FEMALE Eadburh

Wife of Æthelred Mucil.

The source for Eadburh is Asser's Life of King Alfred, which states that Ælfred's wife (name not given) was a daughter of Æthelred Mucil by his wife Eadburh, of royal Mercian descent ["... Ælfred rex, ..., uxorem de Mercia, nobilem scilicet genere, filiam Æthelredi, Gainorum comitis, qui cognominabatur Mucill, subarravit et duxit. Cuius feminae mater Eadburh nominabatur, de regali genere Merciorum regis; ..." Asser, c. 29 (pp. 24-5)]. See the page of Æthelred Mucil.

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: Unknown.
Place of death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
While Asser states that she was of royal Mercian origin (see above), there is no information about her exact line of descent from that dynasty. See the Commentary section.

Mother: Unknown.

Spouse: Æthelred Mucil, ealdorman of the Gaini.

See the page of Æthelred Mucil for details.

MALE Æthelwulf, d. 902, ealdorman.
[see below]

FEMALE Ealhswith, d. 5 December 902×3;
m. 868,
Ælfred "the Great", d. 26 October 899, king of Wessex.


Possible ancestor or relative: Coenwulf, d. 821, king of Mercia, 796-821.
Coenwulf succeeded after the short reign of Ecgfrith, son of Offa, who died in 796 after a reign of 141 days [John Worc., s.a. 794=796 (1: 63)]. He was succeeded in 821 by his brother Ceolwulf, perhaps after a short reign by his son Coenhelm ["Her Cenwulf Miercna cyning forþferde, & Ceolwulf feng to rice." ASC(A,E) s.a. 819=821; John Worc., s.a. 819=821 (1: 65)' Searle (1899), 294-5].

Although Asser states that Eadburh was of royal Mercian descent, as noted above, he does not specify to which king she was related. In his article about Æthelstan "Half King" and his family, Cyril Hart stated in a note that Eadburh's son Æthelwulf was a descendant of king Coenwulf [Hart (1973), 116]. There is a charter in Dugdale's Monasticon which lists many donations to Worcester Monastery, one of them a donation in 889 by ealdorman Æthelwulf, propinquus of king Coenwulf, of the villages of Upton and Wenlond, from an inheritance of the same Coenwulf ["Eodem anno [889] dux Athulfus, regis Kenulfi propinquus, vicos qui Uptun et Wenlond appellantur, consentientibus Ætheredo et Ægelfleda Merciorum dominis, de hæreditate ejusdem regis Kenulfi, sub testimonio regis Ælfredi, Werefritho pontificante, Wigornensi ecclesiæ dedit." Monast. Angl. 1: 609 (Worcester Mon. #41)].


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.

Asser = William Henry Stevenson, ed., Asser's Life of King Alfred (new impression, Oxford, 1959).

Hart (1973) = Cyril Hart, "Athelstan 'Half King' and his family", Anglo-Saxon England 2 (1973): 115-144.

Monast. Angl. = William Dugdale, ed., Monasticon Anglicanum, 6 vols. (new ed. by John Caley, Henry Ellis, & Bulkeley Bandniel, London, 1817-30).

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

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2010.

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