Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ӕlfwynn of Mercia

Granddaughter of Alfred the Great.
Ӕlfwynn was the daughter of Ealdorman Ӕthelred of Mercia and Ӕthelflaed, eldest daughter of King Alfred the Great. The best guess on the birth of Ӕlfwynn is c. 888 as her parents probably married sometime between 882 and 887. The chronicler William of Malmesbury states that Ӕthelflaed had no more children either because the birth of Ӕlfwynn was difficult or she didn’t like the pain of the delivery. Ӕthelflaed’s brother Edward had a son named Ӕthelstan. Either on the advice of Edward or their father Alfred, Ӕthelstan was sent to Mercia to be educated by Ӕthelflaed. We can imagine that Ӕlfwynn took part in the same studies as her cousin. Ӕthelflaed may have personally supervised their education, appointed a bishop as tutor or organized several tutors in her household.

Ӕlfwynn‘s father did not seek the crown of Mercia. For many years he spent time on campaign with King Alfred and his brother-in-law Edward, fighting Vikings and trying to consolidate the many kingdoms of England. By 902, Ӕthelred was in bad health and Ӕlfwynn’s mother was the actual ruler of Mercia. She was to work together with her brother Edward in building forts and fighting Viking invaders. (Read entire article.)

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