Partition of the Country

Book 2, Chapter 9, Edward 975 AD to 1016 AD – Edmund Ironside


The perfidious Edric, discerning the abilities of the king, made use of his relationship and early connexion (he had married Edmund’s sister, and had been his foster-father) to obtain a reconciliation. Edmund consented to receive him on his oath of fidelity, chiefly, perhaps, because of his great influence, and because so many of the English nobles who were qualified to lead an army, had fallen. Following his adversary, Edmund forced a second battle at Brentford, in which the balance of victory, if decided, was with the Danes. A third took place near Oxford, and promised to end in their signal overthrow, but for the perfidious advice of Edrie, who dissuaded Edmund from pursuing too closely lest the Danes should be driven to despair and turn at bay.

They were therefore suffered to retire to the Isle of Sheppey, whence they crossed the Thames into Essex, and in a few weeks another most sanguinary battle was fought at Assaudmi, the site of which has not been clearly identified. In this battle Edric openly threw off the mask, and with his division of the army went over to Canute, but notwithstanding this great defection, Edmund maintained the contest against overwhelming Odds, and did not abandon the field until the flower of his army, including the chief part of the nobility who had espoused his cause, had perished. He then retired into Gloucestershire, and assembled fresh troops, but five bloody battles had been fought within five months, and both sides were heartily tired of the murderous conflict. Negotiations were opened between some nobles and prelates on both sides, and an arrangement was made whereby Canute was to reign over the northern portion of the country, and Edmund over the southern.

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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