Ethelred II

(c. 968—1016)

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(c. 968–1016)

King of England (978–1016). He succeeded his stepbrother Edward the Martyr, who had been murdered on instructions from Ethelred's mother Alfrida. This inauspicious beginning to the reign was compounded by further blunders which earned Ethelred the title “unready”, meaning “devoid of counsel”. Encouraged by his misfortunes the Danes renewed their invasions. Ethelred bought them off on five occasions (991, 994, 1002, 1007, 1012) with Danegeld. His attempt (1002) to massacre all the Danes in his kingdom was answered (1013) by the invasion of the King of Denmark, Sweyn I, who ruled England until his death (1014) when Ethelred was restored.

Subjects: World History.

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