[50] Alfred had constructed a network of fortified burhs in Wessex, and Edward and Æthelflæd now embarked on a programme of extending them to consolidate their defences and provide bases for attacks on the Vikings. To secure power in Anglo-Saxon England, you first needed the support of ‘ealdormen’ (high-ranking royal officials). Alfred had built a network of fortified burhs and in the 910s Edward and Æthelflæd embarked on a programme of extending them. The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine, Save over 50% on a BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed gift subscription, She is a medieval marvel, but – as the daughter of Alfred the Great, and ultimately succeeded by her nephew Æthelstan – Æthelflæd has been overshadowed by the men in her life. Please enter your number below. Ahead of series four of The Last Kingdom, we revisit a feature by Janina Ramirez in which she reveals how the wife, mother, diplomat – and, above all, warrior-queen – left an indelible mark on Anglo-Saxon England in the 10th century. In Mercia, Alfred's sister Æthelswith had been the wife of King Burgred of Mercia; she had witnessed charters as queen and had made grants jointly with her husband and in her own name. She is a rallying point to all those searching for strong female role models. Qui est le vrai père de Aelfwynn ? "[9] She was praised by Anglo-Norman chroniclers such as William of Malmesbury and John of Worcester[10] and she has received more attention from historians than any other secular woman in Anglo-Saxon England. The updated content was reintegrated into the Wikipedia page under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license (2018). But it also contains, especially for our period, much genuine historical information which seems to have its roots in a contemporary narrative. Aldhelm (The Last Kingdom) (21) Hild (The Last Kingdom) (18) Include Relationships Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Erik Thurgilson (38) Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Uhtred of Bebbanburg (17) Aethelflaed Lady of Mercia/Aldhelm (The Last Kingdom) (10) Finan (The Last Kingdom)/Original Character(s) (5) Finan/Uhtred of Bebbanburg (4) Stafford argues that Æthelred and Æthelflæd exercised most or all of the powers of a monarch after Alfred's death but it would have been a provocative act formally to claim regality, especially after Æthelwold's rebellion. [48] In Wessex, royal women were not allowed to play any political role; Alfred's wife was not granted the title of queen and was never a witness to charters. But her reputation has suffered from bad publicity, or rather from a conspiracy of silence among her West Saxon contemporaries. She ensured her daughter, Ælfwynn, would succeed her, but also fostered her brother’s son, who would become the great unifier of England, King Æthelstan. [79] In Wainwright's view, she was ignored in West Saxon sources for fear that recognition of her achievements would encourage Mercian separatism: [Æthelflæd] played a vital role in England in the first quarter of the tenth century. Lady Aethelflaed has been one of the main characters in The Last Kingdom story since her introduction in the first season and the ‘Lady of Mercia’ remains incredibly popular with fans. Æthelflæd witnessed charters of Æthelred in 888, 889 and 896. At the start of season four, the pair were clearly in love and they had to … Aethelflaed: who was the warrior queen who crushed the Vikings? [51], Æthelflæd had already fortified an unknown location called Bremesburh in 910 and in 912 she built defences at Bridgnorth to cover a crossing of the River Severn. Æthelflæd agreed and for some time they were peaceful. Her parents were married in AD 868 and she is thought to have been their first-born child. It did not suffer major attacks and it did not come under great pressure from Wessex. The Last Kingdom: Aethelflaed is based on a real person (Image: Netflix) Aethelflaed's character is based on a real-life historical figure who was the daughter of Alfred the Great. As a wife, however, Æthelflæd’s story is all too familiar in terms of royal dynastic marriages. There seems to be a problem, please try again. Instead, records report that she was signing diplomatic documents and presiding over provincial courts in place of Æthelred. [41] Simon Keynes describes the town as "the main seat of their power" and Carolyn Heighway believes that the foundation of the church was probably a family and dynastic enterprise, encouraged by Alfred and supported by Edward and Bishop Werferth. Æthelflæd of Mercia (before, Æthelflæd of Wessex) is a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. [49], When Æthelred died, Edward took control of the Mercian towns of London and Oxford and their hinterlands, which Alfred had put under Mercian control. [35] After Æthelflæd's death, Edward encountered fierce resistance to his efforts to consolidate his control of the north-west and he died there in 924, shortly after suppressing a local rebellion. The most famous are Boudicca, her chariot complete with spiked wheels, and the armoured teenager, Joan of Arc. Instead, it was the battle of Tettenhall (in modern-day Wolverhampton) eight years earlier in 910 that secured her image as victorious warrior queen. Theirs was an entirely political union, designed to strengthen the two kingdoms against Danish and Norwegian incursions in the north. