Æthelflæd of Damerham

Æthelflæd of Damerham

Æthelflæd, known as Æthelflæd of Damerham to distinguish her from other women of the same name, was the second wife of King Edmund I of England.

Æthelflæd was a daughter of ealdorman Ælfgar, probably the ealdorman of Essex. Her mother's name is not recorded. She had at least one brother and at least one sister, Ælfflæd (died circa 1002). Ælfflæd was married to Byrhtnoth, who probably succeeded her father as ealdorman of Essex. Bryhtnoth was killed at the Battle of Maldon in 991. Æthelflæd and Ælfflæd were Ælfgar's heirs at his death, some time between 946 and 951 based on the dating of his will, [http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=charter&id=1483 S1483] .

Æthelflæd married Edmund in 944 following the death of his first wife Ælfgifu, mother of the future kings Eadwig and Edgar. She and Edmund are not known to have had any children, and Edmund was killed in 946, leaving Æthelflæd as a wealthy widow. Records of Ely Cathedral, to which she, her sister, and her brother-in-law, were generous benefactors, say that she remarried with an ealdorman named Æthelstan. There were several ealdormen of that name active in the reign of Edmund's brother and successor Eadred, and it most likely that Æthelflæd married the man known as Æthelstan Rota, but it may be that she married Æthelstan Half-King.

Æthelflæd's will survives, [http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=charter&id=1494 S1494] , and this, and thus her death, is dated to between 962, and more probably 975, and 991. In addition to gifts to Ely, this endows Glastonbury, Canterbury, Bury, and the family monastery of Stoke-by-Nayland.


* Stafford, Pauline, "Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries." London: Edward Arnold, 1989. ISBN 0-7131-6532-4

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