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King Aethelred II The Unready (978 - 1016)

Name: King Aethelred II The Unready
Born: c.968
Parents: Edgar and Elfrida
Relation to Charles III: 29th great-grandfather
House of: Wessex
Ascended to the throne: March 18, 978
Crowned: April, 978 at Kingston-upon-Thames, aged c.10
Married: (1) Elfleda, (2) Emma
Children: 9 sons including Edmund and Edward, and 4 daughters
Died: April 23, 1016 at London
Buried at: St Paul's
Reigned for: 38 years, 1 month, 5 days
Succeeded by: his son Edmund

King of England from 978, following the murder of his half-brother, Edward the Martyr. He was son of King Edgar. Aethelred tried to buy off the Danish raiders by paying Danegeld. In 1002 he ordered the massacre of the Danish settlers, provoking an invasion by Sweyn I of Denmark.In 1013 King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark landed in England and was proclaimed king. Aethelred II the Unready fled to Normandy but was recalled in 1014 on the death of Sweyn. War with Sweyn's son, Canute, occupied the rest of Aethelred's reign. His nickname is a corruption of the Old English 'unreed', meaning badly counselled or poorly advised.

Timeline for King Aethelred II The Unready

Year Event
978Aethelred, son of Edgar, becomes King of England following the murder of his half brother Edward
980Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton
985Sweyn I, Forkbeard, rebels against his father Harold Blue-tooth and deposes him
991Battle of Maldon: Byrhtnoth of Essex is defeated by Danish invaders; Aethelred buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld)
992Aethelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy
994Danes under Sweyn and Norwegians under Olaf Trygvesson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by Aethelred
1002Aethelred orders a massacre of Danish settlers. After the death of his first wife Elfleda he marries Emma of Normandy
1012The Danes raid Kent, burning Canterbury Cathedral and murdering Archbishop Alphege
1013King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark lands in England and is proclaimed king; Aethelred II the Unready flees to Normandy
1014The English recall Aethelred II the Unready as King on the death of Sweyn at Gainsborough
1015King Canute II of Denmark & Norway again invades England