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Seal of Edward the Confessor



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Edward The Confessor

Edward the Confessor, known by this name for his extreme piety, was canonised in 1161 by Pope Alexander III. He became one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England, reigning for an impressive twenty four years from 1042 until 1066.

The last king of the House of Wessex was born in Oxfordshire at Islip, son of King Ethelred “the Unready” and his wife Emma of Normandy. He was the king’s seventh son and the first of Ethelred’s new wife, Emma. Born around 1003, his childhood was marred by the continuing escalation of conflict from Viking raids which targeted England. By 1013 Sweyn Forkbeard had seized the throne, forcing Emma of Normandy to flee to safety with her sons, Edward and Alfred.

He spent much of his early life living in exile in France, his family driven away by Danish rule. When his father Ethelred passed away in 1016 it was left to Edward’s half-brother, known as Edmund Ironside to continue to fight against Danish aggression in England, this time facing the imposing threat from Sweyn’s son, Cnut.

Unfortunately Edmund did not last long, as he died later that year, allowing Cnut to become king with Edward and his siblings forced into exile. One of his first acts as king was to have Edward’s elder half-brother Eadwig killed, leaving Edward the next in line. Edward’s mother married Cnut in 1017.

Edward subsequently spent his formative years in France although he vowed he would return to England one day as the rightful ruler of the kingdom. It is believed he spent much time in Normandy where he lived the lifestyle of nobility, whilst hoping on various occasions to seize an opportunity to ascend to the throne. He even signed charters as King of England and received support from a number of people who gave his royal entitlement their personal backing.

One of these figures was the Duke of Normandy, Robert I who in 1034 attempted an invasion of England in order to restore Edward to his rightful position. Furthermore, other supporters of his cause included figures in the church. It was during this time that Edward appeared to turn to religion and develop a strong sense of conviction, a piety he would carry with him throughout his life and for which he would ultimately become well-known.

Unfortunately for young Edward, despite receiving support, his chances of assuming the throne looked particularly thin, especially due to his mother, Emma of Normandy, who greatly favoured her other son, Harthacnut, son of Cnut the Great. Emma’s ambition for her Danish son usurped Edward’s chances as king, but for how long?

By 1035, Cnut had died and his son with Emma, Harthacnut assumed the role as King of Denmark. At the time he had been largely preoccupied with events in Denmark and had failed to lay claim to the throne in England. This left the royal role vacant for his elder half-brother Harold Harefoot who stood in as regent. Meanwhile, Harthacnut’s mother Emma kept Wessex on behalf of her son.

A year later, probably fearing their mother was losing her grip on power at the hands of Harold, Edward and Alfred received invitations to go to England from Emma. Unfortunately for Alfred this visit would seal his demise, as he was quickly captured by Godwin, the Earl of Wessex who handed him over to Harold where his grisly fate was met. Alfred suffered a dreadful death, blinded with red-hot pokers he would later die from his injuries. Edward justifiably would bear a grudge and a seething hatred for Godwin and later banish him when he became king.

Edward quickly returned to Normandy. In the years that followed, Emma would find herself expelled by Harold and forced to live in Bruges, begging Edward for help in securing Harthacnut’s ascendancy. Edward simply refused and it was not until Harold’s death in 1040 that Harthacnut was able to take the throne in England.

By this time his half-brother, now King of England invited Edward to England, knowing that he would be the next in line to the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently records Edward’s swearing in as king upon the death of his brother. With the support of the powerful Earl of Wessex, Godwin, Edward was able to succeed the throne.

His coronation took place at Winchester Cathedral on 3rd April 1043. A jubilant atmosphere welcomed the Saxon king back to his kingdom. As king he found it prudent to deal with his mother who had practically abandoned him in his time of need and favoured his sibling. In November the same year he saw fit to deprive her of her property, an act of personal vengeance against a mother he felt had never really supported him. She died in 1052.

During his reign Edward would manage affairs in a fairly consistent manner, however despite this he was faced with some skirmishes occurring both in Scotland and Wales. Edward managed a forceful campaign and in 1053 ordered the assassination of the southern Welsh prince Rhys ap Rhydderch. Furthermore, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn emerged in 1055 and declared himself leader of Wales but was forced back by the English, who forced Gruffydd to swear an oath of loyalty to the king.

Meanwhile, Edward’s leadership continued to reflect his Norman background. One of the most tangible displays of Norman influence was the creation of Westminster Abbey. The project itself was executed in 1042 and was eventually consecrated in 1065. The building represented the first Norman Romanesque church and even though it was to be later demolished in favour of Henry III’s construction, it would play a major role in developing a style of architecture and demonstration of his links to the church.

Edward’s long time abroad and clear Norman style however did contribute to a growing atmosphere of resentment. In January 1045, Edward had sought to calm any conflict between himself and Godwin, the Earl of Wessex, by marrying his daughter Edith.

Unfortunately for Edward, his position was severely compromised by the power held by the earls, in particular Godwin, Leofric and Siward. In time the earls would grow increasingly irate at the clear demonstrations of Norman favouritism exhibited by the king.

The tension boiled over when Edward chose Robert of Jumièges as Archbishop of Canterbury instead of Godwin’s relative. The new Archbishop would later accused Godwin of plotting to murder the king. Edward would seize his chance to oust Godwin, with the help of Leofric and Siward and with Godwin’s men unwilling to go up against the king, he outlawed Godwin and his family, which included Edward’s own wife Edith.

Unfortunately the battle for power was not over yet for King Edward, as Godwin would return a year later with his sons having accumulated much needed support for their cause. Edward no longer had the support of Leofric and Siward and was forced to make concessions or fear civil war.

In the latter half of Edward’s reign the political picture began to alter and Edward was distancing himself from the political fray, instead engaging in gentlemanly pursuits after attending church every morning. The Godwin family would subsequently control much of England whilst Edward withdrew.

By 1053 Godwin had died leaving his legacy to his son Harold who became responsible for dealing with rebellion in the north of England and Wales. It was these actions that prompted Edward to name Harold as his successor even though it had already been established that William, Duke of Normandy would assume the throne. This inevitably led to conflict and chaos when Edward died on 4th January 1066. The issue of succession was a major contributing factor to the Norman conquest of England.

Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings, has been historically preserved and depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry. His legacy as a leader was mixed, damaged by infighting and attempts by others to seize power. Nevertheless, he brought with him a strongly religious influence, Norman-style administration and reigned for a long twenty four year period. He was later canonised and adopted as one of England’s national saints, with a feast day celebrated on 13th October in his memory.

Jessica Brain is a freelance writer specialising in history. Based in Kent and a lover of all things historical.


The Seal of Confession

The seal of confession is in the news again. From New Hampshire to California, state legislatures and trial court judges are pressuring Catholic priests to disclose information (most recently, about clergy sexual abuse) that they might have gained during a sacramental confession. While some elected representatives and trial lawyers (many of whom are not Catholic) are using solid constitutional arguments to resist these encroachments on religion, the debate is far from over.

We should pray that the right answer is found quickly. The consequences of getting policies wrong in the area of the “priest-penitent privilege” could be very serious.

The confidentiality of the confessional is not just one of the most important canonical rights enjoyed by the faithful. Its protection is one of the glories of Church history. Over the centuries, powerful forces have often tried to crack the secrets of the confessional, only to be stopped by priests who accepted suspicion, ridicule, prison and occasionally even a martyr’s death, rather than violate the trust shown by those making use of Christ’s Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Today, Canon 983 of the Code of Canon Law absolutely forbids a confessor from betraying a penitent in any way for any reason. In more concrete terms, the seal of confession prohibits a priest from disclosing the identity of the penitent and the sin or sins that he or she has confessed. Canon 1388 provides teeth for this rule when it imposes canonical penalties, up to and including excommunication, for the violation of the sacramental seal.

We might wonder why a civil state would want to protect from disclosure, even in its own courts, certain types of conversations such as those occurring between priests and penitents, doctors and patients, or attorneys and clients. Basically, the explanation for all three privileges is the same: Society is better off in the long run when people know they can approach clergy, physicians or lawyers without the fear that what they talk about might be freely shared with others.

Still, some lines have to be drawn. Let’s take a closer look at when the seal of confession applies according to canon law. Perhaps a better understanding of this topic will contribute toward developing and affirming sound civil policies in this important area.

The Extent of the Seal

The obligation to respect the seal of confession applies whether the sins confessed are grave (such as abortion, blasphemy, unchastity) or minor (such as being carelessly late for Mass or rude to strangers). It applies even if the sacrament was interrupted or not completed, as might happen if a penitent becomes ill or admits a sin but refuses to express sorrow for it.

When we say, though, that the seal of confession applies even if the sacrament is not conferred, we must be careful not to assume that every “confidential” conversation with a priest – even conversations about spiritual matters – is protected by the seal of confession. Other obligations of confidentiality might apply in such cases, but only those exchanges in which the penitent is clearly seeking sacramental reconciliation are protected by the seal of confession.

Having said that, we must nevertheless note that the protection of the seal extends to other cases as well. It applies, for example, even if the fact of the sin is publicly known from other sources. For example, if an individual has widely announced that he or she has committed some crime and later confesses that crime to a priest, the priest cannot confirm that the individual confessed the same crime.

The seal of confession also applies to sins that are “particular” to that penitent (such as a deacon failing to pray the Liturgy of the Hours) even if such acts or omission would not be sinful for the rest of us. And the obligation of the seal applies as well to what are sometimes called “devotional confessions”- that is, confessions in which previously confessed and absolved sins are mentioned again as an aid to deepening one’s sorrow for them.

It’s important to note that the obligation to preserve the secrecy of the confessional applies to those who happen to come into knowledge of confessional matters, say, by overhearing (deliberately or accidentally) another’s confession or by having served as an interpreter for confession.

