AEthelred (Wessex) of England

Æthelred (Wessex) of England (0968 - 1016)

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King Æthelred (AEthelred) "The Unready, Rede-less, King of England" of England formerly Wessex
Born in Wessex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half] and [half]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Winchester, Hampshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in London, Middlesex, England.buried at Old St Paul's Cathedralmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 19,114 times.

Categories: This Day In History April 23 | House of Wessex.

The House of Wessex crest.
AEthelred (Wessex) of England is a member of the House of Wessex.

Aethelred (966- 23 Apr 1016 London)[2][1]

bur. Old St Paul's Cathedral[3][1]

British Aristocracy
AEthelred (Wessex) of England was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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  • Father: Edgar "the peaceable," King of England[4]
  • Mother: Ælfthryth of Devon[5]


m.1 (980/5) Aelfgiva UNKNOWN. Issue: 6 possible.[6]

Florence of Worcester, states she was Ælfgiva, daughter of Ealdorman "Ægelberht," while Ailred Abbot of Rievaulx, does not give her first name and says her father is Thorad, ealdorman of Northumbria. Cawley (2006), also considers the possibility that it was a case of 2 different women.[7][2][3]
  • 2. Ecgberht (d. 1005)[9]
  • 6. Eadgyth (d. after 11 Nov 1021).[12]

m.2 or mistress: UNKNOWN.[13]

m.2 or m.3: Emma de Normandy ("Ælfgifu regina")

Children with Unidentified Mothers

Children of 1st or 2nd spouse:

  • Edgar (d. 1012/15).[14]
  • AElfgifu (b. 990/5).[15]
m. Uhtred, Earl of Northumbria
m. Ulfcytel
m. Æthelstan UNKNOWN (d. 5 May 1010 Ringmere)

Children of 2nd or 3rd spouse

  • Eadward "Edward the Confessor, King of England" (1005 - 05 Jan 1066 Palace of Westminster).[18]
  • Ælfred (after 1005 - 05 Feb 1036 Ely).[19]
  • Godifu "Goda" (d. ante 1049).[20]
m.1 (1025 or earlier) Dreux "Drogo," Comte de Mantes et du Vexin (d. 13 Aug 1035; p. Gauthier II "le Blanc" Comte de Mantes, d'Amiens et du Vexin and Adele UNKNOWN) Adèle --- (-[13 Aug] 1035).
m.2 (1036) Eustache II, Comte de Boulogne (d. after 1070/87; p. Eustache I, Comte de Boulogne and Mathilde de Louvain

Non-existent son Ingelric

Todd A. Farmerie, in response to a query regarding Ingelric's relationship to Aethelred and Emma on SGM (soc.genealogy.medieval), responded, Complete fantasy. AEthelred and Emma had just three known children - AElfred, Eadweard, and Godgifu. Further every single one of AEthelred's children were named for prior kings of Wessex/England. AEthelred had no such son. In fact, I would be surprised if there ever was any Ingelric the Saxon. This man is completely invented, as is his supposed daughter Maud/Ingelrica. [4]


Preceded by
Edward the Martyr
King of England
18 March 978 – 1013
Succeeded by
Sweyn "Forkbeard"

In 978, Athelred II the Unready (Roed-less),[5][6] was only ten when he ascended the English throne. Vikings plundered the country, exacting tribute in exchange for peace throughout his reign.[7] Athelred was even driven into exile by Sweyn, but returned upon the Danish king's death.

Preceded by
Sweyn "Forkbeard"
King of England
1014 – 23 April 1016
Succeeded by
Edmund II "Ironside"

After a rocky and "ill-advised" 38 year reign, the boy king died in London.[5] Remembered for being "ill-advised," his nickname was a play on his own name: athel (noble) and ræd(counsel). Hence, roede-less mocked his lack of counsel.[5][8]

Although the name was in common usage, contemporaries might well have been more than usually conscious of its literal significance when applied to a king. Æthelred's record was such that already in the twelfth century (if not before) his name was associated by wits and critics with the noun un-ræd, denoting an ill-advised course of action and implying criticism of his conduct of the warfare against the Danes. The noun unræd was later transformed into the adjective unredi, with a very different kind of pejorative import, and it was as the outcome of this process that the king came to be known to posterity as Æthelred 'the Unready'.

