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Guy of Warwick

English hero of romance whose story was popular in France and England from the 13th to the 17th century and was told in English broadside ballads as late as the 19th century. The kernel of the story is a single combat in which Guy defeats Colbrand (a champion of the invading Danish kings Anlaf and Gonelaph), thereby delivering Winchester from Danish dominion. The Anlaf of the story is probably the Norwegian king Olaf I Tryggvason, who, with Sven Forkbeard of Denmark, harried the southern counties of England in 993 and pitched his winter quarters at Southampton. Although the romance of Guy perhaps was inspired by some historical incident, Winchester was not in fact saved by the valour of an English champion but by the payment of money.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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