It’s true that there’s a canonical distinction in the type of obligation to secrecy that such persons bear. But there’s no doubt that those who repeat such confessional information as they might have acquired are subject to severe canonical penalties for disclosing what they have heard.

Some people are reluctant to go to confession for fear that, while the priest would never disclose their sins, he might use the information against them in other ways – say, by shunning the individual or by asking for his or her resignation from a parish position.

Church law, however, has already anticipated this problem and has taken steps to prevent it. Canon 984 expressly forbids a confessor from using any information gained from confession against the penitent even if all danger of disclosure is excluded.

Release from Obligation?

One current thought in canonical opinion would allow a penitent to release a confessor from the obligation of the seal under certain conditions. After all, so runs the argument, the seal of confession protects the penitent from the fear of being exposed, so if a penitent wishes to disclose his or her confession through the confessor, canon law should allow for that.

In my opinion, though, this argument overlooks the fact that the seal of confession protects penitents in ways they might not have even thought about it protects the priests who must minister within it and it defends the sacrament itself.

Think about it: If the seal of confession is absolutely unwaivable, penitents would be protected from being pressured by others to release their confessors in certain cases, priests would be protected from having to decipher vague or unclear purported releases from penitents, and all the faithful would be protected from having to wonder whether what certainly looks like a violation of the seal might have been something actually requested or at least agreed to by a penitent at some time or another.

Finally, even though there’s a danger of introducing a slippery slope here, most who write on canon law agree that a confessor may answer a legitimate question as to whether he is in fact asserting the seal of confession in regard to inquiries about a specific person. After all, a defendant on the stand is not permitted simply to refuse to answer legitimate questions he or she must base the refusal on some sort of recognized privilege such as the Fifth Amendment.

Similarly, a priest who does not wish to disclose information he might have gained in confession must be able to confirm that he has concluded that the seal of confession prohibits him from answering a question.

Moreover, when we recall how little (indeed, how almost nothing) can be guessed about what kinds of things might have been discussed under the seal, there seems little danger of “betraying a penitent” merely by a priest’s stating that the answer to such-and-such a question is precluded by the seal of confession.

The current encroachments on the seal of confession are cause for concern. Yet we must always remember that, serving, as it does, one of the seven sacraments Christ gave His Church, the seal of confession shares in the protection that the Lord showers on His Church. Such protection shouldn’t cause us to slacken in our efforts to protect the priest-penitent privilege under civil law. But it does help us remember that God will have the final word.


The Great Seal of the Realm – a piece of history to savour


The Great Seal of the Realm is a piece of history to savour. We don’t get to see it all that often and when it does make an appearance, it more than packs a punch.For this seal is part of a tradition that goes back to before the Norman Conquest and which, for centuries, has symbolised the very power of the Monarch.

This is the main seal of the Crown and signifies the Monarch’s approval of the most important State documents. It’s the modern practice of an act that came into existence at the court of King Edward the Confessor (reigned 1042 – 1066) and which has continued, unbroken, ever since.

Its development was both practical and PR driven. That first Great Seal was used as a pictorial reminder of the power of the Monarch. At a time when few could read and write, the royal image imprinted in heavy wax was designed to impress but also to tell anyone who couldn’t read the Latin inscribed around its edges that this seal meant the king had put his full power behind the document to which it was attached.

Edward also presided over an ever growing administration and to save the king the time and trouble of signing every document, the seal was used to show his assent. To show that this was the real deal there were very tight rules around its use. The seal was made using a metal mould, or matrix, and only one version of that could ever exist at one time. A fake seal would be easy to spot and production of one carried heavy penalties – Edward III made the offence high treason. The genuine article was closely guarded and for centuries, one of the highest offices in the country was that of its official custodian, the Lord Keeper of the Seal.

That office eventually merged with the role of Lord Chancellor and that’s who is officially in charge of the seal today. However, some things remain the same as they were at the time of Edward the Confessor. There is only ever one matrix for the seal in existence and on the death of a monarch, the new king or queen continues using their predecessor’s matrix until a new design is made. The old moulds used to be broken apart but now they are defaced in small but noticeable ways so that they can be retained as historic artefacts but put out of practical use.

The Great Seal has also got plenty of royal romance and legend around its history. In 1688, King James II tried to destroy it as he fled England during the ‘Glorious Revolution’ led by his son-in-law, the future King William III. James threw his seal into the Thames to try and halt the wheels of royal government but the matrix still existed and his plans came to naught. King Edward VIII didn’t get the chance to approve a new design for his own Great Seal between succeeding his father, George V, in January 1936 and abdicating in December of the same year and only ever used papa’s matrix during his short time on the throne.

The longest reigning monarchs in British history have had the opposite problem. The high temperatures used to melt the wax in the matrix to produce each seal can mean that the original design loses some of its definition over time. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to encounter this problem and had four designs during her 63 year reign. In 2001, the Queen got a new matrix for the Great Seal after the original, produced in 1953 to a design by Gilbert Ledward, began to wear out. The newest version is the one we saw on the Instrument of Consent for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s marriage and it was designed by James Butler.

This new design also highlights another important aspect of the seal for each monarch describes them in unique terms. That very first seal belonging to Edward the Confessor said simply Edwardi Anglorura Basilei which can be translated as Edward, King of the English and which bears striking similarities to the titles used by continental rulers, and particularly the Holy Roman Emperors, on their seals. The wording changes as Britain evolves and the country’s history can be read in the description of those who followed Edward.

The unfortunate Richard II was the first to include reference to his family’s territorial claims to a near neighbour, his seal declaring him Richard, by the Grace of God, King of France and England and Lord of Ireland. The reference to France lasted for centuries and we get another interesting historical insight with the seal of Mary I which reads Mary, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, Queen, first of that name, Defender of the Faith highlighting her position as the first queen regnant in England’s history. Defender of the Faith had first been used by Mary’s father, King Henry VIII, and it’s appeared on every Great Seal since his reign which ended in 1547. The present seal is that of Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the Britains and her other realms Queen, Head of the Commonwealth of Nations, Defender of the Faith.

Nowadays, those words on that seal are used around 100 times a year (there are separate seals for Scotland and for Northern Ireland) with the sealing taking place in the office of the Clerk of the Crown in the Chancery of the House of Lords. There are different coloured waxes used depending on the type of document being sealed. Dark green pertains to letters patent raising people to the peerage while blue denotes documents relating to the close members of the Royal Family. Red is used for everything else.

It is an ancient symbol of royalty, a link to all those kings and queens that have gone before, a reminder that the Monarchy is part of a millennium of history in a way that changes and yet always stays the same. Edward the Confessor’s regal initiative can still impress all these years later.


Edward The Confessor, king of the English

EADWARD ([1005]-Palace of Westminster 5 Jan 1066, bur Westminster Abbey[1845]). "Eadweard clito/filius regis" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1005 and 1015[1846]. He is named after his half-brother Eadgar in all documents in which the two are mentioned together, consistent with Edward being the junior of the two. Edward fled England for Normandy with his mother in 1013 after the invasion of Svend King of Denmark.

Anointed king of England during the lifetime of his father[1847], probably in 1015 when his older half-brother, later King Edmund, was in dispute with their father over his unauthorised marriage. This assumes that Edward returned to England from Normandy with his father.

According to Orderic Vitalis, Edward and his brother Alfred were living in exile in Normandy when Duke Robert left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem in [1035][1848]. "…Hetwardi, Helwredi…" witnessed the charter dated to [1030] under which Robert II Duke of Normandy donated property to the abbey of Fmp[1849].

After the appointment of Harold "Harefod/Harefoot" as regent of England in 1036, Edward landed along Southampton Water to rejoin his mother who, on hearing of the fate of her other son Alfred, sent Edward back to Normandy[1850]. "…Hatuardus Rex…" witnessed the charter dated to [1042] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy donated "nostras insulas Serc et Aurrene, propter medietatem Grenere" to the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, supported by "Rannulfo filio Anschitilli"[1851]. He returned to England in 1041 and was "sworn in as future king" according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1852]. On his half-brother's death, he was elected EDWARD "the Confessor" King of England in London, crowned at Winchester Cathedral 3 Apr 1043[1853].

His relations with his mother were strained as she appears to have supported the claim of Magnus King of Norway to the English throne on the death of King Harthacnut[1854].

Whatever the truth of this, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward confiscated her treasury in 1043[1855]. Godwin Earl of Wessex enjoyed a position of power during King Edward's reign, marrying his daughter to the king in 1045. However, the king's relations with Earl Godwin became tense after a dispute over the appointment of a new archbishop of Canterbury in 1050. In 1051, Earl Godwin refused the king's order to punish an affray at Canterbury, in which one of Eustache Comte de Boulogne's men was killed. The dispute escalated, and 1 Sep 1051 Godwin made a show of force against the king with his two older sons near Tetbury. Leofric Earl of Mercia and Siward Earl of Northumbria supported King Edward, and battle was avoided. Godwin and his family were given five days' safe conduct to leave the country by the king's council 8 Sep 1051[1856].

It was probably about this time that Edward promised the throne to Guillaume II Duke of Normandy, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the duke's visit to England in 1051[1857]. Earl Godwin was restored in 1052, after another show of force.

After Godwin's death in 1053, his son Harold assumed his earldom and became as powerful in the kingdom as his father had been. It appears that King Edward gradually withdrew from active government, becoming more involved in religious matters and especially planning the construction of Westminster Abbey, which was finally consecrated 28 Dec 1065 although Edward was by then too infirm to attend. Despite his earlier promise of the succession to Guillaume Duke of Normandy, on his deathbed King Edward bequeathed the kingdom to Harold Godwinson Earl of Wessex, a choice which was accepted unanimously by the members of the council.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the king's death "on the vigil of𠉮piphany" and his burial in Westminster abbey the next day[1858]. King Edward was canonised 7 Feb 1161, his feast day is 13 Oct[1859].

m (23 Jan 1045) EADGYTH, daughter of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha ([1020/22]-Winchester 18 Dec 1075, bur Westminster Abbey).

