Edmund in the late thirteenth-century Genealogical Chronicle of the English Kings
|King of the English|
|Tenure||27 October 939 –26 May 946|
|Coronation||c. 29 November 939|
probably at Kingston upon Thames
|Died||26 May 946 (aged 24–25)|
Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, England
|Spouse|| Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury |
Æthelflæd of Damerham
|Issue|| Eadwig |
Edgar the Peaceful
|Father||Edward the Elder|
Edmund I (Old English :Ēadmund, pronounced [æːɑdmund] ; 921 –26 May 946) was King of the English from 939 until his death. His epithets include the Elder, the Deed-doer, the Just, and the Magnificent.
Edmund was the son of Edward the Elder and his third wife Eadgifu of Kent, and a grandson of Alfred the Great. His father died when he was young, and was succeeded by his oldest son Æthelstan. Edmund came to the throne upon the death of his half-brother in 939, apparently with little opposition. His reign was marked by almost constant warfare, including conquests or reconquests of the Midlands, Northumbria, and Strathclyde (the last of which was ceded to Malcolm I of Scotland). Edmund was assassinated after six-and-a-half years as king, while attending Mass in Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire. He was initially succeeded by his brother Eadred, but his two sons— Eadwig and Edgar the Peaceful —both later came to the throne.
Edmund came to the throne as the son of Edward the Elder,and therefore the grandson of Alfred the Great, great-grandson of Æthelwulf of Wessex and great-great grandson of Egbert of Wessex, who was the first of the house of Wessex to start dominating the Anglo Saxon realms. However, being born when his father was already a middle aged man, Edmund lost his father when he was a toddler, in 924, which saw his 30 year old half brother Athelstan come to the throne. Edmund would grow up in the reign of Athelstan, even participating in the Battle of Brunanburh in his adolescence in 937.
Athelstan died in the year 939, which saw young Edmund come to the throne. Shortly after his proclamation as king, he had to face several military threats. King Olaf III Guthfrithson conquered Northumbria and invaded the Midlands. Edmund encountered him at Leicester, but Olaf escaped and a peace was brokered by Oda of Canterbury and Wulfstan I of York.When Olaf died in 942, Edmund reconquered the Midlands. In 943, Edmund became the godfather of King Olaf of York. In 944, Edmund was successful in reconquering Northumbria. In the same year, his ally Olaf of York lost his throne and left for Dublin in Ireland. Olaf became the king of Dublin as Amlaíb Cuarán and continued to be allied to his godfather. In 945, Edmund conquered Strathclyde but ceded the territory to King Malcolm I of Scotland in exchange for a treaty of mutual military support. Edmund thus established a policy of safe borders and peaceful relationships with Scotland. During his reign, the revival of monasteries in England began.
One of Edmund's last political movements of which there is some knowledge is his role in the restoration of Louis IV of France to the throne. Louis, son of Charles the Simple and Edmund's half-sister Eadgifu, had resided at the West-Saxon court for some time until 936, when he returned to be crowned King of France. In the summer of 945, he was captured by the Norsemen of Rouen and subsequently released to Duke Hugh the Great, who held him in custody. The chronicler Richerus claims that Eadgifu wrote letters both to Edmund and to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in which she requested support for her son. Edmund responded to her plea by sending angry threats to Hugh.Flodoard's Annales, one of Richerus' sources, report:
Edmund, king of the English, sent messengers to Duke Hugh about the restoration of King Louis, and the duke accordingly made a public agreement with his nephews and other leading men of his kingdom. [...] Hugh, duke of the Franks, allying himself with Hugh the Black, son of Richard, and the other leading men of the kingdom, restored to the kingdom King Louis.
Edmund's first wife was Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury; the date is not recorded. There were two sons of this marriage: Eadwig (c. 940–959), and Edgar (c. 943–975). Both became kings of England. Ælfgifu died in 944, following which Edmund married Æthelflæd of Damerham. There are no known children of this marriage.
On 26 May 946, Edmund was murdered by Leofa, an exiled thief, while attending St Augustine's Day Mass in Pucklechurch (South Gloucestershire).John of Worcester and William of Malmesbury add some lively detail by suggesting that Edmund had been feasting with his nobles, when he spotted Leofa in the crowd. He attacked the intruder in person, but in the event, Leofa killed him. Leofa was killed on the spot by those present. A recent article re-examines Edmund's death and dismisses the later chronicle accounts as fiction. It suggests the king was the victim of a political assassination.
Edmund's sister Eadgyth, the wife of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, died earlier the same year, as Flodoard's Annales for 946 report.
Edmund was buried at Glastonbury Abbey,and was succeeded as king by his brother Eadred, king from 946 until 955. Edmund's sons later ruled England as:
Edmund Ironside was King of England from 23 April to 30 November 1016. He was the son of King Æthelred the Unready and his first wife, Ælfgifu of York. Edmund's reign was marred by a war he had inherited from his father; his cognomen "Ironside" was given to him "because of his valour" in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut the Great.
Eadwig, also spelled Edwy, sometimes called the All-Fair, was King of England from 955 until his premature death.
