Charles the Simple
Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the King of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the King of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the third and posthumous son of king Louis the Stammerer by his second wife Adelaide of Paris. As a child, Charles was prevented from succeeding to the throne at the time of the death in 884 of his half-brother, Frankish nobles of the realm asked his cousin, Emperor Charles the Fat to assume the crown. The nobility elected Odo, the hero of the Siege of Paris as the new king, in 893 Charles was crowned by a faction opposed to the rule of Odo at the Reims Cathedral, becoming monarch of West Francia only after the death of Odo in 898. In 911 a group of Vikings led by Rollo besieged Paris, after a victory near Chartres on 26 August, Charles decided to negotiate with Rollo, resulting in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte which created the Duchy of Normandy. Rollo agreed to be baptised and to marry Charles daughter Gisela, Charles had tried to win Lotharingian support for years, for instance, by marrying in April 907 a Lotharingian woman named Frederuna, and in 909 his niece Cunigunda married Wigeric of Lotharingia.
Charles defended Lotharingia against two attacks by Conrad I, in 925 Lotharingia was once again seized by East Francia. Queen Frederuna died on 10 February 917 leaving six daughters and no sons, on 7 October 919 Charles married Eadgifu, the daughter of Edward the Elder, King of England, who bore him a son, the future King Louis IV of France. By this time Charles excessive favouritism towards a certain Hagano had turned the aristocracy against him and he endowed Hagano with monasteries that were already the benefices of other barons, alienating them. In Lotharingia he earned the enmity of the new duke Gilbert, opposition to Charles in Lotharingia was not universal, however, he retained support of Wigeric. The nobles, completely exasperated with Charles policies and especially his favoritism of count Hagano, after negotiations by Archbishop Herveus of Reims the king was released. In 922 the Frankish nobles revolted again led by Robert of Neustria, who was Odos brother, was elected king by the rebels and crowned, while Charles had to flee to Lotharingia.
On 2 July 922, Charles lost his most faithful supporter, Herveus of Reims, Charles returned with a Norman army in 923 but was defeated on 15 June near Soissons by Robert, who died in the battle. Charles was captured and imprisoned in a castle at Péronne under the guard of Herbert II of Vermandois, Roberts son-in-law Rudolph of Burgundy was elected to succeed him as king. Charles died in prison on 7 October 929 and was buried at the abbey of Saint-Fursy. His son by Eadgifu would eventually be crowned in 936 as Louis IV of France, in the initial aftermath of Charless defeat, Queen Eadgifu and children had fled to England. On 6 December 884 King Carloman II of West Francia died without a heir and his half-brother. Because of this, their cousin Charles the Fat, already Holy Roman Emperor, since the beginning, the new monarch was forced to deal with constant Viking raids, with little success
Sigrid the Haughty
Sigrid the Haughty, known as Sigríð Storråda, is a queen appearing in Norse sagas as wife, first of Eric the Victorious of Sweden, Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. Sigrid appears in many sagas composed generations after the events they describe, snorri Sturlason gives conflicting information and in one place says that Sweyn was married to Sigrid and in another that he was married to a Gunhild of Wenden. It is unclear if the figure of Sigrid was a person, if the saga account of her is an amalgamation of the lives and deeds of several women. The latter view is held by modern scholars such as Birgitta Fritz, who does not give much credibility to the Nordic sources. Heimskringla describes Sigrid as the beautiful but vengeful daughter of Skogul-Tosti, as widow of Eric the Victorious, she held many great estates, and was living with her son Olav the Swede, when her foster-brother Harald Grenske, a king in Vestfold, sought her hand. She had him and another royal wooer, Vissavald of Gardarik and this episode earned her her byname.
