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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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Keynes concludes from his study of AEthelred's diplomas that "one cannot avoid the impression that during the 990s and early 1000s the king was surrounded by men of considerable calibre, many of whom turn out to have been closely associated with the advancement of the monastic cause."(31) While some of them must have shared Wulfstan's tendency to demonize the Vikings, AElfric's message of non-violence was certainly heard as well.
Within four years he had been succeeded by the indomitable Earldorman Aethelred, who secured an alliance with Alfred of Wessex by marrying the king's daughter, Aethelflaed.
Then all the councillors who were on Engla londe, ecclesiastical and lay, determined to send for King Aethelred and they said that no lord was dearer to them than their natural lord if he would govern them more justly than he did before.
A later Aethelred expanded the church in the early 10th century, as Chester was revived to protect Mercia's northern frontier.
With many competing claims for authority in late tenth-century England (reformers, pre-reformed clerics, Edward and AEthelred, and Viking leaders), the poem suggests that supporting the legitimate (to the reformers) royal and ecclesiastical figures is pleasing to God and a source of security for the English.
But, as in the world of AEthelred and Beowulf, Alexander is also not immune to treachery: having offered a reward to paem us cuplice gelaeddon purh pa uncuoan land, "those who led us courteously through that strange land"(18), his men suffer terrible mangling and death in the water.
In 982 AD in the reign of King Aethelred II, German ships coming up the Thames to trade at London Bridge had to pay a special Christmas and Easter tax in black peppercorns.
his brother the Saxon King, AEthelred, led the Saxon forces against a
If I have read the tables right, George Washington, Winston Churchill and Princess Di can all trace their ancestry back to Saxon times and King Aethelred the Unready.
In the eighth century, Osred I (705/6-716) was murdered "south of the border"; Oswulf (758) was murdered by his household family; Aelfwold I (779-88) and AEthelred II (840/1-844) were likewise murdered.
To illustrate this point, consider someone, call him Aethelred, who goes to meet with a financial planner.