MALE Æthelred II "the Unready"

King of England, 978×9-1013, 1014-1016.

As a boy of about ten years, Æthelred II became king upon the murder of his half-brother Eadweard "the Martyr". Some sources date this in 978 [ASC(A,C) s.a. 978; John Worc., s.a. 978 (1: 145); Lib. Vit. Hyde, 276], while others date it in 979 [ASC(D,E,F) s.a. 979; Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 164 (1: 185: Æthelred's accession)]. This further complicated by the fact that it is not clear whether Æthelred's coronation was in the same year as Eadweard's death or in the following year. ASC(C) lists the coronation under both 978 and 979, and it has been variously listed as occurring in 978 [ASC(C); John Worc., s.a. 978 (1: 145-6)], 979 [ASC(C,D,E)], or 980 [ADSC(F)] [see Plummer's note, ASC 2: 166]. King lists give Eadweard a reign of either three years, which would support 978 for Eadweard's death if we assume rounding up [Dumville (1986), 31], or ".iiii. gear butan .xvi. wucan" (4 years minus 16 weeks [Lists S,T]) or 3 years, 8 months [List R], which would support 979 [Dumville (1986), 29; cf. "Edgaro post xvi. annos regni successit Edwardus filius tribus annis et dimidio." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Pont., c. 256 (p. 408)]. Opinions have varied. Keynes has argued for the death of Eadweard and accession of Æthelred in 978 and the coronation of Æthelred on 4 May 979 [Keynes (1980), 233, n. 7]. Dumville has recently argued for 979 as the date of Eadweard's murder [Williams (2003), 164 (n. 76); Dumville (2007), which I have not seen]. In 1013, Æthelred was driven from the kingdom by king Sweyn (Svend) of Denmark [ASC(E) s.a. 1013; John Worc., s.a. 1013 (1: 167-8); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 177 (1: 207ff.); GND v, 7 (1: 16-19)]. However, Sweyn died early the next year, and Æthelred was restored as king [ASC(E) s.a. 1014; John Worc., s.a. 1014 (1: 168ff.); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 179 (1: 212); GND v, 8 (1: 18-21)]. Æthelred's last two years as king were spent in a struggle with Sweyn's son Cnut. When Æthelred died in London on 23 April 1016 [see below], he held little more than London and the surrounding area.

Date of birth: ca. 968.
Place of birth:
William of Malmesbury states that he was ten years old at the death of his brother Eadweard [Wm. Malmes, Gesta Regum, c. 164 (1: 185)].

Date of death: 23 April 1016.
Place of death: London.
Place of burial: St. Paul's, London.
Most sources give 23 April as Æthelred's date of death ["Ða gelamp hit þet se cyng Æðelred forðferde ær ða scipu comon. he geendode his dagas on scs. Georius mæsse dæge æfter mycclum geswince." ASC(E) s.a. 1016 (1: 148) ("Then it happened that, before the ships came, the king Æthelred passed away. He ended his days on St. George's Day [23 April], after great toil and difficulties in his life." ASC(Eng), 148); similarly in ASC(D,F); "Eo tempore rex Anglorum Ægelredus XIV. indictione, nono kal. Maii, feria II., Lundoniæ defunctus est, ... Corpus autem illius in ecclesia S. Pauli Apostoli honorifice sepultum est." John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 172-3); "Obitus Æðelredi regis" (23 Apr.), Lib. Vit. Hyde, 270]. On the other hand, William of Malmesbury places Æthelred's death at the beginning of Lent, on St. Gregory's day (12 March) ["Sed prævenit conatum ejus mors Ethelredi; nam in initio Quadragesimæ, die sancti Gregorii, animam, laboribus et miseriis natam, efflavit: jacet apud sanctum Paulum Londoniæ." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 215)]. There is some confusion here, because St. Gregory's day was not at the beginning of Lent. (St. George's day was not in Lent at all.)

Father: Eadgar, d. 8 July 975, king of England.

Mother: Ælfthryth, d. 999×1002, daughter of Ordgar, ealdorman of Devon.