Her hand was sought by Olaf Tryggvasson, the king of Norway. She told him to his face, I will not part from the faith which my forefathers have kept before me, in a rage, Olaf struck her with a glove, and Sigrid calmly told him, This may some day be thy death. Sigrid proceeded to create a coalition of his enemies to bring about his downfall and she allied Sweden with Denmark, marrying the widower Sweyn Forkbeard who had already been feuding with Olaf. Sweyn had sent his sister Tyri to marry the Wendish king Burislav, Tyri fled and married Olaf, goading him into conflict with her brother, while Sigrid inflamed Sweyn against her former suitor. This shared animosity would lead to the Battle of Swold, in which Olaf fell, the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus would repeat this information, writing that Eric the Victorious widow Syritha had married Sweyn Forkbeard after having spurned Olaf Trygvasson. One further point that has been cited in favor of Sigrids historical existence is that the holdings of the Danish kings in medieval Sweden were known as Syghridslef - the legacy of Sigrid.
Adams claims about the marriage to Eric are considered unreliable by historians, since he is the only source to state this relationship. The scholia of Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum mentions that it was the Polish king Boleslaw who gave the hand in marriage. One problem is that Olof was born at latest in the early 980´s, before Boleslaw Chrobry came to power, during this time, marriages between Nordic monarchs and Vendic nobles was reoccurring for political reasons. For instance, Tove of the Obotrites, daughter of the Vendic lord Mistivoj, Gesta Cnutonis regis mentions in one short passage that Canute and his brother went to the land of the Slavs, and brought back their mother, who was living there. This does not necessarily mean that his mother was Slavic, and these data have been used for alternative reconstructions. Finally, some consider Sigrid to be a fantasy created by Scandinavian saga writers, further confusion has been introduced by dated interpretations of an archaeological discovery
Eadgifu of Kent
Eadgifu of Kent was the third wife of Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons. Eadgifu was the daughter of Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent, who died at the Battle of the Holme in 902. She became the mother of two sons, Edmund I of England, King Edmund I, and Eadred of England, King Eadred and she survived Edward by many years, dying in the reign of her grandson Edgar. According to a written in the early 960s, her father had given Cooling in Kent to a man called Goda as security for a loan. She claimed that her father had repaid the loan and left the land to her and she got possession of Cooling six years after her fathers death, when her friends persuaded King Edward to threaten to dispossess Goda of his property unless he gave up the estate. Edward declared Godas lands forfeit and gave the charters to Eadgifu, some time after this her marriage to Edward took place. After his death King Æthelstan required Eadgifu to return the charters to Goda and she disappeared from court during the reign of her step-son, King Æthelstan, but she was prominent and influential during the reign of her two sons.
By comparison, Eadgifu subscribes higher up in the witness list as mater regis, after her sons Edmund and Eadred but before the archbishops and bishops. When Edgar succeeded on Eadwigs death in 959 she recovered some lands and received gifts from her grandson. She is last recorded as a witness to a charter in 966 and she was known as a supporter of saintly churchmen and a benefactor of churches. House of Wessex family tree Miller, the Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century. Eadgifu, queen of the Anglo-Saxons, consort of Edward the Elder, Eadgifu 4 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Eadred was King of the English from 946 until his death in 955, in succession to his elder brother Edmund I. Eadred was a son of Edward the Elder by his marriage, to Eadgifu, daughter of Sigehelm. He succeeded his elder brother King Edmund I, who was stabbed to death at Pucklechurch, on St Augustines Day,26 May 946. The same year, on 16 August, Eadred was consecrated by Archbishop Oda of Canterbury at Kingston upon Thames, where he appears to have received the submission of Welsh rulers and northern earls. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 946 records that Eadred reduced all the land of Northumbria to his control, Eadred soon faced a number of political challenges to the West-Saxon hegemony in the north. Óláf Sihtricson, otherwise known as Amlaíb Cuarán, had been king of Northumbria in the early 940s when he became Edmunds godson and client king, but he was driven out. He succeeded his cousin as King of Dublin, but after a defeat in battle in 947. Shortly thereafter, Olaf was back in business, having regained the kingdom of York, what Eadred thought of the matter or how much sympathy he bore for his brothers godson can only be guessed at, but it seems that he at least tolerated Olafs presence.
