Aethelred's Line

  • Lineage
  • King Aethelred Unraed (without council) was the last Anglo-Saxon king before the great invasion of Sweyn Forkbeard introduced Danish hegemony. King Edward the Confessor was a descendant of Aethelred, and his reign brought the English dynasty back. Without any children of Edward's own, however, other kin of Aethlered had to be found to continue the dynasty. Leofric of Mercia was instrumental in collecting the ransom necessary for bishop Aldred to gain the release of Aethelred's kin in Hungary.

    Possibly the most logical heir at the time of King Edward's passing might have been fifteen year old Edgar the Aetheling, the great-grandson of Aethelred and his first wife. Why did King Edward not automatically name his great-nephew Edgar the Aetheling as his heir? Edgar was of noble blood, but he was not clearly Edward's choice, nor would he necessarily have been the choice of the Witan, as he was only a very young man, and one who had been born and spent most of his young life in exile in Hungary. As in the histories, Edgar is not an important character in Godiva and the Golden Dragon.