English King Edmund II
Compiled by D. A. Sharpe
Edmund Ironside was born about 990 AD, and lived only till November 30, 1016. Edmund was King of England for only a few months. After the death of his father, Aethelred II, in April 1016, Edmund led the defense of the city of London against the invading Knut Sveinsson (Canute), and was proclaimed king by the Londoners. Meanwhile, the Witan (Council), meeting at Southampton, chose Canute as King.
"Ironside" Edmund II is the 2nd great grandfather of Count Poitou 14th great grand uncle, Sir Edward Southworth, the first husband of Alice Carpenter, my 7th great grandmother.
After a series of inconclusive military engagements, in which Edmund performed brilliantly and earned the nickname "Ironside," he defeated the Danish forces at Oxford, Kent, but was routed by Canute's forces at Ashingdon, Essex. A subsequent peace agreement was made, with Edmund controlling Wessex and Canute controlling Mercia and Northumbria. It was also agreed that whoever survived the other would take control of the whole realm. Unfortunately for Edmund, he died in November, 1016, transferring the Kingship of All England completely to Canute.
His faith was in the British Church, which was not very old at that point. The earliest Christian noted in our family was a pagan Scottish King, King Ceawlin. He was baptized by a Roman Catholic Evangelist, a Priest by the name of Father Columba, who'd been sent to the British Isles by Pope Gregory, to bring Christianity there. Ceawlin was baptized in 591 AD.
Though contemporary accounts of Edmund's death do not record that his death was a homicide, later speculation is that Edric, the son of the ealdorman Edrick, did slay the King privately, hoping King Canute would reward him. The King did reward Ecrick by ordering him to be decapitated, and his head placed upon the highest battlement of the Tower of London.
Source: "The Oxford Book of Royal Anticdotes," The Oxford University Press, 1991, page 34.
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