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(ĕ`thəlrĕd, ă`–), d.871, king of Wessex (865–71), son of Æthelwulf and brother of AlfredAlfred,
849–99, king of Wessex (871–99), sometimes called Alfred the Great, b. Wantage, Berkshire. Early Life

The youngest son of King Æthelwulf, he was sent in 853 to Rome, where the pope gave him the title of Roman consul.
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. He succeeded his brother ÆthelbertÆthelbert,
d. 865, king of Wessex (860–65), son of Æthelwulf. After the death of his father in 858 he ruled Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Essex, and he reunited them with Wessex when in 860 he succeeded his brother Æthelbald in that kingdom.
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 as king of Wessex and as overlord of Kent and possibly of East Anglia. Æthelred spent his short reign gathering forces to oppose the Danes, who occupied York (866) and ravaged much of England. Alfred was important as his second in command in a series of battles (870–71) and succeeded him in Apr., 871.


965?–1016, king of England (978–1016), called Æthelred the Unready [Old Eng. unrœd=without counsel]. He was the son of Edgar and the half-brother of Edward the MartyrEdward the Martyr,
c.962–978, king of the English (975–78), son of Edgar by his first wife. Despite the opposition of some of the nobles, Edward succeeded his father to the throne and was crowned.
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, whom he succeeded. Æthelred began his reign under a cloud of suspicion because of the murder of Edward. He was a weak king, but his efforts to resist the Danes, who resumed their raids on England in 980, were also considerably hampered by the frequent treachery of his commanders. In 991 he began paying tribute to the Danes, which he raised by the DanegeldDanegeld
, medieval land tax originally raised to buy off raiding Danes and later used for military expenditures. In England the tribute was first levied in 868, then in 871 by Alfred, and occasionally thereafter.
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, but his tributary status did not prevent the Danes from returning. In 997 they came not only to raid but to remain and plunder the rich realm until 1000. A massacre of Danes in England in 1002 (possibly on the king's orders) provoked another major raid (1003) led by the Danish king SweynSweyn
, c.960–1014, king of Denmark (986–1014), son of Harold Bluetooth. Although baptized, he reverted to paganism and rebelled against his father, who was killed in battle.
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. Æthelred tried to defend his kingdom; in 1002 he married Emma, sister of Richard II, duke of Normandy, perhaps in an attempt to gain an ally; in 1007 the army was placed under a single commander; by 1009 a navy had been built, but many of its commanders took to piracy. A severe harrying (1009–12) by the Danes left England disorganized, and when the Danish king SweynSweyn
, c.960–1014, king of Denmark (986–1014), son of Harold Bluetooth. Although baptized, he reverted to paganism and rebelled against his father, who was killed in battle.
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 returned in 1013 to conquer, he was well received in the DanelawDanelaw
, originally the body of law that prevailed in the part of England occupied by the Danes after the treaty of King Alfred with Guthrum in 886. It soon came to mean also the area in which Danish law obtained; according to the treaty, the boundary between England and
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, and London capitulated with little resistance. Æthelred fled to Normandy. Upon Sweyn's death in 1014, Æthelred's restoration was negotiated in the first recorded pact between an English king and his subjects. Sweyn's son, CanuteCanute
, 995?–1035, king of England, Norway, and Denmark. The younger son of Sweyn of Denmark, Canute accompanied his father on the expedition of 1013 that invaded England and forced Æthelred to flee to Normandy.
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, withdrew, but he returned with a powerful army in 1015. War was in progress when Æthelred died in Apr., 1016. His son Edmund IronsideEdmund Ironside,
d. 1016, king of the English (1016), son of Æthelred the Unready. Contrary to the wishes of his father, he married (1015) the widow of Siferth, a Danish thane, and was accepted as ruler of the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw.
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 was declared his successor, but after concluding a treaty with Canute, he died in November. Æthelred's heirs were restored to the throne only with Edward the ConfessorEdward the Confessor,
d. 1066, king of the English (1042–66), son of Æthelred the Unready and his Norman wife, Emma. After the Danish conquest (1013–16) of England, Edward grew up at the Norman court, although his mother returned to England and married the
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It did not do so and it is probable that Aethelred was the commander.
Three Acts (1901), the play starts with AEthelred praying in his tent.
Just as Byrhtnoth was bound to his lord AEthelred and to the security of England, so too is Gandalf the Maia bound to the Valar and to the security of Middle-earth.
Do not let the unfortunate name fool you; in fact Aethelred appears to have actually been quite an active monarch, ruling over 35 years, longer than any other Anglo-Saxon monarch of England.
In 1015, Athelstan, the eldest son of King AEthelred II (978-1016), who predeceased his father, made the following bequest in his will: "And to my brother Edmund I grant the sword which belonged to King Offa" (Eng.
Others making the top 10 included Eadric Streona, King Aethelred II's chief counsellor and Robin Hood's nemesis King John.
The king was Aethelred the Unready (Unraed, meaning ill-advised), an ineffective but long-reigning king who failed to solve the Danish problem and continued paying them to stop them attacking the south of England.
Others making the top ten included Eadric Streo-na, King Aethelred II's chief counsellor, who betrayed his country by switching sides when the Danish king Cnut invaded in 1015, and King John.
No explanation is offered for the gap during the reign of AEthelred II; presumably the editor thinks that annalistic activity was suspended at Abingdon during this period and that the bulk of the AEthelredian chronicle was compiled elsewhere.
First of all, she outlines how the carefully nurtured relationship between king and nobles that had been established by Alfred and his successors was broken down during the struggles between Aethelred II and the Danish forces of Swegn and Cnut.
910 AT the Battle of Tettenhall, August 5, the armies of King Edward of Wessex and Earl Aethelred of Mercia, scored a great victory over Northumbrian Vikings.