Edgar the Ætheling, the son of Edward the Exile and grandson of Edmond Ironside, was born in Hungary in 1052. He was the king's great-nephew and was a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon's most impressive king, Alfred the Great.
For his first five years, Edward lived in exile with his family, but returned to England in 1057. When Edward the Confessor died in 1066, Edgar, the former king's great-nephew, was the legitimate heir to the English throne. However, Edgar was only 14 years old and some thought he was too young to become king.
After the death of Harold of Wessex at the Battle of Hastings, the Witan selected Edgar as the next king of England. However, he was forced to submit to William the Conqueror who now had control of the country.
Edgar lived in William's court until fleeing to Scotland in 1068. After King Malcolm III signed the Treaty of Abernethy (1072) Edgar was forced to seek protection from King Philip I in France. He eventually returned to England where he received a pension of £1 a day.
In 1097 William Rufus put Edgar as head of an invasion of Scotland. Later he went on a crusade to the Holy Land. Edgar Atheling died in 1125.
Edgar the Atheling
Edgar the Aethling (or Edgar the Ætheling, c. 1051 – c. 1126  ) was a claimant to the throne of England in 1066 after Edward the Confessor died.  Edgar was a popular choice among the English, because he was English and a grandson of Edmund Ironside.
Edgar was born in Hungary because his father was in exile there. When Edgar was five, his father, Edward the Exile returned to England from Hungary. He had been exiled from England during the Viking reign. Soon after returning, Edgar’s father died under mysterious circumstances.
Edith of Wessex, Queen of England
The nobility of your forbears magnified you, O Edith,
And you, a king’s bride, magnify your forbears.
Much beauty and much wisdom were yours
And also probity together with sobriety.
You teach the stars, measuring, arithmetic, the art of the lyre,
The ways of learning and grammar.
An understanding of rhetoric allowed you to pour out speeches,
And moral rectitude informs your tongue.
The sun burned for two days in Capricorn
When you discarded the weight of your flesh and went away.
Godfrey of Cambrai, prior of Winchester Cathedral (1082-1107)
We would like examine the life of a woman who was a contemporary of Emma of Normandy, Matilda of Flanders and mentor of Saint Margaret of Scotland. She was Edith of Wessex and the wife of King Edward the Confessor.
Edith’s grandfather Wulfnoth and father Godwin were English nobles of the South Saxons. Godwin was a military man in the entourage of King Aethelred the Unready’s son, Athelstan. But he really made a name for himself under King Cnut by suppressing a rebellion in Denmark. When he returned, Cnut gave him Gytha, his sister-in-law by marriage, as a wife.
Godwin and Gytha had a least 9 children. Edith was more than likely their eldest daughter and born around 1025. Godwin wanted Edith to be well bred and prepared for an important life so she was sent to be educated at the royal abbey of Wilton with other noble women. Wilton had a reputation for being rich, aristocratic and exceedingly cultured. Historians in her time described Edith as displaying piety, good manners, adept at embroidery, weaving and other arts. She spoke Latin, French, Danish and Irish and was accomplished at grammar, rhetoric, arithmetic and astronomy. She would forever be grateful to Wilton and later rebuilt the abbey in stone so it wouldn’t burn down like other abbeys built with wood.
During years of turmoil when the English throne was being taken over by Danes and other Anglo-Saxon heirs, an incident occurred where Godwin sanctioned the murder of the future King Edward’s brother, Alfred. Edward and Alfred were the sons of Aethelred the Unready and Queen Emma. Edward eventually returned from exile in Normandy to become King of England. Edward owed Godwin a debt of gratitude for his allegiance in helping him gain the throne but they never had a strong bond. They spoke different languages, Edward blamed Godwin for his brother’s murder and Godwin was always to remain more powerful than Edward. Edward paid Godwin large amounts in gifts and lands to maintain his loyalty. Godwin demanded Edward marry his daughter Edith. Edward, needing Godwin’s military support and fidelity, agreed. Edith was the main pawn in Godwin’s game to rule England. He wanted his future grandson to be King.
