Edward the Confessor Crowned King of England But a Bunch of Other Stuff Happened First

Kathy Copeland Padden
3 min readJul 18, 2019
Barry Gibb pre-Bee Gees. Photo by WorldHistory. us

Edward the Confessor was born in 1003 to King Ethelred the Unready and his second wife Emma, the sister of Richard, Duke of Normandy. He was the last Anglo-Saxon king to sit on the throne of England. Edward was responsible for the building of Westminster Abbey, one of the great churches of England, and where many of the country’s most illustrious monarchs and distinguished personages were laid to rest.

When Edward entered the world, his dad was keeping busy trying to offset the Viking invasions that kept popping up all over England’s coastlines. He managed to hold them off for over a decade, but when Edward was ten King Ethelred was deposed, and the Royal family was exiled in Normandy under Uncle Richard’s protection.

Aethelred regained England’s throne in 1014, but for some reason sent Edward back to represent him. This was quite the dangerous undertaking for such a young kid, but he appointed himself so nobly that the Witan, or Council, forbade any future Danish kings in England.

But only two years later King Ethelred was dead, and his son from his first marriage, Edmund Ironside, was fighting to keep the English throne from the Danish King Cnut (explosive typo potential here.) Then Edmund bought the farm in 1016, and Cnut talked the Witan into handing over the English throne to him. So much for the “no more Danish kings” thing.

King Ethelred’s widow and Edward’s mom saw her chance to stay in the spotlight and married King Cnut. She made her new husband swear that no other sons save the ones they would have together would inherit the throne, kicking Edward and younger brother Alfred to the curb and forcing them into exile(again.) In 1018, she had another son, Harthacnut, who became Mommy’s little favorite.

While Edward and Alfred hung out in Normandy, King Cnut died in 1035 and his illegitimate son Harold Harefoot showed up and tried to snag the throne (General Hospital had nothing on medieval England people — try to keep up.) But Queen Emma said, “not on my watch, bub,” and held the fort for Harthacnut, who was taking his sweet time coming back from Denmark.

The following year, Edward and Alfred gathered forces and headed home to England. When Edward…

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Kathy Copeland Padden

is a music fanatic, classic film aficionado, and history buff surfing the End Times wave like a boss. Come along!