Edmund

c.840-870. King and martyr. He succeeded to the throne of East Anglia at fifteen. For fourteen more years nothing is known for certain about his life, though he seems to have been an acceptable monarch. Then the invading Danes, who had gained ground in other parts of the country but had for some reason until then left his territories alone, came south. Edmund engaged them in battle, possibly at Hoxne on the Suffolk-Norfolk border. He was defeated. It is difficult to reconcile different versions of what happened on that occasion. According to some accounts, he was slain in the fighting; others say he was captured, refused to renounce his faith or to hold his kingdom as vassal of heathen overlords, was thereupon killed by the Danish archers, and then beheaded. Many legends sprang up around his memory, and his resting place at Bury St. Edmunds became one of the most famous shrines in England.