Ethelred II


Ethelred II
/eth"euhl red'/, ("the Unready")
A.D. 968?-1016, king of the English 978-1016.

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or Aethelred Unraed known as Ethelred the Unready

born 968?
died April 23, 1016, London

King of the English (978–1013, 1014–16).

He became king after his half brother's assassination and was suspected of involvement in the murder. An ineffectual ruler, he failed to mount an organized defense against the Danish invasions (from 980); his massacre of Danish settlers (1002) provoked further attacks. When Sweyn I was accepted as king in England in 1013, Ethelred fled to Normandy. He returned to the throne on the death of Sweyn in 1014, but on his death he was succeeded by the Dane Canute the Great. His epithet "Unraed" means "evil counsel" and has been translated incorrectly as "the Unready."

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▪ king of England
also spelled Aethelred, byname Ethelred the Unready or Aethelred Unraed
born 968?
died April 23, 1016, London
 king of the English from 978 to 1013 and from 1014 to 1016. He was an ineffectual ruler who failed to prevent the Danes from overrunning England. The epithet “unready” is derived from unraed, meaning “bad counsel” or “no counsel,” and puns on his name, which means “noble counsel.”

      The son of King Edgar (ruled 959–975), Ethelred ascended the throne upon the assassination of his half brother King Edward the Martyr in March 978. Widespread suspicion that Ethelred may have had a part in the murder created much of the distrust and disloyalty that undermined his authority. Hence, there was no unified defense when the Danish invasions resumed in 980.

      Nearly all of the country was ravaged, and Ethelred's efforts to buy peace only made the invaders more rapacious. When they did begin to settle down in towns, Ethelred provoked further invasions by launching a massacre of Danish settlers (Nov. 13, 1002). By the end of 1013 the Danish king Sweyn I had been accepted as king in England, and Ethelred had fled to Normandy.

      After Sweyn died in February 1014, Ethelred's council of advisers invited him to return to the throne on condition that he agree to satisfy their grievances. At the time of Ethelred's death in 1016, Sweyn's son Canute was ravaging England. Ethelred was succeeded by his son Edmund II Ironside (ruled 1016); one of his other sons ruled England as Edward the Confessor from 1042 to 1066. Despite the overall failures of the reign, evidence from his charters and coinage suggest that Ethelred's government was more effective than was once believed.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ethelred — is an Old English name meaning noble council or ( well advised ) ( and , cf. German and ). Several persons of Anglo Saxon England were named Æthelred or Ethelred:* Æthelred of Mercia, d 716 king of Mercia * Ethelred of Wessex, king of Wessex c.… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethelred — Ethelred, I. König von Mercia: 1) E., Sohn Pendas, folgte seinem Bruder Wolpher u. reg. 675–704, s. England (Gesch.) IV C) c); er st. als Mönch. II. Könige von Northumberland: 2) E. I., regierte 774–96 mit Unterbrechung, s. ebd. IV. C) b). 3) E.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ethelred — (Äthelred), 1) E. I., König von England 866–871, kämpfte unglücklich gegen die Dänen, die in Ostangeln festen Fuß gefaßt und sich Yorks und Nottinghams bemächtigt hatten, und starb an einer im Kampf erhaltenen Wunde 23. April 871. 2) E. II., »der …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ethelred — der Unberatene, König von England, geb. 968, folgte seinem Bruder Edward 978, ließ 1002 in der Bricciusnacht ein Blutbad unter den Dänen anrichten, mußte aber vor ihnen 1013 nach der Normandie flüchten, kehrte 1014 zurück, gest. 1016 …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ethelred II — [eth′əl red΄] A.D. 968 1016; king of England (978 1016): called the Unready …   English World dictionary

  • Ethelred — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Le nom d Ethelred fut porté part plusieurs princes anglo saxons, dont un saint chrétien : Ethelred, roi d Est Anglie (760 770) Ethelred II, roi d Est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ethelred — noun 1. king of the English who succeeded to the throne after his half brother Edward the Martyr was murdered; he struggled unsuccessfully against the invading Danes (969 1016) • Syn: ↑Ethelred II, ↑Ethelred the Unready • Instance Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ethelred I — noun king of Wessex and Kent and elder brother of Alfred; Alfred joined Ethelred s battle against the invading Danes and succeeded him on his death (died in 871) • Syn: ↑Ethelred • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king, ↑male monarch, ↑Rex …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ethelred II — noun king of the English who succeeded to the throne after his half brother Edward the Martyr was murdered; he struggled unsuccessfully against the invading Danes (969 1016) • Syn: ↑Ethelred, ↑Ethelred the Unready • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ethelred II — Eth|el|red II also Ethelred the Unready (968? 1016) an English king who lost his kingdom to the Danes …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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