Edgar the Peaceful

Edgar the Peaceful

Infobox British Royalty|Monarch
name=Edgar the Peaceful
title=King of England

reign=1 October 959–8 July 975
successor=Edward the Martyr
date of birth=943/944
place of birth= Wessex, England
date of death= death date|975|7|8|mf=y
place of death= Winchester, Wessex, England
place of burial=Glastonbury Abbey
spouse=Æthelflæd, Wulfthryth and Ælfthryth
issue= Edward the Martyr
Ethelred the Unready
father=Edmund I

Edgar I the Peaceful or the Peaceable (c. 7 August 943–8 July 975) 1.0 Biography1.1 Background to kingshipThe foundation fo Edgar's power came from his ancestors, namely Alfred, Edward the Elder, Aethelstan, Edmund and Eadred.

was the younger son of Edmund I of England. His cognomen, "the Peaceable", was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by the seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother, Edwy, in 958. Edgar was held to be king north of the Thames by a conclave of his nobles, and the aspirational ruler set himself to succeed to the English throne. With Edwy's death in October 959, Edgar immediately recalled Dunstan (eventually canonised as St. Dunstan) from exile to have him made Bishop of Worcester (and the Bishop of London after, and finally the Archbishop of Canterbury). The allegation Dunstan at first refused to crown Edgar because of disapproval for his way of life is a discreet reference in popular histories to Edgar's mistress,Fact|date=September 2007 Wulfthryth (later a nun at Wilton), who bore him a daughter Eadgyth. Dunstan remained Edgar's advisor throughout his reign.

Edgar's reign was a peaceful one, and it is probably fair to say that it saw the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England at its height. Although the political unity of England was the achievement of his predecessors, it was Edgar who saw to its consolidation. By the end of Edgar's reign there was practically no likelihood of any recession back to its state of rival kingships, and the division of its domains.

The Monastic Reform Movement that restored the Benedictine Rule to England's undisciplined monastic communities saw its height during the time of Dunstan, Aethelwold and Oswald. However, the extent and importance of the movement is still debated amongst academics.

Edgar was crowned at Bath, but not until 973, in an imperial ceremony planned not as the initiation, but as the culmination of his reign (a move that must have taken a great deal of preliminary diplomacy). This service, devised by Dunstan himself and celebrated with a poem in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" forms the basis of the present-day British coronation ceremony. The symbolic coronation was an important step; other kings of Britain came and gave their allegiance to Edgar shortly afterwards at Chester. Six kings in Britain, including the kings of Scotland and of Strathclyde, pledged their faith that they would be the king's liege-men on sea and land. Later chroniclers made the kings into eight, all plying the oars of Edgar's state barge on the River Dee. Such embellishments may not be factual, but the main outlines of the "submission at Chester" appear true.

Edgar had several children. He died on 8 July 975 at Winchester, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey. He left two sons, the eldest named Edward, the son of his first wife Ethelfleda (not to be confused with Ethelfleda, Lady of the Mercians), and Ethelred, the youngest, the child of his second wife Ælfthryth. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward.

From Edgar’s death to the Norman Conquest there was not a single succession to the throne that was not contested. Although perhaps a simplification, Edgar’s death did seem to be the beginning of the end for Anglo-Saxon England that resulted in three successful 11th century conquests, two Danish and one Norman.


For a more complete genealogy including ancestors and descendants, see House of Wessex family tree.1. Biography

External links

* [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/560-975dooms.html#Laws%20of%20King%20Edgar Medieval Sourcebook: Anglo-Saxon Dooms:] laws of King Edgar, a fragment
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8140973 Edgar of England At Find A Grave]
* [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8463?docPos=1 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Edgar the Ætheling — Infobox British Royalty|Monarch name=Edgar Ætheling (King Edgar II of England) title=King of England (more...) reign=15 October 10 December 1066 coronation= predecessor=Harold II successor=William I date of birth=c. 1051 place of birth=Hungary… …   Wikipedia

  • Edgar — m English (also used in France): from an Old English personal name composed of the elements ēad prosperity, riches, fortune + gār spear. This was the name of an English king and saint, Edgar the Peaceful (d. 975), and of Edgar Atheling… …   First names dictionary

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen timeline — The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an ongoing graphic novel series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O Neill. The primary commentator on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series (hereto after in this article referred to as… …   Wikipedia

  • Edgar — /ed geuhr/, n. an award given annually in various categories of mystery writing. [1945 50; named after Edgar Allan Poe] /ed geuhr/, n. a male given name: from Old English words meaning rich, happy and spear. * * * (as used in expressions) Adrian… …   Universalium

  • EDGAR —    a king of Saxon England from 959 to 975, surnamed the Peaceful; promoted the union and consolidation of the Danish and Saxon elements within his realm; cleared Wales of wolves by exacting of its inhabitants a levy of 300 wolves heads yearly;… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • The City in the Sea — is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The final version was published in 1845, but earlier version was published as The Doomed City in 1831 and, later, as The City of Sin . The poem tells the story of a city ruled by Death using common elements from… …   Wikipedia

  • The Outlaw Josey Wales — Theatrical release poster Directed by Clint Eastwood Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • The Broken Ear — (L Oreille cassée) Cover of the English edition Publisher Casterman Date …   Wikipedia

  • The Last Puritan — The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel was written by the American philosopher George Santayana. The novel is set largely in the fictional town of Great Falls, Connecticut; Boston; and England, in and around Oxford. It relates the life …   Wikipedia

  • The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic — was an art colony and experiment in communal life in early 20th century England. The story of the Guild began when Eric Gill the sculptor and letter cutter came to Ditchling, Sussex in 1907 with his apprentice Joseph Cribb and was soon followed… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.