Saint Edward the Confessor (not to be confused with Edward the Martyr)
Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
5 January 1066
Established Westminster Abbey and led a pious and devout life.
Legend has it that Saint Edward the Confessor had the power to heal.
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor, 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.
He has traditionally been seen as unworldly and pious, and his reign as notable for the disintegration of royal power in England and the advance in power of the Godwin family. His biographers, Frank Barlow and Peter Rex, dispute this, picturing him as a successful king, who was energetic, resourceful and sometimes ruthless, but whose reputation has been unfairly tarnished by the Norman conquest shortly after his death. Other historians regard the picture as partly true, especially in the later part of his reign. In the view of Richard Mortimer, the return of the Godwins from exile in 1052 "meant the effective end of his exercise of power". The difference in his level of activity from the earlier part of his reign "implies a withdrawal from affairs".
He had succeeded Cnut the Great'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 was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, who was defeated and killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.
Edward was canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III, and is commemorated on 13 October by the Catholic Church of England and Wales and the Church of England. He was regarded as one of the national saints of England until King Edward III adopted Saint George as patron saint in about 1350.