Edith and Edward were married on January 23, 1045 when Edward was forty and Edith was approximately twenty-two. Edith was consecrated Queen. It is said she always advised Edward wisely. She began a program to improve Edward’s image by dressing him regally and adorning their private apartments with decorations and Spanish carpets. She had a staff made for him to carry that was encrusted with gold and gems. The great tragedy of the marriage was the lack of children. Historians have argued over the years about why. Perhaps one or the other was infertile. Edward didn’t have any illegitimate children which was unusual for the time. Edward may have resented Edith’s family being more powerful than he and just didn’t have sex with Edith in retaliation. Perhaps Edward was pious and felt he must be celibate. Modern historians are now proponents that they did have sex and just didn’t have any children. This barrenness in the marriage was to have a forceful and direct impact on the history of England.
In 1051, for many reasons, a colossal quarrel broke out between Edward and Godwin. Godwin was accused of misconduct and was to be put on trial. Godwin chose to flee the kingdom instead, taking several of his sons with him. Edward banished Edith to a nunnery and all her lands were confiscated. Godwin returned to England in 1052. Edward was ready to fight him but lacked the support needed to make a stand. Godwin begged for forgiveness and asked for his lands back. Edward gave in and Edith returned to court.
After Edith’s banishment, she appeared to increase her loyalty to her father and brothers, including Harold. Edward’s power waned and hers increased. After 1055, her brothers guarded the north and the south of the Kingdom, allowing Edward to hunt and do pious works. Edith witnessed many charters. It is said she became fond of confiscating saintly relics and precious treasures from other cathedrals and abbeys and giving them to her abbey at Wilton.
In 1057, Edward and Edith welcomed to court Edward the Exile from Hungary, a surviving grandson of King Aethelred and son of King Edmund Ironside. Edward came with his wife Agatha, eldest daughter Margaret and son Edgar Atheling. Edith adopted Edgar as her son and placed Margaret at Wilton to be educated. She taught Margaret many things about being a Queen which she later adopted when she married Malcolm, King of Scotland.
Edward was to become ill and died in January 1066. Edith’s brother, Harold was elected King by the council but immediately had to fight off invasions by the Norwegians and eventually William of Normandy. Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings in October of 1066 and William the Conqueror became King of England. William sent men to Winchester to demand tribute from Queen Edith and she willingly complied and allied herself to William. William, in turn, respected her and allowed her to keep all her estates and income. Edith commissioned a book to be written about her family, herself and her marriage to Edward, later known as The Confessor. The book, Vita Edwardi Regis, “Life of King Edward Who Rests at Westminster” was written by an unknown monk from Flanders and is the main source of information we have about Edith’s life. Edith was to keep an entirely English entourage until her death on December 18, 1075 in her mid-fifties. She was buried with Edward in Westminster Abbey.
Shrine of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey
Postscript: Queen Edith is one of only three women who are depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th C. embroidered panorama that tells the saga of William, Duke of Normandy’s conquest of England. It is one of the primary narratives we have of the history of this great adventure.
Edith depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry
Further reading: “The Godwins” by Frank Barlow, “Queen Emma & Queen Edith: Queenship and Women’s Power in Eleventh-Century England” by Pauline Stafford, “Life of King Edward who Rests at Westminster” by an anonymous monk, “1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry” by Andrew Bridgeford
Edgar Atheling keeps throne
No I mean Edgars son, Edgar III he’s unmarried, so once he dies, the nation would be unstable and a perfect time for the Danes to invade.
we no hardly anything about him so I think he should be a childless King.
No I mean Edgars son, Edgar III he’s unmarried, so once he dies, the nation would be unstable and a perfect time for the Danes to invade.
we no hardly anything about him so I think he should be a childless King.
Prince di Corsica
But being on the throne would be a great change in circumstances for Edgar, one that would certainly mean he'd have a different family and a different life.
Or, in other words, do you think the people who existed in our own history three centuries later would also exist in this world?
Prince di Corsica
OK, let me put it this way.
Edgar III, in our history, was a low-key nobleman in England with understandably limited prospects. In contrast, if he lived in this world where his father was King, he'd be heir to the throne of England and therefore have very different opportunities. A king will marry differently than a low noble, correct? So Edgar would have a completely different life, meet a completely different wife and possibly have with her children that would be unlike his own children in History in at least 50% of the genome. And that would change history considerably.
- />Princess Margaret Of England 1045-1093
- />Christina Of Wessex †
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Reign October 14, 1066 December, 1066
Born circa 1051
Kiev or Hungary
Died circa 1126
Buried Place unknown
Married Margaret, sister of Malcolm III of Scotland
Parents Edward the Exile
Edgar Ætheling or Eadgar II (c. 1051 c. 1126) was the last member of the Anglo-Saxon royal house. Born in Hungary, he was also known as "Edgar the Outlaw". The Anglo-Saxon name Atheling or, more correctly, Æþeling, means "man of noble blood, chief, prince" and was used in the later part of the period to designate specifically the sons of the king. Proclaimed king by the witan following the death of Harold II in the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066, Edgar was never crowned and submitted to William I some eight weeks later. He was only about thirteen or fourteen years old.
