Eadweard (Edward the Elder)


b. probably in 870s
d. 17 Jul 924, Farndon-on-Dee, Cheshire [1]

Title: Rex (King) (see note on royal styles)
Term: after 26 Oct 899 - 17 Jul 924
Chronology: after 26 Oct 899, acceded after the death of his father, Ælfred
  8 Jun 900, consecrated, Kingston-upon-Thames (see note on consecrations)
  17 Jul 924, died
Names/titles: In modern English spelled as: Edward; byname: the Elder [2]
Eadweard was the oldest son of King Ælfred and Ealhswith, a Mercian noblewoman. He was apparently given some independent authority in Kent in the last years of his father's reign and was styled rex in one of the charters (898). Eadweard succeeded King Ælfred in 899, but the late king's nephew, Æthelwold, revolted and was recognized king of the Danes in Northumbria. He encroached upon the territory of Wessex and his raids continued until the battle of the Holme (13 Dec 902), when Eadweard defeated and slain Æthelwold and his Danish allies. In 909 Eadweard began the reconquest of the Southern Danelaw. From late 914 until 918, Eadweard advanced until he held all the land south of the Humber. The reconquest was accompanied with intensive construction of fortresses. Eadweard asserted his power in Mercia after the death of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians (12 Jul 918), and pacified Northumbria in 920. Biography sources: [3][4][5][6][7]

[1] This is a generally accepted date of Eadweard's death. Two manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ('A' and 'F') place Edward's death in 925, but three others ('B', 'C', and 'D') assign the event to 924. MS 'E' records the obit under both years.
[2] Eadweard's byname "the Elder" first appears at the end of the 10th century in Wulfstan's "Life of St. Æthelwold", probably to distinguish him from the later King Eadweard the Martyr.
[3] Handbook of British Chronology (1986)
[4] "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," ed. and trans. by G.N. Garmonsway (Everyman Press, London, 1953, reissued 1972, 1994).
[5] "The Blackwell Encyclopædia of Anglo-Saxon England", ed. by Michael Lapidge (Oxford, Blackwell, 1999).
[6] "Edward the Elder, 899-924," ed. by N. J. Higham and D. H. Hill (London, Routledge, 2001).
[7] "The Regnal Dates of Alfred, Edward the Elder, and Athelstan," by Murray L. R. Beaven in ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW, 32 (1917): 517-531.
  Image: coin of Edward the Elder (obverse legend: +EADVVEARD REX).
Last updated on: 14 Mar 2010 03:56:05