Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England, it suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful War of Independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, joining Scotland with England in a personal union. In 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. Following the annexation of the Northern Isles from the Kingdom of Norway in 1472 and final capture of the Royal Burgh of Berwick by the Kingdom of England in 1482, the territory of the Kingdom of Scotland corresponded to that of modern-day Scotland, bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.
The Crown was the most important element of government. The Scottish monarchy in the Middle Ages was a itinerant institution, before Edinburgh developed as a capital city in the second half of the 15th century; the Crown remained at the centre of political life and in the 16th century emerged as a major centre of display and artistic patronage, until it was dissolved with the Union of Crowns in 1603. The Scottish Crown adopted the conventional offices of western European monarchical states of the time and developed a Privy Council and great offices of state. Parliament emerged as a major legal institution, gaining an oversight of taxation and policy, but was never as central to the national life. In the early period, the kings of the Scots depended on the great lords—the mormaers and toísechs—but from the reign of David I, sheriffdoms were introduced, which allowed more direct control and limited the power of the major lordships. In the 17th century, the creation of Justices of Peace and Commissioners of Supply helped to increase the effectiveness of local government.
The continued existence of courts baron and the introduction of kirk sessions helped consolidate the power of local lairds. Scots law was reformed and codified in the 16th and 17th centuries. Under James IV the legal functions of the council were rationalised, with Court of Session meeting daily in Edinburgh. In 1532, the College of Justice was founded, leading to the training and professionalisation of lawyers. David I is the first Scottish king known to have produced his own coinage. At the union of the Crowns in 1603 the Pound Scots was fixed at only one-twelfth the value of the English pound; the Bank of Scotland issued pound notes from 1704. Scottish currency was abolished by the Act of Union, however to the present day, Scotland retains unique banknotes. Geographically, Scotland is divided between the Lowlands; the Highlands had a short growing season, further shortened during the Little Ice Age. From Scotland's foundation to the inception of the Black Death, the population had grown to a million.
It expanded in the first half of the 16th century, reaching 1.2 million by the 1690s. Significant languages in the medieval kingdom included Gaelic, Old English and French. Christianity was introduced into Scotland from the 6th century. In the Norman period the Scottish church underwent a series of changes that led to new monastic orders and organisation. During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominately Calvinist national kirk. There were a series of religious controversies that resulted in persecutions; the Scottish Crown developed naval forces at various points in its history, but relied on privateers and fought a guerre de course. Land forces centred around the large common army, but adopted European innovations from the 16th century. From the 5th century AD, north Britain was divided into a series of petty kingdoms. Of these, the four most important were those of the Picts in the north-east, the Scots of Dál Riata in the west, the Britons of Strathclyde in the south-west and the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia in the south-east, stretching into modern northern England.
In AD 793, ferocious Viking raids began on monasteries such as those at Iona and Lindisfarne, creating fear and confusion across the kingdoms of north Britain. Orkney and the Western Isles fell to the Norsemen; these threats may have speeded up a long-term process of gaelicisation of the Pictish kingdoms, which adopted Gaelic language and customs. There was a merger of the Gaelic and Pictish kingdoms, although historians debate whether it was a Pictish takeover of Dál Riata, or the other way round; this culminated in the rise of Cínaed mac Ailpín as "king of the Picts" in the 840s, which brought to power the House of Alpin. When he died as king of the combined kingdom in 900 one of his successors, Domnall II, was the first man to be called rí Alban; the term Scotia would be used to describe the heartland of these kings, north of the River Forth, the entire area controlled by its kings would be referred to as Scotland. The long reign of Donald's successor Causantín is regarded as the key to formation of the Kingdom of Alba/Scotland, he was la
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"
Ælfgifu, wife of Eadwig
Ælfgifu was the consort of King Eadwig of England for a brief period of time until 957 or 958. What little is known of her comes by way of Anglo-Saxon charters including a will, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and hostile anecdotes in works of hagiography, her union with the king, annulled within a few years of Eadwig's reign, seems to have been a target for factional rivalries which surrounded the throne in the late 950s. By c. 1000, when the careers of the Benedictine reformers Dunstan and Oswald became the subject of hagiography, its memory had suffered heavy degradation. In the mid-960s, she appears to have become a well-to-do landowner on good terms with King Edgar and, through her will, a generous benefactress of ecclesiastical houses associated with the royal family, notably the Old Minster and New Minster at Winchester. Two facts about Ælfgifu's family background are unambiguously stated by the sources. First, her mother bore the name of Æthelgifu, a woman of high birth. Second, she was related to her husband Eadwig, since in 958 their marriage was dissolved by Archbishop Oda on grounds that they were too related by blood, that is, within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity.