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. Edward, who already controlled Wessex, seized the kingdom of Mercia from Aelfwyn, took her captive, and thus solidified his control over most of England. [64] Martin Ryan sees the foundation as "something like a royal mausoleum, intended to replace the one at Repton (Derbyshire) that had been destroyed by the Vikings". [38] The remains of the royal Northumbrian saint Oswald were seized and taken from his resting place in Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire to Gloucester. Her father fought against the Vikings when Ivar the Boneless led the northerners into Mercia… Æthelflæd was not content to be simply a bearer of heirs. [12] In the late ninth century Gloucester had become a burh with a street plan similar to Winchester, and Æthelred and Æthelflæd had repaired its ancient Roman defences. The land was valuable, including most of the city's usable river frontage, and control of it enabled the Mercian rulers to dominate over and profit from the city. You have successfully linked your account! She is an actress, known for The Last Kingdom (2015), Jerks (2017) and Die Vaterlosen (2011). [14] Æthelflæd was thus half-Mercian and the alliance between Wessex and Mercia was sealed by her marriage to Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians. [12] Ian Walker suggests that Æthelflæd accepted this loss of territory in return for recognition by her brother of her position in Mercia. [12] According to Frank Stenton, Æthelflæd led Mercian armies on expeditions, which she planned. She was also aware that her legacy would be protected by those who came after her. [24] In 883 Æthelred granted privileges to Berkeley Abbey and in the 890s he and Æthelflæd issued a charter in favour of the church of Worcester. A series gets an Average Tomatometer when at least 50 percent of its seasons have a score. Gwent in south-east Wales was already under West Saxon lordship but, in the view of Charles-Edwards, this passage shows that the other Welsh kingdoms were under Mercian lordship until Edward took direct power over Mercia. Stafford sees her as a "warrior queen", "Like ... Elizabeth I she became a wonder to later ages. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. [28], Æthelred's health probably declined at some stage in the decade after Alfred died in 899, and Æthelflæd may have become the de facto ruler of Mercia by 902. [26], At the end of the ninth century, Æthelred and Æthelflæd fortified Worcester, with the permission of King Alfred and at the request of Bishop Werferth, described in the charter as "their friend". Lorsqu’il s’est agi de déterminer le vrai père de la fille de d’Aethelflaed, Aelfwynn.The Last Kingdom a déchiré les livres d’histoire et a introduit un peu de sang danois dans la lignée royale. The eldest child of King Alfred the Great, she helped her brother Edward the Elder, king of the West Saxons (reigned 899–924), in conquering the Danish armies occupying eastern England. Back then, in retaliation for Æthelflæd and Edward’s successful campaigns in the Danelaw, Viking troops had laid waste to large parts of Mercia, carrying off plunder and destroying the land. Her caution was rewarded when in that same year, 907, the Wirral Vikings attacked Chester but failed to breach its walls. [67] Edward died in 924 at Farndon in Cheshire a few days after putting down a rebellion by Mercians and Welshmen at Chester.[68]. The Last Kingdom season four spoilers follow. "[77] According to Charles Insley, The assumption that Mercia was in some sort of limbo in this period, subordinate to Wessex and waiting to be incorporated into "England" cannot be sustained ... Æthelred's death in 911 changed little, for his formidable wife carried on as sole ruler of Mercia until her death in 918. In Nick Higham's view, medieval and modern writers have been so captivated by her that Edward's reputation has suffered unfairly in comparison. He commented: "It was through reliance on her guardianship of Mercia that her brother was enabled to begin the forward movement against the southern Danes which is the outstanding feature of his reign". A few months later, the leading men of Danish-ruled York offered to pledge their loyalty to Æthelflæd, probably to secure her support against Norse