my own use.’
‘And what is the purpose of your visit?’
‘Just to sketch a few priories and abbeys. And we thought we’d try to get a couple of tickets for Egbert, King of Wessex’s coronation.’……………