MALE Eadmund "Ironside"

King of England, 1016.

Eadmund appears as a witness to a charter of his father in 998, when he was certainly still a child ["Ego Eadmund clito" Codex Dipl. Sax. 3: 308 (#700)]. Earlier charters supposedly witnessed by Eadmund are either doubtful or misdated [ibid., 3: 204 (#643), 250 (#672), 270 (#684), 303 (#698); the last of these, #698 from 997, was undoubted by Kemble, called spurious by Whitelock, and called authentic by Finberg; see Sawyer (1968), 273 (#891)]. Eadmund emerges from obscurity in 1015, when he married the widow of Sigeferth, a thegn of the Seven Boroughs, and took possession of the estates of Sigeferth and his brother Morkere, who had been murdered earlier that year [ASC(E) s.a. 1015; John Worc., s.a. 1015 (1: 170); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 179 (1: 213)]. In April 1016 he was chosen as king by the witan and people of London after the death of his father Æthelred II ["& þa æfter his ende. ealle þa witan þe on Lundene wæron. & seo buruh waru gecuron Eadmunde to cyninge. & he his rice heard lice wærode þa hwila þe his tima wæs." ASC(D,E,F) s.a. 1016 (1: 148-9) ("And then, after his [i.e., Æthelred's] end, all the councillors who were in London, and the garrison chose Edmund for king, and he resolutely defended his kingdom for as long as his time was." ASC(Eng), 149); John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 173); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 215)]. Meanwhile, Cnut had been chosen king of most of the rest of England [John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 173)]. After several months of fighting, the two opponents made peace, and at a conference in October or November, they divided the kingdom between them, with Eadmund getting the southern part, including Wessex [ASC(D,E,F) s.a. 1016; John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 178); Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 217); see Freeman (1870-9), 1: 705-11]. However, Eadmund died on 30 November of the same year [see below], and Cnut succeeded to the entire kingdom. Although late sources say that Eadmund was murdered, contemporary sources do not hint at any foul play [see Freeman (1870-9), 1: 711-7].

Date of birth: Probably 988×996.
Place of birth:
Since Eadmund had two younger brothers by 998, he was not born any later than 996. Since his father Æthelred II was born about 968, and Eadmund had two older brothers, he is unlikely to have been born before 988. A birth somewhere near the middle of the range 988×996 seems likely.

Date of death: 30 November 1016.
Place of death: London.
Place of burial: Glastonbury.
["Ða to Sce. Andreas mæssan forðferde Eadmund cyng, & is be byrged mid his ealdan fæder Eadgare on Glæstingabyri." ASC(D,E,F) (1: 152-3) ("Then, on St. Andrew's Day, King Edmund passed away, and is buried with his grandfather Edgar in Glastonbury" ASC(Eng), 152-3); "Post hæc, rex Eadmundus Ferreum Latus, circa festivitatem S. Andreæ Apostoli, XV. indictione, decessit Lundoniæ, sed cum avo suo, rege pacifico Eadgaro, sepultus est Gleastoniæ:" John Worc., s.a. 1016 (1: 179); "Nec multo post, in festo sancti Andreæ, ambiguum quo casu extinctus, Glastoniæ juxta Edgarum avum suum sepultus est." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (1: 217)]

Father: Æthelred II "the Unready", d. 23 April 1016, king of England, 978×9-1013, 1014-6.

Mother: Ælfgifu (?).

Spouse: m. 1015, Ealdgyth, living 1016.
In 1015, Eadmund married Ealdgyth, widow of Sigeferth, thegn of the Seven Boroughs, who with his brother Morkere had been murdered earlier in the year ["Hoc anno, cum apud Oxenafordam magnam haberetur placitum, perfidus dux Edricus Streona digniores et potentiores ministros ex Seovenburhgensibus, Sigeferthum et Morkerum, filios Earngrimi, in cameram suam dolose suscepit, et occulte eos ibi necari jussit; quorum facultates rex Ægelredus accepit, et derelictam Sigeferthi, Aldgitham, ad Maidulfi Urbem deduci præcepit: quæ cum ibi custodiretur, venit illuc Eadmundus clito, et, contra voluntatem sui patris, illam sibi uxorem accepit, ..." John Worc. s.a. 1015 (1: 170); ASC(E) s.a. 1015; Wm. Malmes., c. 179 (1: 213); only John of Worcester gives the name of Sigeferth's widow].

