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Encyclopedia > Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred II, the Unready
King of England
Reign March 18, 978April 23, 1016
Born 968
Wessex
Died April 23, 1016
London
Buried Old Saint Paul's Cathedral
Predecessor Edward the Martyr (978)
Sweyn (1014)
Successor Sweyn (1013)
Edmund Ironside (1016)
Consort Ælfgifu
Emma
Issue Aethelstan Aetheling
Edmund Ironside
Ecgberht Ætheling
Eadred Aethling
Eadgyth
Alfgifu
Eadwig Aetheling
Eadgar Aetheling the Elder
Edward the Confessor
Ælfred_Ætheling
Goda
Father Edgar
Mother Ælfthryth

Ethelred II (c. 968April 23, 1016), also known as Ethelred the Unready (Old English Æþelred Unræd), was King of England (9781013, and 10141016). He was the son of Edgar, King of all England (959–75) and Aelfthryth. The majority of his reign (991–1016) was marked by a defensive war against Viking invaders. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Badìa Fiorentina, an abbey in Italy, is founded by Willa, Margravine of Tuscany. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... Events Births Emperor Kazan of Japan Ethelred II of England Romanus Argyrus, later Romanus III of the Eastern Roman Empire. ... For the helicopter, see Westland Wessex. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the cathedral church of the diocese of London. ... King Edward the Martyr or Eadweard II (c. ... Events Badìa Fiorentina, an abbey in Italy, is founded by Willa, Margravine of Tuscany. ... Sweyn I, or Sweyn Forkbeard, (Danish: Svend Tveskæg, originally Tjugeskæg or Tyvskæg, Old Norse: Sveinn Tjúguskegg, Norwegian: Svein Tjugeskjegg), (??? – February 3, 1014), king of Denmark and England, a leading Viking warrior and the father of Canute the Great (Cnut I). ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... Sweyn I, or Sweyn Forkbeard, (Danish: Svend Tveskæg, originally Tjugeskæg or Tyvskæg, Old Norse: Sveinn Tjúguskegg, Norwegian: Svein Tjugeskjegg), (??? – February 3, 1014), king of Denmark and England, a leading Viking warrior and the father of Canute the Great (Cnut I). ... Events Danish invasion of England under king Sweyn I. King Ethelred flees to Normandy, and Sweyn becomes king of England. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... Aelgifu (also called Aelfgifu or Elgifu) was the wife of Ethelred the Unready of England in the 10th century and 11th centuries. ... Queen Emma of Normandy receiving the Encomium Emmae, with her sons Harthacanute and Edward the Confessor in the background. ... Athelstan Aetheling (more properly Æþelstan Æþeling) was the eldest son of the early English king Ethelred the Unready. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Ecgberht Æþeling was one of the eight sons of the early English king Æþelræd II (more commonly known as Ethelred the Unready). ... Eadgyth or Edith (910 - 26 January 946)was the daughter of Edward the Elder, King of England and Elfleda. ... Algifu can refer to three women in the Middle-ages. ... Eadwig Æþeling (sometimes also known as Eadwy) was one of the eight sons of the early English king Æþelræd II (more commonly known as Ethelred the Unready). ... Edgar Aetheling the Elder (Old English Eadgar Æþeling) was one of the eight sons of the early English king Ethelred the Unready. ... St Edward the Confessor or Eadweard III (c. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article needs cleanup. ... King Edgar or Eadgar I ( 942 – July 8, 975) was the younger son of King Edmund I of England. ... Elfrida (c. ... Events Births Emperor Kazan of Japan Ethelred II of England Romanus Argyrus, later Romanus III of the Eastern Roman Empire. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Motto Dieu et mon droit(French) God and my right Territory of the Kingdom of England Capital Winchester; London from 11th century Language(s) Old English (de facto, until 1066) Anglo-Norman language (de jure, 1066 - 15th century) English (de facto, gradually replaced French from late 13th century) Government Monarchy... Events Badìa Fiorentina, an abbey in Italy, is founded by Willa, Margravine of Tuscany. ... Events Danish invasion of England under king Sweyn I. King Ethelred flees to Normandy, and Sweyn becomes king of England. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... King Edgar or Eadgar I ( 942 – July 8, 975) was the younger son of King Edmund I of England. ... Elfrida (c. ... Events Battle of Maldon Sweyn I of Denmark recovers his throne Births Deaths Theophanu, empress, mother of Otto III Emperor Enyu of Japan Categories: 991 ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Æþelred Unræd

