Edward the Elder

Edward the Elder, d. 924, king of Wessex (899–924), son and successor of Alfred. He fought with his father against the Danes. At Alfred's death (899) Edward's succession was disputed by his cousin Æthelwold, who allied himself with the Danes of Northumbria and East Anglia. The death of Æthelwold in battle (902) put an end to that war, but later fighting with the Danes recommenced. Aided by his sister Æthelflœd, Lady of the Mercians, Edward undertook a series of advances against the Danes, systematically building fortresses to cover his positions. At the same time he repelled Viking attacks on the shore of England. After Æthelflœd's death (918) he asserted his full authority over Mercia and thus became ruler of all England S of the Humber River. He was also accepted as overlord by several Welsh rulers and by English Northumbria, and he is supposed to have received the submission of Constantine II of Scotland. The right of the overlordship of Scotland, based on Edward's position, was asserted by later English kings. Edward was succeeded by his son Athelstan. Two other sons, Edmund and Eldred, also ascended the throne.

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