Ælfgifu has been identified with the namesake who left a will sometime between 966 and 975, which might shed further light on her origins. These dangling clues, unsatisfying as they are in themselves, have been used to construct two possible—-and compatible—-genealogies for Ælfgifu, both of which ascribe to her a degree of royal rank. One theory espoused by Cyril Hart and considered by Pauline Stafford makes her a noblewoman of Mercian stock, who descended from Ealdorman Æthelfrith of Mercia and his wife Æthelgyth, who may have been a daughter of ealdorman Æthelwulf and a niece of King Alfred's Mercian consort Ealhswith; this reconstruction is based on the probability that Risborough, one of Ælfgifu's holdings mentioned in the will, was held by Æthelgyth. The possible implication is that Ælfgifu inherited many others in Buckinghamshire. Given that she asked Bishop Æthelwold, one of her beneficiaries, to intercede for her "mother's soul", she may have done so through the maternal line. If the suggestion is correct, she would have been related to the politically prominent family of ealdorman Æthelstan Half-King and his offspring.
Her supposed will provides the starting point for another, more regarded hypothesis. In this document, she makes bequests to Ælfweard and Æthelweard her brothers, to her sister Ælfwaru. Æthelweard and Ælfweard re-appear as brothers and thegns in the witness list of a spurious royal charter dated 974 This appears to be the same Æthelweard who attests royal charters between 958 and 977 as the king's thegn and may have moved on to become the illustrious ealdorman of the Western Provinces and author of a Latin chronicle, in which he claimed descent from King Æthelred of Wessex, fourth son of King Æthelwulf. The conclusion which can be derived from these prosopographical byways is that if the ealdorman and chronicler Æthelweard was her brother, she must have shared with him a common ancestor in King Æthelred. In this light, Ælfgifu would have been Eadwig's third cousin once removed; the two genealogies are not mutually exclusive. Andrew Wareham suggests that these two different branches of the royal family may have come together in the marriage which produced Ælfgifu.
In view of the will's special mention of Ælfgifu's "mother's soul", this could mean that Æthelgifu was a descendant of Æthelgyth, while the anonymous father traced his descent to Æthelred. Neither hypothesis is conclusive. A weakness shared by these suggestions is that they hinge on the assumption that the testatrix Ælfgifu is the same as the erstwhile royal consort. However, for reasons explored below, the identification is favoured by most historians, though with reservations. At an unknown date around the time of his accession, the young King Eadwig married Ælfgifu; the union was or was to become one of the most controversial royal marriages in 10th-century England. Eadwig's brother Edgar was the heir presumptive, but a legitimate son born out of this marriage would have diminished Edgar's chances of succeeding to the kingship if both parents were of royal rank. Fostered by Ælfwynn wife of Æthelstan Half-King together with her son Æthelwine, Edgar enjoyed the support of Æthelstan Half-King and his sons, whose power base was concentrated in Mercia and East Anglia and who would not have liked to lose power and influence to Ælfgifu's kinsmen and associates.
If Hart's suggestion that Ælfgifu was of royal Mercian descent and related to the latter family is correct, it might have been hoped that the marriage would give Eadwig some political advantage in exercising West-Saxon control over Mercia.Ælfgifu's mother, Æthelgifu, seems to have played a decisive role in her rise to prominence by the king's side, as indicated by their joint appearances in the sources. Together they witness a charter which records an exchange of land between Bishop Brihthelm and Æthelwold abbot of Abingdon. and both their names occur among “illustrious” benefactors on a leaf of the early 11th-century Liber Vitae of the New Minster, Winchester. In her presumed will, Ælfgifu asks Bishop Æthelwold, one of her beneficiaries, to intercede for her and her mother, it is probable that they are the two women who are portrayed as Eadwig's sexual partners in the Life of St Dunstan by author'B' and that of St. Oswald by Byrhtferth of Ramsey, both dating from around 1000. Dunstan's Life alleges that on the banquet following the solemnity of his coronation at Kingston, E
Henry V of England
Henry V called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England. In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois. Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry, his sudden and unexpected death in France two years condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.
He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, thus the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian; as he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not documented. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, it is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386. Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly; the young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England.
He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university. From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall. Less than three years Henry was in command of part of the English forces, he led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, flushed the wound with alcohol.
The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle. For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies; when the king recovered, he dismissed the prince from his council. The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408; as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government. Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411; the quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents endeavoured to defame the prince, it may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is due to political enmity.