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1045 "king Edward took to wife Edith the daughter of Earl Godwin, ten days before Candlemas"[1860]. Her husband confined her to Wherwell Abbey in 1051 when the rest of her family was banished, but she was brought back to court when her father was restored the following year. She commissioned the Vita ౭wardi Regis from a foreign clerk, probably from Saint-Omer, setting out the history of her family. She continued to live around Winchester after the Norman conquest, and appears to have been treated well by King William I[1861].

Florence of Worcester records the death "XIV Kal Jan" in [1074] of "Edgitha regis Haroldi germana quondam Anglorum regina" at Winchester and her burial at Westminster[1862].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint King Edward the Confessor (c. 1003/1004 – 5 January 1066),[1] son of Ethelred the Unready, was the penultimate Anglo-Saxon King of England and the last of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 until his death.[2] His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the aggrandisement of the great territorial earls, and it foreshadowed the country's later connection with Normandy, whose duke William I was to supplant Edward's successors Harold Godwinson and Edgar Ætheling as England's ruler.

He succeeded his half-brother Harthacanute, who had successfully regained the throne of England after being dispossessed by his half-brother, Harold Harefoot. Edward and his brother Alfred the Ætheling, both sons of Emma of Normandy by Ethelred the Unready, had previously failed to depose Harold in 1036. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three people claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonised in 1161 and is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, which regards Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses, and by the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348 he was considered the patron saint of England, and he has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward was born c. 1003 in Islip, Oxfordshire. His palace was in Brill, Buckinghamshire. In 1013, he and his brother Alfred were taken to Normandy by their mother Emma of Normandy, sister of Normandy's Duke Richard II, to escape the Danish invasion of England. Despite his piety, it seems that he was tough warrior. The Norse Flateyisbok describes him fighting in London against Canute in fierce urban warfare. He is said to have attacked Canute, who was saved by Thorkell the Tall pulling him from his horse. The book relates that Prince Edward broke through the saddle and killed the horse with his axe. Edward is traditionally said to have developed an intense personal piety in his quarter-century of Norman exile (disputed by Howarth in 1066: The Year of the Conquest), during his most formative years, while England formed part of a great Danish empire. His familiarity with Normandy and its leaders would also influence his later rule: the refuge he was given in Normandy, vis a vis the disregard the Normans paid him whilst he was there, would leave him both grateful and bitter towards his kinsmen there.[3] It is believed that when Duke Robert, who was his cousin, went on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (where he died) that Edward was named as one of the guardians of his son William.

After an abortive attempt with Alfred in 1036 to displace Harold Harefoot from the throne, Edward returned to Normandy. Alfred, however, was captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex who then turned him over to Harold Harefoot, who blinded him to make him unsuitable for kingship. Alfred died soon after as a result of his torture. This murder of his brother is thought to be the source of much of his later hatred for the Earl and played a major part in the reason for his banishment in autumn 1051 Edward said that the only way in which Godwin could be forgiven was if he brought back the murdered Alfred, an impossible task.[4]

The Anglo-Saxon lay and ecclesiastical nobility invited Edward back to England in 1041 this time he became part of the household of his half-brother Harthacanute (son of Emma and Canute), and according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was sworn in as king alongside him. Following Harthacanute's death on 8 June 1042, Edward ascended the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle indicates the popularity he enjoyed at his accession — "before Harthacanute was buried, all the people chose Edward as king in London". Edward was crowned at the cathedral of Winchester, the royal seat of the West Saxons on 3 April 1043.

Edward's reign was marked by peace and prosperity, but effective rule in England required coming to terms with three powerful earls: Godwin, Earl of Wessex, who was firmly in control of the thegns of Wessex, which had formerly been the heart of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose legitimacy was strengthened by his marriage to Lady Godiva, and in the north, Siward, Earl of Northumbria. Edward's sympathies for Norman favourites frustrated Saxon and Danish nobles alike, fuelling the growth of anti-Norman opinion led by Godwin, who had become the king's father-in-law in 1045. The breaking point came over the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury: Edward rejected Godwin's man and appointed the bishop of London, Robert of Jumièges, a trusted Norman.

Matters came to a head over a bloody riot at Dover between the townsfolk and Edward's kinsman Eustace, count of Boulogne. Godwin refused to punish them, Leofric and Siward backed the King, and Godwin and his family were all exiled in September 1051. Queen Edith was sent to a nunnery at Wherwell. Earl Godwin returned with an army following a year later, however, forcing the king to restore his title and send away his Norman advisors. Godwin died in 1053 and the Norman Ralph the Timid received Herefordshire, but his son Harold accumulated even greater territories for the Godwins, who held all the earldoms save Mercia after 1057. Harold led successful raiding parties into Wales in 1063 and negotiated with his inherited rivals in Northumbria in 1065, and in January 1066, upon Edward's death, he was proclaimed king.

The details of the succession have been widely debated: the Norman position was that William had been designated the heir, and that Harold had been publicly sent to him as emissary from Edward, to apprise him of Edward's decision. Harold's party asserted that the old king had made a deathbed bestowal of the crown on Harold. However, Harold was approved by the Witenagemot who, under Anglo-Saxon law, held the ultimate authority to convey kingship.

Edward had married Godwin's daughter Edith on 23 January 1045, but the union was childless. The reason for this is the subject of much speculation. Possible explanations include Edward, having taken vow of chastity, considering the union a spiritual marriage, the age difference between Edward and Edith engendering a filial rather than spousal relationship, Edward's antipathy toward Edith's father (Barlow 1997), or infertility.

Edward's nearest heir would have been his nephew Edward the Exile, who was born in England, but spent most of his life in Hungary. He had returned from exile in 1056 and died not long after, in February the following year. So Edward made his great nephew Edgar Atheling his heir. But Edgar had no secure following among the earls: the resultant succession crisis on Edward's death without a direct "throneworthy" heir — the "foreign" Edgar was a stripling of fourteen — opened the way for Harold's coronation and the invasions of two effective claimants to the throne, the unsuccessful invasion of Harald Hardrada in the north and the successful one of William of Normandy.

William of Normandy, who had visited England during Godwin's exile, claimed that the childless Edward had promised him the succession to the throne, and his successful bid for the English crown put an end to Harold's nine-month kingship following a 7,000-strong Norman invasion. Edgar Ætheling was elected king by the Witan after Harold's death but was brushed aside by William. Edward, or more especially the mediæval cult which would later grow up around him under the later Plantagenet kings, had a lasting impact on English history. Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward between 1045 and 1050 on land upstream from the City of London, and was consecrated on 28 December 1065. Centuries later, Westminster was deemed symbolic enough to become the permanent seat of English government under Henry III. The Abbey contains a shrine to Edward which was the centrepiece to the Abbey's redesign during the mid-thirteenth century. In 2005, Edward's remains were found beneath the pavement in front of the high altar. His remains had been moved twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the original tomb has since been found on the central axis of the Abbey in front of the original high altar.

Historically, Edward's reign marked a transition between the 10th century West Saxon kingship of England and the Norman monarchy which followed Harold's death. Edward's allegiances were split between England and his mother's Norman ties. The great earldoms established under Canute grew in power, while Norman influence became a powerful factor in government and in the leadership of the Church.

It was during the reign of Edward that some features of the English monarchy familiar today were introduced. Edward is regarded as responsible for introducing the royal seal and coronation regalia. Also under Edward, a marked change occurred in Anglo-Saxon art, with continental influences becoming more prominent (including the "Winchester Style" which had become known in the 10th century but prominent in the 11th), supplanting Celtic influences prominent in preceding painting, sculpture, calligraphy and jewellery (see Benedictional of St. Æthelwold for an example of the Winchester Style). His crown is believed to have survived until the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell allegedly ordered it to be destroyed. Gold from it is understood to have been integrated into the St. Edward's Crown, which has been used in coronations since Charles II of England in 1661.

When Henry II came to the throne in 1154, he united in his person at last the English and Norman royal lines. To reinforce this new warrant of authenticity, the cult of King Edward the Confessor was promoted. Osbert de Clare was a monk of Westminster, elected Prior in 1136, and remembered for his lives of saints Edmund, Ethelbert and Edburga, in addition to one of Edward, in which the king was represented as a holy man, reported to have performed several miracles and to have healed people by his touch. Osbert was, as his surviving letters demonstrate, an active ecclesiastical politician, and went to Rome to advocate the cause for Edward to be declared a saint, successfully securing his canonisation by Pope Alexander III in 1161.

In 1163, the newly sainted king's remains were enshrined in Westminster Abbey with solemnities presided over by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. On this occasion the honour of preparing a sermon was given to Aelred, the revered Abbot of Rievaulx, to whom is generally attributed the vita in Latin, a hagiography partly based on materials in an earlier vita by Osbert de Clare and which in its turn provided the material for a rhymed version in octasyllabic Anglo-Norman, possibly written by the chronicler Matthew Paris. At the time of Edward's canonisation, saints were broadly categorised as either martyrs or confessors: martyrs were people who had been killed for their faith, while confessors were saints who had died natural deaths. Edward was accordingly styled Edward the Confessor, partly to distinguish him from his canonised predecessor Edward the Martyr.

The Roman Catholic Church regards Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages and separated spouses. After the reign of Henry II, Edward was considered the patron saint of England until 1348 when he was replaced in this role by St. George. He remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward's reign is memorialized in an eight panel stained glass window within St Laurence Church, Ludlow, England.

The shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor remains where it was after the final translation of his body in the 13th century - at the heart of Westminster Abbey, where the date of that translation, 13 October, is observed as a major feast.

13 October was the date assigned to his liturgical commemoration when it was introduced in 1679 into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. Because of his limited importance on a worldwide scale, it was omitted from this in 1969.[5] Since then, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates his feast day on 5 January, the day of his death.[6]

Edward the Confessor is referenced by characters in Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Macbeth as the saintly king of England.

