Edgar the Atheling

views updated Jun 27 2018

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