Hereward the Wake ("watchful one") is believed to be the son of Leofric of Bourn. As a young man Hereward was banished from Lincolnshire by Edward the Confessor as a troublemaker.
After William the Conqueror gained control of England Hereward's lands were given to Oger the Breton. Hereward now took revenge by establishing a gang of rebels who attacked Normans settlers in Lincolnshire.
In 1071 William led an expedition against the rebels on the the isle of Ely. Morcar surrendered but Hereward and a few others escaped through the marshes. It is not known what happened to Hereward the Wake after this date.