House of Wessex family tree.

^ According to some sources the date was 4 January.

^ The numbering of English monarchs starts anew after the Norman conquest, which explains why the regnal numbers assigned to English kings named Edward begin with the later Edward I (ruled 1272�) and do not include Edward the Confessor (who was the third King Edward).

^ "1066: The Year of the Conquest", David Howarth

^ "1066: The Year of the Conquest", David Howarth

^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 142

^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)

Barlow, Frank (1997). Edward the Confessor.

Edward the Confessor (Old English: 𑊭𛿪rd se Andettere French: ಝouard le Confesseur c. 1003 – 5 January 1066), son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (technically the last being Edgar the Ætheling who was proclaimed king briefly in late 1066, but was deposed after about eight weeks.) His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the advancement in power of the earls. It foreshadowed the country's domination by the Normans, whose Duke William "the Conquerer" of Normandy was to defeat Edward's successor, Harold II, and seize the crown.

Edward had succeeded Cnut's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut had conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three men claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. He is regarded as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. From the reign of Henry II to 1348, he was considered to be the patron saint of England. During the reign of Edward III he was replaced in this role by Saint George, though St Edward has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward the Confessor (c. 1003 – 5 January 1066), son of Ethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (technically the last being Edgar the Ætheling who was proclaimed king briefly in late 1066, but was deposed after about eight weeks.) His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the advancement in power of the earls. It foreshadowed the country's domination by the Normans, whose Duke William of Normandy was to defeat Edward's successor, Harold II, and seize the crown.

Edward had succeeded Cnut's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut had conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three men claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. He is regarded as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348 he was considered to be the patron saint of England, when he was replaced in this role by Saint George, and he has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward was born c. 1003 in Islip, Oxfordshire. Edward and his brother Alfred were sent to Normandy for exile by their mother. Æthelred died in April 1016, and he was succeeded by Edward's older half brother Edmund Ironside, who carried on the fight against the Danes until his own death seven months later at the hand of Canute, who next became king and married Edward and Alfred's mother, Emma. According to Scandinavian tradition, Edward, by then back in England, fought alongside his brother, and distinguished himself by almost cutting Canute in two, although as Edward was at most thirteen years old at the time, the story is highly unlikely.

Edward then returned to Normandy, and although he is traditionally said to have developed an intense personal piety in his quarter-century of Norman exile, during his most formative years, while England formed part of a great Danish empire, some modern historians dispute this claim. His familiarity with Normandy and its leaders would also influence his later rule: the refuge he was given in Normandy, vis-à-vis the disregard the Normans paid him whilst he was there, would leave him both grateful and bitter towards his kinsmen there. It is believed that, when Duke Robert, who was his cousin, went on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (where he died), Edward was named as one of the guardians of his son William.

Harthacnut had been considered the legitimate successor following Canute's death in 1035, but his half-brother, Harold Harefoot, usurped the crown. Edward and his brother Alfred unsuccessfully attempted to depose Harold in 1036. Edward then returned to Normandy, but Alfred was captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex who then turned him over to Harold Harefoot, who blinded him to make him unsuitable for kingship. Alfred died soon after as a result of his wounds. This murder of Edward's brother is thought to be the source of much of Edward's later hatred for the Earl and one of the primary reasons for Godwin's banishment in autumn 1051 Edward said that the only way in which Godwin could be forgiven was if he brought back the murdered Alfred, an impossible task. Harthacnut succeeded on Harold's death in 1040, just as Harthacnut was preparing an invasion.

The Anglo-Saxon lay and ecclesiastical nobility invited Edward back to England in 1041 this time he became part of the household of his half-brother Harthacnut (son of Emma and Canute), and according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was sworn in as king alongside him. Following Harthacnut's death on 8 June 1042, Edward ascended the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle indicates the popularity he enjoyed at his accession — "before he [Harthacnut] was buried, all the people chose Edward as king in London." Edward was crowned at the cathedral of Winchester, the royal seat of the West Saxons on 3 April 1043.

A sealed writ of Edward the Confessor

Edward's reign began in 1042 on the death of his half brother Harthacanute. Edward's reign was marked by peace and prosperity, but effective rule in England required coming to terms with three powerful earls: Godwin, Earl of Wessex, who was firmly in control of the thegns of Wessex, which had formerly been the heart of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose legitimacy was strengthened by his marriage to Lady Godiva, and in the north, Siward, Earl of Northumbria. Edward's sympathies for Norman favourites frustrated Saxon and Danish nobles alike, fuelling the growth of anti-Norman opinion led by Godwin, who had become the king's father-in-law in 1045. The breaking point came over the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury. Edward rejected Godwin's man and appointed the bishop of London, Robert of Jumièges, a reliable Norman of Normandy.

Matters came to a head over a bloody riot at Dover between the townsfolk and Edward's kinsman Eustace, count of Boulogne. Godwin refused to punish them, Leofric and Siward backed the King, and Godwin and his family were all exiled in September 1051. Queen Edith was sent to a nunnery at Wherwell. Earl Godwin returned with an army following a year later, however, forcing the king to restore his title and send away his Norman advisors. Godwin died in 1053 and the Norman Ralph the Timid received Herefordshire, but his son Harold accumulated even greater territories for the Godwins, who held all the earldoms save Mercia after 1057. Harold led successful raiding parties into Wales in 1063 and negotiated with his inherited rivals in Northumbria in 1065, and in January 1066, upon Edward's death, he was proclaimed the king.

Edward's mother was Emma of Normandy, second wife of his father, Æthelred the Unready. She married King Cnut the Great shortly after Æthelred's death in April 1016. By this time, Edward, his brother Alfred, and their sister Goda had been sent away to Emma's family in Normandy. Their half brother, Edmund Ironside, the son of their father by his first wife, Ælfgifu of York, briefly divided England with Cnut, until Edmund died (possibly by assassination), on 30 November 1016. Another half brother, Harthacnut, Emma's son by Cnut, preceded Edward as king of England.

At the time that Edward ascended to the throne, Queen Emma supported another candidate, Magnus the Noble, and Edward had his mother arrested. Later she survived trial by ordeal on a trumped up charge of adultery with a bishop. Emma died in 1052.

The details of the succession have been widely debated. The Norman position was that William the Conqueror had been designated the heir, and that Harold had been publicly sent to him as emissary from Edward, to apprise him of Edward's decision. However, even William's eulogistic biographer, William of Poitiers, admitted that the old king had made a deathbed bestowal of the crown on Harold. On Edward's death, Harold was approved by the Witenagemot which, under Anglo-Saxon law, held the ultimate authority to convey kingship.

Edward had married Godwin's daughter Edith on 23 January 1045, but the union was childless. The reason for this has been the subject of much speculation. Within a few years of Edward's death, and possibly in his old age, rumours were circulating that he had not consummated his marriage, either because he had taken a vow of chastity for religious reasons, or because of hostility to the Godwin family. However, in the view of Edward's biographer, Frank Barlow, it is extremely unlikely that Edward's childlessness was due to deliberate abstention from sexual relations.

Edward's nearest heir would have been his nephew Edward the Exile, who was born in England, but spent most of his life in Hungary. He had returned from exile in 1056 and died not long after, in February the following year. So Edward made his great nephew Edgar Atheling his heir. But Edgar had no secure following among the earls. The resultant succession crisis on Edward's death without a direct "throneworthy" heir — the "foreign" Edgar was a stripling of fourteen — opened the way for Harold's coronation and the invasions of two effective claimants to the throne, the unsuccessful invasion of Harald Hardrada in the north and the successful one of William of Normandy.

Edward's cousin's son, William of Normandy, who had visited England during Godwin's exile, claimed that the childless Edward had promised him the succession to the throne, and his successful bid for the English crown put an end to Harold's nine-month kingship following a 7,000-strong Norman invasion. Edgar Ætheling was elected king by the Witan after Harold's death but was brushed aside by William. Edward, or more especially the mediæval cult which would later grow up around him under the later Plantagenet kings, had a lasting impact on English history. Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward between 1045 and 1050 on land upstream from the City of London, and was consecrated on 28 December 1065. Centuries later, Westminster was deemed symbolic enough to become the permanent seat of English government under Henry III. The Abbey contains a shrine to Edward which was the centrepiece to the Abbey's redesign during the mid-thirteenth century. In 2005, Edward's remains were found beneath the pavement in front of the high altar. His remains had been moved twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the original tomb has since been found on the central axis of the Abbey in front of the original high altar.

Historically, Edward's reign marked a transition between the 10th century West Saxon kingship of England and the Norman monarchy which followed Harold's death. Edward's allegiances were split between England and his mother's Norman ties. The great earldoms established under Cnut grew in power, while Norman influence became a powerful factor in government and in the leadership of the Church.

It was during the reign of Edward that some features of the English monarchy familiar today were introduced. Edward is regarded as responsible for introducing the royal seal and coronation regalia. Also under Edward, a marked change occurred in Anglo-Saxon art, with continental influences becoming more prominent (including the "Winchester Style" which had become known in the 10th century but prominent in the 11th), supplanting Celtic influences prominent in preceding painting, sculpture, calligraphy and jewelry (see Benedictional of St. Æthelwold for an example of the Winchester Style). His crown is believed to have survived until the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell allegedly ordered it to be destroyed. Gold from it is understood to have been integrated into the St. Edward's Crown, which has been used in coronations since Charles II of England in 1661.

When Henry II came to the throne in 1154, he promoted the cult of King Edward the Confessor. Osbert de Clare was a monk of Westminster, elected prior in 1136, and remembered for his lives of Saints Edmund, Æthelberht and Edburga, in addition to one of Edward, in which the king was represented as a holy man, reported to have performed several miracles and to have healed people by his touch. Osbert was, as his surviving letters demonstrate, an active ecclesiastical politician, and went to Rome to advocate the cause for Edward to be declared a saint, successfully securing his canonization by Pope Alexander III in 1161.