(1) Ælfgifu(?).
Although it is clear that Æthelred had at least one earlier marriage, even her name is obscure. See the page of Ælfgifu(?) for more details.

(2) 1002, Emma, d. 6×7 March 1052, daughter of Richard I of Normandy.
She m. (2) July 1017, Knud/Cnut, d. 1035, king of Denmark, England, and Norway.
["And þa on þam ilcan lengtene com seo hlæfdige Ricardes dohter hider to lande." ASC(E) s.a. 1002 ("And in the same spring the Lady, Richard's daughter, came here to the land." ASC(Eng), 134); "Eodem anno Emmam, Saxonice Ælfgivam vocatam, ducis Nortmannorum Primi Ricardi filiam, rex Ægelredus duxit uxorem." John Worc., s.a. 1002 (1: 156); "& þa toforan Kl. Augusti het se cyng feccean him þæs oðres kynges lafe Æþelredes him to wife Ricardes dohter." ASC(D,E) s.a. 1017 ("And then before 1 August the king ordered the widow of the former king Æthelred, Richard's daughter, to be fetched to him as wife." ASC(Eng), 154); "Mense Julio rex Canutus derelictam regis Ægelredi, reginam Ælfgivam, in conjugium accepit:" John Worc., s.a. 1017 (1: 181); "& on þys ylcan geare forðferde seo ealde hlæfdige, Eadwerdes cinges moder & Harðacnutes, Imme hatte. ii. Id. Mart. & hyre lic lið on Ealdanmynstre wið Cnut cing." ASC(C) s.a. 1051 ("And in this same year on 14 March passed away the Old Lady, mother of King Edward and Harthacnut, called Emma. And her body lies in the Old Minster with King Cnut." ASC(Eng), 172); "Her forþferde Ælfgyfu seo hlefdige. Æðelredes láf cynges & Cnutes on ii No. Mar. [6 March]" ASC(D) s.a. 1052; "Ælfgiva Imme, conjux regum Ægelredi et Canuti, II. nonas Martii, Wintoniæ obiit, et ibi sepulta est." John Worc., s.a. 1052 (1: 207); "7. [March] Imma obiit regina" Lib. Vit. Hyde, 270]

Numerous sources mention Eadmund and Eadweard, the sons who later reigned. John of Worcester gives Æthelred four children (including Eadmund) by an earlier marriage to an otherwise unknown Ælfgifu daughter of earl Æthelbert ["Hic ex Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia, III. filios habuit, Eadmundum, Eadwinum, et Æthelstanum, ac Eadgitham filiam; ex Emma vero, Ricardi comitis Normannorum filia, duos filios suscepit, Ælfredum et Eadwardum. John Worc., 1: 275]. Ailred of Rievaulx makes Eadmund the son of a daughter of earl Thored ["Tunc rex [Edelredus] missis in Normanniam nuntiis Emmam filiam Richardi ducis sibi in uxorem dari et petiit, et accepit, cum jam de filia Torethi nobilissimi comitis filium suscepisset Edmundum. Ex Emma deinde duos habuit filios, Edwardum et Alfredum, ..." Ailred, Genealogia Regum Anglorum, PL 195: 730; "Cum igitur gloriosus rex Ethelredus ex filia præclarissimi comitis Thoreti filium suscepisset Eadmundum, cognomento Ferreum latus, ex regina autem Emma Aluredum, beatus Edwardus inter viscera materna conclusus utrique præfertur, ..." Ailred, Vita S. Edwardi Regis, PL 195: 741]. Æthelred's first wife (or wives) is discussed further on the page of Ælfgifu. We must leave it open whether there was more than one earlier wife. The German chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg mentions Æthelred's sons Æthelstan and Eadmund (see above), falsely making them sons of the queen (i.e., Emma) ["Aethelred, rex Anglorum, obiit anno dominicae incarnationis 1016. et in mense Iulio ..., ubi regina, ... cum filiis Ethelstano ac Ethmundo ..." Thietmar, Chron., vii, , MGH SS 3: 849]. Most of the sons of the first marriage are known principally by their appearance in charters [e.g., "Ego Æðelstan clito. Ego Egcbirht clito. Ego Eadmund clito. Ego Eadred clito. Ego Eadwi clito." Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 308 (#700) AD998; "Ego Æðelstan filius regis. Ego Ecgbyrht filius regis. Ego Eadmund filius regis. Ego Eadred filius regis. Ego Ea[d]wig filius regis. Ego Eadgar filius regis." ibid., 6: 142 (#1295) AD1002; "Ego Æðelstanus eiusdem regis filius plaudens consensi. Ego Ecgbriht clito testis fui. Ego Eadmund clito testimonium adhibui. Ego Eadric clito non abnui. Ego Eadwig clito non rennui. Ego Eadgar clito non negaui. Ego Eadweard clito faui. Ego Ælfgyfu regina stabilitatem testimonii confirmaui." ibid., 6: 153 (#1301) AD1005 (here, "Eadric" is presumably an error for the Eadred who appears in other charters); "Ego Æðelstan eiusdem regis filius consigno. Ego Eadmundi filius regis. Ego Eadred filius regis. Ego Eadwig filius regis. Ego Eadgar filius regis. Ego Eadweard filius regis." ibid., 6: 156 (#1303) AD1007; "Ego Eadmund clyto. Ego Eadwig clyto. Ego Eadweard clyto. Ego Ælfred clyto." ibid., 6: 169 (#1309) AD1014]. Note that all of Æthelred's son were named after previous West Saxon kings. The Liber Vitae of Hyde also lists Æthelstan, Eadmund, Ecgbyrht, Eadred, Eadwig, and Eadgar as sons of Æthelred [Lib. Vit. Hyde, 14]. The list of Æthelred's daughters has to be pieced together from various sources.

