King Eadwig 941 – 959

King Eadwig

 Family tree for Eadwig, son of Edmund I showing:

Short Biography

Eadwig, known as ‘The Fair’ due to his pleasing looks, was born in 941 and died 1st October 859. He was the eldest son of King Edmund I and Aelfgifu of Shaftesbury. In 946, Eadwig’s father, was murdered by Leofa a thief who had been exiled. Eadwig, aged 5 years, was considered too young to take the throne so his uncle Eadred took the throne. Eadwig and his brother Edgar were cared for by the Nobleman Aethelstan and his wife and were educated by Aethelwald, the Abbot of Abingdon.

On 23rd November 955, King Eadred died and Eadwig became King. However, he did not behave like a king and upset the nobles and church elders, including the influential abbot Dunstan, when he disappeared during his coronation feast only to be found in a compromising position with a young lady, Aelfgifu, and her mother. Soon afterwards, Eadwig married the young lady. The marriage was dissolved three years later on the grounds of consanguinity.

As King, Eadwig set about removing those noblemen he disliked and the abbot Dunstan was exiled, or removed himself to Flanders. The lords of Mercia and Northumbria refused to accept Eadwig as King and acknowledged Eadwig’s brother Edgar as their ruler. Eadwig died in 959 and was succeeded by his brother Edgar.


Published Feb 22, 2017 @ 2:44 pm – Updated – Dec 28, 2021 @ 2:39 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). King Eadwig 941 – 959. Available: Last accessed January 1st, 2022