Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy by Alison Weir


  King Alfred

  * * *

  FATHER: Ethelwulf, King of Wessex ( see here).

  MOTHER: Osburga ( see here, under King Ethelwulf).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under King Ethelwulf).

  ALFRED

  Known as ‘the Great’, he was born in 846/9 at Wantage, Dorset. He succeeded his brother Ethelred I as King of Wessex and Danish Mercia on 23 April, 871, and was perhaps crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, although this is mere supposition, as there is no evidence for it.

  Alfred married, in 868/9, at Winchester:

  Ethelswitha

  She was the daughter of Ethelred Mucel, Ealdorman of the Gainas (to be identified with Gainsborough, Lincolnshire?), by Edburga, a Princess of the Royal House of Mercia, perhaps the daughter of Coenwulf, King of Mercia, by his wife Elfrida.

  After the death of King Alfred, Ethelswitha turned to religion, and became a nun at St Mary’s Abbey, Winchester, in c.901. She died in Winchester on 5 or 8 December, 905, and was buried there in St Mary’s Abbey; her remains were later removed to Winchester Cathedral. After her death, she was popularly reputed a saint.

  Issue of marriage:

  1 Ethelfleda

  Born c.869, she married Ethelred, Ealdorman of Mercia (d.911), in 886/7 (certainly by the end of 889), and had issue:

  1 Elfwynn (904?–after 919).

  Ethelfleda was recognised as Lady of the Mercians in 911, after the death of her husband. She died on 12 June, 918, at Tamworth, Staffordshire, and was buried in Gloucester Cathedral.

  2 Edmund

  No dates are recorded, but he was possibly the eldest son, born around 870, as he was crowned in the lifetime of his father, following a European precedent set by Charlemagne. Asser, King Alfred’s biographer, says Edmund died in infancy.

  3 King Edward the Elder ( see here).

  4 Elfrida

  She married Baldwin II, Count of Flanders (d.918), between 893 and 899, and had issue:

  1 Arnulf, Count of Flanders (d.964), who married Adela of Vermandois, and had issue. One of their descendants was Matilda of Flanders, wife of William I.

  2 Adelulf, Count of Boulogne (d.933).

  3 Daughter.

  4 Daughter.

  Elfrida died on 7 June, 929 (?), in Flanders, and was buried in St Peter’s Abbey, Ghent.

  5 Ethelgiva

  She became a nun at Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset, where she was elected the first Abbess in c.888. She died and was buried in Shaftesbury Abbey in c.896.

  6 Ethelweard

  Born c.880. Very little is known of his life. He died on 16 (?) or 26 October, 920/22.

  Ethelweard married a lady about whom no information exists, and had issue:

  (i) Elfwine

  He was killed at the Battle of Brunanburgh in 937, and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey, Wilts.

  (ii) Ethelwine

  He was killed at the Battle of Brunanburgh in 937, and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey, Wilts.

  (iii) Thurcytel

  Born c.907, he became a monk at his own foundation at Croyland Abbey, Lincs., in c.946, and was later elected Abbot there. He died on 12 July, 975, at Croyland Abbey, and was buried there.

  KING ALFRED

  He died on 25, 26 or 28 October, 899, and was buried in Newminster Abbey, Winchester. His remains were later removed to Hyde Abbey, Winchester, which was destroyed during the Reformation. The present site of his grave is unknown. His bones may possibly lie in one of the mortuary chests in Winchester Cathedral.

  He was succeeded by his son Edward.

  King Edward the Elder

  * * *

  FATHER: King Alfred ( see here).

  MOTHER: Ethelswitha ( see here, under King Alfred).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under King Alfred).

  KING EDWARD

  Known as ‘the Elder’, he was born in c.871/2. He succeeded his father as King of Wessex on 25, 26 or 28 October, 899, and was crowned on 31 May or 8 June, 900, at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.