raiders from Ireland, but she died on 12 June 918, before she could take advantage of the offer. [45] Saintly relics were believed to give supernatural legitimacy to rulers' authority, and Æthelflæd was probably responsible for the foundation or re-foundation of Chester Minster and the transfer to it of the remains of the seventh-century Mercian princess Saint Werburgh from Hanbury in Staffordshire. In 913 she built forts at Tamworth to guard against the Danes in Leicester, and in Stafford to cover access from the Trent Valley. They returned with the remains of the royal Northumbrian saint, Oswald, which were translated to the new Gloucester minster. [83], The 1,100th anniversary of the death of Æthelflaed was marked throughout 2018 in Tamworth with a number of major events, including the unveiling of a new six-metre statue,[84] the creation of the town's biggest ever piece of community art,[85] a major commemorative church service, talks, a special guided walk, commemorative ale and an academic conference weekend drawing academics and delegates from all over the world. [69] Irish and Welsh annals described her as a queen and the Annals of Ulster, which ignore the deaths of Alfred and Edward, described her as famosissima regina Saxonum (renowned Saxon queen). If King Alfred was great, was Æthelstan even greater? Her marriage to the much older Æthelred, who had served Alfred as a loyal lieutenant, bound together the English-speaking kingdoms of Wessex and the newly reclaimed Mercia. [59], No coins were issued with the name of Æthelred or Æthelflæd on them, but in the 910s silver pennies were minted in west Mercian towns with unusual ornamental designs on the reverse and this may have reflected Æthelflæd's desire to distinguish specie issued under her control from that of her brother. [1], In 865 the Viking Great Heathen Army landed in East Anglia and used this as a starting point for an invasion. The power of bishoprics, like that at Lichfield, is attested to in the remarkable Gospel Book that survives from there and in the carved angel discovered in 2003: just a fragment of what would have been a lush and vibrant environment. Soon afterwards the English-controlled western half of Mercia came under the rule of Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians, who accepted Alfred's overlordship. Aethelflaed became the effective ruler of Mercia some years before the death (911) of her husband, Aethelred, ealdorman of the Mercians. Placement next to the saint would have been a prestigious burial location for Æthelred and Æthelflæd. It was on June 12, 918, that Aethelflaed ‘Lady of the Mercians’ took her last breath in Tamworth – the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mercia - before being finally laid to rest in St Oswald’s Priory in Gloucester, alongside her husband Aethelred. [5] Alfred died in 899 and Edward's claim to the throne was disputed by Æthelwold, son of Alfred's elder brother. In the history of The Last Kingdom, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) has had an ever-changing relationship with Aethelflaed (Millie Brady).In season 4, things change drastically and fans have a lot of feelings about the whole thing. Securing the fealty of the Danes of York would have been Æthelflæd’s ultimate achievement. For a start, it could be that her own brother had her largely written out of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle so as not to promote separatism between Wessex and Mercia. There is a wealth of evidence to support the contention that Mercia was a force to be reckoned with in the Anglo-Saxon period. [38], On her husband's death in 911, Æthelflæd became Myrcna hlædige, "Lady of the Mercians". Æthelred of Mercia was a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. [19] In the view of Ian Walker: "He was a royal ealdorman whose power base lay in the south-west of Mercia in the former kingdom of the Hwicce around Gloucester". How Æthelflæd and her family shaped England, episode of Anglo-Saxon Portraits on Æthelflæd. He argues that King Edward was anxious not to encourage Mercian separatism and did not wish to publicise his sister's accomplishments, in case she became a symbol of Mercian claims. Æthelflæd apparaît dans les Histoires saxonnes de Bernard Cornwell, série de romans historiques se déroulant sous le règne d'Alfred le Grand, ainsi que dans la série télévisée The Last Kingdom qui en est adaptée. [81] Ryan believes that the Mercian rulers "had a considerable but ultimately subordinate share of royal authority".[65]. The version of record as reviewed is: "Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians" (PDF), WikiJournal of Humanities, 1 (1): 1, 2018, doi:10.15347/WJH/2018.001, ISSN 2639-5347, Wikidata Q59649817.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}, This article is about the Lady of the Mercians.