Henry's record of involvement in war and politics in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel wi
Mary I of England
Mary I known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII; the executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents. Mary was the only child of Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to survive to adulthood, her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547 at the age of nine. When Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because he supposed that she would reverse the Protestant reforms that had begun during his reign. On his death, leading politicians proclaimed Lady Jane Grey as queen. Mary speedily assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, beheaded. Mary was—excluding the disputed reigns of Jane and the Empress Matilda—the first queen regnant of England.
In 1554, Mary married Philip of Spain, becoming queen consort of Habsburg Spain on his accession in 1556. During her five-year reign, Mary had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions. After Mary's death in 1558, her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her younger half-sister and successor Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn, at the beginning of the 45-year Elizabethan era. Mary was born on 18 February 1516 at the Palace of Placentia in England, she was the only child of his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive infancy. Her mother had suffered many miscarriages. Before Mary's birth, four previous pregnancies had resulted in a stillborn daughter and three short-lived or stillborn sons, including Henry, Duke of Cornwall. Mary was baptised into the Catholic faith at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich three days after her birth, her godparents included Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey. Henry VIII's cousin once removed, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, stood sponsor for Mary's confirmation, held after the baptism.
The following year, Mary became a godmother herself when she was named as one of the sponsors of her cousin Frances Brandon. In 1520, the Countess of Salisbury was appointed Mary's governess. Sir John Hussey Lord Hussey, was her chamberlain from 1530, his wife, Lady Anne, daughter of George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent, was one of Mary's attendants. Mary was a precocious child. In July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained a visiting French delegation with a performance on the virginals. A great part of her early education came from her mother, who consulted the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives for advice and commissioned him to write De Institutione Feminae Christianae, a treatise on the education of girls. By the age of nine, Mary could write Latin, she studied French, music and Greek. Henry VIII doted on his daughter and boasted to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani, "This girl never cries"; as the miniature portrait of her shows, Mary had, like both her parents, a fair complexion, pale blue eyes and red or reddish-golden hair.
She was ruddy cheeked, a trait she inherited from her father. Despite his affection for Mary, Henry was disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons. By the time Mary was nine years old, it was apparent that Henry and Catherine would have no more children, leaving Henry without a legitimate male heir. In 1525, Henry sent Mary to the border of Wales to preside in name only, over the Council of Wales and the Marches, she was given her own court based at Ludlow Castle and many of the royal prerogatives reserved for the Prince of Wales. Vives and others called her the Princess of Wales, although she was never technically invested with the title, she appears to have spent three years in the Welsh Marches, making regular visits to her father's court, before returning permanently to the home counties around London in mid-1528. Throughout Mary's childhood, Henry negotiated potential future marriages for her; when she was only two years old, she was promised to Francis, the infant son of King Francis I of France, but the contract was repudiated after three years.
In 1522, at the age of six, she was instead contracted to marry her 22-year-old first cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. However, the engagement was broken off within a few years by Charles with Henry's agreement. Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief adviser resumed marriage negotiations with the French, Henry suggested that Mary marry the Dauphin's father, King Francis I himself, eager for an alliance with England. A marriage treaty was signed which provided that Mary marry either Francis I or his second son Henry, Duke of Orleans, but Wolsey secured an alliance with France without the marriage. According to the Venetian Mario Savorgnano, by this time Mary was developing into a pretty, well-proportioned young lady with a fine complexion. Meanwhile, the marriage of Mary's parents was in jeopardy. Disappointed at the lack of a male heir, eager to remarry, Henry attempted to have his marriage to Catherine annulled, but Pope Clement VII refused his request. Henry claimed, citing biblical passages, that his marriage to Catherine was unclean because she was the widow of his brother Arthur.
Catherine claimed so was not a valid marriage. Her first marriage had been annulled by a previous pope, Julius II, on t
Eadwig spelled Edwy, sometimes called the All-Fair, was King of England from 955 until his premature death. The elder son of Edmund I and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury, Eadwig became king in 955 aged 15 following the death of his uncle Eadred. Eadwig's short reign was tarnished by disputes with nobles and men of the church, including Archbishops Dunstan and Oda, he died in 959. He was buried in the capital Winchester, his brother Edgar. According to the earliest life of St Dunstan, written around the year 1000, Eadwig left the banquet which followed his coronation in Kingston upon Thames, was found cavorting with a noblewoman named Æthelgifu and her daughter. Dunstan dragged him back to the banquet, earning the enmity of Eadwig and the two women, at Æthelgifu's instigation Dunstan was deprived of his abbacy of Glastonbury and forced into exile; the contemporary record of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports Eadwig's accession and Dunstan fleeing England, but does not explain why Dunstan fled. Thus this report of a feud between Eadwig and Dunstan could either have been based on a true incident of a political quarrel for power between a young king and powerful church officials who wished to control the king and who spread this legend to blacken his reputation, or it could be mere folklore.