By an earlier wife (Ælfgifu?):
The following children are listed as children of an earlier marriage either because they appear in charters before the marriage of Æthelred and Emma in 1002 (in the case of the sons) or because they appear as married at an early enough date that they could not be daughters of Emma (in the case of the daughters). The order of the sons can be inferred with high probability from the order in which they appear in charters (which, as noted above, is not always the same). The order of the daughters is completely unknown. As noted above, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether all of these children had the same mother.

MALE Æthelstan, living 1012, d. 1012×6.
Æthelstan is called the eldest son in a charter dated 1004, and consistently appears first among the sons ["Ego Æðelstan regalium primogenitus filiorum" Codex Dip. Sax. 3: 330 (#709)]. He appears in two charters in 1012 [ibid., 3: 359 (#720); 6: 165 (#1307)], but does not appear in a charter of 1014 which was witnessed by four of his brothers [ibid., 6: 169 (#1309)]. The will of the ætheling Æthelstan has usually been dated 1015, although Barlow has argued for a date as early as 1012 [Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 361-4 (#722); Thorpe (1865), 557-562 (with modern English translation); Sawyer (1968), 420-1 (#1503); Barlow (1970), 30, n. 3]. Among others for whom no relationship is stated, the will mentions his father king Æðelred, his brothers Eadmund and Eadwig, and states that his bequests to the church are for the souls of his father and himself and his grandmother Ælfðryð who reared him. No wife or children are mentioned. The date of Æthelstan's death is made confusing by the contemporary, but somewhat confused, account of Thietmar of Merseburg, which would suggest that he was still alive in 1016 after his younger brother Eadmund had already become king [see Freeman (1870-9), 1: 698-701].

MALE Ecgbeorht, living 1005, prob. d. bef. 1007.
Ecgbeorht appears in a charter dated 1005 [Codex Dip. Sax. 6: 153 (#1301)], but does not appear in a charter of 1007 signed by several of his brothers [ibid., 6: 156 (#1303)].

MALE Eadmund II "Ironside", d. 30 November 1016, king of England, 1016;
m. ca. August 1015,

MALE Eadred, living 1012, prob. d. bef. 1014.
He appears in two charters in 1012 [Codex Dip. Sax. 3: 359 (#720); 6: 165 (#1307)], but does not appear in a charter of 1014 which was witnessed by four of his brothers [ibid., 6: 169 (#1309)].

