By Janos Thuroczy
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116 John of Worcester's naming of these areas as in revolt against Edmund would appear to also identify them as turncoats at Sherston. Thus, this battle appears to have been a crucial turning point in the conflict, where notable leaders, and perhaps the forces from entire regions, switched allegiance mid-battle from Edmund to Cnut. In this context it seems significant that the Englishmen who prominently witness Cnut's charters came from the regions of England implicated here: southern Mercia and western Wessex.
Although Aslac's n a m e can be derived either from O E Ostac, or O N Aslâkr, context and spelling suggests the latter. D. Whitelock seems to have supported this interpretation. 38 Additionally, if the Oslacus and Dord, who are the first two witnesses in the column of ministn in a spurious charter from c. 1022 from Bury St Edmunds, are more than local thegns, then this may be another record of Aslac's presence at the royal court. However, none of these individuals can be convincingly identified as having held a position of importance in the royal court for a prolonged period of time.
It seems unlikely, given absences of nine to nineteen years of some of the names from the record, that these are anything other than chance recurrences of the name. Additionally, much of the information is insufficient to suggest men with places in the royal court. T h e majority of these Englishmen appear to be local officials. However, a different approach to the material indicates that there may have been some politically significant continuity. If we ignore ^Ethelred's charters momentarily, it should be possible to identify some of the most important Englishmen in Cnut's following by ranking the English names which attest Cnut's witness-lists, according to the frequency of their attestations.