Edward the Elder

Edward the Elder
King of England
Reign October 26, 899 - July 17, 924
Born c.869-877
Wessex, England
Died July 17, 924
Farndon-on-Dee, Cheshire
Buried New Minster, Winchester, later translated to Hyde Abbey
Married Egwina, Elfleda, and Edgiva
Parents Alfred the Great

Edward the Elder (Old English: Ēadweard se Ieldra) (c.874-877 – July 17, 924) was King of England (899 – 924). He was the son of Alfred the Great (Ælfrēd se Grēata) and became King of Wessex upon his father's death in 899.

Edward arguably exceeded Alfred's military achievements, restoring the Danelaw to Saxon rule and reigning in Mercia from 918, after the death of his sister, Ethelfleda (Æðelflǣd). He spent his early reign fighting his cousin Aethelwald (Æðelwald), son of Ethelred I (Æþelræd).

He died in 924 and was buried in the New Minster in Winchester, Hampshire. After the Conquest, the minster was replaced by Hyde Abbey to the north of the city and King Edward's body was transferred there. His last resting place is currently marked by a cross-inscribed stone slab within the outline of the old abbey marked out in a public park.

The portrait included here is imaginary and was drawn together with portraits of other Anglo-Saxon monarchs by an unknown artist in the 18th century.


King Edward had about fourteen children from three marriages, and may have had illegitimate children too.

Edward married (although the exact status of the union is uncertain) Ecgwynn around 893, and they became the parents of Athelstan and a daughter who married King Sightric of York, but Ecgwynn was considered too lowly. When he became king in 899, Edward set Ecgwynn aside and married Aelffaed , a daughter of the ealdorman of Wiltshire. Their son was the future king, Ethelweard, and their daughter Eadgyth married Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. There was one other son and five more daughters, including Edgiva alias Edgifu who married Charles the Simple.

Edward married for a third time, about 919, to Edgiva alias Eadgifu, the daughter of the ealdorman of Kent. They had two sons, Edmund and Edred, and two daughters, one of which was Saint Edburga of Winchester.




  • Higham, N.J. Edward the Elder, 2001
Preceded by:
Alfred the Great
King of England
Succeeded by:
Monarchs of England
Alfred | Edward the Elder | Ethelweard | Athelstan | Edmund I | Edred | Edwy | Edgar I | Edward the Martyr | Ethelred | Sweyn I*† | Edmund II | Canute*† | Harthacanute* | Harold I | Edward the Confessor | Harold II | Edgar II | William I | William II | Henry I | Stephen | Matilda | Henry II | Richard I | John | Henry III | Edward I | Edward II | Edward III | Richard II | Henry IV | Henry V | Henry VI | Edward IV | Edward V | Richard III | Henry VII | Henry VIII‡ | Edward VI‡ | Jane‡ | Mary I‡ | Elizabeth I‡ | James I‡§ | Charles I‡§ | Interregnum | Charles II‡§ | James II‡§ | William III‡§¶ and Mary II‡§ | Anne‡§
* Also Monarch of Denmark | † Also Monarch of Norway | ‡Also Monarch of Ireland | § Also Monarch of Scotland | ¶ Also Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe

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