In 867 Æthelred’s brother-in-law, Burghred king of Mercia, appealed to him for help against the Vikings. Æthelred and his brother, the future Ælfred the Great, led a West Saxon army to Nottingham, along with Edmund, King of East Anglia, but there was no decisive battle, and eventually Burghred bought off the Danes and they retreated to York.
It was during this time that the young Alfred’s association with Edmund as brother-in-arms taught him the value of guerrilla warfare, a tactic already used by Edmund in East Anglia, and also the idea of creating burghs to shield the civilian population and act as rallying points in times of invasion. In the following year Edmund twice fought the Danes in all-out pitched battles and had possession of the battlefield in the first,(which meant his army had won), but was finally overpowered by sea-borne reinforcements which carried the day for the Danes at Thetford where the slaughter on both sides was immense
Edmund was a true Germanic King in England. Born in 841 AD he died a gruesome martyrs death on 20 November 869 AD. He was a King of East Anglia. He succeeded Æthelweard to the East Anglian throne in 855 AD, while still a boy. The earliest and most reliable accounts represent Edmund as descended from the preceding kings of East Anglia of the Wuffing line. Other accounts state that his father was King Æthelweard and Galfridus de Fontibus recorded that Edmund was the youngest son of Alcmund, and that he was born in what is now Nuremburg in Old Saxony. Edmund was said to have been crowned by Bishop Humbert of Elmham on Christmas Day 855.
Unfortunately he reigned during the time of the Viking wars in England. In 869/70 Edmund was defeated in battle by the Viking Great Heathen Army, which had invaded England. He was captured, tied to a tree and shot with arrows then ‘Blood Eagled’ by the Vikings, and died the death of an English martyr. Historically he died at Hoxne in Suffolk or possibly Dernford in Cambridgeshire in eastern England. His successor was Oswald and/or Æthelred. The Vikings were eventually defeated by Alfred the Great.
Edmund is venerated as a saint and a martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Communion. The King’s body was ultimately interred at Beadoriceworth, the modern Bury St Edmunds during the reign of the English King Athelstan (King of England from 924 AD to 939 AD) . A banner of St. Edmund’s arms was carried at the Battle of Agincourt, an English victory over the French.
His feast day in the Orthodox, Roman, and Anglican traditions is 20 November. Many in England state that he is the true Saint of England. Others that he stands alongside St George. Both have had their banners carried in battle above the English Army.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Saint Edmund" https://englishhistory.net/middle-ages/saint-edmund/, February 17, 2022