Edward ‘Atheling’

Male 1016 - 1057  (41 years)

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  • Name , Edward ‘Atheling’ 
    Born 1016 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1057  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I7486  GrangerMusgrave
    Last Modified 27 Nov 2016 

    Father Edmund II ‘Ironside’ King of England,   b. Abt 990,   d. 30 Nov 1016, Oxford Oxfordshire England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 26 years) 
    Mother Ealdgyth 
    Married 1015  Malmesbury Wiltshire England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5378  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Agatha,   b. Abt 1030,   d. Aft 1070  (Age ~ 41 years) 
     1. Saint Margaret ‘the Exile’,   b. 1045, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1093, Edinburgh Castle Midlothian Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years)
    Last Modified 27 Nov 2016 10:52:12 
    Family ID F5379  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos

  • Notes 
    • Edward the Exile (1016 – late August 1057), also called Edward Ætheling, son of King Edmund Ironside and of Ealdgyth. After the Danish conquest of England in 1016 Canute had him and his brother, Edmund, exiled to the Continent. Edward was only a few months old when he and his brother were brought to the court of Olof Skötkonung, (who was either Canute's half-brother or stepbrother), with instructions to have the children murdered. Instead, the two boys were secretly sent to Kiev, where Olof's daughter Ingigerd was the Queen. Later Edward made his way to Hungary, probably in the retinue of Ingigerd's son-in-law, András in 1046, whom he supported in his successful bid for the Hungarian throne.

      On hearing the news of his being alive, Edward the Confessor recalled him to England in 1056 and made him his heir. Edward offered the last chance of an undisputed succession within the Saxon royal house. News of Edward's existence came at a time when the old Anglo-Saxon Monarchy, restored after a long period of Danish domination, was heading for catastrophe. The Confessor, personally devout but politically weak and without children, was unable to make an effective stand against the steady advance of the powerful and ambitious sons of Godwin, Earl of Wessex. From across the Channel William, Duke of Normandy, also had an eye on the succession. Edward the Exile appeared at just the right time. Approved by both king and by the Witan, the Council of the Realm, he offered a way out of the impasse, a counter both to the Godwins and to William, and one with a legitimacy that could not be readily challenged.

      Edward, who had been in the custody of Henry III, the Holy Roman Emperor, finally came back to England at the end of August 1057. But he died within two days of his arrival. The exact cause of Edward's death remains unclear, but he had many powerful enemies, and there is a strong possibility that he was murdered, although by whom is not known with any certainty. It is known, though, that his access to the king was blocked soon after his arrival in England for some unexplained reason, at a time when the Godwins, in the person of Harold Godwinson, were once again in the ascendant. This turn of events left the throne of England to be disputed by Earl Harold and Duke William, ultimately leading to the Norman Conquest of England.

      Edward's wife was a woman named Agatha, whose origins are disputed. Their children were Edgar Ætheling, Saint Margaret of Scotland and Cristina. Edgar was nominated as heir apparent, but was too young to count for much, and was eventually swept aside by Harold Godwinson. Edward's grandchild Edith of Scotland, also called Matilda, married King Henry I of England, continuing the Anglo-Saxon line into the post-Conquest English monarchy.


      Gabriel Ronay, The lost King of England : the East European adventures of Edward the Exile, Woodbridge, Suffolk ; Wolfeboro, N.H., USA : Boydell Press, 1989, ISBN 0-85115-541-3, pp. 109–121 [1]

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