In any event, Olaf was ousted from the kingship a second time by the Northumbrians, the other player in the game was Eric Bloodaxe, previously king of Norway. After a number of operations elsewhere, he came to Northumbria. King Eadred responded harshly to the defectors by launching a destructive raid on Northumbria. The Northumbrians appeased the English king and paid compensation, the Historia Regum suggests that the threat of an independent Northumbrian king had come to an end in 952, when earls finally took over the helm. Towards the end of his life, Eadred suffered from a malady which would prove fatal. Author B, the biographer and former apprentice of St Dunstan, described with vivid memory how the king sucked out the juices of his food, chewed on what was left and spat it out. Eadred died at the age of 32 on 23 November,955, at Frome and he died a bachelor, and was succeeded by Edmunds son Eadwig. Historia Regum, ed. T. Arnold, Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, john of Worcester, Chronicon ex Chronicis, ed.
Benjamin Thorpe, Florentii Wigorniensis monachi chronicon ex chronicis. Like his grandfather King Alfred, Eadred left a record of his will. Anglo-Saxon Charters, Sawyer nos. 515–580, 1211-2,1511, primary sources Chronicle of Æthelweard, ed. and tr
Edward the Martyr
Edward the Martyr was King of England from 975 until he was murdered in 978. Edward was the eldest son of King Edgar the Peaceful but was not his fathers acknowledged heir, Edward was chosen as king and was crowned by his main clerical supporters, the archbishops Dunstan and Oswald of Worcester. The great nobles of the kingdom, ealdormen Ælfhere and Æthelwine, Edwards short reign was brought to an end by his murder at Corfe Castle in 978 in circumstances that are not altogether clear. His body was reburied with great ceremony at Shaftesbury Abbey early in 979, in 1001 Edwards remains were moved to a more prominent place in the abbey, probably with the blessing of his half-brother King Æthelred. Edward was already reckoned a saint by this time, a number of lives of Edward were written in the centuries following his death in which he was portrayed as a martyr, generally seen as a victim of the Queen Dowager Ælfthryth, mother of Æthelred. He is today recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Edwards date of birth is unknown, but he was the eldest of Edgars three children.
He was likely in his teens when he succeeded his father, Edward was known to be King Edgars son, but he was not the son of Queen Ælfthryth, the third wife of Edgar. This much and no more is known from contemporary charters, sources of questionable reliability address the identity of Edwards mother. The earliest such source is a life of Dunstan by Osbern of Canterbury, Osbern writes that Edwards mother was a nun at Wilton Abbey whom the king seduced. When Eadmer wrote a life of Dunstan some decades later, he included an account of Edwards parentage obtained from Nicholas of Worcester. Additional accounts are offered by Goscelin in his life of Edgars daughter Saint Edith of Wilton and in the histories of John of Worcester, together these various accounts suggest that Edwards mother was probably a noblewoman named Æthelflæd, surnamed Candida or Eneda—the White or White Duck. A charter of 966 describes Ælfthryth, whom Edgar had married in 964, as the lawful wife. Edward is noted as the kings son, Ælfthryth was the widow of Æthelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia and perhaps Edgars third wife.
However, Barbara Yorke thinks that Æthelflæd was Edgars wife, but Ælfthryth was a consecrated queen when she gave birth to her sons, Æthelwold denied that Edward was legitimate, but Yorke considers this opportunist special pleading. Edmunds full brother Æthelred may have inherited his position as heir, on a charter to the New Minster at Winchester, the names of Ælfthryth and her son Æthelred appear ahead of Edwards name. When Edgar died on 8 July 975, Æthelred was probably nine, secular clergy, many of whom would have been members of the nobility, had been expelled from the new monasteries. While Edgar lived, he supported the reformers, but following his death. The leading figures had all been supporters of the reform, relations between Archbishop Dunstan and Bishop Æthelwold may have been strained
Edith of England, spelt Eadgyth or Ædgyth, a member of the House of Wessex, was German queen from 936 until her death, by her marriage with King Otto I. Edith was born to the reigning English king Edward the Elder by his wife, Ælfflæd. In 919 her sister Eadgifu married the West Frankish king Charles the Simple, henrys eldest son and heir to the throne Otto was instructed to choose whichever one pleased him best. Otto chose Edith, according to Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim a woman of pure noble countenance, graceful character and truly royal appearance, the remaining sister Edgiva was married to a king near the Jupiter mountains, probably to Louis, brother of King Rudolph II of Burgundy. The precise identity of the husband of this sister is debated, in 936 Henry the Fowler died and his eldest son Otto, Ediths husband, was crowned king at Aachen Cathedral. Edith accompanied her husband on his travels, though not during battles, while Otto fought against the rebellious dukes Eberhard of Franconia and Gilbert of Lorraine in 939, she spent the hostilities at Lorsch Abbey.