  Edward married firstly (although no record exists of the date or the place):

  Egwina

  She is described as ‘a noblewoman’, although her origins are unknown. William of Malmesbury, writing in the 12th century, states that her children were illegitimate, thereby suggesting that her marriage to Edward was uncanonical, but this is unlikely in view of the fact that her son succeeded Edward as undisputed king. She died in c.901/2.

  Issue of marriage:

  1 King Athelstan ( see here).

  2 Alfred

  No dates are recorded, and very little is known about him. He may have died young.

  3 St Edith

  She married Sihtric Caoch, King of Northumbria (d.927), on 30 January, 925/6, at Tamworth, Staffordshire. After her widowhood, she became a nun at Polesworth Abbey, Warwickshire, in 927. That same year, she was transferred to Tamworth Abbey, Gloucestershire, where she was immediately elected Abbess. She died in c.927. After her death, she was canonised, and her Feast Day is 15 July.

  Edward married secondly, in c.901/2 (although no record exists as to where):

  Elfleda

  She was the daughter of Ealdorman Ethelhelm by his wife Elswitha. She died in 920, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

  Issue of marriage:

  1 Edwin

  He was perhaps ‘Subregulus’ of Kent. In 933, he drowned in the English Channel, perhaps murdered on the orders of his half-brother, King Athelstan. He was buried in St Bertin’s Abbey, Flanders.

  2 Elfweard

  Information about Elfweard is conflicting. One source states he married and had children, but gives no details. Another source, less trustworthy, states he was a hermit at Bridgenorth, Salop. What is certain is that he died on 1 August, 924, at Oxford, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

  3 Edfleda

  No dates are recorded. She was a nun, but her community is not named: it was perhaps Winchester. She was buried in Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire.

  4 Edgiva (or Ogive)

  She married Charles III, King of France (d.929), between 916 and 919, and had issue:

  1 Louis IV, King of France (921?–954), who married Gerberga (d.984), daughter of Henry the Fowler of Saxony, Holy Roman Emperor, and had issue.

  Edgiva married secondly, Heribert III, Count of Vermandois, Meaux, and Troyes (d.995), in c.951 at St Quentin, France, and had issue:

  2 Stephen I, Count of Vermandois (b.952?–1021).

  3 Agnes (b. 953).

  Edgiva died in c. 953, perhaps in childbirth. Some sources state she died in 948, in which case her second marriage took place earlier than is generally supposed.

  5 Edhilda

  She married Hugh Capet, Count of Paris and Duke of the French (d.956), in 926/7, and had issue:

  1 Hugh, King of France (938?–996), who married Adelaide (d.1004/5), daughter of William, Duke of Aquitaine, and had issue. Edhilda died on 26 January, 947. (Some sources state she died in c.938, or even earlier, but this is improbable.)

  6 Edith

  She married Otto I, Duke of Saxony and German Emperor (d.973), in c.925/30, and had issue:

  1 Liudolf, Duke of Swabia (d.957), who married Ida, daughter of Hermann, Duke of Almayne, Swabia, and had issue.

  2 Liutgarde, married Conrad, Duke of Lorraine.

  Edith died on 26 January, c.946/7, in Germany, and was buried in the Cathedral of St Maurice, Magdeburg.

  7 Elfleda

  She became a nun at Winchester, where she died in c.963. She was buried in Wilton Abbey, Wilts.

  8 Elgiva

  No dates are recorded. She married ‘a Prince near the Alps’. He has recently been identified, with near certainty, as Boleslaw II, Duke of Bohemia (d.999). Other, less probable, identifications have been made with Conrad III, King of Burgundy (d.993); Alberic, son of Majolus, Count of Narbonne; and Charles Constantine, King of Arles, son of either the Emperor Louis the Blind or Louis II, King of Arles.

  9 Ethelfleda

  No dates are recorded.
She was perhaps a nun at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire, and may have been elected Abbess of Romsey, where she was later buried.

  10 Ethelhilda

  No dates are recorded. She was a lay sister or recluse at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire. She was buried in Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire.

