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Edmund I
King of the English
Reign 27 October,939 – 26 May,946
Predecessor Athelstan
Successor Eadred
Spouse Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury; Æthelflæd of Damerham
Issue
Eadwig
Edgar
Father Edward the Elder
Mother Eadgifu of Kent
Born 921
Wessex, England
Died 26 May 946
Pucklechurch, Wessex, England
Burial Glastonbury Abbey

Edmund I (Old English: Ēadmund) (922 – 26 May 946), called the Elder, the Deed-doer, the Just, or the Magnificent, was King of England from 939 until his death. He was a son of Edward the Elder and half-brother of Athelstan. Athelstan died on 27 October 939, and Edmund succeeded him as king.

Contents

Military threats

Shortly after his proclamation as king he had to face several military threats. King Olaf III Guthfrithson conquered Northumbria and invaded the Midlands. When Olaf died in 942 Edmund reconquered the Midlands. In 943 he became the god-father 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 Olaf Cuaran and continued to be allied to his god-father. 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.

Louis IV of France

One of Edmund's last political movements of which we have some knowledge is his role in the restoration of Louis IV of France to the throne. Louis, son of Charles the Simple and his English queen 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 by Duke Hugh the Great, who however, held him in custody. The chronicler Richerus claims that Eadgifu wrote letters both to Edmund and to Otto I in which she requested support from her son; Edmund responded to her plea by sending angry threats to Hugh, who however, brushed them aside.[1] 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.[2][3]

Death and succession

On 26 May, 946, Edmund was murdered by Leofa, an exiled thief, while celebrating St Augustine's Mass Day in Pucklechurch (South Gloucestershire).[4] 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, Edmund and Leofa were both killed.[5]

Edmund's sister Eadgyth, wife to Otto I, died (earlier) the same year, as Flodoard's Annales for 946 report.[6]

Edmund was succeeded as king by his brother Edred, king from 946 until 955. Edmund's sons later ruled England as:

Notes

  1. ^ Richerus, Historiae, Book 2, chapters 49-50. See MGH online.
  2. ^ Dorothy Whitelock (tr.), English Historical Documents c. 500-1042. 2nd ed. London, 1979. p. 345).
  3. ^ Edmundus, Anglorum rex, legatos ad Hugonem principem pro restitutione Ludowici regis dirigit: et idem princeps proinde conventus publicos eumnepotibus suis aliisque regni primatibus agit. [...] Hugo, dux Francorum, ascito secum Hugo Nneigro, filio Richardi, ceterisque regni primatibus Ludowicum regem, [...] in regnum restituit. (Flodoard, Annales 946.)
  4. ^ "Here King Edmund died on St Augustine’s Day [26 May]. It was widely known how he ended his days, that Liofa stabbed him at Pucklechurch. And Æthelflæd of Damerham, daughter of Ealdorman Ælfgar, was then his queen." Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, MS D, tr. Michael Swanton.
  5. ^ John of Worcester, Chronicon AD 946; William of Malmesbury, Gesta regum, book 2, chapter 144. The description of the circumstances remained a popular feature in medieval chronicles, such as Higden's Polychronicon: "But William, libro ij° de Regibus, seyth (says) that this kyng kepyng a feste at Pulkirchirche, in the feste of seynte Austyn, and seyng a thefe, Leof by name, sytte [th]er amonge hys gestes, whom he hade made blynde afore for his trespasses -- (quem rex prios propter scelera eliminaverat, whom the King previously due to his crimes did excile) -- , arysede (arrested) from the table, and takenge that man by the heire of the hedde, caste him unto the grownde. Whiche kynge was sleyn -- (sed nebulonis arcano evisceratus est) -- with a lyttle knyfe the [th]e man hade in his honde [hand]; and also he hurte mony men soore with the same knyfe; neverthelesse he was kytte (cut) at the laste into smalle partes by men longyng to the kynge." Polychronicon, 1527. See Google Books
  6. ^ Edmundus rex Transmarinus defungitur, uxor quoque regis Othonis, soror ipsius Edmundi, decessit. "Edmund, king across the sea, died, and the wife of King Otto, sister of the same Edmund, died also." (tr. Dorothy Whitelock, English Historical Documents c. 500-1042. 2nd ed. London, 1979. p. 345).

References

  • Flodoard, Annales, ed. Philippe Lauer, Les Annales de Flodoard. Collection des textes pour servir à l'étude et à l'enseignement de l'histoire 39. Paris: Picard, 1905.

Ancestry

Diagram based on the information found on Wikipedia
Preceded by
Athelstan
King of the English
939–946
Succeeded by
Eadred
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Simple English

Edmund I
King of England
Reign October 27,939May 26,946
Predecessor Athelstan
Successor Edred
Spouse Ælfgifu; Æthelflæd of Damerham
Issue
Eadwig
Edgar
Father Edward the Elder
Mother Edgiva of Kent
Born 921
Wessex, England
Died May 26, 946
Pucklechurch, Wessex, England
Burial Glastonbury Abbey

Edmund I (921 - May 26 946), called the Elder, the Deed-Doer or the Magnificent, was King of England from 939 until his death.[1] He was a son of Edward the Elder and a half-brother of Athelstan. Edmund was the first king to start his rule with a united England.[1]

Early in his rule, the Norse king, Olaf Guthfrithson, recaptured much of the north of England. By 941 Edmund regained his northern lands from the Norse. He defeated a revolt by the Welsh and killed the Scottish King of Strathclyde, Donald MacDonald. He signed a treaty with Malcolm I of Scotland and set up a policy of safe borders.[1]

He was married twice. With is first wife, St. Aelfgith, he had two children who became King Eadwig All-Fair and King Edgar the Peacemaker. After she died in 944 Edmund married Ethelflaed of Damerham. They did not have children.[1]

During the Feast of St. Augustine, 26 May 946, at Pucklechurch in Gloucester, Edmund was killed fighting a thief who would not leave the feast.[2] He was succeeded by his brother Edred. Edmund is buried at Glastonbury Abbey.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ford, David Nash (June 6, 2004). "EBK: Edmund the Magnificent" (in English). Early British Kingdoms. http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/edmundmag.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. "Edmund I the Elder". English Monarchs - Kings and Queens of England. http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/saxon_9.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 

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