Æthelred's posthumous reputation rendered him synonymous with bad rulership; yet while there is no mistaking the defeat of the English, a different impression of the king emerges when the attempt is made to understand the course of the viking invasions in relation to all other aspects of his long and complex reign.[9]


c.968:Athelred is born.[5]
18 Mar 978:King of the English.[5]
04 Apr 978:Crowned: Kingston-upon-Thames.[5]
c.985:m. Elgiva[10] dau. Thorad, ealdorman of Northumbria.[5]

Issue: 13.[5]
Late 900s:Danish attacks resume on Athelred II's watch.
05 Apr 1002:m. Emma of Normandy dau. Richard, duke of Normandy.[5]

Issue: 3.[5][11]
13 Nov 1002:St. Brice's Massacre Day[5][12]
Dec 1013:Deposed.[5] Flees to Normandy.
03 Feb 1014:Restored after Sweyn's death.[5]
23 Apr 1016:Dies in London.[13][14]

bur. Old St. Paul's Cathedral[5]

Succeeded by Edmund II Ironside.[citation needed]

Canute becomes king of England.[5][15][1]
1666:Tomb destroyed in fire.[16][1]


Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[17]

Ashley, Mike (2008). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens. (pp. 35-38). Philadelphia, PA: Running Press Book Publishers. Print.[18]

Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon, Vol. I[17]

Genealogia regum West-Saxonum[17]

Keynes, S. (2012). The burial of Aethelred the Unready at St. Paul's, (pp.129). David Roffe, ed. The English and their Legacy, 900-1200: Essays in Honour of Ann Williams. Boydell Press. Web. Accessed 05 Mar 2014.[18]

Wikipedia: Æthelred the Unready

Anglo Saxon Dooms: laws of King Edgar, National Biography entry, Oxford Dictionary,

MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 d. 1010. tomb lost when old St Paul's destroyed in great fire of London (Burke, n.d.).
  2. contradictory info about parentage of first wife
    Florentii Wigornensis Monachi Chronicon, Vol. I, Genealogia regum West-Saxonum, p.
  3. "It is possible the unnamed daughter of Ealdorman Thored was not the same person as Ælfgiva (named by Florence of Worcester) and that they were both "married" to King Æthelred, either at the same time or one after the other. If this is correct, the sources are contradictory regarding the identity of the mother of King Eadmund "Ironsides" (Cawley, 2006).[1]
  4. TAF (Todd A. Farmerie) 16 Feb 2007 msg to SGM, Subject: 2 questions re INGELRIC the Saxon (of England) cited by Curt Hofeman, Note to Jim Weber. The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest. [ Change Date: 9 AUG 2013 Ingelric of England] May 4, 2007. Accessed Dec 9, 2017 jhd
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 Ashley, 2008
  6. Succeeded murdered half-brother, Edward the Marytr.
  7. Tribute was known as "Danegeld"
  8. Roed-less: also rede-less.
  9. Author Unknown[citation needed]
  10. other source(s) states Elfflaed, Elgifa, Aelfgifu.[citation needed]; "Elgiva" (Ashley, 2008).
  11. sister to Richard II, duke of Normandy
  12. Orders massacre of all Danes in England. Sweyn invades.
  13. During Canutes invasion of England.
  14. d. St George's day 1016 of King Æthelred (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle). A date of 08 Jul 975 has also been given[citation needed].
  15. Canute (d.1035) considered wise ruler. Two of his sons were English kings before Anglo-Saxons were restored.
  16. Keynes, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Primary Source
  18. 18.0 18.1 Secondary Source

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Memories: 1

On 4 Dec 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Name: King Aethelred II The Unready

Born: c.968 Parents: Edgar and Elfrida Relation to Elizabeth II: 28th great-grandfather House of: Wessex Ascended to the throne: March 18, 978 Crowned: April, 978 at Kingston-upon-Thames, aged c.10 Married: (1) Elfleda, (2) Emma Children: 9 sons including Edmund and Edward, and 4 daughters Died: April 23, 1016 at London Buried at: St Paul's Reigned for: 38 years, 1 month, and 5 days Succeeded by: his son Edmund

King of England from 978, following the murder of his half-brother, Edward the Martyr. He was son of King Edgar. Aethelred tried to buy off the Danish raiders by paying Danegeld. In 1002 he ordered the massacre of the Danish settlers, provoking an invasion by Sweyn I of Denmark.In 1013 King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark landed in England and was proclaimed king. Aethelred II the Unready fled to Normandy but was recalled in 1014 on the death of Sweyn. War with Sweyn's son, Canute, occupied the rest of Aethelred's reign. His nickname is a corruption of the Old English 'unreed', meaning badly counselled or poorly advised.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with AEthelred by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 3
Æthelred II 'Unræd'
Æthelred II 'Unræd'

Ethelred Etheling
Ethelred Etheling

Ethelred Etheling
Ethelred Etheling

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On 23 Dec 2017 at 00:15 GMT Jack Day wrote:

The best documentation suggests that the Ingelric portrayed here never existed. I therefore propose to de-link Ingelric from his purported father Aethelred and daughter, replaceing the links with links in the narrative.

On 29 Apr 2014 at 06:43 GMT Darrell Parker wrote:

Wessex-29 and Wessex-403 appear to represent the same person because: maybe same

On 27 Jul 2013 at 15:18 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:


On 1 Mar 2011 at 16:06 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote:

Known as "Ethelred the Unready".

AEthelred is 33 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 29 degrees from Burl Ives and 22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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