Monday, 30 April 2012

House of Wessex (restored)

It can be said that the Reign of the Danish House for the first time of asking, was exetremely brief, but the Return of Wessex wouldn't last for long.

King Æthelred returned in 1014 after the Danish King had died and was required to swear loyalty to the noblemen, to bring in reforms and to forgive the noblemen of everything they had said and done in his previous reign.  This is an important agreement in terms of the constitution, as it is the first recorded pact between a king and his subjects.

Edmund Battles Canute
However, Sweyn's son, Canute, began preparations with his allies, the men of Lindsey, to mount a force against Æthelred but was interprupted when Æthelred launched an expedition against him in April 1014 and Canute withdrew leaving his allies at the mercy of Æthelred.

The next few months saw Canute conquer most of England and Æthelred, with his son, Edmund Ironside, defended London.

Ashington Hill - Likely location of Battle
It was here that Æthelred died on 23 April 1016, leaving Edmund to face Canute, and at the Battle of Ashingdon (18 October 1016) Canute triumphed however, Edmunds reputation as a warrior was great and Canute agreed to divide England giving Edmund Wessex, and Canute having the rest of the Kingdom above the River Thames.  However, Edmund died on 30 November and the rule of the House of Wessex came to an end as Canute became King of the whole country and so the Danish House took hold of the crown once more.

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