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House of Wessex - King Aethelred II The Unready
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King Aethelred II The Unready
Name: King Aethelred II The Unready
Father: Edgar
Mother: Elfrida
Born: c.968
Ascended to the throne: March 18, 978
Crowned: April, 978 at Kingston-upon-Thames, aged c.10
Married:(1) Elfleda
Married (2): Emma
Children: 9 sons including Edmund and Edward, and 4 daughters
Died: April 23, 1016 at London
Buried at: St Paul's

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.


Timeline

 978 

 Aethelred, son of Edgar, becomes King of England following the murder of his half brother Edward 

 980 

 Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton 

 985 

 Sweyn I, Forkbeard, rebels against his father Harold Blue-tooth and deposes him 

 991 

 Battle of Maldon: Byrhtnoth of Essex is defeated by Danish invaders; Aethelred buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld) 

 992 

 Aethelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy 

 994 

 Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by Aethelred 

 1002 

 Aethelred orders a massacre of Danish settlers. After the death of his first wife Elfleda he marries Emma of Normandy 

 1012 

 The Danes raid Kent, burning Canterbury Cathedral and murdering Archbishop Alphege 

 1013 

 King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark lands in England and is proclaimed king; Aethelred II the Unready flees to Normandy 

 1014 

 The English recall Aethelred II the Unready as King on the death of Sweyn at Gainsborough 

 1015 

 King Canute II of Denmark & Norway again invades England 

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