Edgar was the only son of Edward the Exile, heir to the English throne, and grandson of King Edmund Ironside. Upon his father's death in 1057, Edgar was nominated as Heir Apparent by the king Edward the Confessor. Edgar was brought up at Edward's court, together with his sisters, Margaret and Christina. However he was too young at the time of the king's death in January 1066 to defend the country against impending invasion, and his election as king after Harold's death was no more than a symbolic token of defiance against the invading Norman forces.
Edgar relied largely for his support upon Archbishop Stigand and upon Earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria and, when this weakened, (within a matter of days of the witan), Edgar was forced inevitably to submit to William at Berkhamstead in either late November or early December 1066.
William treated Edgar well. Seeing political advantage, he kept him in his custody and eventually took him back to his court in Normandy. However, Edgar joined in the rebellion of the earls Edwin and Morcar in 1068 and, though defeated, he fled to the court of Malcolm III of Scotland. The next year Malcolm married Edgar's sister Margaret, and agreed to support Edgar in his attempt to claim the English crown. In exchange, Edgar married Malcolm's sister, another Margaret. Edgar now made common cause with Sweyn Estridson, the king of Denmark and nephew of Canute, who believed he was the rightful king of England.
Their combined forces invaded England in 1069. They captured York, but did not proclaim the independence of Northumbria. William marched on the north, devastating the land as he went. He paid the Danes to leave, whilst Edgar fled to Scotland. He remained in refuge there until 1072 when William successfully enforced a peace treaty on Malcolm, the terms of which included the exile of Edgar. Edgar eventually made his peace with William in 1074 but he never fully gave up his dreams of regaining the throne of England. He supported Robert, Duke of Normandy, against William II in 1091 and again found himself seeking refuge in Scotland. He also supported his nephew, Edgar, in gaining the Scottish throne, overthrowing Donald III.
Around 1098 he went to Constantinople, where he may have joined the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Empire. Later that year he was given a fleet by Emperor Alexius I to assist in the First Crusade, and brought reinforcements to the crusaders at the Siege of Antioch. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106 fighting for Duke Robert against Henry I. He returned to England where Henry pardoned him, and he retired to his country estate in Hertfordshire. His niece Edith (renamed Matilda) had married Henry I in 1100. Edgar is believed to have travelled to Scotland late in life, perhaps around the year 1120, and was still alive in 1125, but may have died soon after, in his early seventies. By then he was forgotten by most and is remembered now only as the "lost king" of England.
Harold II King of England
1066 Succeeded by:
Edgar, Uncrowned King of England
1066 (March) Morcar’s sister Edith, married Harold II. This political marriage ensured that Morcar and Edwin remained loyal to the crown. Harold’s two sons by Edith, Harold and Ulf, were born after his death.
Edgar or Eadgar Ætheling (c. 1051 – c. 1126) was the last male member of the royal house of Cerdic of Wessex (see House of Wessex family tree), the original ruling dynasty of England. He was proclaimed, but never crowned, King of England.
No evidence that he married
It is very uncertain if he had children, see below The Maltese DIY online trees, passing without ducuments between known but slightly documented Sicilian lines, join him with this allegedly unknown son of his:
After King Harold II's defeat at Hastings 14 Oct 1066, Ealdred Archbishop of York, Earls Edwin and Morcar, and the citizens of London supported Edgar as successor to King Harold II. However, his support quickly collapsed and he swore allegiance to King William "the Conqueror" at Berkhamsted, before the latter made his way to London. Florence of Worcester records that "clitonem Edgarum" went with King William to Normandy 21 Feb .
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Edgar left England with his mother and sisters in Summer 1067 and found refuge at the court of Malcolm King of Scotland. Florence of Worcester records that "clitone Eadgaro et matre sua Agatha duabusque sororibus suis Margareta et Christina" left England for Scotland, in a passage which deals with events in mid-1068. He marched on York in 1069. He left for Flanders in exile, but returned to Scotland 8 Jul 1074. Florence of Worcester records that "clito Eadgarus" left Scotland for England in , and went to Normandy where he made peace with King William. Florence of Worcester records that "clito Eadgarus" went to Apulia with 200 knights in .