MALE Eadwig, d. 1017, bur. Tavistock.
William of Malmesbury calls Eadwig a brother of Eadmund Ironside on the mother's side ["Frater ejus ex matre Edwius, ..." Wm. Malmes, Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 217)]. The Abingdon manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and John of Worcester say that he was killed on the orders of Cnut after being outlawed ["... & Cnut cining aflymde ut Eadwi æþeling ..." ASC(D) s.a. 1017; "... & eft hine het ofslean." ASC(C); ("... and king Cnut put to flight the ætheling Eadwig"; "and had him killed" ASC(Eng), 154); "Eadwius vero clito, deceptus illorum insidiis quos eo tenus amicissimos habuit, jussu et petitione regis Canuti, eodem anno innocenter occiditur." John Worc., s.a. 1017 (1: 181)]. William of Malmesbury attributes his death to his suffering after having been driven out ["Frater ejus ex matre Edwius, non aspernandæ probitatis adolescens, per proditorem Edricum, Anglia, jubente Cnutone, cessit: diu terris jactatus et alto, angore animi ut fit corpus infectus, dum furtivo reditu apud Anglos delitescit, defungitur, et apud Tavistokium tumulatur." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 217-8); see Freeman (1870-9), 1: 717-9].

MALE Eadgar, living 1008, prob. d. soon after.
Eadgar appears in a charter dated 1008 [Codex Dipl. Sax. 6: 162 (#1305)], and is absent from a charter signed by three of his brothers in 1009 [ibid., 6: 163 (#1306)].

FEMALE Eadgyth;
m. Eadric Streona, d. 25 December 1017, earl of Mercia.
(conjectured to have m. (2) Thurkill, living 1023, earl of East Anglia, viceroy of Denmark)
["At perfidus dux Edricus Streona, gener ejus, habuit enim in conjugio filiam ejus Edgitham, ..." John Worc., s.a. 1009 (1: 161)] Eadric Streona, frequent traitor to the Anglo-Saxon kings, was executed by king Cnut on Christmas 1017 ["& on þisum geare wæs Eadric ealdorman ofslagen." ASC(E) s.a. 1017 (also C, D, F); "ac in Nativitate Domini, cum esset Lundoniæ, perfidum ducem Edricum in palatio jussit occidere." John Worc., s.a. 1017 (1: 181-2); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 181 (1: 219)]. Eadgyth was conjectured by Freeman to have married Thurkill, earl of East Anglia and later viceroy of Denmark [Freeman (1870-9), 1: 670]. However, this appears to be based on little more than the fact that Thurkill's wife was named Eadgyth ["Canutus rex Anglorum et Danorum, ante festivitatem S. Martini, Turkillum sæpe dictum comitem cum uxore sua Edgitha expulit Anglia." John Worc., s.a. 1021 (1: 183)]. This supposed second marriage of Eadgyth is very uncertain. Lappenberg identifies Thurkill's wife Eadgyth as the widow of Ulfcytel (see below) [Lappenberg (1834-81), 2: 242].

FEMALE Ælfgifu;
m. Uhtred, d. 1016, earl of Northumbria.
["Postea vero illo, scilicet Ucthredo, proficiente magis et magis in re militari, rex Ethelredus filiam suam Elfgivam ei copulavit uxorem." Sim. Durh., De Obsessione Dunelmi, c. 2 (1: 216); "[Cospatricus] Erat enim ex matre Algitha, filia Uchtredi comitis, quam habuit ex Algiva filia Agelredi Regis." Sim. Durh., Hist. Regum, c. 159 (2: 199); "Deinde Uctredus filius Walthefi administravit comitatum omnium Northanhymbrorum provinciarum. Huic rex Eathelredus suam filiam Ælfgeovam dederat uxorem." Sim. Durh., De Primo Saxonum Adventu (2: 383)] Uhtred was killed in 1016 [ASC(D,E) s.a. 1016; John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 172)]

