Edmund of Wessex, King of England, was born 922 in England, United Kingdom (Wessex) to Edward the Elder (c870-924) and Eadgifu of Kent (c902-968) and died 26 May 946 St Augustine's Day mass of murder. He married Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury (-944) 940 JL in England, United Kingdom. He married Æthelflæd of Damerham (c925-c975) 944 JL in England, United Kingdom. Alfred the Great (849-899).


Edmund I, King of Britain, ("Deed-Doer") Reign 939-946

Son of English King, Edward the Elder (c870-924), he succeeded his half-brother. Athelstan (895-939), on the latter's death. As a young warrior he had participated in Atherlstan's victory at Brunanburh (937), but soon after his accession he had to face renewed military threats.

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.

Threat from Northumbria

In 940, Olaf Guthfrithsson, King of Dublin, who was defeated in the battle at Brunanburh, came down from Northumbria to reclaim his lost lands in York. Arbitration with the archbishops award Northumbria back to Olaf. When Olaf died, Edmund marched forth (942) and reconquered the area of the Five Boroughs (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Stamford) in the Midlands. It appears that the Christianized Anglo-Danish population here has more than happy to be free from their Irish-Norse rulers. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle celebrated this victory in poem:

Long had the Danes under the Norsemen
Been subjected by force to heathen bondage,
Until finally liberated by the valour of Edward's son,
King Edmund, protector of warriors."

More Campaigns

Louis IV of France

One of Edmund's last political movements of which there is some knowledge is his role in the restoration of Louis IV of France to the throne. Louis, son of Charles the Simple and Edmund's half-sister Eadgifu of Wessex (902-aft955), 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 to Duke Hugh the Great, who held him in custody. The chronicler Richerus claims that Eadgifu wrote letters both to Edmund and to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in which she requested support for her son. Edmund responded to her plea by sending angry threats to Hugh.[4] 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.

Outlaw Murder

After he had narrowly escaped death while hunting near the Cheddar Gorge, Edmund installed St Dunstan as Abbot of Glastonbury, and supported Dunstan's revival of monasticism in England.

Edmund might have gone on to greater achievements had he not been murdered. by an outlaw called Leofa. On 26 May 946, Edmund was murdered by Leofa, an exiled thief, while attending St Augustine's Day mass in Pucklechurch (South Gloucestershire).

He was succeeded by his younger brother, Eadred of Wessex (c924-955).

Marriage and Family

Edmund's sons later ruled England as:

  1. Eadwig of Wessex (c941-959), King of England from 955 until 957, king of only Wessex and Kent from 957 until his death on 1 October 959.
  2. Edgar I the Peaceful (943-975), king of Mercia and Northumbria from 957 until his brother's death in 959, then king of England from 959 until 975.


Offspring of Edmund of Wessex and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury (-944)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Eadwig of Wessex (c941-959)
Edgar I the Peaceful (943-975) 943 8 July 975 Winchester Æthelflæd Wulthryth Æthelflæd Wulthryth Ælfthryth (c945-c1000)


#g1: 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)
#g2: 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
#g3: 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,


Footnotes (including sources)

Rtol, MainTour