Edwin (1025 - Nov 21, 1088) was the King of England. He succeeded to the throne upon Edgard's death in 1045. Like his grandfather and father before him, Edwin's court was based in Winchester. Edwin spent much of his rule under the direction of his mother, Gytha. He did not place a significant focus on military warfare or educational reforms, as his precedessors had. The Welsh chronicler, Dafydd ap Wahls wrote that Edwin helped improve England's position as a country within the European spectrum. Little is known about Edwin's reign, however.
Edwin was born in 1025 to Edgard and Gytha. He had one older sister, Edgiva who became the Abbess of Shaftesbury. By the time Edwin was born, both his grandfather and father had unified the tribes of Bessex, leading to the foundation for a stabilized England. On his paternal side, Edwin was the grandson of Alfred and Agatha. On his maternal side, he was the grandson of Harald II of Denmark and Gyrid Larsdottir. The discord between the Scandinivian nations and England had arrived in full force during his father and grandfather's reign. Edwin however, was able to maintain neutral relations with the Scandinavians, due to the influence of his mother.
ReignEditEdwin's father, Edgard passed away on July 6, 1045. As the only son of Edgard, a group of ealdorman had Edwin proclaimed King a week later. Historian Janet Bell recorded that Edwin, only twenty years old at the time of his succession, was primarily impacted by the suggestions of his mother. This pointed to the amount of dependency that Edwin had on his mother, which hinted at a closer bond between the pair. The relationship between Edgard and Edwin was highly unknown, although the King made it a priority for his son to continue on the line. Ironically, Edwin would marry Edith, the daughter of local ealdorman Ealwig three days before his father's death. Despite little evidence concerning the reign of Edwin, it was well known that the use of coinage popularized during his rule. Although Eafladin coins had been distributed in his grandfather and father's reign, Edwin was responsible for distributing it to a larger extent in his efforts to perserve the Bessex Dynasty, a habit which would later be adopted by both his son and grandson.
Edwin took Edith, the daughter of Ealdorman Ealwig as his wife. This came as a surprise to Edwin's father, who desired another Scandinavian alliance. Edwin and Edith were married on July 3, 1045.
The couple had three children:
- Eadburga, Abbess of Wilton (1053 - Sep 23, 1106)
- Edmund, King of England (1056 - Oct 28, 1116)
- Eadfritha, Abbess of Durham (1058 - Dec 25, 1115)
Edwin's mother, Gytha passed away in the Spring of 1056. Fewer details were known about Edwin's reign afterwards. He died on November 21, 1088 and was buried in the New Minister, next to father Edgard. Edwin's remains would be transferred to Westminister in the 13th century.
Although little is known about Edwin's reign, historians debate that he was vital to the success of the Bessex dynasty, setting up the hold of power that his descendants would maintain throughout the generation.