Florence of Worcester records that Edgar lived in Scotland after being expelled from Normandy by King William I, but was invited back to England by Robert Comte de Mortain in 1091 in order to negotiate peace between Malcolm King of Scotland and King William II after King Malcolm invaded Northumberland. He led the army sent by King William II to Scotland in 1097 to expel King Duncan II and install his nephew Edgar as king.
"gari aederling…" subscribed the charter dated 30 Aug 1095 under which "Edgarus filius Malcolmi Regis Scottorum" made grants for the souls of "fratrum meorum Doncani et Edwardi". Florence of Worcester records that "clitorem Eadgarum" led an army to Scotland in  to place "consobrinum suum Eadgarum Malcolmi regis filium" on the Scottish throne after expelling "patruo suo Dufenaldo". Forces under his command captured Latakia in Mar 1098 before handing it to Robert III Duke of Normandy, according to Orderic Vitalis who calls Edgar "indolent". He supported Robert Duke of Normandy in his fight with his brother Henry I King of England in 1106, and was taken prisoner by the king at the battle of Tinchebrai but released soon after. The primary source which records that he was still alive in 1126 has not yet been identified.
[Mistress (1): ---. No record has been found that Edgar ætheling ever married. However, the 1157 Pipe Roll entry quoted below suggests that he may have had descendants. If this is correct, it is probable that it was an illegitimate line as there is no record of their having claimed the throne.
[Edgar had one [illegitimate] child by Mistress (1)]:
- i) [---. This descent is completely speculative. However, the most obvious explanation for the 1157 Pipe Roll entry quoted below is that Edgar ætheling left descendants, presumably through an illegitimate child as there is no record of their having claimed the throne. m ---.] One child:
- (a) [EDGAR "Ætheling" . The 1157 Pipe Roll records "Edgar Ætheling" in Northumberland. If his descent from Edgar ætheling is correct, it would be consistent from a chronological point of view if Edgar was the senior Edgar´s grandson.]
Edgar was born in Hungary, where his father Edward the Exile, son of King Edmund II Ironside, had spent most of his life, having fled to safety abroad after Edmund's death and the conquest of England by the Danish king Cnut in 1016. His mother was Agatha, who was described as a relative of the German Emperor, but whose exact identity is unknown. He was his parents' only son but had two sisters, Margaret and Cristina.
In 1057 the childless King of England, Edmund Ironside's half-brother Edward the Confessor, who had only recently become aware that his nephew was still alive, summoned Edward back to England with his family to take up his place at court as heir to the throne. The returning exile died in uncertain circumstances shortly after his arrival in England. Edgar, still a small child, was left as the only surviving male member of the royal dynasty apart from the king. However, the latter made no recorded effort to entrench his grand-nephew's position as heir to a throne which was being eyed by a range of powerful potential contenders including England's leading aristocrat Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex and the foreign rulers William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, King Sweyn II Estrithson of Denmark and King Harald III Hardrada of Norway.
When King Edward died in January 1066 Edgar was still only 14 years of age, too young to be an effective military leader. This had not previously been an insurmountable obstacle: the earlier Kings of England Eadwig, Edgar and Edward the Martyr had all come to the throne at a similar age, while Aethelred II Unraed had been significantly younger at his accession. However, the avaricious ambitions which had been aroused across north-western Europe by Edward the Confessor's lack of an heir prior to 1057, and by the king's failure thereafter to prepare the way for Edgar to succeed him, removed any prospect of a peaceful hereditary succession. Edgar was also without powerful adult relatives to champion his cause. War was clearly inevitable and Edgar was in no position to fight it. Accordingly, the Witanagemot elected Harold Godwinson, the man best placed to defend the country against the competing foreign claimants, to succeed Edward.
Following Harold's death at the Battle of Hastings against the invading Normans in October, the Witanagemot assembled in London and elected Edgar king. The new regime thus established was dominated by the most powerful surviving members of the English elite, Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ealdred, Archbishop of York and the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. The commitment to Edgar's cause of these men, who had so recently passed over his claim to the throne without apparent demur, must have been doubtful from the start. The strength of their resolve to continue the struggle against William of Normandy was questionable and the military response they organised to the continuing Norman advance was ineffectual. When William crossed the Thames at Wallingford he was met by Stigand, who now abandoned Edgar and submitted to the invader. As the Normans closed in on London Edgar's remaining supporters caved in and in late November or early December they took the young uncrowned king out to meet William and submit to him at Berkhamsted, quietly setting aside Edgar's election.
