Eadgyth of Wessex was born 910 to Edward the Elder (c870-924) and Ælfflæd (c880-) and died 26 January 946 of unspecified causes. She married Otto I von Sachsen (912-973) 929 JL . Alfred the Great (849-899).


House of Wessex

Golden Wyvern of Wessex

He was of the royal English dynasty called House of Wessex, a family originating in the southwest corner of England and gradually increased in power and prestiege. The House became rulers of all the country with the reign of Alfred the Great in 871 and lasting until Edmund Ironside in 1016. This period of the English monarchy is known as the Saxon period.

Royal Marriage

In order to seal an alliance between two Saxon kingdoms, her half-brother, King Athelstan of England, sent two of his sisters to Germany, instructing the Otto, Duke of Saxony to choose whichever one pleased him best. Otto chose Edith and married her in 929. The remaining sister Algiva or Adiva was married to a "king near the Jupiter mountains" (the Alps). The precise identity of this sister is debated. She may have been Eadgifu of England, who married Charles the Simple III, King of France and Herbert III, Count of Vermandois, or another sister otherwise unknown to history.

In 936 Henry the Fowler of Germany died and his eldest son, Eadgyth's husband, was crowned at Aachen. As queen, Eadgyth undertook the usual state duties of "First lady": when she turns up in the records it is generally in connection with gifts to the state's favoured monasteries or memorials to female holy women and saints. In this respect she seems to have been more diligent than her now widowed and subsequently sainted mother-in-law Queen Matilda whose own charitable activities only achieve a single recorded mention from the period of Eadgyth's time as queen. There was probably rivalry between the Benedictine Monastery of St Maurice founded at Magdeburg by Otto and Eadgyth in 937, a year after coming to the throne and Matilda's foundation at Quedlinburg, intended by her as a memorial to her husband.

Eadgyth accompanied her husband on his travels, though not during battles. She spent the hostilities of 939 at Lorsch Abbey

Like her brother, Athelstan, Edith was devoted to the cult of Saint Oswald and was instrumental in introducing this cult into Germany after her marriage to the emperor. Her lasting influence may have caused certain monasteries and churches in Saxony to be dedicated to this saint.[1]

Eadgyth's death at a relatively young age was unexpected.


Offspring of Otto I von Sachsen (912-973) and Eadgyth of Wessex
Name Birth Death Joined with
Liutgarde von Sachsen (?-?) 932 953 Conrad the Red (c922-955)
Liudolf von Sachsen (930-957) 930 6 September 937 Pombia Ida von Schwaben (?-?)


Offspring of Edward the Elder (c870-924) and Ecgwynn (c875-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Athelstan (895-939) 895 Wessex 27 October 929 Gloucestershire, England
Edith the Poleworth (c896-) 896 England 9999 Ireland Sitric Cáech (c890-927)

Offspring of Edward the Elder (c870-924) and Ælfflæd (c880-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ælfweard of Wessex (904–924) 904 Wessex, England 2 August 924 Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Eadgifu of Wessex (902-aft955) 902 955 Charles the Simple (879-929)
Herbert III de Vermandois (c913-c982)
Eadgyth of Wessex (910-946) 910 26 January 946 Otto I von Sachsen (912-973)
Eadhilda of Wessex (-937) 937 Hugh the Great (898-956)
Ælfgifu of Wessex (-)
Eadflæd of Wessex (-)
Edwin Ætheling (c912-933) 912 Wessex, England 933 England

Offspring of Edward the Elder (c870-924) and Eadgifu of Kent (c902-968)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Edmund of Wessex (922-946) 922 England, United Kingdom (Wessex) 26 May 946 Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury (-944)
Æthelflæd of Damerham (c925-c975)
Eadred of Wessex (c924-955) 923 Wessex, England 23 November 955 Frome, Somerset, England
Edburga of Winchester (c925-960) 925 Wessex, England 15 June 960

Burial Tomb

In 2008 the skeleton of Queen Eadgyth, granddaughter of Alfred the Great was found in Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany. It was confirmed in 2010 that these remains belong to her — one of the earliest members of the English royal family.

Her tomb is located in the Cathedral of Magdeburg. A lead coffin inside a stone sarcophagus with her name on it was found and opened in 2008 by archaeologists during work on the building. An inscription recorded that it was the body of Eadgyth, reburied in 1510. It was examined in 2009, then brought to Bristol, England, for tests in 2010. Professor Mark Horton of Bristol University said that "this may prove to be the oldest complete remains of an English royal." The investigations at Bristol, applying isotope tests on tooth enamel, checked whether she was born and brought up in Wessex and Mercia, as written history has indicated.[1][2] Testing on the bones revealed that they are the remains of Eadgyth, from study made of the enamel of the teeth in her upper jaw.[3] Testing of the enamel revealed that the individual entombed at Magdeburg had spent time as a youth in the chalky uplands of Wessex.[4]

"Tests on these isotopes can give a precise record of where the person lived up to the age of 14," noted The Times of London in its story on the testing. "In this case they showed that the woman in the casket had spent the first years of her life drinking water that came from springs on the chalk hills of southern England. This matched exactly the historical records of Eadgyth’s early life."[5]

The bones "are the oldest surviving remains of an English royal burial," Bristol University announced in a press release.[6]

External links


  1. ^ a b Kennedy, Maev (20 January 2010). "" (in English). Remains of Alfred the Great's granddaughter returned / Coming home: the Saxon queen lost for 1,000 years (Guardian): pp. 5. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Satter, Raphael G. (20 Jan 2010). "Discovery News" (in English). Bones of early English princess found in Germany. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  3. ^ German cathedral bones 'are Saxon queen Eadgyth, BBC News, 16 June 2010
  4. ^ Remains of first king of England's sister found in German cathedral, The Guardian, 17 June 2010
  5. ^ The Times, Simon de Bruxelles, 17 June 2010
  6. ^ Bones confirmed as those of Saxon Princess Eadgyth, University of Bristol, 17 June 2010

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
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