See also

Family of Edgar +* and Aelfthryth +* of DEVON

Husband: Edgar +* (943-975)
Wife: Aelfthryth +* of DEVON (945-1000)
Children: Aethelred +* (968-1016)
Marriage 0964 Wessex, Devonshire, England

Husband: Edgar +*


Edgar +*

Name: Edgar +*
Sex: Male
Nickname: Eadgar the Peaceful //
Father: Edmund I +* (922-946)
Mother: Elgiva +* (922-944)
Birth 7 Aug 0943 Wessex, Devonshire, England
Occupation King of England
Title King of England
Death 8 Jul 0975 (age 31) Winchester, Hampshire, England
Burial Glastonbury Abbey

Wife: Aelfthryth +* of DEVON


Aelfthryth +* of DEVON

Name: Aelfthryth +* of DEVON
Sex: Female
Father: Ordgar+ (c. 920- )
Mother: Aelfgifu + (924- )
Birth 0945 Lydford, Devonshire, England
Occupation Queen of Wessex
Death 17 Nov 1000 (age 54-55) Wherwell Monastery

Child 1: Aethelred +*


Aethelred +*

Name: Aethelred +*
Sex: Male
Nickname: The Unready
Spouse 1: Alfflaed + GUNNARSDOTTIR (968-1002)
Spouse 2: Emma of NORMANDY (985-1052)
Birth 0968 Wessex, England
Occupation King of England
Title frm 18 Mar 0978 to 23 Apr 1016 (age 9-48) King of England
Death 23 Apr 1016 (age 47-48) London, Middlesex, England
Burial Old St. Paul's Cathedral
London, Middlesex, England

Note on Husband: Edgar +*

Edgar the Peaceful, or Edgar I (Old English: Eadgar) (c. 7 August 943 – 8 July 975), also called the Peaceable, was a king of England (r. 959–75). Edgar was the younger son of Edmund I of England. He is venerated in the Orthodox Church.


His cognomen, "The Peaceable", was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by his seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother, Eadwig, in 958.[citation needed] A conclave of nobles held Edgar to be king north of the Thames, and Edgar aspired to succeed to the English throne.[citation needed]


Though Edgar was not a particularly peaceable man, his reign was a peaceful one. The Kingdom of England was at its height. Edgar consolidated the political unity achieved by his predecessors. By the end of Edgar's reign, England was sufficiently unified that it was unlikely to regress back to a state of division among rival kingships, as it had to an extent under Eadred's reign.


Upon Eadwig's death in October 959, Edgar immediately recalled Dunstan (eventually canonised as St. Dunstan) from exile to have him made Bishop of Worcester (and subsequently Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury). Dunstan remained Edgar's advisor throughout his reign.

The Monastic Reform Movement that restored the Benedictine Rule to England's undisciplined monastic communities peaked during the era of Dunstan, Æthelwold, and Oswald. (Historians continue to debate the extent and significance of this movement.)


Edgar was crowned at Bath and anointed with his wife Ælfthryth, setting a precedent for a coronation of a queen in England itself.[1] Edgar's coronation did not happen until 973, in an imperial ceremony planned not as the initiation, but as the culmination of his reign (a move that must have taken a great deal of preliminary diplomacy). This service, devised by Dunstan himself and celebrated with a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, forms the basis of the present-day British coronation ceremony. The symbolic coronation was an important step; other kings of Britain came and gave their allegiance to Edgar shortly afterwards at Chester. Six kings in Britain, including the King of Scots and the King of Strathclyde, pledged their faith that they would be the king's liege-men on sea and land. Later chroniclers made the kings into eight, all plying the oars of Edgar's state barge on the River Dee. Such embellishments may not be factual, but the main outlines of the "submission at Chester" appear true. (See History of Chester.)


(AD 975)Edgar died on 8 July 975 at Winchester, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey. He left two sons, the elder named Edward, who was probably his illegitimate son by Æthelflæd (not to be confused with the Lady of the Mercians), and Æthelred, the younger, the child of his wife Ælfthryth. He was succeeded by Edward. Edgar also had a daughter, possibly illegitimate, by Wulfryth, who later became abbess of Wilton. She was joined there by her daughter, Edith of Wilton, who lived there as a nun until her death. Both women were later regarded as saints.[2]


From Edgar’s death to the Norman Conquest, there was not a single succession to the throne that was not contested. Some see Edgar’s death as the beginning of the end of Anglo-Saxon England, followed as it was by three successful 11th-century conquests — two Danish and one Norman.

