Edgar the Peaceful

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Edgar the Peaceful (Old English: Ēadgār) (c. 7 August 943 – 8 July 975), also called the Peaceable, was a king of England (r. 959–75). Edgar was the younger son of Edmund I of England.



His cognomen, "The Peaceable", was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by his seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother, Eadwig, in 958.[citation needed] A conclave of nobles held Edgar to be king north of the Thames, and Edgar aspired to succeed to the English throne.[citation needed]


Though Edgar was not a particularly peaceable man, his reign was a peaceful one. The Kingdom of England was at its height. Edgar consolidated the political unity achieved by his predecessors. By the end of Edgar's reign, England was sufficiently unified that it was unlikely to regress back to a state of division among rival kingships, as it had to an extent under Eadred's reign.

Edgar and Dunstan

Upon Eadwig's death in October 959, Edgar immediately recalled Dunstan (eventually canonised as St. Dunstan) from exile to have him made Bishop of Worcester (and subsequently Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury). Dunstan remained Edgar's advisor throughout his reign.

Benedictine Reform

The Monastic Reform Movement that restored the Benedictine Rule to England's undisciplined monastic communities peaked during the era of Dunstan, Æthelwold, and Oswald. (Historians continue to debate the extent and significance of this movement.)

Coronation at Bath (AD 973)

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