It is not true that contemporaries considered him ill-prepared. Rather, his nickname "the unready" derives from the Anglo-Saxon Unræd, which means "without counsel", "poorly counselled" or "indecisive". This can be seen as a pun on his name, Æþelræd, which may be understood to mean "noble counsel" in Old English. So he was 'Noble counsel, No counsel'. There are 2 spellings of his name, the one here being 'Ethelred', and the second being 'Aethelred', which is closer to the original Anglo-Saxon spelling 'Æþelræd'. Any books on him will use one of the two spellings, but they both refer to the same person. Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ...


Early life

According to William of Malmesbury, Ethelred defecated in the baptismal font as a child, which led St. Dunstan to prophesy that the English monarchy would be overthrown during his reign. This story is, however, almost certainly a complete fabrication (a similar story is told of Byzantine Emperor Constantine Copronymus, another medieval monarch who was unpopular among certain of his subjects). William of Malmesbury (c. ... Baptismal font in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany A baptismal font is an article of church furniture used for the baptism of children and adults. ... cows Dunstan (909 – May 19, 988) was an Archbishop of Canterbury (960 – 988) who was later canonized as a saint. ... This is a list of Byzantine Emperors. ... Constantine V with his father Leo III the Isaurian. ...


Following the death of his father King Edgar and subsequent murder of his half-brother Edward the Martyr by servants of Ethelred's mother, Ethelred succeeded to the throne at about age ten. King Edgar or Eadgar I ( 942 – July 8, 975) was the younger son of King Edmund I of England. ... King Edward the Martyr or Eadweard II (c. ...


Conflict with the Danes

Aedelraed II Unraed

England had experienced a period of peace after the reconquest of the Danelaw in the mid-10th century. However, a new wave of raids began in 980 and a sizeable Danish force began a sustained campaign in 991. During the next quarter of a century England was devastated by a succession of large Danish armies, either under the leadership of King Sweyn I of Denmark or of other commanders such as Olaf Tryggvason and Thorkell the Tall, which Ethelred's government failed to combat effectively. He was only able to halt the depredations of these armies by the payment of large sums of money known as Danegeld. Each payment led to the withdrawal of the Danes, but on each occasion a fresh onslaught began after a year or two, and each Danegeld payment was much larger than the last. Ethelred's most desperate response was the massacre of the Danes living in England on St Brice's Day (November 13) 1002. Finally in 1013 English resistance collapsed and Sweyn conquered the country, forcing Ethelred into exile, but after his victory Sweyn lived for only another five weeks. In 1014, Canute the Great was proclaimed King of England by the Danish army in England but was forced out of England that year. Canute launched a new invasion in 1015 and Ethelred's control of England was collapsing once again when he died at London on 23 April 1016. He was buried in St Paul's and was succeeded by his son, Edmund Ironside. Image of Ethelred II with an oversize sword from the illuminated manuscript The Chronicle of Abingdon This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Image of Ethelred II with an oversize sword from the illuminated manuscript The Chronicle of Abingdon This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Green: Danelaw The Danelaw (from the Old English Dena lagu, Danish: Danelagen ) is an 11th century name for an area of northern and eastern England under the administrative control of the Vikings (or Danes, or Norsemen) from the late 9th century. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... Events Births Emperor Ichijo of Japan Humbert I of Savoy Avicenna Godiva, Countess of Mercia Deaths Categories: 980 ... Events Battle of Maldon Sweyn I of Denmark recovers his throne Births Deaths Theophanu, empress, mother of Otto III Emperor Enyu of Japan Categories: 991 ... Sweyn I, or Sweyn Forkbeard, (Danish: Svend Tveskæg, originally Tjugeskæg or Tyvskæg, Old Norse: Sveinn Tjúguskegg, Norwegian: Svein Tjugeskjegg), (??? – February 3, 1014), king of Denmark and England, a leading Viking warrior and the father of Canute the Great (Cnut I). ... Olaf Tryggvason (Old Norse: Óláfr Tryggvason, Norwegian: Olav Tryggvason), (960s-September 9? 1000), was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. ... Thorkell the High (Old Norse Þorkell hávi) was a Jomsviking, a son of the Scanian chieftain Strutharald and the brother of Sigvald Jarl. ... The Danegeld was an English tribute raised to pay off Viking raiders (usually led by the Danish king) to save the land from being ravaged by the raiders. ... The St. ... Saint Bricius of Tours, also Brice, Britius, Criccius, Bricio, (born around 370; died 444 in Tours) was the fourth bishop of Tours, succeding Martin of Tours in 397. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events November 13 - English king Ethelred gives order to kill all Danes in England, leading to the St. ... Events Danish invasion of England under king Sweyn I. King Ethelred flees to Normandy, and Sweyn becomes king of England. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... Canute (or Cnut) I, or Canute the Great (Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki, Danish: Knud den Store, Norwegian: Knut den mektige, Swedish: Knut den store) (ca. ... Events August: Canute the Great invades England. ... George Tsul, ruler of Khazaria, is captured by a combined Byzantine-Rus force, which effectively ends Khazarias existence. ... This article is about the cathedral church of the diocese of London. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Marriages and issue