  Edward married thirdly, in 920 (?) (although no record exists of the date or the place):

  Edgiva

  She was the daughter of Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent, and she was born before c.905. She died on 25 August, 968, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

  Issue of marriage:

  1 Edmund I ( see here).

  2 St Edburga

  She became a nun at Nunnaminster Abbey, Winchester; she was possibly elected Abbess, but this is unlikely. She died on 15 June, 960, and was buried in Nunnaminster Abbey. After her canonisation, her remains were translated to Pershore Abbey, Worcs.

  3 Edgiva

  She was married in infancy to ‘Louis of Aquitaine, King of Arles’, before 923. Her husband has not been successfully identified. He may have been Louis II, King of Arles, in which case the issue of the marriage may have been:

  1 Charles Constantine, King of Aries (whose parentage is uncertain).

  Louis may also be identified, with less credibility, with Louis the Blind, King of Lower Burgundy and Holy Roman Emperor (d.928). Some authorities cite Ebehard, Count of Nordgau (d.c.960), as the husband of Edgiva.

  4 King Edred ( see here).

  5 Thyra

  She is said to have been a daughter of Edward by Edgiva, but there is some doubt about this. No dates are recorded. She married Gorm the Old, king in North Jutland, and had issue:

  1 Harold I, King of Denmark (d.986), who also married and had issue.

  Edward is also reputed to have had the following illegitimate issue, although this is in dispute:

  1 Gregory, Abbot of Einsiedlen in Germany.

  KING EDWARD THE ELDER

  He died on 17 July, 924/5, at Farndon-on-Dee, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

  He was succeeded by his son Athelstan.

  King Athelstan

  * * *

  FATHER: King Edward the Elder ( see here).

  MOTHER: Egwina (King Edward the Elder, see here).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under King Edward the Elder).

  ATHELSTAN

  He was born in c.895. He succeeded his father as the first King of a united England on 17 July, 924/5, and was crowned on 4 September, 924/5, at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. The monarchy in England may be said to have been properly established under King Athelstan. Athelstan never married, and had no issue. He died on 27 October, 939, at Gloucester, and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire (his tomb dates only from the fifteenth century).

  He was succeeded by his half-brother Edmund.

  Edmund I

  * * *

  FATHER: King Edward the Elder ( see here).

  MOTHER: Edgiva of Kent ( see here, under King Edward the Elder).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under King Edward the Elder).

  EDMUND I

  Known as ‘the Magnificent’, he was born in c.920/22. He succeeded his half-brother King Athelstan as King of England on 27 October, 939, and was crowned on 29 November, 939, at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. From 944 onwards, he was the effective ruler of the whole of England until his death.

  Edmund I married firstly, in c.940 (although no record exists as to where):

  St Elgiva

  Her origins are unknown. She died in c.944 or 946 at Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset, where she was probably buried (or, less probably, at Shipton Abbey). She has sometimes, erroneously, been described as Abbess of Wilton. After her death, she was popularly reputed a saint.

  Issue of marriage:

  1 King Edwy ( see here).

  2 King Edgar ( see here).

  3 Daughter (name not known), who married Baldwin, Count of Hesdin.

  Edmund I married secondly, in c.946:

  Ethelfleda

  She was the daughter of Alfgar, Ealdorman of the Wilsaetas (Wiltshire?), and was perhaps born at Damerham, Wiltshire. After Edmund’s death, she perhaps married secondly Athelstan, an Ealdorman. She later became a nun at Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset, where she died after 975, when her Will was dated. She was buried in Shaftesbury Abbey.

  EDMUND I

  He was murdered on 26 May, 946, at Pucklechurch, Dorset, when an outlaw named Liofa stabbed him whilst he was dining in his hall. He was buried in Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset.

  He was succeeded by his brother Edred.

  King Edred

  * * *

  FATHER: King Edward the Elder ( see here).

  MOTHER: Edgiva of Kent (King Edward the Elder, see here).

