By adhering to Cnut in 1016 and serving him faithfully, Godwin either restored or founded the family's fortune. As an ealdorman somewhere in greater Wessex — and by the end of the reign he was titled ealdorman of Wessex 1 — he came into possession of the estates which had been royal demesne; and these he could increase by exploiting both his local position and his favour with the king. Although, except in Vita Ædwardi Regis, he never enjoyed an unambiguous favourable reputation, he fared much better than Eadric Streona (‘the Acquisitor’). Godwin may well have been just as rapacious, but his almost continuous service to four consecutive kings suppressed criticism. He was of course an opportunist with a good eye for the winner, and through his timely support securing victory for his candidate, a deed which earned him rewards. All the English nobles were involved in these high-risk operations: the prudent Godwin just did better than the rest.