A charter of Aethelred's in 1003 to his follower, Aethelred.
A charter of Aethelred's in 1003 to his follower, Aethelred.

Ethelred married first Ælflæd, daughter of Thored, the ealdorman of Northumbria, by whom he had four sons: Æthelstan Ætheling (died 1011), Edmund Ironside, Ecgberht Ætheling and Eadred Ætheling. They also had Eadgyth or Edith of England, who married Eadric of Mercia, ealdorman of Mercia and Alfgifu or Elgiva, who married Uchtred the Bold, ealdorman of Northumbria. Helen Panter also claims a daughter Wulfhild. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 792 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1255 × 950 pixel, file size: 328 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 792 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1255 × 950 pixel, file size: 328 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... An Ealdorman, or Alderman, was the prior magistrate of a British shire in A. D. 900 to A. D. 1100. ... Section from Shepherds map of the British Isles about 802 AD showing the kingdom of Northumbria Northumbria is primarily the name of a petty kingdom of Angles which was formed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 7th century, from two smaller kingdoms of Bernicia and Diera, and... Athelstan Aetheling (more properly Æþelstan Æþeling) was the eldest son of the early English king Ethelred the Unready. ... Edmund II or Eadmund II (c. ... Ecgberht Æþeling was one of the eight sons of the early English king Æþelræd II (more commonly known as Ethelred the Unready). ... Edred Aetheling (more properly Eadred Æþeling) was one of the eight sons of the early English king Ethelred the Unready. ... An Ealdorman, or Alderman, was the prior magistrate of a British shire in A. D. 900 to A. D. 1100. ... The Kingdom of Mercia at its greatest extent (7th to 9th centuries) is shown in green, with the original core area (6th century) given a darker tint. ... Uchtred (or Uhtred), called the Bold, was the earl of Northumbria from 1006 to 1016, when he was assassinated. ... An Ealdorman, or Alderman, was the prior magistrate of a British shire in A. D. 900 to A. D. 1100. ... Section from Shepherds map of the British Isles about 802 AD showing the kingdom of Northumbria Northumbria is primarily the name of a petty kingdom of Angles which was formed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 7th century, from two smaller kingdoms of Bernicia and Diera, and...