Like her brother, Æthelstan, Edith was devoted to the cult of their ancestor Saint Oswald of Northumbria 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 the Duchy of Saxony to be dedicated to this saint, eadgyths death at a relatively young age, in her early thirties, was unexpected. Otto apparently mourned the loss of a loved spouse he greatly esteemed and he secondly married Adelaide of Italy in 951. Edith and Ottos children were, Duke of Swabia Liutgarde, initially buried in the St Maurice monastery, Ediths tomb since the 16th century has been located in Magdeburg Cathedral. Long regarded a cenotaph, a lead coffin inside a sarcophagus with her name on it was found. An inscription recorded that it was the body of Eadgyth, reburied in 1510, the fragmented and incomplete bones were examined in 2009, brought to Bristol, 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, 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. Testing of the revealed that the individual entombed at Magdeburg had spent time as a youth in the chalky uplands of Wessex. Tests on these isotopes can give a record of where the person lived up to the age of 14. In this case 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, the bones are the oldest surviving remains of an English royal burial, Bristol University announced in a press release
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain.
The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until his death. He became king in 899 upon the death of his father and he captured the eastern Midlands and East Anglia from the Danes in 917 and became ruler of Mercia in 918 upon the death of Æthelflæd, his sister. All but two of his charters give his title as Anglorum Saxonum rex, a title first used by his father, Alfred. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the Kings of Scotland and Strathclyde and the rulers of Northumbria chose as father and lord in 920, Edwards cognomen the Elder was first used in Wulfstans Life of St Æthelwold to distinguish him from the King Edward the Martyr. Mercia was the dominant kingdom in southern England in the eighth century, thereafter the two kingdoms became allies, which was to be an important factor in English resistance to the Vikings. In 865 the Danish Viking Great Heathen Army landed in East Anglia, the East Anglians were forced to buy peace and the following year the Vikings invaded Northumbria, where they appointed a puppet king in 867.
They moved on Mercia, where spent the winter of 867–868. The following year, the Danes conquered East Anglia, and in 874 they expelled King Burgred, in 877 the Vikings partitioned Mercia, taking the eastern regions for themselves and allowing Ceolwulf to keep the western ones. The situation was transformed the following year when Alfred won a victory over the Danes at the Battle of Edington. He was thus able to prevent the Vikings from taking Wessex and western Mercia, although they still occupied Northumbria, East Anglia, Alfred the Great married his Mercian queen Ealhswith in 868. Her father was Æthelred Mucel, Ealdorman of the Gaini, and her mother and Ealhswith had five children who survived childhood. Their first child was Æthelflæd, who married Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians, Edward was next, and the second daughter, Æthelgifu, became abbess of Shaftesbury. The third daughter, Ælfthryth, married Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and this would usually suggest that he was intended for the church, but it is unlikely in Æthelweards case as he had sons.
There were a number of children who died young. Æthelflæd was probably born about a year after her parents marriage, yorke argues that he was therefore probably nearer in age to Ælfthryth than Æthelflæd. However, he led troops in battle in 893, and he must have been of age in that year as his oldest son Æthelstan was born about 894. They were taught the courtly qualities of gentleness and humility, and Asser wrote that they were obedient to their father and this is the only known case of an Anglo-Saxon prince and princess receiving the same upbringing. As a son of a king, Edward was an ætheling, even though he had the advantage of being the eldest son of the reigning king, his accession was not assured, as he had cousins who had a strong claim to the throne