FEMALE Wulfhild (possible daughter);
m. Ulfcytel Snilling, d. 1016, ealdorman of East Anglia.
Wulfhild appears only in Scandinavian sources ["Nordr red fyrir Englandi Ulfkell Snillingr, hann átti Ulfhildi dottur Adalrads konungs." Jomsvikinga Saga, c. 51, as quoted in Freeman (1870-9), 1: 654]. Ulfcytel was killed at the Battle of Assandun in 1016 [ASC(D,E) s.a. 1016; John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 178)].

m. Æthelstan, regis gener, d. 5 or 18 May 1010.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and John of Worcester, Æthelstan, the king's son-in-law (Anglo-Saxon aðum, Latin gener), was killed by the Danes at a battle of Ringmere in May 1010 ["Ðis wæs on þam dæg prima ascensio Dni. [18 May] ... þær wæs ofslægen Æðelstan þes cynges aðum." ASC(E) s.a. 1010; "ad locum qui Ringmere dicitur, ... tertio nonas Maii [5 May], ... In eo proelio gener regis Æthelstanus, ... corruerunt." John Worc., s.a. 1010 (1: 162)].

By Emma of Normandy:
The sons of this marriage were Eadweard and Ælfred ["... Edwardus ac Alueradus ... Genitrix eorum fuit Emma filia Ricardi primi, genitor Ædelredus rex Anglorum." Guillaume de Poitiers, i, 1 (pp. 2-3); "... cum uxore et filiis, Edwardo scilicet et Aluredo ..." GND v, 7 (2: 18-9); "Fratres [Edmundi] ex Emma, Elfredus et Edwardus" Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 218)]. The author of Encomium Emmae Reginae, who does not mention Emma's marriage to Æthelred, implies that Emma had Eadweard and Ælfred by Cnut ["Emma tantum nomine regina, filiis Aeduardo et Alfrido ..." Encomium Emmae Reginae iii, 3, MGH SS 19: 522]. A number of later sources would make Ælfred older than Eadweard ["... Alfredo primogenito filio Edelredi ... Edwardo fratri minori ..." Hen. Hunt. vi, 20 (p. 191); "... Aluredum natu majorem ..." Lib. Monast. Hyde, 287; "... ex regina autem Emma Aluredaum, beatus Edwardus inter viscera materna conclusus utrique præfertur, ..." Ailred of Rievaulx, Genealogia Regum Anglorum, PL 195: 741; "Aelfred fut dreit eir par nessance" French Life of Edw. Conf., cited by Plummer, ASC 2: 214, n. 2]. Others make Eadweard older ["... Alfridus, minor natu, ..." Encomium Emmae Reginae iii, 4, MGH SS 19: 522; "Pur Eadward, e pur Aluere. / Eadward esteit li frere ainne," Gaimar, 4785-6]. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions Eadweard first in 1013 ["æþelinge Eadwarde & Ælfrede" ASC(E) s.a. 1013], and Eadweard is mentioned first in the only two charters of Æthelred in which Ælfred appears [Codex Dipl. Sax. 6: 166 (#1308) AD1013, 169 (#1309) AD1014; Barlow expresses doubt about both of these charters, Barlow (1970), 30, n. 1]. More important, Eadweard appears in a number of charters in which Ælfred is absent [see Barlow (1970), 29]. Thus, it seems reasonably certain that Eadweard was older.