William kept Edgar in his custody and took him, along with other English leaders, to his court in Normandy in 1067, before returning with them to England. Edgar may have been involved in the abortive rebellion of the Earls Edwin and Morcar in 1068 in any case, in that year he fled with his mother and sisters to the court of King Malcolm III Canmore of Scotland. Malcolm married Edgar's sister Margaret and agreed to support Edgar in his attempt to reclaim the English throne. When a major rebellion broke out in Northumbria at the beginning of 1069, Edgar returned to England with other rebels who had fled to Scotland, to become the leader, or at least the figurehead, of the revolt. However, after early successes the rebels were defeated by William at York and Edgar again sought refuge with Malcolm. In late summer that year the arrival of a fleet sent by King Sweyn of Denmark triggered a fresh wave of English uprisings in various parts of the country. Edgar and the other exiles sailed to the Humber, where they linked up with Northumbrian rebels and the Danes. Their combined forces overwhelmed the Normans at York and took control of Northumbria, but a small seaborne raid which Edgar led into Lincolnshire ended in disaster and he escaped with only a handful of followers to rejoin the main army. Late in the year William fought his way into Northumbria and occupied York, buying off the Danes and devastating the surrounding country. Early in 1070 he moved against Edgar and other English leaders who had taken refuge with their remaining followers in a marshy region, perhaps Holderness, and put them to flight. Edgar returned to Scotland.
He remained there until 1072, when William invaded Scotland and forced King Malcolm to submit to his overlordship. The terms of the agreement between them probably included the expulsion of Edgar. He therefore took up residence in Flanders, whose count, Robert the Frisian, was hostile to the Normans. However, in 1074 he was able to return to Scotland. Shortly after his arrival there he received an offer from King Philip I of France, who was also at odds with William, of a castle and lands near the borders of Normandy from which he would be able to raid his enemies' homeland. He embarked with his followers for France, but a storm wrecked their ships on the English coast. Many of Edgar's men were hunted down by the Normans, but he managed to escape with the remainder to Scotland by land. Following this disaster, he was persuaded by Malcolm to make his peace with William and return to England as his subject, abandoning any ambition of regaining his ancestral throne.
Disappointed in the level of recompense and respect he received from William, in 1085 Edgar secured the king's permission to emigrate with a retinue of two hundred knights, to seek his fortune in the expanding Norman colony in southern Italy and Sicily. The Domesday Book, compiled the following year, records only two estates in Hertfordshire with a total value of ꌐ p.a. as belonging to Edgar, an extremely small allocation of property for a man of his standing and much less than was held by his sister Cristina, the income from whose estates was valued at ꍘ. This is probably because Edgar had given up his English properties when he left for Italy, not meaning to return. In that case the recording of the Hertfordshire estates under his name is probably an anomaly, reflecting a situation which had recently ceased to apply.
The venture in the Mediterranean was evidently not a success, since within a few years Edgar had in fact returned. After King William's death in 1087 Edgar supported William's eldest son Robert Curthose, who succeeded him as Duke of Normandy, against his second son, William Rufus, who received the throne of England as William II. The war waged by Robert and his allies to overthrow William ended in defeat in 1091. As part of the resulting settlement between the brothers, Edgar was deprived of lands which he had been granted by Robert. These were presumably former possessions of William and his supporters in Normandy, confiscated by Robert and distributed to his own followers, including Edgar, but restored to their previous owners by the terms of the peace agreement. The disgruntled Edgar travelled once again to Scotland, where Malcolm was preparing for war with William. However, when William marched north and the two armies confronted one another the kings opted to talk rather than fight. The negotiations were conducted by Edgar on behalf of Malcolm and the newly reconciled Robert Curthose on behalf of William. The resulting agreement included a reconciliation between William and Edgar.