In 1163, the newly sainted king's remains were enshrined in Westminster Abbey with solemnities presided over by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. On this occasion the honour of preparing a sermon was given to Aelred, the revered Abbot of Rievaulx, to whom is generally attributed the vita in Latin, a hagiography partly based on materials in an earlier vita by Osbert de Clare and which in its turn provided the material for a rhymed version in octasyllabic Anglo-Norman, possibly written by the chronicler Matthew Paris. At the time of Edward's canonisation, saints were broadly categorised as either martyrs or confessors. Martyrs were people who had been killed for their faith, while confessors were saints who had died natural deaths. Edward was accordingly styled Edward the Confessor, partly to distinguish him from his canonised predecessor Edward the Martyr.

The Roman Catholic Church regards St Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. After the reign of Henry II, Edward was considered to be the "Patron Saint of England", until 1348 when he was replaced in this role by Saint George. St Edward remains the "Patron Saint of the Royal Family".

Edward's reign is memorialized in an eight panel stained glass window within St Laurence Church, Ludlow, England.

The shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor remains where it was after the final relocation of his body in the 13th century - at the heart of Westminster Abbey, where the date of his translation, 13 October, is observed as a major feast. For some time the Abbey had claimed that it possessed a set of coronation regalia that Edward had left for use in all future coronations. Following Edward's canonization, these were regarded as holy relics, and thereafter they were used at all English coronations from the 13th Century until the destruction of the regalia by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

The main liturgical commemoration of Saint Edward is on the date of his translation, 13 October, rather than the date of his death. This feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar when it was reformed in 1969, but remains in the Calendar of the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the national calendar of the Roman Catholic Church in England. The Church of England has included this feast in its calendar since the Book of Common Prayer of 1662.

Edward is depicted as the central saint of the Wilton Diptych, a devotional piece made for Richard II, but now in the collection of the National Gallery. The reverse of the piece carries Edward's arms and Richard's badge of a white hart. The panel painting dates from the end of the 14th century.

Edward the Confessor is referred to by characters in Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Macbeth as the saintly king of England.

He is the central figure in Alfred Duggan's 1960 historical novel The Cunning of the Dove.

On screen he has been portrayed by Eduard Franz in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), George Howe in the BBC TV drama series Hereward the Wake (1965), Donald Eccles in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966 part of the series Theatre 625), Brian Blessed in Macbeth (1997), based on the Shakespeare play (although he does not appear in the play itself), and Adam Woodroffe in an episode of the British TV series Historyonics entitled "1066" (2004). In 2002, he was portrayed by Lennox Greaves in the Doctor Who audio adventure Seasons of Fear. SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.

Hay estampa, Texto tomado de:

SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.

Hay estampa, Texto tomado de:

SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.


Seal of Edward the Confessor - History

Seals have been used as a means of communication, identification and authentication since the beginning of recorded history, and in fact are some of our earliest records. Seal impressions form Mesopotamia date back as far as 7,500 years ago, and sealing was widely practiced in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, the Indus Valley and China. Sealing was also practiced in Archaic and Classical Greece and in Republican and Imperial Rome, and through the latter the practice of validatory sealing (that is, attaching the impression of a matrix to document, to remain undamaged, as a means of authentication), as well as using seals of closure, spread across much of Europe. In Britain, there seems to have been a break in validatory sealing during the early Middle Ages, although matrices from the Anglo-Saxon period survive and these, along with occasional documentary references, suggest that seals of closure, or perhaps discrete seal impressions in wax or clay or matrices, used as tokens, were employed in this period.

The practice of attaching the impression of a seal matrix to a document as a means of authentication was (re)introduced to Britain by Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), probably influenced by a combination of sealing practices employed by the Papacy, the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire and other polities in Western Europe. Unlike French and German royal models, however, Edward’s Great Seal matrix was designed to create impressions on both sides of a disc of wax to be suspended from the foot of a document, and this was the principal model adopted in medieval Britain. Having a double-sided seal also allowed the king to use a greater array of images and text to project aspects of his identity and power, and although double-sided matrices in the form of two plates designed to be used in conjunction with one another tended to be restricted mainly to governmental and institutional seals, the practice of using two different matrices on either side of a wax disc was, from the early-mid twelfth century, employed by leading ecclesiastics and nobles.

The traditional scholarly paradigm for the spread of validatory sealing across England and Wales used to be that the Great Seal prompted leading ecclesiastics, secular magnates and important institutions to adopt the practice in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, with this gradually filtering down through society, until even by the end of the thirteenth century even those of extremely modest standing sometimes owned and used seal matrices. More recently, scholars have begun to demonstrate that the situation was more complex and nuanced than this, with significant regional differences in how rapidly seals were adopted, and by whom. For example, Dr John McEwan has shown that secular Londoners were using seals for documentary validation before the middle of the twelfth century, while the AHRC Seals in Medieval Wales project revealed the apparently enthusiastic adoption of seals by the native Welsh uchelwr from the late twelfth century, despite the continued rejection of the sealed instrument as proof under Welsh law. The monastic orders, especially the Benedictines, Cistercians and Augustinians, also helped foster the widespread adoption of seals across society by demanding sealed documents as evidence of gifts and grants, and it would appear that, on occasion, religious houses provided matrices for those validating documents in their favour.

By the late thirteenth century, institutions, organisations, officials and office-holders, and individual men and women across society, from the king to an unfree peasant, were engaged in the practice of validatory sealing.

The seal of William Clement on HCA 221, dated 1271

Just as documentary sealing reached its zenith in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, however, a couple of perplexing developments occurred. In the twelfth and early-to-mid thirteenth centuries, people who did not possess a matrix were sometimes required to authenticate through sealing, and documents validated in this manner generally record that they borrowed someone else’s matrix, or that another sigillant, often a social superior or an institution, impressed their seal on behalf of the person without a matrix. By the later thirteenth century, however, some documents which include a sealing clause stating that the person attesting it had impressed their own seal are, on closer inspection, clearly validated by the impression of a matrix made for someone other than the sigillant: in other words, people were borrowing each other’s seals without this being noted in the written record. Presumably this was considered acceptable because, if we accept that the list of testators as a true record, there were witnesses to the act of sealing who saw, and were expected to remember, that the sigillant had borrowed another’s matrix. At about the same time, the situation was complicated still further by an increasing prevalence of seal matrices with ‘anonymous’ legends, rather than text which identified them as belonging to a specific individual, and by the end of the fourteenth century a considerable number of matrices only had a single letter, or a motif with no text at all.

Seal with an anonymous legend from ECA 281, dated 1329

Officials, institutions, corporations and some individuals, especially higher up the social scale, continued to use clearly identifiable matrices until the end of the Middle Ages and beyond, but the unrecorded borrowing of matrices, or the use of one anonymous matrix, perhaps supplied by a scribe or clerk, by multiple sigillants, seems to have increased throughout the fifteenth century. At the same time, as a result in changes in land tenure, Common Law practice, the increasing prevalence of signatures and, perhaps, technology (the introduction of paper, which is too fragile securely to support pendant seals), the number of people engaging in documentary sealing gradually declined. The appending of a seal as a form of authentication continued throughout the Early Modern period and into modern times, however. Until the 2006 Companies Act allowed two (carefully regulated) signatures as an alternative means of validation, all companies registered in the UK were required to possess a seal matrix, for example, while the Great Seal is still attached to a number of documents, and many university degree certificates are sealed. It might also be suggested that the use of PINs and scans of eyes or fingerprints is a form of sealing, since they verify identity and provide security. Seals of closure remain in use in various contexts, including by the security services and HM Revenue and Customs. Having lasted for the whole of recorded history, seals are still with us and continue to make an impression.


Seal of Edward the Confessor - History

The use of seals can be traced back to the Old Testament, where it mentions that Jezebel used Ahab's seal to counterfeit important documents. Royalty and governments used their own seal to affix to proclamations to give them their authoritative stamp of approval. The first Great Seal of England was that of Edward the Confessor, impressions of which can still be found. During this time, almost everyone had their own seal, and while most people had just one, Royalty would own several, including their "Great" Seal, as well as seals for all their courts and officials. It was common practice to destroy the seal when the owner died, which is the reason so few original seals are still in existence today.

Official Seals of the Crown were often handed over with great ceremony, and in Medieval Times the size and motif of the Seal conveyed an image of the status of it's owner. Early motifs were equestrian or heraldic in nature, or showed the owner in various pursuits like hunting or doing battle. William the Conqueror used an equestrian seal showing him armed and ready for battle.

In Medieval Times, betrothals were prearranged-therefore true words of love were secretly written and the envelope's contents secured by a wax seal, so that the recipient could be assured that their passion would be unknown to others.

The first Seal of the United States was created by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson on July 4th 1776 immediately after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Congress realized the necessity of such a seal for the newly established nation.

As literacy increased, seals were used less frequently and with the introduction of the gummed envelope in the 19th Century the need for privacy was reduced. Seals became a more personal expression as well as a decorative embellishment.


Great seal

great seal. The seal originated in the reign of Edward the Confessor as an imitation of the emperor's seal and was about 3 inches in diameter. The king is depicted in majesty, bearing sceptre and orb. The Norman rulers continued its use and the custody of the seal was given to the chancellor. William the Lion's seal in Scotland seems to have been based on the English one. The seal is broken at the start of a new reign and a fresh one made. Since the great seal was heavy, the practice developed of employing a privy seal and later a signet. In the Tudor period, the great seal was in the hands of the chancellor or the lord keeper but from the accession of George III the office of lord keeper has disappeared. The possession of the great seal was a matter of political importance. It was a charge against Cardinal Wolsey at his downfall that he had illegally taken the great seal out of the kingdom to Calais in 1521. When Charles I left for York in 1642 at the start of the Civil War, Parliament had its own great seal made, and another had to be produced for the Republic in 1649. James II flung the great seal into the Thames when he fled in 1688, hoping to bring government to a standstill, but it was retrieved by a fisherman. Burglars stole the great seal from the home of Lord Chancellor Thurlow in 1784. Since an election was imminent, craftsmen worked all night to make a new seal and jokes passed at the expense of the Foxite opposition. The great seal is used for proclamations, writs, letters patent, and treaties. A separate seal for Scotland, authorized by the Act of Union in 1707, is in the custody of the secretary of state for Scotland.