Note on Wife: Aelfthryth +* of DEVON

Ælfthryth (c.945 to c.1000, also Alfrida, Elfrida or Elfthryth) was the second or third wife of King Edgar of England. Ælfthryth was the first king's wife known to have been crowned and anointed as Queen of the Kingdom of England. Mother of King Æthelred the Unready, she was a powerful political figure. She was linked to the murder of her stepson King Edward the Martyr and appeared as a stereotypical bad queen and evil stepmother in many medieval histories.


Ælfthryth was the daughter of Ealdorman Ordgar. Her mother was a member of the royal family of Wessex. The family's power lay in the west of Wessex. Ordgar was buried in Exeter and his son Ordwulf founded, or refounded, Tavistock Abbey.[1]


Ælfthryth was first married to Æthelwald, son of Æthelstan Half-King as recorded by Byrhtferth of Ramsey in his Life of Saint Oswald of Worcester.[2] Later accounts, such as that preserved by William of Malmesbury, add vivid detail of unknown reliability.


According to William, the beauty of Ordgar's daughter Ælfthryth was reported to King Edgar. Edgar, looking for a Queen, sent Æthewald to see Ælfthryth, ordering him "to offer her marriage [to Edgar] if her beauty were really equal to report." When she turned out to be just as beautiful as was said, Æthelwald married her himself and reported back to Edgar that she was quite unsuitable. Edgar was eventually told of this, and decided to repay Æthelwald's betrayal in like manner. He said that he would visit the poor woman, which alarmed Æthelwald. He asked Ælfthryth to make herself as unattractive as possible for the king's visit, but she did the opposite. Edgar, quite besotted with her, killed Æthelwald during a hunt.[3]


The historical record does not record the year of Æthelwald's death, let alone its manner. No children of Æthelwald and Ælfthryth are known.


[edit] Edgar's queenEdgar had two children before he married Ælfthryth, both of uncertain legitimacy. Edward was probably the son of Æthelflæd, and Eadgifu, later known as Saint Edith of Wilton, the daughter of Wulfthryth.[4] Sound political reasons encouraged the match between Edgar, whose power base was centred in Mercia, and Ælfthryth, whose family were powerful in Wessex. In addition to this, and her link with the family of Æthelstan Half-King, Ælfthryth also appears to have been connected to the family of Ælfhere, Ealdorman of Mercia.[5]


Edgar married Ælfthryth in either 964 or 965. In 966 Ælfthryth gave birth to a son who was named Edmund. In King Edgar's charter (S 745) regranting privileges to New Minster, Winchester that same year, the infant Edmund is called "clito legitimus" (legitimate ætheling), and appears before Edward in the list of witnesses. Edmund died young, circa 970, but in 968 Ælfthryth had given birth to a second son who was called Æthelred.[6]


King Edgar organised a second coronation, perhaps to bolster his claims to be ruler of all of Britain at Bath on 11 May 973. Here Ælfthryth was also crowned and anointed, granting her a status higher than any recent queen.[7] The only model of a queen's coronation was that of Judith of Flanders, but this had taken place outside of England. In the new rite, the emphasis lay on her role as protector of religion and the nunneries in the realm. She took a close interest in the well-being of several abbeys, and as overseer of Barking Abbey deposed and later reinstated the abbess.[8]


[edit] Queen dowagerEdgar died in 975 leaving two young sons, Edward and Æthelred. Edward was almost an adult, and his successful claim for the throne was supported by many key figures including Archbishops Dunstan and Oswald and the brother of Ælfthryth's first husband, Æthelwine, Ealdorman of East Anglia. Supporting the unsuccessful claim of Æthelred were his mother, the Queen dowager, Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester, and Ælfhere, Ealdorman of Mercia.[9]


On 18 March 978, while visiting Ælfthryth at Corfe Castle, King Edward was killed by servants of the Queen, leaving the way clear for Æthelred to be installed as king. Edward was soon considered a martyr, and later medieval accounts blamed Ælfthryth for his murder. Due to Æthelred's youth, Ælfthryth served as regent for her son until his coming of age in 984. By then her earlier allies Æthelwold and Ælfhere had died, and Æthelred rebelled against his old advisers, preferring a group of younger nobility. She disappears from the list of charter witnesses from around 983 to 993, when she reappears in a lower position. She remained an important figure, being responsible for the care of Æthelred's children by his first wife, Ælfgifu. Æthelred's eldest son, Æthelstan Ætheling, prayed for the soul of the grandmother "who brought me up" in his will in 1014.[10]


Although her reputation was damaged by the murder of her stepson, Ælfthryth was a religious woman, taking an especial interest in monastic reform when Queen. In about 986 she founded Wherwell Abbey as a Benedictine nunnery, and late in life she retired there. She died at Wherwell on 17 November of 999, 1000 or 1001.