Edgar, known as the Peaceful or the Peaceable, was King of England from 959 until his death. He was the younger son of Edmund I and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury, and came to the throne as a teenager, following the death of his older brother Eadwig. As king, Edgar further consolidated the political unity achieved by his predecessors, with his reign being noted for its relative stability. His most trusted advisor was Dunstan, whom he recalled from exile and made Archbishop of Canterbury. The pinnacle of Edgar's reign was his coronation at Bath in 973, which was organised by Dunstan and forms the basis for the current coronation ceremony. After his death he was succeeded by his son Edward, although the succession was disputed.
Eadred was King of the English from 946 until his death. He was the son of Edward the Elder and his third wife Eadgifu of Kent, and a grandson of Alfred the Great. Eadred came to the throne following the assassination of his older brother, Edmund I. The chief achievement of his reign was to bring the Kingdom of Northumbria under total English control, which occurred with the defeat and expulsion of Eric Bloodaxe in 954. Eadred died at the age of 32 having never married, and was succeeded by his 15-year-old nephew, Eadwig.
Æthelstan or Athelstan was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and King of the English from 927 to 939 when he died. He was the son of King Edward the Elder and his first wife, Ecgwynn. Modern historians regard him as the first King of England and one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon kings. He never married and had no children. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund.
Louis IV, called d'Outremer or Transmarinus, reigned as king of West Francia from 936 to 954. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, he was the only son of king Charles the Simple and his second wife Eadgifu of Wessex, daughter of King Edward the Elder of Wessex. His reign is mostly known thanks to the Annals of Flodoard and the later Historiae of Richerus.
Æthelweard, descended from the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelred I of Wessex, the elder brother of Alfred the Great, was an ealdorman and the author of a Latin version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle known as the Chronicon Æthelweardi.
Oda, called the Good or the Severe, was a 10th-century Archbishop of Canterbury in England. The son of a Danish invader, Oda became Bishop of Ramsbury before 928. A number of stories were told about his actions both prior to becoming and while a bishop, but few of these incidents are recorded in contemporary accounts. After being named to Canterbury in 941, Oda was instrumental in crafting royal legislation as well as involved in providing rules for his clergy. Oda was also involved in the efforts to reform religious life in England. He died in 958 and legendary tales afterwards were ascribed to him. Later he came to be regarded as a saint, and a hagiography was written in the late 11th or early 12th century.
Ælfgifu of Northampton was the first wife of Cnut the Great, King of England and Denmark, and mother of Harold Harefoot, King of England. She was regent of Norway from 1030 to 1035.
Æthelwold or Æthelwald was the younger of two known sons of Æthelred I, King of Wessex from 865 to 871. Æthelwold and his brother Æthelhelm were still infants when their father the king died while fighting a Danish Viking invasion. The throne passed to the king's younger brother Alfred the Great, who carried on the war against the Vikings and won a crucial victory at the Battle of Edington in 878.
Ælfgifu is an Anglo-Saxon feminine personal name, from ælf "elf" and gifu "gift". When Emma of Normandy, the later mother of Edward the Confessor, became queen of England in 1002, she was given the native Anglo-Saxon name of Ælfgifu to be used in formal and official contexts.
Wulfstan was Archbishop of York between 931 and 952. He is often known as Wulfstan I, to separate him from Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York.
Eadgifu of Kent was the third wife of Edward the Elder, King of the English.
Ælfgifu was the consort of King Eadwig of England for a brief period of time until 957 or 958. What little is known of her comes primarily by way of Anglo-Saxon charters, possibly including a will, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and hostile anecdotes in works of hagiography. Her union with the king, annulled within a few years of Eadwig's reign, seems to have been a target for factional rivalries which surrounded the throne in the late 950s. By c. 1000, when the careers of the Benedictine reformers Dunstan and Oswald became the subject of hagiography, its memory had suffered heavy degradation. In the mid-960s, however, she appears to have become a well-to-do landowner on good terms with King Edgar and, through her will, a generous benefactress of ecclesiastical houses associated with the royal family, notably the Old Minster and New Minster at Winchester.
Eadwig Ætheling was the fifth of the six sons of King Æthelred the Unready and his first wife, Ælfgifu. Eadwig is recorded as a witness to charters from 993.
Events from the 10th century in the Kingdom of England.
Ælfflæd was the second wife of the English king Edward the Elder.
Saint Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury, also known as Saint Elgiva was the first wife of Edmund I, by whom she bore two future kings, Eadwig and Edgar. Like her mother Wynflaed, she had a close and special if unknown connection with the royal nunnery of Shaftesbury (Dorset), founded by King Alfred, where she was buried and soon revered as a saint. According to a pre-Conquest tradition from Winchester, her feast day is 18 May.
From the destruction of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria by the Vikings in 867 to the early eleventh century, Bamburgh and the surrounding region, the northern part of Northumbria, was ruled for a short period by shadowy kings, then by a series of ealdormen and high-reeves. Several of these men ruled all Northumbria.
Eadric was a tenth-century ealdorman of Wessex. He was the youngest of four sons of Æthelfrith, an ealdorman in Mercia, and his wife Æthelgyth. From 946 until his death in 949 Eadric was the second most senior ealdorman in England, surpassed only by his brother Æthelstan Half-King.
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Edmund I of England
| King of the English |
| King of Northumbria |
As King of the English
c. 944 to 946