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Edward The Confessor, king of the English

EADWARD ([1005]-Palace of Westminster 5 Jan 1066, bur Westminster Abbey[1845]). "Eadweard clito/filius regis" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1005 and 1015[1846]. He is named after his half-brother Eadgar in all documents in which the two are mentioned together, consistent with Edward being the junior of the two. Edward fled England for Normandy with his mother in 1013 after the invasion of Svend King of Denmark.

Anointed king of England during the lifetime of his father[1847], probably in 1015 when his older half-brother, later King Edmund, was in dispute with their father over his unauthorised marriage. This assumes that Edward returned to England from Normandy with his father.

According to Orderic Vitalis, Edward and his brother Alfred were living in exile in Normandy when Duke Robert left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem in [1035][1848]. "…Hetwardi, Helwredi…" witnessed the charter dated to [1030] under which Robert II Duke of Normandy donated property to the abbey of Fmp[1849].

After the appointment of Harold "Harefod/Harefoot" as regent of England in 1036, Edward landed along Southampton Water to rejoin his mother who, on hearing of the fate of her other son Alfred, sent Edward back to Normandy[1850]. "…Hatuardus Rex…" witnessed the charter dated to [1042] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy donated "nostras insulas Serc et Aurrene, propter medietatem Grenere" to the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, supported by "Rannulfo filio Anschitilli"[1851]. He returned to England in 1041 and was "sworn in as future king" according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1852]. On his half-brother's death, he was elected EDWARD "the Confessor" King of England in London, crowned at Winchester Cathedral 3 Apr 1043[1853].

His relations with his mother were strained as she appears to have supported the claim of Magnus King of Norway to the English throne on the death of King Harthacnut[1854].

Whatever the truth of this, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward confiscated her treasury in 1043[1855]. Godwin Earl of Wessex enjoyed a position of power during King Edward's reign, marrying his daughter to the king in 1045. However, the king's relations with Earl Godwin became tense after a dispute over the appointment of a new archbishop of Canterbury in 1050. In 1051, Earl Godwin refused the king's order to punish an affray at Canterbury, in which one of Eustache Comte de Boulogne's men was killed. The dispute escalated, and 1 Sep 1051 Godwin made a show of force against the king with his two older sons near Tetbury. Leofric Earl of Mercia and Siward Earl of Northumbria supported King Edward, and battle was avoided. Godwin and his family were given five days' safe conduct to leave the country by the king's council 8 Sep 1051[1856].

It was probably about this time that Edward promised the throne to Guillaume II Duke of Normandy, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the duke's visit to England in 1051[1857]. Earl Godwin was restored in 1052, after another show of force.

After Godwin's death in 1053, his son Harold assumed his earldom and became as powerful in the kingdom as his father had been. It appears that King Edward gradually withdrew from active government, becoming more involved in religious matters and especially planning the construction of Westminster Abbey, which was finally consecrated 28 Dec 1065 although Edward was by then too infirm to attend. Despite his earlier promise of the succession to Guillaume Duke of Normandy, on his deathbed King Edward bequeathed the kingdom to Harold Godwinson Earl of Wessex, a choice which was accepted unanimously by the members of the council.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the king's death "on the vigil of𠉮piphany" and his burial in Westminster abbey the next day[1858]. King Edward was canonised 7 Feb 1161, his feast day is 13 Oct[1859].

m (23 Jan 1045) EADGYTH, daughter of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha ([1020/22]-Winchester 18 Dec 1075, bur Westminster Abbey).

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1045 "king Edward took to wife Edith the daughter of Earl Godwin, ten days before Candlemas"[1860]. Her husband confined her to Wherwell Abbey in 1051 when the rest of her family was banished, but she was brought back to court when her father was restored the following year. She commissioned the Vita ౭wardi Regis from a foreign clerk, probably from Saint-Omer, setting out the history of her family. She continued to live around Winchester after the Norman conquest, and appears to have been treated well by King William I[1861].

Florence of Worcester records the death "XIV Kal Jan" in [1074] of "Edgitha regis Haroldi germana quondam Anglorum regina" at Winchester and her burial at Westminster[1862].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint King Edward the Confessor (c. 1003/1004 – 5 January 1066),[1] son of Ethelred the Unready, was the penultimate Anglo-Saxon King of England and the last of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 until his death.[2] His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the aggrandisement of the great territorial earls, and it foreshadowed the country's later connection with Normandy, whose duke William I was to supplant Edward's successors Harold Godwinson and Edgar Ætheling as England's ruler.

He succeeded his half-brother Harthacanute, who had successfully regained the throne of England after being dispossessed by his half-brother, Harold Harefoot. Edward and his brother Alfred the Ætheling, both sons of Emma of Normandy by Ethelred the Unready, had previously failed to depose Harold in 1036. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three people claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonised in 1161 and is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, which regards Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses, and by the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348 he was considered the patron saint of England, and he has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward was born c. 1003 in Islip, Oxfordshire. His palace was in Brill, Buckinghamshire. In 1013, he and his brother Alfred were taken to Normandy by their mother Emma of Normandy, sister of Normandy's Duke Richard II, to escape the Danish invasion of England. Despite his piety, it seems that he was tough warrior. The Norse Flateyisbok describes him fighting in London against Canute in fierce urban warfare. He is said to have attacked Canute, who was saved by Thorkell the Tall pulling him from his horse. The book relates that Prince Edward broke through the saddle and killed the horse with his axe. Edward is traditionally said to have developed an intense personal piety in his quarter-century of Norman exile (disputed by Howarth in 1066: The Year of the Conquest), during his most formative years, while England formed part of a great Danish empire. His familiarity with Normandy and its leaders would also influence his later rule: the refuge he was given in Normandy, vis a vis the disregard the Normans paid him whilst he was there, would leave him both grateful and bitter towards his kinsmen there.[3] It is believed that when Duke Robert, who was his cousin, went on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (where he died) that Edward was named as one of the guardians of his son William.

After an abortive attempt with Alfred in 1036 to displace Harold Harefoot from the throne, Edward returned to Normandy. Alfred, however, was captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex who then turned him over to Harold Harefoot, who blinded him to make him unsuitable for kingship. Alfred died soon after as a result of his torture. This murder of his brother is thought to be the source of much of his later hatred for the Earl and played a major part in the reason for his banishment in autumn 1051 Edward said that the only way in which Godwin could be forgiven was if he brought back the murdered Alfred, an impossible task.[4]

The Anglo-Saxon lay and ecclesiastical nobility invited Edward back to England in 1041 this time he became part of the household of his half-brother Harthacanute (son of Emma and Canute), and according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was sworn in as king alongside him. Following Harthacanute's death on 8 June 1042, Edward ascended the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle indicates the popularity he enjoyed at his accession — "before Harthacanute was buried, all the people chose Edward as king in London". Edward was crowned at the cathedral of Winchester, the royal seat of the West Saxons on 3 April 1043.

Edward's reign was marked by peace and prosperity, but effective rule in England required coming to terms with three powerful earls: Godwin, Earl of Wessex, who was firmly in control of the thegns of Wessex, which had formerly been the heart of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose legitimacy was strengthened by his marriage to Lady Godiva, and in the north, Siward, Earl of Northumbria. Edward's sympathies for Norman favourites frustrated Saxon and Danish nobles alike, fuelling the growth of anti-Norman opinion led by Godwin, who had become the king's father-in-law in 1045. The breaking point came over the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury: Edward rejected Godwin's man and appointed the bishop of London, Robert of Jumièges, a trusted Norman.

Matters came to a head over a bloody riot at Dover between the townsfolk and Edward's kinsman Eustace, count of Boulogne. Godwin refused to punish them, Leofric and Siward backed the King, and Godwin and his family were all exiled in September 1051. Queen Edith was sent to a nunnery at Wherwell. Earl Godwin returned with an army following a year later, however, forcing the king to restore his title and send away his Norman advisors. Godwin died in 1053 and the Norman Ralph the Timid received Herefordshire, but his son Harold accumulated even greater territories for the Godwins, who held all the earldoms save Mercia after 1057. Harold led successful raiding parties into Wales in 1063 and negotiated with his inherited rivals in Northumbria in 1065, and in January 1066, upon Edward's death, he was proclaimed king.

The details of the succession have been widely debated: the Norman position was that William had been designated the heir, and that Harold had been publicly sent to him as emissary from Edward, to apprise him of Edward's decision. Harold's party asserted that the old king had made a deathbed bestowal of the crown on Harold. However, Harold was approved by the Witenagemot who, under Anglo-Saxon law, held the ultimate authority to convey kingship.

Edward had married Godwin's daughter Edith on 23 January 1045, but the union was childless. The reason for this is the subject of much speculation. Possible explanations include Edward, having taken vow of chastity, considering the union a spiritual marriage, the age difference between Edward and Edith engendering a filial rather than spousal relationship, Edward's antipathy toward Edith's father (Barlow 1997), or infertility.

Edward's nearest heir would have been his nephew Edward the Exile, who was born in England, but spent most of his life in Hungary. He had returned from exile in 1056 and died not long after, in February the following year. So Edward made his great nephew Edgar Atheling his heir. But Edgar had no secure following among the earls: the resultant succession crisis on Edward's death without a direct "throneworthy" heir — the "foreign" Edgar was a stripling of fourteen — opened the way for Harold's coronation and the invasions of two effective claimants to the throne, the unsuccessful invasion of Harald Hardrada in the north and the successful one of William of Normandy.

