Biography of Queen Eadburga of Wessex -802

Paternal Family Tree: Iclingas

787 First Viking Attack

786 Assassination of King Cynewulf

796 Death of King Offa

Queen Eadburga of Wessex was born to King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

In 757 Beornred King Mercia abdicated; forced to by [her father] King Offa of Mercia. King Offa of Mercia succeeded King Mercia.

786 Assassination of King Cynewulf

In 786 Cynewulf King of Wessex was killed by Cyneheard the Ætheling at Merton, Surrey while visiting his [Cynewulf's] mistress. [her future husband] King Beorhtric of Wessex succeeded King Wessex.

787 First Viking Attack

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 786. This year [her future husband] King Bertric took Edburga the daughter of Offa to wife. And in his days came first three ships of the Northmen from the land of robbers. The reve30 then rode thereto, and would drive them to the king's town; for he knew not what they were; and there was he slain. These were the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English nation.

Note 30. Since called "sheriff"; i.e. the reve, or steward, of the shire. "Exactor regis".—Ethelw.

In 787 King Beorhtric of Wessex and Queen Eadburga of Wessex were married. She by marriage Queen Consort Wessex. She the daughter of King Offa of Mercia and Cynethryth Queen Mercia.

796 Death of King Offa

On 29 Jul 796 [her father] King Offa of Mercia died. His son [her brother] King Ecgfrith of Mercia succeeded King Mercia.

In 798 [her mother] Cynethryth Queen Mercia died.

In 802 Queen Eadburga of Wessex died.

In 802 [her husband] King Beorhtric of Wessex died. He, apparently, accidentally killed by his wife Queen Eadburga of Wessex who had intended to kill another.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 839. Text 836AD. This year died King Egbert (age 66). Him [her father] Offa, King of Mercia, and [her former husband] Bertric, the West-Saxon king, drove out of England into France three years before he was king. Bertric assisted Offa because he had married his daughter. Egbert (age 66) having afterwards returned, reigned thirty-seven winters and seven months. Then Ethelwulf, the son of Egbert, succeeded to the West-Saxon kingdom; and he gave his son Athelstan the kingdom of Kent, and of Essex, and of Surrey, and of Sussex.

Assers Life of Alfred 856. 856. 15. Eadburh's Further Life.36 King Beorhtric therefore being dead, the queen, since she could no longer remain among the Saxons, sailed beyond sea with countless treasures, and came to Charles37, King of the Franks. As she stood before the dais, bringing many gifts to the king, Charles said to her: 'Choose, Eadburh, between me and my son, who stands with me on this dais.' She, without deliberation, foolishly replied: 'If I am to have my choice, I choose your son, because he is younger than you.' At which Charles smiled and answered: 'If you had chosen me, you should have had my son; but since you have chosen him, you shall have neither me nor him.' However, he gave her a large convent of nuns, in which, having laid aside her secular habit, and assumed the dress worn by the nuns, she discharged the office of abbess for a few years. As she is said to have lived irrationally in her own country, so she appears to have acted much more so among a foreign people; for, being finally caught in illicit intercourse with a man of her own nation, she was expelled from the monastery by order of King Charles. Henceforward she lived a life of shame in poverty and misery until her death; so that at last, accompanied only by one slave, as I have heard from many who saw her, she begged her bread daily at Pavia38, and so wretchedly died.

Note 36. Original.

Note 37. Charlemagne.

Note 38. 'Pavia was on the road to Rome, and was hence frequented by English pilgrims on their journey to the latter' (Stevenson). The Chronicle says under 888: 'Queen Æthelswith (age 18), who was King Alfred's sister, died; and her body lies at Pavia.' 'With this story of Eadburh's begging in that city we may compare the statement of St. Boniface, written about 747, as to the presence of English prostitutes or adulteresses in the cities of Lombardy, Frankland, or Gaul (Dümmler, Epistolæ Karolini Ævi 1. 355; Haddan and Stubbs, Councils 3. 381). At the date of this letter the Lombards still spoke their native Germanic tongue, and it is probable that as late as Eadburh's time it was still the predominant speech in Lombardy' (Stevenson).

Assers Life of Alfred 856. 856. 14. Offa and Eadburh.34 There was in Mercia in recent times a certain valiant king, who was dreaded by all the neighboring kings and states. His name was Offa, and it was he who had the great dike made from sea to sea between Wales and Mercia.35 His daughter, named Eadburh, was married to Beorhtric, King of the West Saxons. The moment she had possessed herself of the king's good will, and practically the whole power of the realm, she began to live tyrannically, after the manner of her father. Every man whom Beorhtric loved she would execrate, and would do all things hateful to God and man, accusing to the king all whom she could, thus depriving them insidiously either of life or of power. And if she could not obtain the king's consent, she used to take them off by poison, as is ascertained to have been the case with a certain young man beloved by the king, whom she poisoned, seeing that she could not accuse him to the king. It is said, moreover, that King Beorhtric unwittingly tasted of the poison, though the queen had intended to give it, not to him, but to the young man; the king, however, was beforehand with him, and so both perished.

Note 34. Original.

Note 35. Offa's Dike; it extended from the mouth of the Dee to that of the Severn.

[her father] King Offa of Mercia and [her mother] Cynethryth Queen Mercia were married.

Ancestors of Queen Eadburga of Wessex -802

Great x 4 Grandfather: Pybba King Mercia

Great x 3 Grandfather: Eowa King Mercia

Great x 2 Grandfather: Osmod Iclingas

Great x 1 Grandfather: Eanulf

GrandFather: Thingfrith

Father: King Offa of Mercia

Queen Eadburga of Wessex

Mother: Cynethryth Queen Mercia