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Aelfweard, King of the English
(AD 904-924)

Aelfweard was the eldest son of King Edward the Elder and his second wife, Queen Aelfflaed. Little is known of this obscure prince. One source suggests that he was married with children, another that he was a recluse living in Bridgnorth in Shropshire. It is clear that, upon his father's death on 17th July AD 924, Aelfweard was raised to the throne by the men of Wessex. The people of Mercia, however, favoured his elder half-brother, Aethelstan, who had been brought up at the Mercian Court in Gloucester. It is possible that the latter was unacceptable to the south because of the dubious status of his parents' marriage; but it is equally likely that a divided kingdom was the intended arrangement. Whatever the situation, Aelfweard conveniently died in mysterious circumstances at Oxford only fifteen days later. He was buried with his father in the New Minster at Winchester and Aethelstan became King of all England.

 

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