Having consequently returned to England, in 1093 Edgar went to Scotland again on a diplomatic mission for William to negotiate with Malcolm, who was dissatisfied with the Norman failure to implement in full the terms of the 1091 treaty. This dispute led to war and within the year Malcolm had invaded England and been killed along with his eldest son in the Battle of Alnwick. Malcolm's successor, his brother Donald Bán, drove out the English and French retainers who had risen high in Malcolm's service and had thus aroused the jealousy of the existing Scottish aristocracy. This purge brought him into conflict with the Anglo-Norman monarchy, whose influence in Scotland it had diminished. William helped Malcolm's eldest son Duncan, who had spent many years as a hostage at William I's court and remained there when set at liberty by William II, to overthrow his uncle, but Donald soon regained the throne and Duncan was killed. In 1097 another effort to restore the Anglo-Norman interest through sponsorship of Malcolm's sons was launched and Edgar made yet another journey to Scotland, this time in command of an invading army. Donald was ousted and Edgar installed his nephew and namesake, Malcolm and Margaret's son Edgar, on the Scottish throne.
The historian Orderic Vitalis claimed that Edgar was the leader of an English fleet which sailed into the Mediterranean and operated off the coast of Syria in support of the First Crusade, whose crews eventually burned their dilapidated ships and joined the advance by land to Jerusalem. However, this fleet is known to have arrived off the Syrian coast by March 1098. Given that Edgar's invasion of Scotland had been launched late in 1097, he could not have left after its completion and made such a long voyage in the time available, although it is just conceivable that he could have travelled rapidly to the Mediterranean by land and made a rendezvous with the fleet as it passed eastwards. William of Malmesbury recorded that Edgar made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1102 and it is likely that Orderic's report is the product of confusion, conflating the expedition of the English fleet with Edgar's later journey. Some modern historians have suggested that at some point during these years Edgar served in the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Empire, a unit which was at this time composed primarily of English emigrants, but this is unsupported by evidence.
Back in Europe, Edgar again took the side of Robert Curthose in the internal struggles of the Norman dynasty, this time against Robert's youngest brother, who was now Henry I, King of England. He was taken prisoner in the final defeat at the Battle of Tinchebray in 1106, which resulted in Robert being imprisoned for the rest of his life. Edgar was more fortunate: having been taken back to England, he was pardoned and released by King Henry. His niece Edith (renamed Matilda), daughter of Malcolm III and Margaret, had married Henry in 1100. Edgar is believed to have travelled to Scotland once more late in life, perhaps around the year 1120. He lived to see the death at sea in November 1120 of William Adeling, the son of his niece Edith and heir to Henry I. Edgar was still alive in 1125, according to William of Malmesbury, who wrote at the time that Edgar "now grows old in the country in privacy and quiet". Edgar died some time after this contemporary reference, but the exact date and the location of his grave are not known.
There is no evidence that Edgar married or produced children apart from two references to an "Edgar Adeling" found in the Magnus Rotulus Pipae Northumberland (Pipe rolls) for the years 1158 and 1167. Historian Edward Freeman, writing in The History of the Norman Conquest of England, says that this was the same Edgar (aged over 100), a son of his, or some other person known by the title "Ætheling". This is the only evidence that the male line of England's original royal family continued beyond Edgar's death.
Heir to the Saxon Kings of England. Fled from William the Conqueror. Reference: wikipedia
King of the English (disputed) Reignक October – 10 December 1066 Coronation Never crowned Predecessor Harold Godwinson Successor William the Conqueror Born. 1051 Hungary Died. 1126 (aged c. 75) House House of Wessex Father৭ward the Exile Mothergatha
Edgar the Atheling, Part 2: Enemy of William the Conqueror
With the death of Harold Godwinson following the Battle of Hastings, the Witan assembled in London and nominated Edgar king. Both Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury and Ealdred of York, as well as the two brother earls, Edwin and Morcar (of Mercia and Northumberland, respectively) were there in London However, as William approached London, Edgar's support started to disappear, with Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury submitting at Wallingford. With the Conqueror getting ever closer to London, the members of the Witan still in London began negotiations with William, resulting in Edgar being handed over to William at Berkhamsted. Edgar and other English leaders went to William's court in Normandy in 1067. However, when they returned to England, he fled and his mother and sisters fled to the court of Malcolm Canmore III in Scotland. Margaret, a sister of Edgar, (who would become St Margaret) was married to the Scottish King. Malcolm promised to help Edgar gain the English throne. Edgar may have been involved in the failed rebellion of Edwin and Morcar in 1068, but with the Northern Rebellion in early 1069, William's reign over England was indeed threatened.
