Edwy the Fair, King of England

Edwy, the son of Edmund I and Elfgifu of Wessex, was born about 922.
He secretly married Aelfgifu of Wessex, in about 955.


Nicknamed the fair king because of his good looks, rather than for his judgement, Edwy succeeded Edred as King of England in 955. His coronation took place at Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, in January 956. After the ceremony, he retired to his quarters with his young wife, Aelfgifu, and her mother. Dunston the Abbot of Glastonbury was sent to ask the King to join the guests. On locating Edwy, Dunston attacked the two women and forced the King to attend the banquet.

He reigned for almost four years and might have been responsible for the disintegration of the recently united England had he reigned longer. Both Mercia and Northumbria rejected his rule in preference to his younger brother Edgar. This reduced his domain to Kent and Wessex only.

Both he and his wife died in 959 at Gloucester of suspicious circumstances. He was succeeded by his brother, Edgar.