FEMALE Eadgifu

Wife of Eadweard the Elder, king of the West Saxons (Wessex).

Eadgifu appears in a charter of her son Eadmund in 940 ["Ego Eadmundus rex Anglorum ... Ego Eadgifu ejusdem regis mater ..." Cart. Sax. 2: 492 (#763)]. In 943, Eadmund granted to his mother (not named) land at North Minster, Isle of Thanet, co. Kent [ibid. 2: 525-6 (#784)]. Eadgifu appears signing charters of her son Eadred in 947 ["Ego Eadredus rex Anglorum ... Ego Eadgifu ejusdem regis mater ..." ibid. 2: 585 (#820)] and 955 ["Ego Eadgiuu ejusdem regis genitrix" ibid. 3: 69 (#906), spurious], her grandson Eadwig on 17 May 959 ["Ego Eadwig Britannie Anglorum monarchus ... Ego Eadgiuu ejusdem regis Ava ..." ibid. 3: 255 (#1046)], and her grandson Eadgar in 959 ["Ego Eadgar Britannie Anglorum monarchus ... Ego Eadgiuu ejusdem regis ava ..." ibid. 3: 259 (#1047)] and 966 ["Ego Eadgifu predicti regis ava" ibid. 3: 464 (#1190)]. She appears as "dgiva Efax" with her son Eadred in a charter of 956 [ibid., 3: 687 (#1346)].

For many years, Eadgifu had been involved in a dispute with a certain Goda and his sons, and that dispute is decribed in a charter of 961 or not long before, which shows that Eadgifu was a daughter of the ealdorman Sigehelm who perished in the Battle of Holme in 9024 ["a gelamp emb a tid t man beonn ealle Cantware to wigge . to Holme . a nold Sigelm hire fder to wigge faron mid nanes mannes scette unagifnum . & agef a Godan .XXX. punda . & becwae Eadgife his dehter land & bc sealde. a he on wigge afeallen ws a t soc Goda s feos giftes . & s landes wyrnde . o s on syxtan geare." (Translation: "Then about that time it happened that all the Kentish men were summoned to war at Holme. Then Sigelm would not go to war with any man's money unpaid, and then paid Goda the 30 pounds, and bequeathed the land and gave the charter to his daughter Eadgifu. When he had fallen in the war, Goda denied the payment of the money, and refused the land, until the sixth year after.") ibid., 3: 284-5 (#1064), also in Thorpe (1865), 201-4, with English translation]. In a charter dated 961, Eadgifu donated these lands and others to Christ Church, Canterbury ["[A]nno dominice incarnationis .DCCCCLXI. Ego Edgyua regina & mater . Eadmundi . & Eadredi . regum . pro salute anime . mee . concedo ecclesie Christi in Dorobernia . monachis ibidem Deo servientibus has terras . Meapeham . Culinges . Leanham . Pettham . Fernlege . Munccetun . Ealdintun ... patrem meum Sigelmum ..." Cart. Sax. 3: 285-7 (#1065), with a description in Latin of the dispute recorded in #1064]. See also the page of Sigehelm.

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: After 966.
Place of death: Unknown.
[Cart. Sax. 3: 464 (#1190), see above.]

Father: Sigehelm, d. 9024, ealdorman of Kent.

Mother: Unknown.

Spouse: Eadweard "the Elder", d. 17 July 924, king of Wessex, 899-924.

See the page of Eadweard "the Elder" for more details.

FEMALE Eadburh, fl. 939, nun at Winchester.

MALE Eadmund I, b. ca. 922, d. 26 May 946, king of Wessex and Mercia, 939-946;
m. (1)
St. lfgifu, d. 18 May ca. 944;
m. (2) thelfld, of Domerham,
daughter of lfgar, ealdorman of the Wilstas.

MALE Eadred, d. 23 November 955, king of Wessex and Mercia, 946-955.

Supposed additional child (existence uncertain):

FEMALE Eadgifu;
said to have m. Louis, prince of Aquitaine (otherwise unknown).
See the page of Eadweard "the Elder".


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

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

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

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2001.

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