Edward the Confessor

Born 1002
Reigned 1042 - 1066
Died 5th Jan 1066

Edward the Confessor was born about 1002 at Islip, Oxfordshire. He was the son of Ethelred II (the Unready) and Emma, daughter of Richard I of France, Duke of Normandy. Edward's genealogy can be traced back to Noah.

At about the age of ten, Edward, his mother, father and brother Alfred fled to Normandy to be brought up at the court of Duke Richard the Good, his uncle. Emma took them to Normandy in 1013 where they remained in exile till Edward was invited to return home in 1041 by his half-brother Hardicanute (Harthacnut).Edward succeeded to the throne on the death of Hardicanute in 1042. Under Edward's rule England enjoyed over twenty years of peace and prosperity.

In 1045, Edward married Earl Godwin's eldest daughter, Edith (Eadgyth).Godwin being the most powerful of the English Earls at this time. The marriage was never consummated and he died on 5th January 1066, leaving no offspring.

Edward's most notable achievement was the building of Westminster Abbey. His reign lasted 23 years and he was canonized in 1161.

"...he was a very proper figure of a man--of outstanding height, and distinguished by his milky white hair and beard, full face and rosy cheeks, thin white hands, and long translucent fingers; in all the rest of his body he was an unblemished royal person. Pleasant, but always dignified, he walked with eyes downcast, most graciously affable to one and all. If some cause aroused his temper, he seemed as terrible as a lion, but he never revealed his anger by railing."

"Vita Ędwardi Regis"

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