18th March - Saint Edward the Martyr

King. Edward was born in 862, the son of the English King Edgar and his first wife. He succeeded his father in 965. Three years later, when he was just 15 or 16, he was assassinated at Corfe in Dorset, in 978, and quietly buried at Wareham. It is said that he was on his way to visit his half brother Etheldred, when he was set upon by Etheldred's retainers and stabbed before he could dismount from his horse.

Etheldred was supported by the anti-monastic party in Mercia, while King Edward and his family had been devout Christians.

Years later it was revealed that Edward had been killed on the instructions of his stepmother Elfrida, who wanted to put her son on the throne.

Many miracles were reported to have taken place after the young king's death. His body was reburied with great ceremony at Shaftesbury Abbey early in 979, where he came to be venerated as a saint and martyr.

Elfrida repented of her crime and ended her days as a nun at Wherwell. Five ancient churches were dedicated to St Edward. Some of his relics are now in an Eastern Orthodox church in Brookwood, Surrey.

A number of lives of Edward were written in the centuries following his death. He is today recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Communion.

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