Aelfthryth, Queen of England

The Freelance History Writer

In researching medieval queens, I came across the story of a queen having all the elements of a fairy tale. Her name is Aelfthryth, the wife of King Edgar the Peaceable who was the great-grandson of Alfred the Great. Her son by Edgar was Aethelred the Unready so she was also the mother- in- law of our Queen Emma.

Aelfthryth was born c. 945, the daughter of Ordgar who held numerous properties in southwest England. Her mother was a member of the royal family of Wessex and her brother Ordulf founded the abbey of Tavistock. Edgar was born c. 943 and became King in 959. He married a childhood friend, Aethelflaed when very young and had a son named Edward by this wife who appears to have died soon afterward. There is some confusion over whether he married his second wife or not. Her name was Wulfthryth and…

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The Sisters of Anglo-Saxon King Aethelstan

The Freelance History Writer

Map of the Holy Roman Empire in 1000 AD Map of the Holy Roman Empire in 1000 AD

King Edward the Elder, son and successor of Alfred the Great of England, had many children. There were three women in his life that may or may not have been his wives. With these women, he had five sons and eight or nine daughters. Before Edward died, he began a concerted effort to marry his daughters to leaders on the continent. This program would be continued under Edward’s son and successor Aethelstan when he became king.

The best information we have on Edward’s daughters is from the twelfth century chronicler William of Malmesbury. We have no order of birth or birth dates and in some cases no names or confusing names for these women. Malmesbury does say Edward’s daughters in their childhood gave their whole attention to literature.

The first woman in Edward’s life was named Ecgwynn. There is no record…

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