public profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Birthplace: Mercia Kingdom
Death: Lincolnshire, Mercia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Wigmund, king of Mercia and Æflæda
Wife of Æthelred "Mucil", Ealdorman of the Gaini
Mother of Æthelwulf and Ealhswith
Sister of Ælfheah; Saint Wigstan and Ceolwulf II, king of Mercia

Occupation: Princess of Mercia, Queen of Mercia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ædburh

Ædburh, often called 'Eadburh of Mercia'

"Eadburh, from the royal stock of the king of the Mercians."
Daughter of Coenwulf, King of Mercia. Wife of Æthelred Mucel, ealdorman of the Gaini. Mother-in-Law of Alfred the Great.

Eadburh and Æthelred had at least two children:
- Ealdorman Æthelwulf (died 901)
- Ealhswith (died 5 December 902), in 868 she married Alfred the Great, by whom she had five children who survived to adulthood.

The name Eadburh means "Wealthy Fortress"

According to Asser, Alfred the Great's biographer, the mother of Alfred's wife was "Eadburh, from the royal stock of the king of the Mercians. I often saw her myself with my very own eyes for several years before her death. She was a notable woman, who remained for many years after the death of her husband a chaste widow, until her death". Asser must have admired Eadburh indeed for he identifies her by name, when he did not even identify her daughter, Ealhswith, Alfred's wife, by name anywhere in his work.

Eadburh's parentage is not known with certainty. The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and the Henry Project (both respected genealogy research sites) both identify Eadburgh as a possible daughter of Coenwulf, King of Mercia from 796-821.

In "The Earliest English Kings" Kirby identifies Eadburh as the daughter of Coenwulf, King of Mercia. He attributes this information also to Asser (Alfred the Great's biographer) stating "Alfred's wife Ealhswith was descended from Coenwulf through her mother, Eadburh, though Asser does not specify how."

Others speculate that she was born to one of Coenwulf's children but no-one identifies which.

It is important to note that Asser also identifies another woman named "Eadburgh" who was the daughter of Offa, King of Mercia (757-796). Offa's daughter was the wife of King Beorhtric of Wessex (reign 786 to 802). It is certain that this Eadburh was NOT the same as Ealhswith's mother. For Eadburh,
Ealhswith's mother, is described as "royal noble and chaste" and she also lived at Alfred's court before her death. Asser had nothing but contempt for Eadburh, Offa's daughter, stating she poisoned her husband King Beorhtric, ended up living in exile in Francia, was rejected by King Charlemagne, became abbess of a convent but was expelled from the convent for fornication and ended her days as a street beggar in Italy.

view all

Ædburh's Timeline

Wessex, England
Gaini Tribal Lands, Mercian Kingdom, England (United Kingdom)
Mercia Kingdom
Lincolnshire, Mercia