In 997 he remarried, to Ælfgifu, daughter of Ælfhelm, Ealdorman of York, who gave him two sons: Eadwig Ætheling (killed 1017) and Eadgar Ætheling the Elder. Aelgifu (also called Aelfgifu or Elgifu or Aelfgitha) was the wife of Canute the Great in the 11th century. ... Eadwig Æþeling (sometimes also known as Eadwy) was one of the eight sons of the early English king Æþelræd II (more commonly known as Ethelred the Unready). ... Edgar Aetheling the Elder (more properly Eadgar Æþeling ) was one of the eight sons of the early English king Ethelred the Unready. ...


His third and final marriage, in 1002, was to Emma of Normandy, whose grandnephew, William I of England, would later use this relationship as the basis of his claim on the throne. They had two sons, Eadweard (later King of England and known now as Edward the Confessor) and Ælfred Ætheling. By this marriage, he also had Goda of England, who married Drogo of Mantes, Count of Vexin. Queen Emma of Normandy receiving the Encomium Emmae, with her sons Harthacanute and Edward the Confessor in the background. ... William I of England (c. ... St Edward the Confessor or Eadweard III (c. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Goda of England (also spelled Godgifu) (1004–1055) was a Princess of England. ... Drogo of Mantes (996-1035) was the count of the Véxin in the early eleventh century from 1027 to his death. ...


There may be other daughters by his three marriages.


Legacy

Despite the total failure of his government in the face of the Danish threat, Ethelred's reign was not without some achievements. The quality of the coinage, a good indicator of the prevailing economic conditions, significantly improved during his reign due to his numerous coinage reform laws.[citation needed]


His formation of an investigative body charged with the duty of accusing no innocent person and sheltering no guilty one is credited as being the historical root of the grand jury.[1] In the American common law legal system, a grand jury is a type of jury which determines if there is enough evidence for a trial. ...


Cultural references

Ethelred was the subject of a stageplay by Ronald Ribman titled The Ceremony of Innocence. It was first performed in 1968, and depicted interactions between Ethelred and his court, family and advisors, and also with the Danish king.


In the game Civilization IV, Ethelred the Unready is one of the leadership rankings you can achieve (though, true to his nickname, it denotes a very low achievement). This article or section may contain excessive or improper use of copyrighted images and/or audio files. ...


See also

  • House of Wessex family tree

This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

References

  1. ^ Grande Jury handbook of the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Ann Williams: Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London: Hambledon Press, 2003. ISBN 1-85285-382-4
  • Clemoes, Peter. The Anglo-Saxons: Studies Presented to Bruce Dickins, 1959

In Literature

  • Helen Hollick. The Hollow Crown. (August 2004) William Heinemann, Random House. ISBN 0-434-00491-X; Arrow paperback ISBN 0-09-927234-2. This is a historical novel about Queen Emma of Normandy, including her first marriage to Ethelred.

External links

Preceded by
Edward the Martyr
King of England
9781013
Succeeded by
Sweyn
Preceded by
Sweyn
King of England
10141016
Succeeded by
Edmund II

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ethelred the Unready - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (703 words)
According to William of Malmesbury, Ethelred defecated in the baptismal font as a child, which led St. Dunstan to prophesy that the English monarchy would be overthrown during his reign.
Ethelred married firstly to Ælflaed, daughter of Thored, the ealdorman of Northumbria; she was the mother of four sons; Æthelstan Ætheling (died 1011), Edmund Ironside, Ecgberht Ætheling and Eadred Ætheling.
Ethelred ordered the massacre of the Danes living in England on St Brice's Day (November 13) 1002 (as described in the chronicles of John of Wallingford), in response to which Sweyn Haraldsson started a series of determined campaigns to conquer England.
Science Fair Projects - Ethelred II of England (664 words)
Ethelred had at least sixteen children from two marriages, the first to Ælfgifu, the daughter of Thored, the ealdorman of Northumbria and the second, in 1002, to Emma of Normandy, whose grandnephew, William I of England, would later use this relationship as the basis of his claim on the throne.
Ethelred ordered the massacre of the Danes living in England on St Brice 's Day (November 13) 1002, in response to which Sweyn Haraldsson started a series of determined campaigns to conquer England.
Ethelred introduced major reforms of the machinery of government in Anglo-Saxon England, and is responsible for the introduction of Shire Reeves or Sheriffs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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