Edward the Martyr Biography
(King of England)
Edward the Martyr was the King of England from 975 to 978. His reign was brutally cut short when he was murdered on 18 March 978. Edward became the king after his father King Edgar the Peaceful died, leaving behind a dispute about his successor. Edward had not been chosen by his father as his rightful heir to the throne and this put both him and his half-brother Æthelred II (also known as Æthelred the Unready) in contention for the leadership. Edward, despite being the elder son of King Edgar, was not recognized as the legitimate son. This was due to the fact that King Edgar had remarried and his new wife, Elfthryth, the mother of Æthelred II, had replaced Edward’s mother Ethelfled as the queen. As the tussle intensified, both the sons were backed by their respective supporters in their claim to the throne. Edward won as he was supported by the clerics and the archbishops of Canterbury and York. At that time, he was too young to understand the complexities of ruling a kingdom. He had not completed even three years of his reign when he was murdered for reasons unknown. He was ultimately recognized as a martyr and a saint in the Catholic Church.