Æthelred II, the Unready
House of Wessex -- Reigned: 978-1016 A.D.
He succeeded to the throne at the age of ten after the murder of his half-brother, Edward the Martyr. His reign was plagued by poor advice from his personal favorites and suspicions of his complicity in Edward's murder.
His was a rather long and ineffective reign, which was notable for little other than the payment of the Danegeld, an attempt to buy off the Viking invaders with money. The relentless invasions by the Danish Vikings, coupled with their ever-escalating demands for more money, forced him to abandon his throne in 1013. He fled to Normandy for safety, but was later recalled to his old throne at the death of Svein Forkbeard in 1014. He died in London in 1016.
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