MALE Eadweard (Edward) "the Confessor", b. 1002×5, d. 4 or 5 January 1066, king of England, 1042-1066;
m. 23 January 1045, Eadgyth, d. 18 December 1075,
daughter of Godwine, earl of Wessex.
Eadweard appears as a "witness" to two charters in 1005, when he must have still been an infant [Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 345 (#714); 6: 153 (#1301)]. He became king of England on the death of his maternal half-brother Harthcnut in 1042, and married the daughter of earl Godwine in 1045 ["Her nam Ædward cyng Godwines dohtor eorles him to cwene." ASC(E) s.a. 1043=1045; "& on þam ylcan gere Eadward cing nam Eadgyþe Godwines eorles dohtor him to wife .x. hihtum ær Candelmæssan." ASC(C) s.a. 1044 ("And in the same year King Edward took Edith, the daughter of Earl Godwine, as his wife 10 days before Candlemas." ASC(Eng), 164)]. Eadweard's death on 4 or 5 January 1066 was soon followed later that year by the Norman conquest of England ["& se cyng Eadward forðferde on twelfta mæsse æfen. & hine mann bebyrgede on twelftan mæssw dæg. innan þære niwan halgodre circean on Westmynstre." ASC(E) s.a. 1066 ("and the king Edward passed away on the eve of Twelfth Night, and was buried on Twelfth Night inside the newly consecrated church in Westminster." ASC(Eng), 195-7); ASC(A,C,D); "Anglorum decus, pacificus rex Eadwardus, Ægelredi regis filius, postquam XXIII. annis, mensibus VI., et XXVII. diebus, potestate regia præfuit Anglo-Saxonibus, indictione IV., Epiphaniæ Domini vigilia [5 Jan.], feria V., mortem obiit Lundoniæ, et in crastino sepultus regio more, ..." John Worc., s.a. 1066 (1: 224)]. Eadgyth died seven nights before Christmas in 1075 [ASC(E) s.a. 1075; ASC(D) s.a. 1076(=1075)]. The standard biography of Edward the Confessor is by Barlow [Barlow (1970)].

MALE Ælfred, d. 5 February 1036×7.
During the reign of Cnut, Ælfred was exiled to Normandy with his brother Eadweard. After the death of Cnut, Ælfred came to England seeking the throne, but was captured (by the treachery of Godwine, it is said), and brought before king Harold I, who had his eyes put out, from which he shortly afterward died. [ASC(C,D) s.a. 1036; Guillaume de Poitiers, i, 2-3 (pp. 4-5); GND vii, 6(9) (2: 107); John Worc., s.a. 1036 (1: 192); Sim. Durh., Hist. Regum, c. 133, s.a. 1036 (2: 159); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 188 (1: 229); Hen. Hunt. vi, 20, s.a. 1042 (p. 191)]. The various conflicting accounts of Ælfred's death are discussed in detail by Freeman [Freeman (1870-9), 1: 489-501, 779-787]. Ælfred's obituary was celebrated at Ely on 5 February ["Obiit Æluredus filius Æðelredi regis" Dickins (1937), 19; ASC(Eng), 160, n. 1; Barlow (1970), 44, n. 4; van Houts, in a note to GND 2: 107, n. 4, gives 7 Feb. (citing Barlow), probably a misprint]. Barlow would place the death as more likely in 1037 than 1036 [Barlow (1970), 44, n. 4].

FEMALE Godgifu/Goda;
m. (1) Dreux, d. 1035, count of Mantes;
m. (2) Eustace II, count of Boulogne.
Orderic Vitalis states that Dreux married Godgifu (Godiova), sister of king Edward ["Præfatus Drogo, ut dicitur, erat de prosapia Caroli Magni regis Francorum, eique sæpedictus dux in conjugium dederat consobrinam suam Godiovam, sororem Eduardi regis Anglorum, ex qua orti sunt Radulfus et Gauterius comites, ac venerandus Fulco, præsul Ambianensium." OV vii, 14 (3: 224)]. The fact that she was also called a consobrina of duke Robert I of Normandy ("sæpedictus dux") shows that she was Æthelred's daughter by Emma of Normandy. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and John of Worcester mention her marriage with Eustace ["On þam ylcan geare com Eustatius up æt Doferan, se hæfde Eadwardes cynges sweostor to wife." ASC(D) s.a. 1052; "Bononiensis comes Eustatius senior, qui sororem Eadwardi regis, Godam nomine, in conjugium habuerat, ..." John Worc., s.a. 1051 (1: 204); similarly, Sim. Durh., Hist. Regum, c. 138, s.a. 1051 (2: 166)]. William of Malmesbury mentions both marriages, but inadvertently gives the first husband's name as Walter (actually her son by Dreux) ["Eustachius erat comes Bononiæ, pater Godefridi et Baldewini qui nosto tempore reges apud Jerosolimam fuerunt: habebatque sororem regis Godam legitimis nuptiis desponsatam, quæ ex altero viro, Waltero Medantino, filium tulerat Radulfum, qui eo tempore erat comes Herefordensis, ignavus et timidus, ..." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 199 (1: 241)]. Dreux died as a companion of duke Robert of Normandy on his pilgrimage in 1035 ["Walterius Pontesiensium comes, filius Drogonis comitis, qui cum Rodberto seniore Normannorum duce in Jerusalem ierat, et in illo itinere peregrinus obierat, ..." OV iii, 8 (2: 102)]. Since Gogifu's brother Ælfred appears to have sailed from Boulogne in his expedition to England in 1036, Barlow suggests that Eustace married Goda soon after the death of Dreux [Barlow (1970), 45, n. 3; see also ibid., 307-8].

