Edward, Saint

Edward, Saint was the son of Edgar, king of the Saxons, and the beautiful Ethelfleda, who died shortly after his birth, in 961. In 975, when Edgar died, Edward, a pious youth, was elected to the crown, much to the discontent of Elfrida, his step-mother, who wished her own son, Ethelred, on the throne. In 979 (or 978), Edward was poisoned at Corfe Castle, by his own people, according to Henry of Huntingdon, or, as was probable, by order of Elfrida, as Florence of Worcester and William of Malmesbury record. Malmesbury says that a light from heaven shone over his grave at Wareham,, and wonders were wrought there and miracles of healing; and that Elfrida, at length terrified and consciencestricken, retired to.the convent of Wherwell to repent of her wickedness. The young Edward was not a martyr for the Christian faith; but being a good youth, and unjustly and cruelly slain, the people looked upon him as a saint and called him Edward the martyr; and so he has a place in the Anglican and Roman martyrologies. He is commemorated on March 18. His body was afterwards translated to the minister at Shaftesbury (June 20), and his translation is set down on February 18. See Baring-Gould, Lives of the Saints, 3:324 (March 18); Butler, Lives of the Saints (March 18); Fuller, Worthies of England, 1:453; Green, Hist. of English People, 1:96; Knight, Pop. Hist. of England, 1:147, 148.

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