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British Monarchs: Æthelred II (Ethelred the Unready) (House of Wessex) 1014-1016


Æthelred II (Ethelred the Unready)


House: House of Wessex
Reign: 1014-1016

According to William of Malmesbury, Ethelred defecated in the baptismal font as a child, which led St. Dunstan to prophesy that the English monarchy would be overthrown during his reign. This story is, however, almost certainly a fabrication.

Ethelred succeeded to the throne aged about ten following the death of his father King Edgar and subsequent murder of his half-brother Edward the Martyr. His nickname "The Unready" .
does not mean that he was ill-prepared, but derives from the Anglo-Saxon unræd meaning "poorly counselled" or "indecisive". This could also be interpreted as a pun on his name, Æþelræd, which may be understood to mean "noble counsel" in Old English


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