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 Britroyals

King Edward The Confessor (1042 - 1066)


Name: King Edward The Confessor
Born: c.1004 at Islip
Parents: Ethelred II and Emma of Normandy
Relation to Elizabeth II: 27th great-granduncle
House of: Wessex
Ascended to the throne: June 8, 1042
Crowned: April 3, 1043 at Winchester Cathedral, aged c.39
Married: Edith, Daughter of Earl Godwin of Wessex
Children: None
Died: January 5, 1066 at Westminster
Buried at: Westminster Abbey
Reigned for: 23 years, 6 months, and 28 days
Succeeded by: his brother-in-law Harold

King of England from 1042, the son of Ethelred II. He lived in Normandy with his mother Emma of Normandy's relatives until shortly before his accession to the English Throne. During his reign power was held by Earl Godwin and his son Harold, while the king devoted himself to religion, including the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey (consecrated in 1065), where he is buried.

Edward died in January 1066 and his childlessness led to a struggle for power. The succession went first to Harold Godwinson and then to the conquest by William of Normandy nine months later at the Battle of Hastings in October 1066. Edward was canonized in 1161.

Timeline for King Edward The Confessor

Year Event
1042Harthacanute dies and is succeeded by Edward the Confessor, son of Aethelred II.
1043Earl Leofric founds Coventry Abbey. His wife Lady Godiva according to legend rides naked through the streets of Coventry
1045Edward marries Edith daughter of Earl Godwin of Wessex
1051Edward quarrels with Godwin and banishes the rebellious Godwin family from England. Edward promises the throne to William, Duke of Normandy.
1052Godwin, Earl of Wessex, returns to England.
1053Godwin’s son, Harold, becomes principal adviser to the King.
1056Welsh led by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn attack England and burn Hereford Cathedral
1057Edward, son of Edmund Ironside and potential heir to the throne, returns to England but dies mysteriously
1063Harold Godwinson (later Harold II) and his brother Tostig of Northumberland attack Wales. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn is killed by his own troops.
1064Harold visits William of Normandy and swears on oath to support his claim to the throne
1065Northumbria rebels against Tostig who is exiled. Harold fails to support his brother and they become bitter enemies.
1066Edward dies and Harold Godwinson is chosen as successor, but William of Normandy declares the throne was promised to him.