King Edward the Martyr 962 – 978

Edward the Martyr

 Family tree for King Edward, son of King Edgar showing:
parents

Short Biography

King Edward the Martyr was born in 963 and was murdered on 18th March 978. He was the only son of King Edgar and Aethelflaed the Fair.

Edward’s mother died around 963 and a year later his father married Aelfthryth, daughter of the Ealdorman of Devon. Their first son Edmund was born in 965 but died at the age of 5 years. A second son Aethelred was born in 966.

Edward’s father and step-mother were crowned at Bath in 973. Some historians argue that because Aelfthryth was crowned her son Aethelred had higher status than Edward. When Edward’s father died in 975 the succession was disputed by those that supported Edward and those that supported Aethelred. Edward had the support of Archbishop Dunstan and was crowned King in 976.

Edward bore no animosity towards his step-mother and half-brother but Aelfthryth maintained the right of her son, Aethelred to be King and worked against Edward at every opportunity. On 18th March 978, Edward decided to visit his Aelfthryth and Aethelred at Corfe Castle. As he was visiting family he was attended by a small retinue. When he arrived at the gates to the castle he was met by a group of Aelfthryth’s men. He was stabbed several times as he dismounted his horse, the horse bolted dragging Edward along the ground as he died. Aethelred, who became known as the Unready was proclaimed King.

 

First published 2017, updated and republished Apr 13 2021 @ 11:25 am – Updated – Sep 23, 2021 @ 1:08 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). King Edward the Martyr 962 – 978. Available: https://www.treesofblue.com/king-edward-the-martyr-962-978. Last accessed September 23rd, 2021