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King Edwy (Eadwig) (955 - 959)

Name: King Edwy (Eadwig)
Born: c.940
Parents: Edmund and Elgiva
Relation to Charles III: 30th great-granduncle
House of: Wessex
Ascended to the throne: November 23, 955
Crowned: January 26, 956 at Kingston-upon-Thames, aged c.15
Married: Ælgifu
Children: None
Died: October 1, 959 at Gloucester
Buried at: Gloucester
Reigned for: 3 years, 10 months, 7 days
Succeeded by: his brother Edgar

Edwy (also known as Eadwig) was the elder son of Edmund and his first wife Elgiva (Ælfgifu). Edwy and his brother Edgar were young children when their father was killed during an attack by an outlawed thief on 26 May 946. As his sons were too young to rule Edmund was succeeded by his brother Eadred who suffered from ill health and died unmarried in his early 30s.

Edwy became king in 955 aged about fifteen. He clashed at the beginning of his reign with Dunstan, the powerful Abbot of Glastonbury and future Archbishop of Canterbury, and exiled him to Flanders. This made him unpopular with the church and monastries who recorded Edwy's reign as irresponsible and incompetent. He transfered land and favours to his favourites, and some of the hostility towards Edwy was possibly due to his promotion of his friends, especially Ælfhere, at the expense of the old guard, such as Dunstan. Oda, Archbishop of Canterbury, separated Eadwig from his wife Ælfgifu on the ground that they were too closely related.

In 957 Mercians and Northumbrians rebelled agaist Edwy and the kingdom was divided between Edwy in the south and his brother Edgar in the north. Edgar became king of Mercia, but there were disagreements between the brothers and the North remained rebellious. Edwy died in 959 when he was just 20, and his brother Edgar took over the throne.

Timeline for King Edwy (Eadwig)

Year Event
955Edwy crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames
956Dunstan sent into exile by Edwy
957Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against Edwy
959Edwy dies in Gloucester