World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Æthelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia

Article Id: WHEBN0013977068
Reproduction Date:

Title: Æthelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Edward the Martyr, Edgar the Peaceful, Æthelwold, Æthelstan Half-King, Earl of East Anglia
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Æthelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia

Æthelwald (died 962) was ealdorman of East Anglia. He is mentioned in Byrhtferth's life of Oswald of Worcester along with other members of his family.

He was probably the oldest son of Æthelstan Half-King and succeeded to some of his father's offices in 956 when Æthelstan became a monk at Glastonbury Abbey. He was a benefactor of Ramsey Abbey and a supporter of the Benedictine reform movement which began in the reign of King Edgar.

He was the first husband of Ælfthryth who married King Edgar after Æthelwald's death. William of Malmesbury's Gesta regum anglorum has a late account of Æthelwald's marriage and death. According to William, the beauty of Ordgar's daughter Ælfthryth was reported to King Edgar. Edgar, looking for a Queen, sent Æthelwald to see Ælfthryth, ordering him "to offer her marriage [to Edgar] if her beauty were really equal to report." When she turned out to be just as beautiful as was said, Æthelwald married her himself and reported back to Edgar that she was quite unsuitable. Edgar was eventually told of this deception, and decided to repay Æthelwald's betrayal in like manner. He said that he would visit the poor woman, which alarmed Æthelwald. He asked Ælfthryth to make herself as unattractive as possible for the king's visit, but she did the opposite. Edgar, quite besotted with her, killed Æthelwald during a hunt.

Edward Augustus Freeman debunks the Æthelwald murder story as a "tissue of romance" in his Historic essays,[1] but his arguments were in turn refuted by the naturalist William Henry Hudson in his 1920 book Dead Man's Plack and an Old Thorn.[2]

Æthelwald was seemingly dead by 962 as he ceases to witness charters at that time. He was buried at Ramsey Abbey. His younger brother Æthelwine succeeded to his offices.

A memorial to Æthelwald, known as the Dead Man's Plack, was erected in Longparish, Hampshire in 1825.

References

  • Henson, Donald, A Guide to Late Anglo-Saxon England: From Ælfred to Eadgar II. Hockwold-cum-Wilton: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1998. ISBN 1-898281-21-1
  • Higham, Nick, The Death of Anglo-Saxon England. Stroud: Sutton, 1997. ISBN 0-7509-2469-1
  • Miller, Sean, "Æthelstan Half-King" in Michael Lapidge, et al. (eds), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. ISBN 0-631-22492-0
  • Stafford, Pauline, Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. London: Edward Arnold, 1989. ISBN 0-7131-6532-4
  • William of Malmesbury, The Kings before the Norman Conquest, trans. Joseph Stevenson. Reprinted Llanerch, 1989. ISBN 0-947992-32-4
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.