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More millenial celebrations; Edmund Ironside

count tiszula

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In the year before last I was taken with the fact that it was a thousand years since the reign of King Sweyn Forkbeard.  This year, the anniversary is that of King Edmund II Ironside.

At the beginning of the year1016, Sweyn's son Canute, who had been unable to establish himself as successor on Sweyn's death on Candlemas 1015, and had been expelled in a rare successful battle by Ethelred the Unready that summer,  sailed back with the Danish navy and successfully overcame most of England..   Given Ethelred's tendency to fail at everything, the English defence fell to his eldest surviving son, Edmund Ironside.  He first raised a West Saxon army, but having marched it to London found no one would follow him without  the king, so they all disbanded.  Ethelred died on St George's day and Edmund II was confirmed as the king, being probably in his late 20s or a bit older.  He went west to raise a second army, while the Danes besieged London  He fought battles at Penselwood in Somerset and Sherston in Wiltshire,  Arriving in London he liberated it and defeated the Danes at Brentford.  Nothing survives to indicate which nylons he wore, but I think stockings must be right.

He then decided to raise a new army, When he returned, he had to  liberate London again.  The Danes retreated into the kingdom of KENT,  then regarded as an underkingdom  of  Wessex, and Edmund defeated them at Otford north of Sevenoaks.  They took refuge  on the Isle of Sheppey, but soon broke out and headed North to Assandun, where they finally defeated Edmund. and negotiated the usual treaty dividing Wessex and the Danelaw.

Edmund, however, either stabbed to death while on the lavatory, or more likely of his wounds, died on 30 November1016, a thousand years ago today.  Leaving Canute in uncontested control of the kingdom.

But Edmund lives on in his famous grandchildren St Margaret and Edgar Atheling, the last Saxon King of England.





















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wRONG! the correct comment is "which book of "Game of thrones"  is this from?".

When the Beeb dramatized "The Last Kingdom", essentially an account of Alfred the Great' s battles against the Danes in the 870s, the main criticism of it was that it was a very inferior rip-off of Game of Thrones.  If any history at all is ever taught in these so-called  secondary schools, I assume that amongst his many faults, or perhaps virtues, Hitler's invention of battles with the English must have been low on the list .

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