  SIBLINGS: (King Edward the Elder, see here).

  KING EDRED

  He was born in c.923/5, and succeeded his brother Edmund I as King of England on 26 May, 946. He was crowned on 16 August, 946, at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. He expelled the Danes from England in 954, thereupon establishing his authority throughout England.

  One authority states that Edred had issue, but gives no details. I have found no other evidence to support this. There is no record of his having been married.

  KING EDRED

  He died on 23 November, 955, at Frome, Somerset, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. His bones are now in one of the mortuary chests there.

  He was succeeded by his nephew Edwy.

  King Edwy

  * * *

  FATHER: Edmund I ( see here).

  MOTHER: St Elgiva ( see here, under Edmund I).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under Edmund I).

  KING EDWY

  Known as ‘the Fair’, he was born in c.941/3 (certainly before 943). He succeeded his uncle King Edred as King of England on 23 November, 955, and was crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames c.26 January, 956. He was a weak king, and his authority was confined to Wessex from 958, his younger brother Edgar taking over the government of Northumbria and Mercia.

  Edwy married, during the winter of 955/6 (although no record exists as to where):

  Elgiva

  Her father is unknown; her mother, Ethelgiva, of unknown origin, is said by some sources to have been Edwy’s mistress. The marriage was certainly frowned upon by the Church. Late sources state that it was annulled around 958, and that Elgiva was banished from court, possibly to Ireland, but these sources may be too late to be reliable. Elgiva died around September, 959, at Gloucester.

  KING EDWY

  He died on 1 October, 959, at Gloucester, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

  He was succeeded by his brother Edgar.

  King Edgar

  * * *

  FATHER: Edmund I ( see here).

  MOTHER: St Elgiva ( see here, under Edmund I).

  SIBLINGS: ( see here, under Edmund I).

  KING EDGAR

  Known as ‘the Peaceable’, he was born in 942/4. He took over the government of Northumbria and Mercia from his brother King Edwy in 958, and was styled King of those realms from that date. He succeeded Edwy on 1 October, 959, but was not crowned until 11 May, 973, as St Dunstan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, would not agree to crown Edgar until he amended his way of life. The coronation, which took place in Bath Abbey, followed the new form of service devised by St Dunstan and based on European models. This is the form of Coronation Rite used, with modifications, in the 20th century.

  Edgar married firstly, in c.961/2 (although no record exists as to where):

  Ethelfleda

  Known as ‘the Fair’, she was the daughter of Ealdorman Ordmaer by his wife Ealda. Later sources allege that she was divorced by Edgar in c.964, so that he could marry his second wife, but this is probably a fabrication, and it is likely that Ethelfleda died in c.962/4, probably by 965 (although one unreliable source gives the date of her death as 972/3). She was buried in Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire, where she is said to have retired after her alleged divorce.

  Issue of marriage:

  1
King Edward the Martyr ( see here).

  Edgar married secondly, in c.964/5 (perhaps earlier) (although no record exists as to where):

  Elfrida

  Alternatively known as Alstrita or Elstrudis, she was the daughter of Ordgar, Ealdorman of Devon. She was born in c.945 at Lydford Castle, Devon. She married firstly, in c.962/3, Ethelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia (d.963), and had issue:

  1 Edgar.

  2 (?) Ethelfleda (963?–1016?), Abbess of Romsey. She may have been Ethelwald’s daughter by his first wife, although one account says she was his posthumous child.

  Elfrida is said to have had an adulterous affair with King Edgar whilst still married to Ethelwald, and some sources allege that Ethelwald was murdered on Edgar’s orders. Elfrida was crowned with her husband on 11 May, 973, at Bath Abbey: this was the first instance of the coronation of a Queen of England. She became a nun in c.986 at Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire, where she died, possibly on 17 November, 1002 (?); she was alive in 999, but had died before the end of 1002. She was probably buried in Wherwell Abbey.

 
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