Only Eadweard is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ["Her on þisum geare com Ædward æðeling Eadmundes sunu cynges hider to lande." ASC(E) s.a. 1057; "Her com Eadward æþeling to Englalande se wæs Eadwerdes broðor sunu kynges Eadmund cing" ASC(D) s.a. 1057]. Adam of Bremen, writing in the second half of the eleventh century, makes Eadmund's sons plural, and states that they were condemned to exile in Russia, but does not give their names ["Frater Adelradi Emund, vir bellicosus, in gratiam victoris veneno sublatus est; filii eius in Ruzziam exilio dampnati." Adam of Bremen, ii, 51, MGH SS 7: 324; note that Adam mistakenly makes Eadmund a brother of Æthelred]. The second son is named Eadmund by most twelfth century Anglo-Norman sources, but William of Malmesbury calls him Eadwig ["..., Eadwardum et Eadmundum, regis Eadmundi filios, ... quorum unus, scilicet Eadmundus, processu temporis ibidem vitam finivit; Eadwardus vero Agatham, filiam germani imperatoris Heinrici, in matrimonium accepit, ..." John Worc. s.a. 1017 (1: 181); "... Eadmundus successit, qui duos filios, Eadmundum et Eadwardum, ex quadam nobilis prosapiæ foemina habuit; ..." John Worc., 1: 275; "Filii ejus Edwius et Edwardus, missi ad regem Swevorum ut perimerentur, sed miseratione ejus conservati, Hunorum regem petierunt; ubi, dum benigne aliquo tempore habiti essent, major diem obiit, minor Agatham reginæ sororem in matrimonium accepit." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (vol. 1, p. 218); "Eduardum vero et Edmundum filios Edmundi, elegantes albeolos, in Daciam relegavit, et Sueno regi Danorum fratri suo, ut eos interficeret, mandavit. At ille generosos et innocentes pueros nequiter necare contempsit, sed orta occasione regi Hunorum illos quasi nepotes suos obsides dedit. Ibi Edmundus clito immatura morte obiit. Eduardus vero Dei nutu filiam regis in matrimonium accepit, et super Hunos regnavit. Edgarum vero Adelinum, et Margaritam reginam Scotorum, et Christianam sanctimonialem genuit; ..." OV, i (vol. 1, p. 178); "At puerulos filios Edmundi ferire metuens præ pudore, ad regem Suavorum eos interficiendos transmisit. Rex vero Suavorum nobilium puerorum miseratus ærumnam, ad Hungariorum regem eos destinat nutriendos. Quos ipse benigne accepit, benignius fovit, benignissime sibi in filios adoptavit. Porro Edmundo filiam suam dedit uxorem; Edwardo filiam germani sui Henrici imperatoris in matrimonium junxit. Sed paulo post Edmundus de temporalibus ad æterna transfertur: Edwardus sospitate et prosperitate fruitur." Ailred of Rievaulx, Genealogia Regum Anglorum, PL 195: 733]. Geoffrey Gaimar incorrectly calls the sons Eadgar and Æthelred ["Li vns ert Edgar apelez, / Li altres out nun Edelret:" ("One was called Eadgar, / The other's name was Æthelred") Gaimar 4516-7]. Eadmund is consistently named first, and was possibly the elder son. Because of the short period between the marriage and death of Eadmund Ironside, it must be the case that either the sons were twins or one of them was born posthumously.

MALE Eadmund, b. 1016, d. 10 January, bef. 1057;
perhaps m. NN of Hungary.
Eadmund is apparently the only case in this dynasty of a son receiving the same name as the father. He is generally believed to have died in Hungary ["Eadmundus in adolescentia mortuus est in Ungaria." John Worc., 1: 275]. Eadmund was deceased (apparently without issue) at the time that Eadweard came to England in 1057. An eleventh century addition to the Crowland Psalter gives his date of death as 10 January [Keynes (1985), 359-60]. Ailred of Rievaulx, who personally knew king David of Scotland, grandson of Eadweard, states that Eadmund married a daughter of the king of Hungary ["Porro Edmundo filiam suam dedit uxorem" Ailred of Rievaulx, Genealogia Regum Anglorum, PL 195: 733; here, "suam" refers to the king of the Hungarians]. See the page of Agatha for a more detailed discussion of Eadmund's possible Hungarian marriage.

MALE Eadweard "the Exile", b. 1016×7, d. 19 April 1057;
Agatha, living 1067.


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).

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

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

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 (1985) = Simon Keynes, "The Crowland Psalter and the Sons of King Edmund Ironside", Bodleian Library Record 11 (1985): 359-70.

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).

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.

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