The account of the quarrel with Dunstan and Cynesige, bishop of Lichfield at the coronation feast is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in the chronicle of John of Worcester and was written by monks supportive of Dunstan's position. The "cavorting" in question consisted of Eadwig being away from the feast with Ælfgifu and her mother Æthelgifu, he married Ælfgifu, who seems to have been the sister of Æthelweard the Chronicler. Æthelweard describes himself as the "grandson's grandson" of King Æthelred I. Eadwig was the son of King Edmund the Magnificent, grandson of King Edward the Elder, great-grandson of King Alfred the Great, therefore great-great-nephew of King Æthelred I. Eadwig and Ælfgifu were therefore third cousins once removed; the annulment of the marriage of Eadwig and Ælfgifu is unusual in that it was against their will politically motivated by the supporters of Dunstan. The Church at the time regarded any union within seven degrees of consanguinity as incestuous. At the time, "degree" was reached by counting up to the common ancestor: a second cousin would have been related within the third degree.
Dunstan, whilst in exile, became influenced by the Benedictines of Flanders. A pro-Dunstan, pro-Benedictine party began to form around Athelstan Half-King's domain of East Anglia and supporting Eadwig's younger brother Edgar. Frustrated by the king's impositions and supported by Archbishop Oda of Canterbury, the Thanes of Mercia and Northumbria switched their allegiance to Eadwig's brother Edgar. In 957, rather than see the country descend into civil war, the nobles agreed to divide the kingdom along the Thames, with Eadwig keeping Wessex and Kent in the south and Edgar ruling in the north. Eadwig died at a young age in 959, in circumstances which remain unknown, was buried in the New Minster in Winchester, he was succeeded by his brother Edgar. Eadwig is known for his remarkable generosity in giving away land. In 956 alone, his sixty odd gifts of land make up around 5% of all genuine Anglo-Saxon charters. No known ruler in Europe matched that yearly total before the twelfth century, his cessions are plausibly attributed to political insecurity.
The history of Eadwig's reign caught the British imagination in the 18th century, was represented in paintings and drama, in particular, by numerous works to 1850. Artists who tackled the subjects it suggested included William Bromley, William Hamilton, William Dyce, Richard Dadd, Thomas Roods. Literary works were written by Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, Thomas Warwick, Frances Burney, who wrote a play entitled Edwy and Elgiva. House of Wessex family tree Eadwig 4 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Abbey of Sainte-Trinité, Caen
The Abbey of Sainte-Trinité known as Abbaye aux Dames, is a former monastery of women in Caen, now home to the Regional Council of Lower Normandy. The complex includes the Abbey Church of Sainte-Trinité; the abbey was founded as a Benedictine monastery of nuns in the late 11th century by William the Conqueror and his wife Matilda of Flanders as the Abbaye aux Dames, as well as the Abbaye aux Hommes, formally the Abbey of Saint-Étienne. The works began in 1062, starting from the rear and finished in 1130. Matilda, who died in 1083, was buried in the choir under a slab of black marble. William and Matilda's son, William II of England granted the abbey the manor of Horstead, in Norfolk, where Horstead Priory was established by the order, continued until 1414; the original spires were destroyed in the Hundred Years' War and replaced by less striking balustrades in the early 18th century. The community of nuns were suppressed by the French Revolution. In 1823 the local city council decided to transfer the ancient Hôtel-Dieu, to the former cloister for use as a hospital, the canonesses regular, who had assumed responsibility for the hospital from the two abbeys during the 14th century, established themselves there.
The canonesses continued to operate there until 1908 when the facility was given to the Hospice Saint-Louis for use as a nursing home. The vault was demolished and rebuilt in 1865; the church was last restored between 1990 and 1993. Matilda of Flanders Cecilia of Normandy The façade has two large towers on the sides, each with doors leading to the aisles; the pediment of the central bay echoes the nave roof. The tympanum of the central portal depicts the Trinity and the four apocalyptic beasts, symbols of the Four Evangelists; the nave is surmounted by a gallery. Over the aisles is a groin vault, the first of this type built in Normandy; the transept, in the centre of the church, houses the main altar. The northern transept is in Romanesque style; the southern transept is characterised by Gothic columns integrated within the Romanesque decoration. The choir ends with an apse decorated by a gallery with fantastic figures. Present is a crypt in honour of Saint Nicholas. Abbaye-aux-Dames en Basse-Normandie Abbaye aux Dames High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité | Art Atlas