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Edgar Atheling

Edgar Atheling (ăth´əlĬng) [O.E. ætheling,=son of the king], 1060?–1125?, English prince, grandson of Edmund Ironside. After the death of King Harold at the battle of Hastings in 1066, Edgar was chosen king, but he submitted to William I in the same year. In 1068 he fled to the Scottish king Malcolm III, who soon married Edgar's sister St. Margaret of Scotland. Edgar took part in the unsuccessful Northumbrian uprising (1069) in which the Danes also joined. After Malcolm made his peace with William in 1072, the Atheling probably lived in Flanders until he himself came to terms with William in 1074 and settled in France. After William's death Edgar joined Malcolm in raiding England in 1091, but after that he seems to have been at peace with William II of England. He led the English expedition that in 1097 dethroned Donald III and seated the Atheling's nephew Edgar (d. 1107) on the throne of Scotland. The Atheling went on the crusade of 1099 with Robert II, duke of Normandy, and later fought for Robert against Henry I of England. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Tinchebrai (1106) but was released.

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Edgar the Atheling

Edgar the Atheling (c.1052–c.1125) was proclaimed king by the English gathered in London after the battle of Hastings. He was the son of Edward the Exile, and a great-grandson of Æthelred the Unready. Still young in 1066, Edgar's claims to the succession were ignored by Edward the Confessor's death-bed bequest in favour of Harold Godwineson and brushed aside by William the Conqueror. After 1066, Edgar intermittently played the role of pretender and was deeply involved in the English revolts of 1069–70. Reconciled with William in 1074, he thereafter lived as a courtier and played a small role in Anglo-Norman politics. He also participated in the First Crusade. Edgar cannot be regarded as anything other than a minor participant in great events.

David Richard Bates

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