Victorian depiction of Malcolm and Margaret
When rebellion broke out in Northumberland, Edgar along with other exile rebels, headed back to England from Scotland. Edgar was became the leader or at least the figurehead of the revolt. The rebellion was initially successful, but it was eventually defeated by William at York, causing Edgar once more to return to Scotland (the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle suggests these events happened in 1068, others 1069). In late summer ( most likely, in 1069) a Danish fleet set by Sweyn Estridsson arrived and some more rebellions were sparked. Edgar and some other exiles sailed to the Humber, where they met up with some Northumbrian rebels and the Danes. They defeated the Normans at York and for a short time took control of Northumbria. However, a small seaborne raid led by Edgar into Lindsey ended in a disaster and he only escaped to with a few followers to rejoin the main army. William then marched into Northumbria and seized York, he bought off the Danes and then devastated the surrounding countryside and also eventually as far as north as the Tees (the notorious Harrying of the North). William, in 1070, took action against and defeated Edgar and some of his followers in a marshy region (perhaps, Holderness) forcing the Atheling once more to flee to Scotland. Edgar remained in Scotland until 1072, however when William invaded Scotland, Edgar was forced to leave, perhaps as part of an agreement. Edgar then took up residence in Flanders, whose count Robert the Frisian was hostile to the Normans. By 1074, Edgar was able to return to Scotland, but he eventually received an offer from Philip I of France, who was at odds with William. He offered him lands and a castle near Normandy, so he could raid the Duchy. He left for France, by ship, but a storm caused his ship to be shipwrecked. Many of Edgar's followers were hunted down by the Normans, however Edgar once more escaped to Scotland with the remainder of his followers. As a result, Malcolm persuaded Edgar to make peace with William and to return to England as William's subject, therefore ending any hope of him gaining the throne. However, this is certainly not the ending of the Atheling's story.
Challenge: Edward the Confessor chooses Edgar Atheling as his heir but William II of Normandy Is his regent
None of the Anglo-Saxons took William the Conqueror's propaganda seriously. Even if William was named heir, the forcible return of Godwin and his sons from exile, when they basically took over control of the country and relegated Edward to a figurehead, made William becoming king impossible without war and violent suppression (as happened in OTL). It says a lot that Harold Godwinson was elected king ONE day after Edward the Confessor's death, unanimously.
I don't think it really matter who they're descended from. How about a difference there though: Philip is a scion of one of the most powerful and illustrious dynasties of Europe, William is the bastard ruler of a French duchy.
Yeah that's true.
Anyway what I meant by my question is something you've already answered here: "co-ruler of England". Mary and her ministers ruled England, not Philip. Certainly they were favorable to Spain and very favorable to Catholicism, but you're proving my point for me. You *cannot* just handwave away William's impossibility of obtaining the throne without violence, by bringing Philip up when the situation and people involved are completely different.
Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland
Quaint legends to our hearts endear
Our sainted Scottish Queen:
Alone, unseen, oft strayed she here
In thoughtful mood, serene
Thus oft from yonder ancient towers
She sought from pomp to dwell,
And pondered o’er life’s fleeting hours
Beside her cherished well.
In the fall of 2008, my husband and I took the train from London to Edinburgh on a self guided tour of the city. Our package included tickets to see Edinburgh Castle which is the coolest castle ever. While there I noticed a small building named St Margaret’s Chapel. This aroused my curiosity. Who is St Margaret? There was a small pamphlet for purchase called “St Margaret, Queen of Scotland and Her Chapel” which I bought and read. Saint Margaret was Queen of Scotland in the 11th Century. I had never heard of her. When I returned home, I started researching Anglo-Saxon history and discovered that Margaret was related to the Anglo-Saxon Kings.
In our prior blog about Emma of Normandy, we learned she married King Aethelred the Unready as his second wife. Aethelred and his first wife, AElfgifu had a son named Edmund Ironside. Edmund in turn had two sons, Edmund and Edward. When Aethelred died, the Danish invader Cnut took the kingdom, killing Edmund Ironside in the process and sending his two young sons into exile to Sweden. From there they went to live with relatives in Kiev. Andrew, the future King of Hungary visited the court in Kiev and met the two young boys. When Edward was in his twenties, he married Agatha, a woman whose ancestry is unknown. When Andrew needed aid in seizing the throne of Hungary, he invited Edmund and Edward to help with promises of riches and property. Edward and his new wife moved to Hungary.
