April 23, 1016: Death of Æthelred II, The Unready, King of the English

European Royal History

Æthelred II (c. 966 – April 23, 1016), known as the Unready, was King of the English from 978 to 1013 and again from 1014 until his death in 1016.

Æthelred was the son of King Edgar the Peaceful and Queen Ælfthryth, the daughter of Ealdorman Ordgar. Her mother was a member of the royal family of Wessex. The family’s power lay in the west of Wessex.

Ælfthryth was the first wife of an English king known to have been crowned and anointed as queen. She had two sons with Edgar, the ætheling Edmund (who died young) and King Æthelred the Unready. Ælfthryth was a powerful political figure and possibly orchestrated the murder of her stepson, King Edward the Martyr, in order to place her son Æthelred on the throne. She appeared as a stereotypical bad queen and evil stepmother in many medieval histories.

Æthelred came to the throne at…

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