FEMALE St. Ælfgifu

Wife of Eadmund I, king of the West Saxons (Wessex).

Ælfgifu signs a charter of Eadmund of 942×6 as "concubine" of the king ["Ego Ælfgifu concubina regis affui" Cart. Sax. 2: 517 (#779)]. A charter of her grandson Æthelred calls her the wife of Eadmund ["ego Æðelred regionis Angligenarum rex ... auus meus Eadmund scilicet rex, ... coniugi suae Ælfgifae" Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 200 (#641)].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: 18 May ca. 944.
Place of burial: Shaftesbury.
An eleventh century calendar gives the date of her death as 18 May ["18. [May] Sanctæ Aefgiuæ reginæ" Lib. Vitae Hyde, 270]. The chronicler Æthelweard states that she died in the same year that Ragnald and Anlaf were driven out of York (evidently 944) but also in the same year that Eadmund died (946) ["In eodem uero anno obiit et regina Elfgyuu, Eadmundi regis coniux, postque sanctificatur. In cuius mausoleo, (Cooperante deo) usque ad præsens innumerosa equidem miracula fiunt in coenobio, quod uulgo Sceftesbyrig nuncupatur." (Translation: "And in the same year Queen Ælfgifu died, the wife of King Eadmund, and afterwards she was held to be a saint. And at her tomb, with the help of God, down to the present day, very many miracles take place in the monastery known by the common people as Shaftesbury") Æthelweard, iv, 6 (p. 54)]. Since Eadmund had another wife at the time of his death [ASC(D) s.a. 946; see the page of Eadmund], a date closer to 944 is likely for Ælfgifu's death.

Father: Unknown.

Mother: Wynflæd.
In 966, king Eadgar ("Adgar") of England confirmed a grant of land in co. Dorset to Shaftesbury Abbey which had formerly been granted by his grandmother Winfled ["... ego Adgar tocius Britannie basileus ... ava mea Winfled" Cart. Sax. 3: 449 (#1186)].

Spouse: Eadmund I, d. 26 May 946, king of Wessex and Mercia.

See the page of Eadmund I for more details.

MALE Eadwig, d. 1×2 October 959, king of England, 955-7, king of Wessex, 957-9;
m. Ælfgifu, divorced 958.

MALE Eadgar, d. 8 July 975, king of England 959-975;
m. (1) Æthelflæd, alias Candida or Eneda,
daughter of ealdorman Ordmær.
m. (2) Wulfthryth, nun, bur. Wilton.
m. (3) 965,
Ælfthryth, daughter of Ordgar, ealdorman, dux of Devon, widow of Æthelweald/Æthelwold, ealdorman of East Anglia.


Æthelweard = A. Campbell ed., Chronicon Æthelweardi/The Chronicle of Æthelweard, (New York, 1962).

ASC = Charles Plummer, Two of the Saxon Chronicles parallel, based on the earlier edition by John Earle, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1892-9). ASC(A) indicates the "A" manuscript of the chronicle, and similarly for the other manuscripts.

Cart. Sax. = Walter de Gray Birch, ed., Cartularium Saxonicum, 4 vols. (1885-99).

Codex Dipl. Sax. = John M. Kemble, ed., Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici, 6 vols. (London, 1839-48).

Lib. Vitae Hyde = Walter de Gray Birch, ed., Liber Vitae: Register and Martyrology of New Minister and Hyde Abbey, Winchester (Hampshire Record Society, London 1892).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2010.

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