King Edmund I ruled England from 27th October 939 to 26th May 946. He was known as “the Deed-doer”, “the Elder”, “the Magnificent” or “the Just”. He was Edward the Elder’s son, grandson of Alfred the Great and the half-brother of Æthelstan.
He came to power when Æthelstan died. Her mother was Eadgifu of Kent, who was the daughter of Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent and the third wife of Edward the Elder. King Edmund I belonged to the House of Wessex and practiced Chalcedonian Christianity.
King Edward I had to face many military threats as soon as he took the oath as the King. King Olaf III Guthfrithson conquered Northumbria whereas he also attacked the midlands. Edmund reconquered the midlands in in 942 when Olaf died.
Olaf of York declared Edmund as his godfather in 943. Edmund successfully reconquered Northumbria in 944. In 945 Edmund adopted a policy of peace with Scotland as he ceded Strathclyde to Malcolm I of Scotland as soon as he conquered it. Edmund did this in exchange for military support of an equal level.
Louis IV of France was the son of the Charles the Simple and Eadgifu, Edmond’s half-sister. Edmund helped Louis in his restoration to the throne. In 945 Norsemen of Rouen capture Louis and handed him over to Duke Hugh the Great. It is believed that at that moment Eadgifu wrote a letter to Edmund for his help. Edmund I threatened Hugh and asked him to release Louis which he ultimately did.
King Edward had two wives. Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury or Saint Elgiva was his first wife. Together they had two sons, Eadwig and Edgar, both became Kings of England in the future. Edward’s first wife died in 944. After the death of his first wife, he married Æthelflæd of Damerham.
King Edmund I was attending the St. Augustin’s day mass on 26th May 946 at Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, England when an exiled thief by the name of Leofa murdered him. It is believed that King himself saw the Leofa in the crowd while he was feasting with his nobles and attacked him.
In the process, Leofa killed the king and was himself killed on the spot by those present. Later research has revealed that the King Edward’s death was a political association and this Leofa’s story is a myth. King Edward I was succeed by his brother Eadred.