Uncertain whether by Emma or an earlier marriage:
There does not seem to be any good evidence which marriage produced the following daughter. Chronologically, she could be a daughter either of Emma or an earlier marriage.

FEMALE NN, abbess of Wherwell.
In 1051, when earl Godwine and his sons were outlawed by king Eadweard "the Confessor", the king put his wife Eadgyth under the keeping of the abbess of Wherwell, whose name is not given [ASC(D) s.a. 1052=1051; John Worc., s.a. 1051 (1: 207)]. The Peterborough manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and William of Malmesbury state that the queen was committed to the king's sister at Wherwell ["... & betæhte hy his swyster to Hwerwillon." ASC(E) s.a. 1048=1051 ("and committed her to his sister at Wherwell" ASC(Eng), 176); "... ipsa regis sorori apud Warewellam in custodiam data, ..." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 199 (1: 243)].


Supposed son by first marriage (probably a mistake):

MALE Eadweard (another son of that name), fl. 1002, d. bef. ca. 1004.
There is a charter with a date of 984, labelled as doubtful by Kemble, in which Æthelred is given two sons named Eadweard ["Ego Æðelstan huic donationi consensi. Ego Eadgar clito consensi. Ego Eadmund frater praedicti clitonis adiuui. Ego Eadweard clito faui. Ego Eadward filius regis libens annui. Ego Eadwig frater clitonum annotaui." Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 204 (#643)]. Stevenson called the charter spurious and Finberg called it genuine, but dated to 1006×9 [Sawyer (1968), 265 (#854)]. Another charter listed as doubtful by Kemble with a date of 990 also has a son named Eadweard ["Ego Æðelstan clito. Ego Ecbyrht clito. Ego Eadmund clito. Eadred clito. Ego Eadwig clito. Ego Eadgar clito. Ego Eadward clito." Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 250 (#672); not listed by Sawyer (1968)]. More important is an apparently genuine charter dated 1002 which lists a son Eadweard ["Ego Æðelstanus filius regis. Ego Ecbyrhtus filius regis. Ego Eadmundus filius regis. Ego Eadweardus filius regis. Ego Eadwius filius regis. Ego Eadgarus filius regis." Codex Dipl. Sax. 6: 146 (#1297)]. It has been argued that this son Eadweard could not be Eadweard the Confessor, and that Æthelred therefore also had an earlier son named Eadweard who died young [Freeman (1870-9), 1: 686-7; Searle (1899), 350]. While it might also be argued that this last charter shows Eadweard the Confessor "witnessing" a charter as a newborn infant, it seems more likely that the name "Eadred" was miscopied as "Eadweard" at some point (the charter exists only in thirteenth century copies [Sawyer (1968), 275 (#900)]), since "Eadweard" here appears in the list between Eadmund and Eadwig, the position usually occupied by Eadred. Thus, there seems to be no good reason to place Æthelred with a son named Eadweard by an earlier marriage.

Supposed relative of son Eadweard: Odda, d. 31 August 1056, earl of Devon.
He is stated by William of Malmesbury to have been a cognatus of the king (Eadweard the Confessor) ["... Odo et Radulfus comites et regis cognati." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 199 (1: 243)]. It is unclear whether Odda was a relative of Eadweard's mother Emma or of Æthelred's mother. Thus, it is difficult to use the statement about Odda's relationship as a clue for further research [For more on Odda, see Freeman 2: 415, 580ff; Searle (1899), 443 (#62)].


