Richard [I] de Normandie Comte de Normandie
(Abt 0932-0996)
(Abt 0950-1031)
Æthelred II of England King of England
(Abt 0966-1016)
Emma de Normandie
(Abt 0985-1052)
Eadward of England King of England
(Abt 1005-1066)


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Eadward of England King of England

  • Born: Abt 1005
  • Died: 5 Jan 1066, Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA, GB aged about 61
  • BuriedMale: Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA, GB

   Another name for Eadward was Edward "the Confessor" of England.

  General Notes:

EADWARD ([1005]-Palace of Westminster 5 Jan 1066, bur Westminster Abbey). "Eadweard clito/filius regis" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1005 and 1015. He is named after his half-brother Eadgar in all documents in which the two are mentioned together, consistent with Edward being the junior of the two. Edward fled England for Normandy with his mother in 1013 after the invasion of Svend King of Denmark. Anointed king of England during the lifetime of his father, probably in 1015 when his older half-brother, later King Edmund, was in dispute with their father over his unauthorised marriage. This assumes that Edward returned to England from Normandy with his father. According to Orderic Vitalis, Edward and his brother Alfred were living in exile in Normandy when Duke Robert left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem in [1035]. "…Hetwardi, Helwredi…" witnessed the charter dated to [1030] under which Robert II Duke of Normandy donated property to the abbey of Fécamp. After the appointment of Harold "Harefod/Harefoot" as regent of England in 1036, Edward landed along Southampton Water to rejoin his mother who, on hearing of the fate of her other son Alfred, sent Edward back to Normandy. "…Hatuardus Rex…" witnessed the charter dated to [1042] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy donated "nostras insulas Serc et Aurrene, propter medietatem Grenere" to the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, supported by "Rannulfo filio Anschitilli". He returned to England in 1041 and was "sworn in as future king" according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. On his half-brother's death, he was elected EDWARD "the Confessor" King of England in London, crowned at Winchester Cathedral 3 Apr 1043. His relations with his mother were strained as she appears to have supported the claim of Magnus King of Norway to the English throne on the death of King Harthacnut. Whatever the truth of this, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward confiscated her treasury in 1043. Godwin Earl of Wessex enjoyed a position of power during King Edward's reign, marrying his daughter to the king in 1045. However, the king's relations with Earl Godwin became tense after a dispute over the appointment of a new archbishop of Canterbury in 1050. In 1051, Earl Godwin refused the king's order to punish an affray at Canterbury, in which one of Eustache Comte de Boulogne's men was killed. The dispute escalated, and 1 Sep 1051 Godwin made a show of force against the king with his two older sons near Tetbury. Leofric Earl of Mercia and Siward Earl of Northumbria supported King Edward, and battle was avoided. Godwin and his family were given five days' safe conduct to leave the country by the king's council 8 Sep 1051. It was probably about this time that Edward promised the throne to Guillaume II Duke of Normandy, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the duke's visit to England in 1051. Earl Godwin was restored in 1052, after another show of force. After Godwin's death in 1053, his son Harold assumed his earldom and became as powerful in the kingdom as his father had been. It appears that King Edward gradually withdrew from active government, becoming more involved in religious matters and especially planning the construction of Westminster Abbey, which was finally consecrated 28 Dec 1065 although Edward was by then too infirm to attend. Despite his earlier promise of the succession to Guillaume Duke of Normandy, on his deathbed King Edward bequeathed the kingdom to Harold Godwinson Earl of Wessex, a choice which was accepted unanimously by the members of the council. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the king's death "on the vigil of…Epiphany" and his burial in Westminster abbey the next day. King Edward was canonised 7 Feb 1161, his feast day is 13 Oct.

m (23 Jan 1045) EADGYTH, daughter of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha ([1020/22]-Winchester 18 Dec 1075, bur Westminster Abbey). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1045 "king Edward took to wife Edith the daughter of Earl Godwin, ten days before Candlemas". Her husband confined her to Wherwell Abbey in 1051 when the rest of her family was banished, but she was brought back to court when her father was restored the following year. She commissioned the Vita Ædwardi Regis from a foreign clerk, probably from Saint-Omer, setting out the history of her family. She continued to live around Winchester after the Norman conquest, and appears to have been treated well by King William I. Florence of Worcester records the death "XIV Kal Jan" in [1074] of "Edgitha regis Haroldi germana quondam Anglorum regina" at Winchester and her burial at Westminster.

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