Name: Ælfgifu of SHAFTESBURY
Name: Elfgifu (AELFGIFU)
Name: *Elgiva of ENGLAND
Birth: ABT 922 in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England
Death: 944 1
Burial: Shaftesbury, Dorset, England 1
Occupation: Queen of England
Elgiva was the wife of king Edwy of England. Not much is known about her b ut we do know she was already Edwy's 3rd cousin once removed before they g ot married. This is because Elgiva was the great-great-granddaughter of Et helred I of England.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Saint Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury (d. 944) was the first wife of King Edmund ( I) of England (r. 939-946), by whom she bore two future kings, Eadwig ( r. 955-959) and Edgar (r. 959-975). Like her mother Wynflæd, she had a clo se and special if unknown connection with the royal nunnery of Shaftesbu ry (Dorset), founded by King Alfred, where she was buried and soon rever ed as a saint. According to a pre-Conquest tradition from Winchester, h er feast day is 18 May.
Her mother appears to have been an associate of Shaftesbury Abbey called W ynflæd (also Wynnflæd). The vital clue comes from a charter of King Edga r, in which he confirmed the grant of an estate at Uppidelen (Piddletrenth ide, Dorset) made by his grandmother (ava) Wynflæd to Shaftesbury. She m ay well be the nun or vowess (religiosa femina) of this name in a chart er dated 942 and preserved in the abbey's chartulary. It records that s he received and retrieved from King Edmund a handful of estates in Dorse t, namely Cheselbourne and Winterbourne Tomson, which somehow end ed up in the possession of the community.
Since no father or siblings are known, further speculation on Ælfgifu's ba ckground has largely depended on the identity of her mother, whose relativ ely uncommon name has invited further guesswork. H. P. R. Finberg sugges ts that she was the Wynflæd who drew up a will, supposedly sometime in t he mid-10th century, after Ælfgifu's death. This lady held many estates sc attered across Wessex (in Somerset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire a nd Hampshire) and was well connected with the nunneries at Wilton and Shaf tesbury, both of which were royal foundations. On that basis, a numb er of relatives have been proposed for Ælfgifu, including a sister call ed Æthelflæd, a brother called Eadmær and a grandmother called Brihtwyn.
There is, however, no consensus among scholars about Finberg's suggestio n. Simon Keynes and Gale R. Owen object that there is no sign of royal rel atives or connections in Wynflæd's will and Finberg's assumptions about Æl fgifu's family therefore stand on shaky ground. Andrew Wareham is less tro ubled about this and suggests that different kinship strategies may accou nt for it. Much of the issue of identification also seems to hang on the n umber of years by which Wynflæd can plausibly have outlived her daughte r. In this light, it is significant that on palaeographical grounds, Dav id Dumville has rejected the conventional date of c. 950 for the will, whi ch he considers ?speculative and too early? (and that one Wynflæd was sti ll alive in 967).
The sources do not record the date of Ælfgifu's marriage to Edmund. The el dest son Eadwig, who had barely reached majority on his accession in 95 5, may have been born around 940, which gives us only a very rough termin us ante quem for the betrothal. Although as the mother of two future king s, Ælfgifu proved to be an important royal bed companion, there is no stri ctly contemporary evidence that she was ever consecrated as queen. Likewis e, her formal position at court appears to have been relatively small-fr y, overshadowed as it was by the queen mother Eadgifu of Kent. In the sing le extant document witnessed by her, a Kentish charter datable between 9 42 and 944, she subscribes as the king's concubine (concubina regis), wi th a place assigned to her between the bishops and ealdormen. By compariso n, Eadgifu subscribes higher up in the witness list as mater regis, aft er her sons Edmund and Eadred but before the archbishops and bishop s. It is only towards the end of the 10th century that Æthelweard the Chro nicler styles her queen (regina), but this may be a retrospective hono ur at a time when her cult was well established at Shaftesbury.
Much of Ælfgifu's claim to fame derives from her association with Shaftesb ury. Her patronage of the community is suggested by a charter of King Æthe lred, dated 984, according to which the abbey exchanged with King Edmund t he large estate at Tisbury (Wiltshire) for Butticanlea (unidentified). Ælf gifu received it from her husband and intended to bequeath it back to t he nunnery, but such had not yet come to pass (her son Eadwig demanded th at Butticanlea was returned to the royal family first).
Ælfgifu predeceased her husband in 944. In the early 12th century, Willi am of Malmesbury wrote that she suffered from an illness during the last f ew years of her life, but there may have been some confusion with detai ls of Æthelgifu's life as recorded in a forged foundation charter of the l ate 11th or 12th century. Her body was buried and enshrined at the nunnery .
Mother: Wynflæd of SHAFTESBURY
*Edmund I "The Magnificent" of ENGLAND b: ABT 922 in Wessex, England
- Edwy "The Fair" of ENGLAND b: 941 in Wessex, England
- *Edgar "The Peacable" of ENGLAND b: ABT 942 in Wessex, England
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