Skip to main content

Edward

Edward (d. 924), king of England (899–924), known as ‘the Elder’. The reign of Edward the Elder falls neatly into two parts. Up to 910 when he won a decisive victory against the Danes at Tettenhall in Staffordshire, Edward was involved first in suppressing a revolt led by his cousin Æthelwold, who drew support from the Danes settled in East Anglia, and then in efforts to keep the peace with Danish forces active from their bases in Northumbria and East Anglia. After Tettenhall narrative accounts chart a period of almost uninterrupted progress, which left Edward in effective command of all England south of the Humber. In the north of England he was not so successful. A Viking kingdom was set up at York which offered at most a vague recognition of overlordship to him, and a strong element of Irish/Norse colonization was intruded into Cumbria and modern Lancashire. His success was possible partly because of the readiness of Danes, settled into the countryside now for a generation or more, to submit to a strong legitimate king who could offer peace, and partly due to the active co-operation achieved between the West Saxons and the Mercians. Edward worked well first with his brother-in-law Æthelred, ealdorman of Mercia, and then after his death in 911 with his widow, Edward's own sister Æthelfleda, the formidable ‘lady of the Mercians’. The co-operation had its uneasy moments. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle implies that only after Æthelred's death did Edward take direct control of London and Oxford. On Æthelfleda's death in 918 some local Mercian attempt, quickly suppressed, was made to rally support behind her daughter Ælfwynn. Even at the end of his reign Edward was forced to campaign against the men of Chester who had formed an alliance with the Welsh. But by and large the success of Edward and Æthelfleda in reabsorbing much of the Danelaw did much to cement the Christian English into a common unity under the West Saxon ruling house. An outstanding feature of their campaigns was the implementation of what can best be termed a ‘burghal’ policy, that is to say the setting up of fortified defences at towns or rudimentary towns manned by forces drawn from surrounding estates according to a fixed system of assessment, each pole (5½ yards) of wall to be protected by four men. The origins of the system go back to Alfred's day, and a document dating from Edward's early years, the so-called ‘Burghal Hidage’, gives details of its implementation for some 30 or so ‘burghs’, mostly in a great sweep of country defending greater Wessex. Extension now took place and burhs were built or repaired (where existing fortifications already existed) at places such as Hertford, Witham, Buckingham, Bedford, Maldon, Towcester (specially defended by a stone wall), Tempsford, and Colchester by Edward, and at Bridgnorth, Tamworth, Stafford, Warwick, and Runcorn by Æthelfleda, who also took the Danish borough at Derby. The establishment of safe strongholds of this nature, keyed into the landed wealth of the community, were of vital importance to the creation of permanent effective royal administration, essential for the legal and financial as well as the military health of the kingdom. They represent an important stage in the setting up, on the West Saxon model, of the midland shires, based on shire towns such as Hertford, Buckingham, or Stafford.

At various points in his reign Edward also had his overlordship recognized by Welsh princes, Scottish rulers, by the Britons of Strathclyde, and by still independent Northumbrian noblemen exercising authority at Bamburgh, but his major contribution to the ultimate achievement of English unity rested on military and institutional success south of the Humber.

Henry Loyn

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/edward

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/edward

Edward

Edward (d. 978), king of England (975–8), known as ‘the Martyr’. On the sudden death of Edgar, 8 July 975, succession to the throne was far from clear, and parties formed around his two young sons, Edward, then aged about 13, and Edward's half-brother Æthelred, who was probably only 7 or 8. Edward was eventually accepted and the two or three years of his reign were marked by a check to the lavish endowments made to monasteries by his father (not necessarily an anti-monastic policy as such). Later authorities speak of the young king as unstable and violent, but all was overshadowed by the manner of his death. On a visit to his young brother and stepmother at Corfe in Dorset on 18 March 978 (just possibly 979) he was treacherously stabbed to death in cold blood by his brother's retainers. It is possible that some of Æthelred's weakness may be attributed to the moral blight thrown on him and his mother Queen Ælfthryth as a result of this murder. Edward was buried without due honour at Wareham, though his body was later translated to Shaftesbury. Popular opinion, encouraged no doubt by the nuns at Shaftesbury, postulated his sanctity and the anniversary of his death, 18 March, was set aside as his commemoration day in the legislation of Æthelred.

Henry Loyn

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/edward-0

"Edward." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/edward-0

Edward

Edward male forename; name of two English saints.
St Edward the Confessor (c. 1003–66), the son of Ethelred the Unready and his second wife Emma of Normandy, king of England 1042–66. Famed for his piety, Edward rebuilt Westminster Abbey, where he was eventually buried. He is sometimes shown with a ring which according to legend he gave to a beggar; subsequently English pilgrims in the Holy Land (or India) encountered an old man who said that he was St John the Apostle, and who gave them back the ring, telling them to return it to the king, and warn him that he would die in six months' time. His feast day is 13 October.
St Edward the Martyr (c.963–78), the son of Edgar, king of England 975–8. Edward was faced by a challenge for the throne from supporters of his half-brother, Ethelred, who eventually had him murdered at Corfe Castle in Dorset. His emblem is a dagger, symbol of his martyrdom. His feast day is 18 March.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Edward." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Edward." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/edward

"Edward." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/edward

Lawes, Lewis Edward

Lewis Edward Lawes, 1883–1947, American penologist, b. Elmira, N.Y. As warden (1920–41) of Sing Sing Prison, a New York state prison located at Ossining, N.Y., he carried out many reforms, advocating vocational training for convicts and the abolition of capital punishment. Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing (1932) is the best known of his books.

See study by R. Blumenthal (2004).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Lawes, Lewis Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lawes, Lewis Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawes-lewis-edward

"Lawes, Lewis Edward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lawes-lewis-edward

Edward

Edward •landward • backward •Edward, headward •hellward • heavenward • leftward •northwestward, southwestward, westward •wayward •leeward, seaward •eastward, northeastward, southeastward •windward • inward • cityward •skyward • sideward • rightward •onward •forward, henceforward, shoreward, straightforward, thenceforward •awkward • northward •downward, townward •outward • southward • poleward •homeward • oceanward • Woodward •sunward • upward • frontward •rearward • afterward • earthward •halyard •lanyard, Spaniard •untenured • steelyard • vineyard •poniard •haphazard, hazard, mazzard •blizzard, gizzard, izard, lizard, vizard, wizard •buzzard

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Edward." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Edward." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/edward-0

"Edward." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved March 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/edward-0