William of Normandy, who had visited England during Godwin's exile, claimed that the childless Edward had promised him the succession to the throne, and his successful bid for the English crown put an end to Harold's nine-month kingship following a 7,000-strong Norman invasion. Edgar Ætheling was elected king by the Witan after Harold's death but was brushed aside by William. Edward, or more especially the mediæval cult which would later grow up around him under the later Plantagenet kings, had a lasting impact on English history. Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward between 1045 and 1050 on land upstream from the City of London, and was consecrated on 28 December 1065. Centuries later, Westminster was deemed symbolic enough to become the permanent seat of English government under Henry III. The Abbey contains a shrine to Edward which was the centrepiece to the Abbey's redesign during the mid-thirteenth century. In 2005, Edward's remains were found beneath the pavement in front of the high altar. His remains had been moved twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the original tomb has since been found on the central axis of the Abbey in front of the original high altar.

Historically, Edward's reign marked a transition between the 10th century West Saxon kingship of England and the Norman monarchy which followed Harold's death. Edward's allegiances were split between England and his mother's Norman ties. The great earldoms established under Canute grew in power, while Norman influence became a powerful factor in government and in the leadership of the Church.

It was during the reign of Edward that some features of the English monarchy familiar today were introduced. Edward is regarded as responsible for introducing the royal seal and coronation regalia. Also under Edward, a marked change occurred in Anglo-Saxon art, with continental influences becoming more prominent (including the "Winchester Style" which had become known in the 10th century but prominent in the 11th), supplanting Celtic influences prominent in preceding painting, sculpture, calligraphy and jewellery (see Benedictional of St. Æthelwold for an example of the Winchester Style). His crown is believed to have survived until the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell allegedly ordered it to be destroyed. Gold from it is understood to have been integrated into the St. Edward's Crown, which has been used in coronations since Charles II of England in 1661.

When Henry II came to the throne in 1154, he united in his person at last the English and Norman royal lines. To reinforce this new warrant of authenticity, the cult of King Edward the Confessor was promoted. Osbert de Clare was a monk of Westminster, elected Prior in 1136, and remembered for his lives of saints Edmund, Ethelbert and Edburga, in addition to one of Edward, in which the king was represented as a holy man, reported to have performed several miracles and to have healed people by his touch. Osbert was, as his surviving letters demonstrate, an active ecclesiastical politician, and went to Rome to advocate the cause for Edward to be declared a saint, successfully securing his canonisation by Pope Alexander III in 1161.

In 1163, the newly sainted king's remains were enshrined in Westminster Abbey with solemnities presided over by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. On this occasion the honour of preparing a sermon was given to Aelred, the revered Abbot of Rievaulx, to whom is generally attributed the vita in Latin, a hagiography partly based on materials in an earlier vita by Osbert de Clare and which in its turn provided the material for a rhymed version in octasyllabic Anglo-Norman, possibly written by the chronicler Matthew Paris. At the time of Edward's canonisation, saints were broadly categorised as either martyrs or confessors: martyrs were people who had been killed for their faith, while confessors were saints who had died natural deaths. Edward was accordingly styled Edward the Confessor, partly to distinguish him from his canonised predecessor Edward the Martyr.

The Roman Catholic Church regards Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages and separated spouses. After the reign of Henry II, Edward was considered the patron saint of England until 1348 when he was replaced in this role by St. George. He remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward's reign is memorialized in an eight panel stained glass window within St Laurence Church, Ludlow, England.

The shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor remains where it was after the final translation of his body in the 13th century - at the heart of Westminster Abbey, where the date of that translation, 13 October, is observed as a major feast.

13 October was the date assigned to his liturgical commemoration when it was introduced in 1679 into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. Because of his limited importance on a worldwide scale, it was omitted from this in 1969.[5] Since then, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates his feast day on 5 January, the day of his death.[6]

Edward the Confessor is referenced by characters in Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Macbeth as the saintly king of England.

House of Wessex family tree.

^ According to some sources the date was 4 January.

^ The numbering of English monarchs starts anew after the Norman conquest, which explains why the regnal numbers assigned to English kings named Edward begin with the later Edward I (ruled 1272�) and do not include Edward the Confessor (who was the third King Edward).

^ "1066: The Year of the Conquest", David Howarth

^ "1066: The Year of the Conquest", David Howarth

^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 142

^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)

Barlow, Frank (1997). Edward the Confessor.

Edward the Confessor (Old English: 𑊭𛿪rd se Andettere French: ಝouard le Confesseur c. 1003 – 5 January 1066), son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (technically the last being Edgar the Ætheling who was proclaimed king briefly in late 1066, but was deposed after about eight weeks.) His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the advancement in power of the earls. It foreshadowed the country's domination by the Normans, whose Duke William "the Conquerer" of Normandy was to defeat Edward's successor, Harold II, and seize the crown.

Edward had succeeded Cnut's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut had conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three men claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. He is regarded as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. From the reign of Henry II to 1348, he was considered to be the patron saint of England. During the reign of Edward III he was replaced in this role by Saint George, though St Edward has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward the Confessor (c. 1003 – 5 January 1066), son of Ethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066 (technically the last being Edgar the Ætheling who was proclaimed king briefly in late 1066, but was deposed after about eight weeks.) His reign marked the continuing disintegration of royal power in England and the advancement in power of the earls. It foreshadowed the country's domination by the Normans, whose Duke William of Normandy was to defeat Edward's successor, Harold II, and seize the crown.

Edward had succeeded Cnut's son Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut had conquered England in 1016. When Edward died in 1066 he had no son to take over the throne so a conflict arose as three men claimed the throne of England.

Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and other Anglican Churches. He is regarded as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. From the reign of Henry II of England to 1348 he was considered to be the patron saint of England, when he was replaced in this role by Saint George, and he has remained the patron saint of the Royal Family.

Edward was born c. 1003 in Islip, Oxfordshire. Edward and his brother Alfred were sent to Normandy for exile by their mother. Æthelred died in April 1016, and he was succeeded by Edward's older half brother Edmund Ironside, who carried on the fight against the Danes until his own death seven months later at the hand of Canute, who next became king and married Edward and Alfred's mother, Emma. According to Scandinavian tradition, Edward, by then back in England, fought alongside his brother, and distinguished himself by almost cutting Canute in two, although as Edward was at most thirteen years old at the time, the story is highly unlikely.

Edward then returned to Normandy, and although he is traditionally said to have developed an intense personal piety in his quarter-century of Norman exile, during his most formative years, while England formed part of a great Danish empire, some modern historians dispute this claim. His familiarity with Normandy and its leaders would also influence his later rule: the refuge he was given in Normandy, vis-à-vis the disregard the Normans paid him whilst he was there, would leave him both grateful and bitter towards his kinsmen there. It is believed that, when Duke Robert, who was his cousin, went on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land (where he died), Edward was named as one of the guardians of his son William.

Harthacnut had been considered the legitimate successor following Canute's death in 1035, but his half-brother, Harold Harefoot, usurped the crown. Edward and his brother Alfred unsuccessfully attempted to depose Harold in 1036. Edward then returned to Normandy, but Alfred was captured by Godwin, Earl of Wessex who then turned him over to Harold Harefoot, who blinded him to make him unsuitable for kingship. Alfred died soon after as a result of his wounds. This murder of Edward's brother is thought to be the source of much of Edward's later hatred for the Earl and one of the primary reasons for Godwin's banishment in autumn 1051 Edward said that the only way in which Godwin could be forgiven was if he brought back the murdered Alfred, an impossible task. Harthacnut succeeded on Harold's death in 1040, just as Harthacnut was preparing an invasion.

The Anglo-Saxon lay and ecclesiastical nobility invited Edward back to England in 1041 this time he became part of the household of his half-brother Harthacnut (son of Emma and Canute), and according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was sworn in as king alongside him. Following Harthacnut's death on 8 June 1042, Edward ascended the throne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle indicates the popularity he enjoyed at his accession — "before he [Harthacnut] was buried, all the people chose Edward as king in London." Edward was crowned at the cathedral of Winchester, the royal seat of the West Saxons on 3 April 1043.

A sealed writ of Edward the Confessor

Edward's reign began in 1042 on the death of his half brother Harthacanute. Edward's reign was marked by peace and prosperity, but effective rule in England required coming to terms with three powerful earls: Godwin, Earl of Wessex, who was firmly in control of the thegns of Wessex, which had formerly been the heart of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose legitimacy was strengthened by his marriage to Lady Godiva, and in the north, Siward, Earl of Northumbria. Edward's sympathies for Norman favourites frustrated Saxon and Danish nobles alike, fuelling the growth of anti-Norman opinion led by Godwin, who had become the king's father-in-law in 1045. The breaking point came over the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury. Edward rejected Godwin's man and appointed the bishop of London, Robert of Jumièges, a reliable Norman of Normandy.

Matters came to a head over a bloody riot at Dover between the townsfolk and Edward's kinsman Eustace, count of Boulogne. Godwin refused to punish them, Leofric and Siward backed the King, and Godwin and his family were all exiled in September 1051. Queen Edith was sent to a nunnery at Wherwell. Earl Godwin returned with an army following a year later, however, forcing the king to restore his title and send away his Norman advisors. Godwin died in 1053 and the Norman Ralph the Timid received Herefordshire, but his son Harold accumulated even greater territories for the Godwins, who held all the earldoms save Mercia after 1057. Harold led successful raiding parties into Wales in 1063 and negotiated with his inherited rivals in Northumbria in 1065, and in January 1066, upon Edward's death, he was proclaimed the king.

