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Elswitha of Gainsborough

Elswitha of Gainsborough

Female Abt 850 - 904  (~ 54 years)

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  • Name Elswitha of Gainsborough 
    Born Abt 850  Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 904 
    Notes 
    • Queen to Alfred the Great
      c850 - 902
        Alfred the Great was born in Wantage around 849. At age 5 he was sent to Rome to be blessed by the Pope, who is reputed to have talked about how important a contribution this man would make for his country. Alfred grew up in a divided Britain that had allegiances to various leaders, and in certain parts of the country, the kingdom was subject to the constant invasions of Vikings.
      The Mercian tribe "The Gainis" held power in ancient Gainsborough and the chieftains of the Gainis were Ethelred and Edburga Mucil. It is from the tribe of the Gainis that the town derives its name, which literally means the stronghold of the Gainis. At this point in time the Gainis had a castle on what is now the site of the Old Hall, and an ancient church existed in the area which is the present day site of the Parish Church.
      Imagination suggests that the legendary daughter of the Gainis chieftains to be a very attractive lady with blonde hair and blue eyes. However, history has not been kind to recording factual details of this fascinating point in time and therefore for many years verification of this detail has not been possible.
      According to Phillipa Stevens at Winchester Libraries, Elswitha could not have been unattractive, as females born to the ruling classes were often primarily groomed to marry the males of neighbouring tribes to create allies. If a tribesman's daughter developed as physically unattractive they were often hidden away in those dark ages. Elswitha, however, did not simply attract another eligible local chieftain though; she was to marry the King of England.
      In 868 Alfred of Wessex married Elswitha Mucil, daughter of the elderman of the Gainis in the old town, and she became his Queen Consort. Alfred who is reputed to be one of the greatest of all English Kings, was given this the highest of all accolades by his people and will be forever remembered in history as Alfred "The Great". According to royal genealogy, Alfred and Elswitha had three surviving children:
      Ethelfled Lady of the Mercians,
      Elthrith who married Baldwin II, Count of Flanders, (five generations later Matilda of Flanders married William the Conqueror), and
      Edward the Elder who succeeded Alfred the Great who died in 899. Elswitha died in 902.
      Today there exists Elswitha Hall, which was the birthplace of another famous character - Sir Halford Mackinder, the building was named to honour the Queen from Gainsborough. Our present sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, is a 35th generation descendant of this royal dynasty.

      This biography was provided courtesy of Darron Childs and The Delvers, an independent local history group for Gainsborough. They can be contacted at the following email address: darron.childs@btinternet.com
      - http://www.visitoruk.com/gainsborough/history/famous_elswitha.htm
    Person ID I2713  Roy~Royes
    Last Modified 22 Mar 2005 

    Family Alfred the Great, King of Wessex 871-899
              b. 849, Wantage, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 899, Winchester, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Edward the Elder, King of Wessex 899-924
              b. Abt 870, Wantage, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 17 Jul 924, Farndon-on-Dee, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 54 years)
     2. Ethelward
              b. 880, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 922  (Age 42 years)
    Last Modified 28 Mar 2014 02:30:18 
    Family ID F1002  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 850 - Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England Link to Google Earth
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