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.

ASC(Eng) = Michael Swanton, ed. & trans., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (London, 2000).

Barlow (1970) = Frank Barlow, Edward the Confessor (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1970).

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

Dickins (1937) = Bruce Dickins, "The day of Byrhtnoth's death and other obits from a twelfth-century Ely kalendar", Leeds Studies in English and Kindred Languages 6 (1937): 14-24.

Dumville (1986) = David N. Dumville, "The West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List: Manuscripts and Texts", Anglia 104 (1986): 1-32.

Dumville (2007) = David N. Dumville, "The death of king Edward the Martyr - 18 March, 979?", Anglo-Saxon 1 (Aberdeen, 2007), 269-284. [I have not seen this article]

Freeman (1870-9) = Edward A. Freeman, The History of the Norman Conquest of England (5 vols. + index vol., Oxford, 1870-9).

Gaimar = Thomas Duffus Hardy & Charles Trice Martin, ed. & trans., Lestorie des Engles solum la translacion Maistre Geffrei Gaimar, 2 vols. (London 1888-9). Cited by line number, which is the same in both text (volume 1) and translation (volume 2).

GND = Guillaume de Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, as edited in Elisabeth van Houts, ed. & trans., The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, 2 vols., (Oxford, 1992).

Guillaume de Poiters = R.H.C. Davis and Marjorie Chibnall, ed. & trans, The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers (Oxford, New York, 1998).

Hen. Hunt. = Thomas Arnold, ed., Henrici Archidiaconi Huntendunensis Historia Anglorum. The History of the English, by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon (Rolls Series 74, London, 1879).

John Worc. = Benjamin Thorpe, ed., Florentii Wigorniensis monachi chronicon ex chronicis, 2 vols., (London, 1848-9). (The work formerly attributed to Florence of Worcester is now generally attributed to John of Worcester.)

Keynes (1980) = Simon Keynes, The Diplomas of King Æthelred 'the Unready' (Cambridge, 1980).

Lappenberg (1834-1881) = J. M. Lappenberg, A History of England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings (translated by Benjamin Thorpe, new edition by E. C. Otté), 2 vols. (London, 1881, orig. pub. 1834).

Lib. Monast. Hyde = Edward Edwards, ed., Liber Monasterii de Hyda: a Chronicle and Chartulary of Hyde Abbey, Winchester, 455-1023 (Rolls Series 45, London, 1866).

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

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Onom. Anglo-Sax. = William George Searle, Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum (Cambridge, 1897). Spellings of Anglo-Saxon names on this page have been standardized according to this source.

PL = P. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, series Latina, 221 vols. (Paris, 1844-1859).

Sawyer (1968) = P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters. An Annotated List and Bibliography (London, 1968).

Searle (1899) = William George Searle, Anglo-Saxon Bishops, Kings and Nobles (Cambridge, 1899).

Thorpe (1865) = Benjamin Thorpe, ed., Diplomatarium Anglicum Ævi Saxonici (London, 1865).

Williams (2003) = Ann Williams, Æthelred the Unready - The Ill-Counselled King (London & New York, 2003).

Wm. Malmes, Gesta Pont. = N. E. S. A. Hamilton, ed., Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Monachi de Gestiis Pontificum Anglorum libri quinque (Rolls Series 52, London, 1870).

Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum = William Stubbs, ed., Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Monachi De gestis regum Anglorum. libri quinque; Historiæ Novellæ libri tres, 2 vols. (Rolls series 90, 1887-9). [I lack easy access to the more recent edition of William of Malmesbury's work edited by Mynors, Thomson, & Winterbottom.]

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2010.

Minor revision uploaded 4 July 2010 (added obituary of Ælfred from Dickins article, coutesy of James Hansen).

Return to Henry Project home page

Go to Henry Project index page

Go to Henry II ancestor table