Book 2, Chapter 7, Alfred’s Children from 901 AD to 955 – Edmund
Edmund, the younger brother of Athelstan, and his successor, was no more than eighteen years of age, but with the spirit and energy of his family, he at once set forth to encounter Anlaff. The first battle was so nearly drawn that the combatants agreed, on the mediation of the archbishops of Canterbury and York, to divide the country between them, Anlaff taking all that part of England which lay north of Watling Street. Matthew of Westminster adds one condition which is mentioned by no other analyst, that Edmund and Anlaff mutually agreed for the survivor to become monarch of the whole.
It is scarcely credible that the thanes should permit such an arrangement to be contemplated, even if Edmund was weak enough to concede it, but there is much doubt whether he was free to act, being so young, and very much under the control and influence of his nobles. Whatever the truth of the case, Anlaff dying soon after, his son of the same name, assumed his place, but he speedily disgusted his subjects by heavy exactions, and a youthful nephew was set up as a rival.
During the disturbances which ensued, Edmund succeeded in re-annexing Northumbria to his kingdom. He also took the precaution of removing the Danish inhabitants from the Five-burghs of Mercia, as they were called, viz. Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Stamford, and Lincoln, replacing them with English colonists. Exasperated with Dunmail, King of Cumberland, who had given assistance to the Northumbrians, Edmund invaded and conquered his territory, bestowing it upon Malcolm, King of Scotland, on the condition that he should hold it as a vassal of the English crown, and that he should defend the north of the island against invasion.
Chapter 7, Alfred’s Children
Chapter 7, Athelstan
Chapter 7, Renown of Athelstan
Chapter 7, Edmund
Reign of Edmund
Chapter 7, Edred
Categories: Book 2