Name and House: Edmund (Eadmund) “Ironside” / House of Wessex
Reigned: 24th April – 30th November 1016
Edmund (or Eadmund) was nicknamed "Ironside" because of his efforts at fending off invasions from the Danes led by King Canute, (he was the King of England (briefly)). He was Æthelred II’s (also known as Ethelred the Unready) second son. He had three brothers, Æthelstan was the elder, Eadred and Ecgbert were the two younger siblings. When Æthelstan passed away in 1014, Edmund was left as the heir apparent and a power struggle soon ensued between him and his father.
Canute the Great led attacks against England between 1014 and 1016; Edmund, in conjunction with Earl Uhtred from Northumbria, staged a revolt but Uhtred immediately deserted Edmund and surrendered to Canute. When Æthelred II died on 23rd April 1016, Edmund succeeded the throne and organized what would prove to be a final effort to defend England while the Danes were laying siege to London.
Edmund gathered up an army in Wessex and when the Danes pursued Edmund, they fought to a stalemate. After mounting a renewed siege of London, Edmund won numerous battles against Canute. Canute would defeat Edmund soundly on 18th October in Essex during the Battle of Ashingdon. Edmund and Canute then negotiated a treaty wherein Edmund would keep Wessex, while Canute held everything north of the River Thames. It was agreed in the treaty that whoever perished first that the survivor would take over as ruler of the deceased’s lands.
Edmund died on 30th November 1016 leaving Canute King of England as per the agreement in the treaty above. One school of thought states that Edmund died of natural causes, while others claim that he was assassinated.