Edward the Exile

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Edward, surnamed the Atheling (meaning Exile) to distinguish him from other contemporaries, was the son of Edmund Ironside and his wife Ealdgyth. He was born around 1016 CE, in England.

After the invasion and accession of Canute the Great, England was no longer safe for his family, and they were sent overseas for their safety, initially to Sweden, but eventually ending up in Germany.

In exile he married Agatha, a German princess who may have been the daughter of Ludolf, Count of Brunswick. They had two children, Edgar 'Atheling' (who managed to survive the Norman Conquest, made peace with William and seems to have survived until the time of Henry I), and Margaret, who married Malcolm III of Scotland, three of whose children became Scottish kings and a fourth the wife of a king of England. Margaret was also canonised as a saint, because of her extreme piety and ceaseless efforts to reinforce Christianity in Scotland.

Edward was recalled to England by Edward the Confessor (his uncle) and arrived in 1057, but died, in battle, before he could reach the king and be re-established in the line of succession. His death left the English throne somewhat uncertain, in the light of the Confessor's childlessness, and contributed to the seizure of the throne by Harold Godwinson, and the Norman Conquest to establish the right of William, Duke of Normandy to succeed, as Edward had promised him he would.