Ethelfleda - Life in Medieval Days

Ethelfleda was born in 872 to King Alfred, in Wessex, England. She was raised with several younger siblings and taught to be strong and self sufficient. At age 15 a marriage was planned between her and Ethelred of Mercia. As her wedding band headed out, it was attacked by rebels. She was able to rally her troops and survive the attack. She did marry and have a child.

Ethelfleda was well respected by her husband, and actively ran the household and signed papers for their area. They would go out to battle together, side by side. Her strategies were well respected. Many considered her to be the true leader.

When her husband died in 911 - when she was 39 - she took the reins. She was officially known as "Lady of the Mercians" and maintained control for about 8 years.

During this time she oversaw defensive constructions, attacked enemies and defended her own borders. She was finally slain in battle at age 46.

Ethelfleda did such a great job that when she died, there was no question at all about her daughter taking control of the area.

However, Ethelfleda's brother Edward of Wessex had other ideas. As soon as his formidable sister was out of the picture, he immediately moved in and pressured the daughter to relinquish control to him. Not having the strength of her mother, she gave in and apparently became a nun.

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