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 Britroyals

House of Wessex - King Edward The Confessor


Name: King Edward The Confessor
Father: Ethelred II
Mother: Emma of Normandy
Born: c.1004 at Islip
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

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

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