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British Monarchs: Eadwig (Edwy) All-Fair (House of Wessex) 955-959

Eadwig (Edwy) All-Fair

House: House of Wessex
Reign: 955-959

Edwy All-Fair or Eadwig (941? October 1, 959) was the King of England from 955 until his death. The eldest son of King Edmund and Saint Elgiva, Edwy was chosen by the nobility to succeed his uncle Edred as King. His short reign was marked by ongoing conflicts with his family, the Thanes, and especially the Church, under the leadership of Saint Dunstan and Archbishop Odo.

According to one legend, the feud with Dunstan began on the
day of Edwy's consecration, when he failed to attend a meeting of nobles. When Dunstan eventually found the young monarch, he was cavorting with a noblewoman named Ethelgive and refused to return with the bishop. Infuriated by this, Dunstan dragged Edwy back and forced him to renounce the girl as a "strumpet." Later realizing that he had provoked the king, Dunstan fled to the apparent sanctuary of his cloister, but Edwy, incited by Ethelgive, followed him and plundered the monastery. Though Dunstan managed to escape, he refused to return to England until after Edwy's death.

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