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A Brief History - Eadred

Eadred was the son of Edward the Elder, and the younger brother of Kings Aethelstan and Edmund I. He ascended the throne in 946 following the assassination of Edmund I. -

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At the time of Eadred’s ascension, the political atmosphere in England was tense. In 947, Northumbria rebelled against the king under their adopted Viking leader Eric Bloodaxe. Eadred responded by pillaging the Northumbrian villages, yet this would not deter them. It wasn’t until 954 that Eadred’s men killed Eric Bloodaxe in combat, and Northumbria was finally forced to submit to Eadred!

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Eadred also relied heavily on the Church during his reign. He was a patron of many monasteries and encouraged the faith in England. Many of his responsibilities were actually passed onto St Dunstan, the Abbot of Glastonbury, on account of Eadred’s poor health. -

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Eadred suffered from digestive problems, perhaps even the same illness that plagued his grandfather Alfred the Great. Eadred could not digest solid food, and thus survived mainly from juices and purées. He eventually died in 955 aged just 32. He is buried at Old Minister, Winchester, and his tomb still survives! Eadred never married, nor produced issue, and thus the throne passed to his nephew, Eadwig.

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