Aethelred II the 'Unready', King of England

Aethelred, the son of Edgar the Peaceful and Elfrida of Devon, was born in about 968
He married firstly Elfleda of Northumbria, in about 983
He married secondly Emma, daughter of Richard I, Count of Normandy, and Gunnor of Denmark, at Winchester April 5 1002

Aethelred II

Aethelred succeeded to the throne at the age of ten following his half-brother, Edward, at Corfe Castle in 978. His nickname refers to the belief that he did not have a reputable policy rather than that he was unprepared.

Aethelred levied taxes in 980 AD to pay Danegeld (or protection money) to the Vikings who consistently raided England. The policy failed when they realised the amount of profit that could be made simply by threatening further attacks. The Danes overran England in 1013 and Aethelred fled to Normandy.

He died April 13 1016 in London and was buried in the old St Paul's Cathedral. He was succeeded by his son, Edmund Ironside.

On July 2 1017 his wife, Emma, married Canute, who subsequently claimed the English throne. She died at Winchester in 1052 and was buried in the Old Minster.