It is believed that Margaret was born in Hungary around 1045-1047, the eldest child of Prince Edward. Margaret had a sister Christina and a younger brother Edgar, called Atheling. (Atheling means “king ready”). The Hungarian King fulfilled his promise by giving Edward money and property so Margaret lived in Hungary in relative comfort until 1054. At that time, Edward the Confessor, King of England, who had no heir, summoned Margaret’s father to come, possibly promising him the throne.
Shortly upon arrival in England, Margaret’s father died, either of natural causes or murder. We will never know the truth of what happened. Agatha, Margaret and her siblings came under the care of Edward the Confessor’s Queen, Edith of Wessex. Margaret, more than likely was sent to Edith’s favorite convent, Wilton for schooling and religious training in the Benedictine Order. While at Wilton, Margaret became immersed in the cloistered life and began to dream of dedicating her life to God. It was also during this time that Malcolm of Scotland came to the court of King Edward and may have met Margaret. Events in 1066 would change everything for Margaret’s family.
When Edward the Confessor died in late 1065, there was a possibility Margaret’s brother Edgar could become king. But the king’s council knew a young boy would not be able to hold on to the kingdom and instead elected the seasoned warrior, Harold of Wessex as King. By the fall of 1066, William the Conqueror had defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings and had himself crowned King. Margaret’s family was treated fairly well by William but Agatha decided to go into exile in 1068.
There are two possibilities for what happened next. Either Agatha intended to sail to Scotland or, she planned to return to the continent and a storm buffeted their ship and forced them to land there. They were heartily welcomed by the Scottish King Malcolm and lived at his court. Margaret and Malcolm were married in 1070. Margaret’s true dream was to become a nun but she probably felt she could serve God with more resources as Queen. Malcolm was forty at the time and this was his second marriage.
By all accounts, Margaret was a beautiful, blond Saxon princess in her twenties who was educated and had learned the art of being a royal wife from Edward’s Queen Edith. She immediately began work on improving the Scottish court at Dunfermline and later at Edinburgh Castle by furnishing and cleaning. She dressed her husband in more royal clothes and started an entourage around him to give him a more royal presence and authoritative demeanor. She also began her great works of charity.
Most of what we know of Margaret is from a biography commissioned by her daughter Matilda of Scotland and written by Bishop of St. Andrews Turgot, who knew Margaret personally. He describes how Margaret served the poor every day of her life and worked hard to transform the Scottish church. She gave food, money, clothes and gifts to churches and individuals. She loved to meet anchorites and hermits who had dedicated their lives to God. While she had no power as Queen, she did have practical influence on her husband. She was lucky Malcolm loved her so much he allowed her to indulge in these works of generosity. She loved to walk to a small grotto not far from Dunfermline Tower to pray in peace. This cave is still there. Margaret began a building program for Dunfermline Abbey and constructed a ferry so pilgrims could cross the Firth of Forth to travel to the shrine there for free and to St. Andrew’s further to the north. She did all this while having eight children and praying and following religious observances herself for many hours. She followed the rules of fasting and abstemiousness so well, it probably killed her in the end.
Over the years, Malcolm allied with Margaret’s brother, Edgar the Atheling in trying to establish him on the throne of England. He also aggravated William the Conqueror and his son William Rufus II over the years by raiding Northumberland five times. The last time he went in 1093, Malcolm and their eldest son Edward were killed in battle. By this time, Margaret was critically ill. When her second son Edmund came home from the battle that killed her husband, he did not want to tell her the bad news. But she already knew her husband and son were dead. She lived for four more days and finally died on November 16th.
Margaret was buried at Dunfermline and later, Malcolm was buried with her. Revelations of her saintly life began to circulate. People flocked to her tomb and miracles were perpetuated. A survey of miracles was eventually compiled and sent to the Pope Innocent IV and he canonized her in 1250. Some may find her dogmatic and smug but no one can deny she served the poor and did good works.
Three of Margaret’s sons became of Kings of Scotland and her daughter Edith, later named Matilda, married the son of William the Conqueror, Henry I and became Queen of England. It is said the Scottish Church was reformed more under her son David I than under her but this is proof her legacy lived on through her children. He is the one who built the small chapel in Edinburgh Castle in honor of his mother.
St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh
Further reading: “Life of St. Margaret Queen of Scotland” by Bishop of St. Andrews Turgot, “Margaret Queen of Scotland” by Henry Grey Graham, “Queen Margaret of Scotland” by Eileen Dunlop
Watch the video: The Long and Winding Road with lyrics. Yesterday Soundtrack ost songs