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 Britroyals

House of Wessex - 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 for King Aethelred II The Unready

YearEvent
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