Edward's mother was Emma of Normandy, second wife of his father, Æthelred the Unready. She married King Cnut the Great shortly after Æthelred's death in April 1016. By this time, Edward, his brother Alfred, and their sister Goda had been sent away to Emma's family in Normandy. Their half brother, Edmund Ironside, the son of their father by his first wife, Ælfgifu of York, briefly divided England with Cnut, until Edmund died (possibly by assassination), on 30 November 1016. Another half brother, Harthacnut, Emma's son by Cnut, preceded Edward as king of England.

At the time that Edward ascended to the throne, Queen Emma supported another candidate, Magnus the Noble, and Edward had his mother arrested. Later she survived trial by ordeal on a trumped up charge of adultery with a bishop. Emma died in 1052.

The details of the succession have been widely debated. The Norman position was that William the Conqueror had been designated the heir, and that Harold had been publicly sent to him as emissary from Edward, to apprise him of Edward's decision. However, even William's eulogistic biographer, William of Poitiers, admitted that the old king had made a deathbed bestowal of the crown on Harold. On Edward's death, Harold was approved by the Witenagemot which, under Anglo-Saxon law, held the ultimate authority to convey kingship.

Edward had married Godwin's daughter Edith on 23 January 1045, but the union was childless. The reason for this has been the subject of much speculation. Within a few years of Edward's death, and possibly in his old age, rumours were circulating that he had not consummated his marriage, either because he had taken a vow of chastity for religious reasons, or because of hostility to the Godwin family. However, in the view of Edward's biographer, Frank Barlow, it is extremely unlikely that Edward's childlessness was due to deliberate abstention from sexual relations.

Edward's nearest heir would have been his nephew Edward the Exile, who was born in England, but spent most of his life in Hungary. He had returned from exile in 1056 and died not long after, in February the following year. So Edward made his great nephew Edgar Atheling his heir. But Edgar had no secure following among the earls. The resultant succession crisis on Edward's death without a direct "throneworthy" heir — the "foreign" Edgar was a stripling of fourteen — opened the way for Harold's coronation and the invasions of two effective claimants to the throne, the unsuccessful invasion of Harald Hardrada in the north and the successful one of William of Normandy.

Edward's cousin's son, William of Normandy, who had visited England during Godwin's exile, claimed that the childless Edward had promised him the succession to the throne, and his successful bid for the English crown put an end to Harold's nine-month kingship following a 7,000-strong Norman invasion. Edgar Ætheling was elected king by the Witan after Harold's death but was brushed aside by William. Edward, or more especially the mediæval cult which would later grow up around him under the later Plantagenet kings, had a lasting impact on English history. Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward between 1045 and 1050 on land upstream from the City of London, and was consecrated on 28 December 1065. Centuries later, Westminster was deemed symbolic enough to become the permanent seat of English government under Henry III. The Abbey contains a shrine to Edward which was the centrepiece to the Abbey's redesign during the mid-thirteenth century. In 2005, Edward's remains were found beneath the pavement in front of the high altar. His remains had been moved twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the original tomb has since been found on the central axis of the Abbey in front of the original high altar.

Historically, Edward's reign marked a transition between the 10th century West Saxon kingship of England and the Norman monarchy which followed Harold's death. Edward's allegiances were split between England and his mother's Norman ties. The great earldoms established under Cnut grew in power, while Norman influence became a powerful factor in government and in the leadership of the Church.

It was during the reign of Edward that some features of the English monarchy familiar today were introduced. Edward is regarded as responsible for introducing the royal seal and coronation regalia. Also under Edward, a marked change occurred in Anglo-Saxon art, with continental influences becoming more prominent (including the "Winchester Style" which had become known in the 10th century but prominent in the 11th), supplanting Celtic influences prominent in preceding painting, sculpture, calligraphy and jewelry (see Benedictional of St. Æthelwold for an example of the Winchester Style). His crown is believed to have survived until the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell allegedly ordered it to be destroyed. Gold from it is understood to have been integrated into the St. Edward's Crown, which has been used in coronations since Charles II of England in 1661.

When Henry II came to the throne in 1154, he promoted the cult of King Edward the Confessor. Osbert de Clare was a monk of Westminster, elected prior in 1136, and remembered for his lives of Saints Edmund, Æthelberht and Edburga, in addition to one of Edward, in which the king was represented as a holy man, reported to have performed several miracles and to have healed people by his touch. Osbert was, as his surviving letters demonstrate, an active ecclesiastical politician, and went to Rome to advocate the cause for Edward to be declared a saint, successfully securing his canonization by Pope Alexander III in 1161.

In 1163, the newly sainted king's remains were enshrined in Westminster Abbey with solemnities presided over by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. On this occasion the honour of preparing a sermon was given to Aelred, the revered Abbot of Rievaulx, to whom is generally attributed the vita in Latin, a hagiography partly based on materials in an earlier vita by Osbert de Clare and which in its turn provided the material for a rhymed version in octasyllabic Anglo-Norman, possibly written by the chronicler Matthew Paris. At the time of Edward's canonisation, saints were broadly categorised as either martyrs or confessors. Martyrs were people who had been killed for their faith, while confessors were saints who had died natural deaths. Edward was accordingly styled Edward the Confessor, partly to distinguish him from his canonised predecessor Edward the Martyr.

The Roman Catholic Church regards St Edward the Confessor as the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. After the reign of Henry II, Edward was considered to be the "Patron Saint of England", until 1348 when he was replaced in this role by Saint George. St Edward remains the "Patron Saint of the Royal Family".

Edward's reign is memorialized in an eight panel stained glass window within St Laurence Church, Ludlow, England.

The shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor remains where it was after the final relocation of his body in the 13th century - at the heart of Westminster Abbey, where the date of his translation, 13 October, is observed as a major feast. For some time the Abbey had claimed that it possessed a set of coronation regalia that Edward had left for use in all future coronations. Following Edward's canonization, these were regarded as holy relics, and thereafter they were used at all English coronations from the 13th Century until the destruction of the regalia by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

The main liturgical commemoration of Saint Edward is on the date of his translation, 13 October, rather than the date of his death. This feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar when it was reformed in 1969, but remains in the Calendar of the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the national calendar of the Roman Catholic Church in England. The Church of England has included this feast in its calendar since the Book of Common Prayer of 1662.

Edward is depicted as the central saint of the Wilton Diptych, a devotional piece made for Richard II, but now in the collection of the National Gallery. The reverse of the piece carries Edward's arms and Richard's badge of a white hart. The panel painting dates from the end of the 14th century.

Edward the Confessor is referred to by characters in Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Macbeth as the saintly king of England.

He is the central figure in Alfred Duggan's 1960 historical novel The Cunning of the Dove.

On screen he has been portrayed by Eduard Franz in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), George Howe in the BBC TV drama series Hereward the Wake (1965), Donald Eccles in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966 part of the series Theatre 625), Brian Blessed in Macbeth (1997), based on the Shakespeare play (although he does not appear in the play itself), and Adam Woodroffe in an episode of the British TV series Historyonics entitled "1066" (2004). In 2002, he was portrayed by Lennox Greaves in the Doctor Who audio adventure Seasons of Fear. SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.

Hay estampa, Texto tomado de:

SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.

Hay estampa, Texto tomado de:

SAN EDUARDO EL CONFESOR, REY DE INGLATERRA

Venid, benditos de mi Padre, a tomar posesión del reino que os está preparado desde la creación del mundo. (Mateo, 25, 34).

Eduardo III, sabio y profundo legislador, pasó primero 35 años en Normand໚ durante el reinado de los invasores normandos. Llamado a Inglaterra por el concierto unánime de las voluntades, hizo florecer en ella la justicia y la paz. Edificó numerosas iglesias y fundó la abad໚ de Westminster. Extremadamente caritativo, llevó un d໚ a un pobre en sus espaldas y le dio una sortija de gran valor. Nada rehusaba de lo que se le ped໚ en nombre de San Juan Evangelista, el cual le advirtió sobre la hora de su muerte, acaecida en 1066 a la edad de 65 años.

MEDITACIÓN SOBRE LA FELICIDAD DEL HOMBRE EN ESTA VIDA

I. Tres cosas pueden hacernos felices, tanto al menos cuanto lo podemos ser en este lugar de destierro. La primera es la buena conciencia: sin ella, ni los placeres, ni los honores, ni el cumplimiento de todos nuestros deseos podr໚n contentarnos. Si tienes el alma pura, todo lo desagradable que pueda sucederte no debe turbarte. ¡Qué consuelo poder decirse: Hago lo que depende de mi para estar bien con Dios! ¿Puedes, tú, con verdad, decirlo? ¿No te reprocha nada tu conciencia?

II. La segunda condición para ser feliz es abandonarse generosamente a la providencia de Dios, consagrarse a Él sin reserva, no querer sino lo que El quiere y recibir de su mano con agradecimiento el bien y el mal, pues lo uno y lo otro son efectos de su bondad. Las aflicciones, el ayuno, las enfermedades, no son penosos para los que los soportan, sino solamente para los que los reciben a disgusto. (Salmo).

III. La tercera condición es considerar cuál es voluntad de Dios en todo lo que nos acaece. Dios tiene sus designios y el demonio los suyos. ௼uál es designio de Dios en esta enfermedad que te env໚? Que la soportes con resignación, mediante el pensamiento de la muerte y del paraíso. El demonio, por lado, quiere arrojarte en la impaciencia y en la murmuración. Dios es tan bueno que no permitir໚ más que sucediese ningún mal en el mundo, si no fuese lo suficientemente poderoso como para sacar bien del mal. (San Agustín). Conformidad con la voluntad de Dios Orad por los que os gobiernan.

Oh Dios, que habéis coronado con la gloria eterna al bienaventurado rey Eduardo, vuestro confesor, haced, os Lo suplicamos, que honrándolo en la tierra, podamos reinar un d໚ con él en el cielo. Por J. C. N. S. Amén.


Watch the video: Edward the Confessor (January 2022).