Earl of Northumbria was a title in the Anglo-Danish, late Anglo-Saxon, and early Anglo-Norman period in England. The earldom of Northumbria was the successor of the earldom of Bamburgh. In the seventh century, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira were united in the kingdom of Northumbria, but this was destroyed by the Vikings in 867. Southern Northumbria, the former Deira, then became the Viking kingdom of York, while English earls ruled the former northern kingdom of Bernicia from their base at Bamburgh. The northern part of Bernicia was lost to the Scots, probably in the late tenth century. In 1006 Uhtred the Bold was earl of Bamburgh, and Æthelred the Unready appointed him earl of York as well, re-uniting the area of Northumbria still under English control into a single earldom. Uhtred was murdered in 1016, and Cnut then appointed Eric of Hlathir earl of Northumbria at York, but Uhtred's dynasty held onto Bernicia until 1041, when the earldom was again united. A descendant of Uhtred, Gospatric, was appointed earl by William the Conqueror in 1067, but William expelled him in 1072. Gospatric was then given lands in Scotland, and his descendants became earls of Dunbar. The earldom of Northumbria was broken up in the early Norman period and dissolved into the earldoms of York and Northumberland, with much land going to the prince-bishopric of Durham.
The earls were:
- Uhtred the Bold (1006–1016), ealdorman of all Northumbria
- Eric of Hlathir (1016–1023), Earl of York only
- Siward (1031–1055), without underlings in Bernicia from 1041
- Tostig (1055–1065)
- Morcar (1065–1066)
- Copsi (1067)
- Osulf II (1067)
- Gospatric (1067–1068)
- Robert Comine (1068–1069)
Vacant during the Harrying of the North until...
- Gospatric (1070–1072, again
- Waltheof II (1072–1075)
- William Walcher (1075–1080), also prince-bishop of Durham
- Aubrey de Coucy (1080–1086)
- Robert de Mowbray (1086–1095)
- Henry of Scotland, 1139–1152
- William of Scotland, 1152–1157
- Deprived of title and lands by Henry II of England, 1157
Vacant until the First Barons' War, when the barons of Northumberland and York did homage to ...
- Aird, William M. (2004). "Gospatric, earl of Northumbria (d. 1073x5)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11110. Retrieved 25 August 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- The Complete Peerage. London: The St. Catherine Press. 1936. pp. 9:704–5.
- Barlow, Frank (1988). The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042–1216 (Fourth ed.). New York: Longman. pp. 352–352. ISBN 0-582-49504-0.