Edgar Aetheling was born in Hungary to Edward the Exile
, son of King Edmund Ironside
and Agatha, possibly daughter of Yaroslav of Kiev. He was styled Aetheling because he was the grandson of Edmund Ironside. He had two elder sisters, Margaret who was born around 1045 and Cristina whose date of birth is unknown.
1057 (Late August)
King Edward the Confessor summoned Edgar’s father, Edward to return to England and the family made the journey from Hungary to England. Edward the Confessor had no children and it is believed that the family were summoned to be named as successors to the throne.
1057 (Late August)
Shortly after arriving in England, Edgar’s father died, the circumstances of his death are not known.
1066 (5th January)
King Edward the Confessor died. Although Edgar Aetheling was the nearest blood relative, the Witan considered him too young to rule and hold off the impending challenge from William of Normandy. Harold Godwinson
Earl of Wessex was chosen to be King.
1066 (6th January)
Harold Godwinson was crowned King Harold II of England.
1066 (8th September)
, King of Norway, supported by Harold’s exiled brother Tostig invaded England. They sailed through the Humber estuary and into the River Ouse.
1066 (20th September)
Battle of Fulford
Harold’s earls Morcar and Edwin were defeated by the Viking forces of Harald and Tostig at this battle. The two earls fled the battlefield.
1066 (after 20th September)
As soon as he learned of the defeat at Fulford, Harold Godwinson marched rapidly north calling for men to join him along the way.
1066 (25th September)
Battle of Stamford Bridge
Harold Godwinson’s English army reached the north and surprised Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson who were completely unprepared for battle. Harold’s army successfully defeated the Norwegians and Hardrada and Tostig were both killed.
1066 (1st October)
Harold Godwinson learned that William of Normandy had invaded the south of England. He immediately made plans to return South.
1066 (13th October)
Harold reached Caldbec Hill in East Sussex. He had hoped to make a surprise attack on the Norman camp at Hastings but he found out that William knew of his presence and had to change tactic.
1066 (14th October)
Battle of Hastings
The English army led by King Harold II formed a shield wall at the top of Senlac Hill. William’s army made repeated attacks on the shield wall but it held firm. At one point a group of Normans turned and fled down the hill, the Anglo-Saxons chased after them but were encircled and killed. Harold’s shield wall held firm until late in the afternoon when Harold was struck by an arrow. As he was reeling from the attack he was killed.
1066 (15th October)
Edgar Aetheling was named King of England by the Witan.
Having conquered the south-east of England, William was poised to attack London. The nobility of England knew that they could not defeat the Norman and so Edgar, the Witan and other nobility were forced to submit. William took Edgar into his custody.
1066 (25th December)
William Duke of Normandy was crowned King William I of England.
1068 (Late Spring)
Edgar and his mother and sisters fled to Scotland where they were given refuge by King Malcolm Canmore
Edgar’s sister Margaret married King Malcolm of Scotland.
King William I invaded Scotland. Edgar managed to escape to Flanders.
Edgar returned to Scotland but then received an offer of support from the King of France. He set sail bound for France but was shipwrecked and had to return to Scotland.
Malcolm of Scotland persuaded Edgar to make peace with William and give up his claim to the English throne.
Edgar was not happy being a subject of William. With William’s permission he left England with a party of knights to seek his fortune in Italy.
Following the death of William I, Edgar returned to France where he supported William’s eldest son Robert Curthose
, Duke of Normandy, against William’s younger son William Rufus who had taken the throne of England as King William II.
William II and his supporters defeated Robert Curthose and his supporters in Normandy. A truce was reached between the brothers and Edgar returned to England.
Edgar Aetheling went to Scotland on William II’s behalf to negotiate the terms of a settlement between the two countries.
1093 (13th November)
Battle of Alnwick
Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland and his son, Edward were killed during this battle between Scotland and England.
1093 (after 13th November)
Malcolm Canmore’s brother Donald became King of Scotland. He succeeded in driving the English out of Scotland.
Malcolm Canmore’s son Duncan who had been held captive by William I tried to retake the Scottish throne. Edgar supported Duncan’s claim but unfortunately Duncan was killed.
Edgar returned to Scotland, this time in support of his nephew, Edgar. Edgar had come of age and successfully overthrew Donald and became King of Scotland.
1100 (11th November)
Edgar’s niece Edith
married King Henry I of England. Her name was changed to Mathilda after her marriage.
Edgar made a crusade to Jerusalem.
1106 (28th September)
Edgar was taken prisoner following Robert Curthose’s defeat at the Battle of Tinchebrai, but was pardoned by King Henry I.
First published 2013; updated and re-published Aug 09 2020 @ 2:12 pm – Updated – [last-modified]