Hereward the Wake is renowned for his rebellion against the 11th century Norman Conquest, which he led from his base in the Fens. Evidence for his history is sketchy, with the two main contemporary chronicles contradicting each other over many issues, including his ancestry and date of birth. He is believed to have been born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, probably between 1035-1045. Exiled by his father at the age of 18 because of disobedience, he spent time in Cornwall, Flanders and Ireland. He returned to England after the Conquest to find his hereditary lands had been taken over by the Normans, who had killed his brother. He almost certainly joined a rebellion based in Ely in 1070, led by a Danish king, before joining the army of the former Saxon Earl of Northumbria in 1071. Attacked by a Norman army, the rebels retreated to the Isle of Ely. It is said that the Normans bribed the monks of the isle to reveal a safe route across the marshes, resulting in Ely’s capture. Hereward escaped and continued his resistance from the wild marshes of the Fens. Stories differ as to whether he was eventually pardoned, went into exile again or was killed by the Normans.