Edward, Commonly Styled “the Martyr”

Book 2, Chapter 9, Edward 975 AD to 1016 AD – Edward the Martyr

The late king left two sons, one by each of his wives, and in compliance with Edgar’s will, and according to custom and the voice of the witan, the elder, named Edward, should have succeeded to the throne. His stepmother, Elfrida, was a bold, unscrupulous woman, who had designs for her own son Ethelred, a child of seven years of age, hoping thereby to attain the regency for herself. In this she was aided by the state of parties at the time, and especially by the condition of affairs in the church. The great nobles viewed with suspicion the growing power of Dunstan and the monks, and some of them, like Alfred, the influential Ealdorman of Mercia, sided with the seculars and expelled the monks, but others took the opposite side, and with these Elfrida joined herself.

The archbishop acted with decision and promptitude, and at once proceeded to the ceremony of crowning the young prince Edward, who was then not more than fourteen years of age. So far as is known, the disposition of the youthful king was most amiable and gentle, but the actual ruler was Dunstan, who carried his measures with a high hand, enforcing with extreme severity the Benedictine rule on all the monasteries. Edward’s reign was short and uneventful; lasting only four years, but his tragic end has invested his name with interest.

Chapter 9, Edward the Martyr

Edward, Commonly Styled “the Martyr”

Elfrida’s Intrigues

Chapter 9, Ethelred

Reign of Ethelred

Dunstan’s Prophecy

Condition of the Country

Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Danes

Fresh Attacks by the Northmen

They are Bribed to Depart

Origin of the Danegeld

Ethelred’s Marriage with Emma of Normandy

Massacre of the Danes

Chapter 9, Sweyn’s Revenge

Sweyn’s Vengeance

Murder of Archbishop Alphege

Levy for a Fleet

Chapter 9, Thurkill Ravages England

Its Failure

A Contemporary Picture

Sweyn prepares for the Conquest of England

Sweyn Dies and’ is Followed by Canute

Ethelred’s Flight and Return

Chapter 9, Edmund Ironside

Death of Ethelred

Divisions and Treachery among the English

Edmund Ironside Proclaimed King

Successive Battles with Canute

Partition of the Country

Brief Reign of Edmund


Categories: Book 2

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