English History Timeline 970-979

King Edgar the Peaceful Edward the Martyr Aethelred the Unready

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 970 – 979

The kings of England for this period were:
Edgar to 975
Edward the Martyr from 975 to 978
Aethelred the Unready from 978


970 (during)
King Edgar’s eldest son by his second wife, Edmund, died.
971 (during)
St Swithun’s body was moved to an indoor tomb. The move was marred by 40 days of rain. Hence the saying ‘If it rains on St Swithun’s day it will rain for 40 days’.
973 (during)
King Edgar and his wife Aelfthryth were crowned at Bath by Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury. This coronation is thought to have been a second coronation to mark the zenith of Edgar’s kingship. The service was devised by Dunstan and elements of it are still used for monarch’s coronations today.
973 (during)
Edgar received the submission of eight kings of the North, including the Kings of Scotland and Strathclyde at Chester. This strengthened his position as King of England.
975 (8th July)
King Edgar died at Winchester. He was succeeded by his 13 year old son from his first marriage, Edward.
975 (after 8th July)
Edward was crowned by Archbishop Dunstan at Kingston upon Thames.
975 (after 8th July)
The dowager Queen and many leading nobles did not support the accession of Edward, Edgar’s son from his first marriage. They believed that Aethelred, Edgar’s son from his marriage to Aelfthryth should be King.
978 (18th March)
King Edward was murdered at Corfe Castle by assassins acting on behalf of the dowager Queen. His half-brother Aethelred aged 10 years, became King. Edward is known as Edward the Martyr.
978 (4th April)
Aethelred was crowned King of England at Kingston upon Thames. He was known as Aethelred the Unready (Unraed meaning bad counsel).


First published 2016; updated and re-published Apr 22 2021 @ 10:24 am – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2021). English History 970 – 979.


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