King Edgar I 959-975

King Edgar I was the ruler of England from 1st October 959 to 8th July 975.

He was known as ‘the Peaceable’ or ‘Edgar the Peaceful’.

Edgar was the son of King Edmund I and Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury. He succeeded his brother Eadwig. He belonged to the House of Wessex and was a Roman Catholic.


King Edgar seated between Bishop Æthelwold and Archbishop Dunstan

King Edgar I Timeline

  • King Edgar I was born in 943/944
  • His mother Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury died in 944
  • His father Edmund King of England died on 26th May 946
  • His uncle Eadred died in 955
  • King Edgar’s elder brother Eadwig died in 959
  • Edgar ruled England from 1st October 959 to 8th July 975
  • Westminster Abbey was founded in the 960s during King Edgar’s rule
  • His coronation took place in 973 at bath
  • Many northern kings confirmed their allegiance to King Edgar in 973 at Chester
  • King Edgar I died on 8 July 975 at Winchester, Hampshire

King Edgar I and Accession

Edgar’s father Edmund died in 946. After his father’s death, his uncle Eadred ruled till 955. After Eadred’s death, Edgar’s elder brother Eadwig came to power.

Eadwig was not a popular leader at all as he indulged himself in multiple conflicts with nobles and the Church.

King Eadred Early Meideval Kings

Eadred Uncle of Edgar

The most prominent of these was St Dunstan and Archbishop Oda. Many thanes of Northumbria and Mercia changed their allegiance to Edgar instead of Eadwig.

Whereas certain nobles in the north also declared Edgar as King which he finally became after the death of Eadwig in 959.

King Edgar’s Coronation at Bath

It was the first instance when coronation took place as sort of a culmination of a royal reign. The coronation took place in 973. This event was important as many British Kings came and showed their allegiance to Edgar.

King Edgar I Rule

King Edgar’s rule was prosperous and peaceful and is remembered as the era during which English Church was revived. Edgar ended the exile of Dunstan and recalled him and made him Bishop of Worcester. Dunstan later, went on to become Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury.


Canterbury Cathedral

Dunstan remained Edgar’s closest adviser through his rule. King Edgar I through his policies provided the needed stability to the Kingdom of England, which was lacking under the rule of some of his predecessors.

King Edgar I – Family & Death

King Edgar had three wives Æthelflæd, Wulfthryth, and Ælfthryth. Edgar left behind two sons and two daughters. His elder son was Edward who was considered illegitimate and was from his wife Æthelflæd.

Another son was Æthelred who was his son from his wife Ælfthryth.

It is believed that he had another illegitimate daughter Wulfthryth who went on to become abbess of Wilton. His other daughter was Edith of Wilton, who was a nun. King Edgar died on 8th July 975 Winchester, Hampshire. Edward succeeded Edgar after his death.