King Eadred was the son of Edward the Elder, the brother of Edmund the Magnificent, and the grandson of King Alfred the Great. He was king for 9 years and would bring the Kingdom of Northumbria under English control after he defeated Eric Bloodaxe in 954.
- King Eadred ascended to the throne after his brother, King Edmund, was assassinated.
- In the year of his brother's stabbing, he was consecrated by Archbishop Oda of Canterbury at Kingston upon the Thames, where he appears to have received the submission of Welsh rulers and northern earls.
The Two Foes of Northumbria
- King Eadred formed an alliance with the Scots that would aid him in Northumbria.
- Olaf Sihtricson, otherwise known as Amlaíb Cuarán ('Sandal'), had been the king of Northumbria in the early 940s when he became Edmund's godson and client king, but he was later driven out.
- Olaf then succeeded his cousin as King of Dublin, but after a heavy defeat in battle in 947, he was once again forced to try his luck elsewhere.
- Olaf took the throne in York.
- Olaf was ousted from the kingship a second time by the Northumbrians, this time in favor of Eric, son of Harald.
- After Olaf was removed and Eric took the throne, it presented an immediate threat to Eadred.
- The other leader was Eric Bloodaxe, previously King of Norway from 930 to 934. After a number of successful operations elsewhere, he came to Northumbria and appears at some point to have set himself up as king.
- King Eadred formed a strategy to eliminate the Northern adversaries.
- He launched an intense raid on Northumbria and burned anything they came across.
- It culminated in the Battle of Castleford, in which he took heavy losses, but his raids had done the damage.
- King Eadred managed to check his rival by promising the latter's supporters even greater havoc if they did not desert the foreign prince.
- The Northumbrians appeased the English king and paid compensation.
- King Eadred suffered from a digestive issue in the later years of his life. He had trouble digesting the fiber of his food. It was said that he would suck the juices from his food, chew on and spit out what was left.
- This condition would be fatal, and he died at the age of 32.
- He was buried in the Old Minster at Winchester.
- He never married, so the throne was given to King Edmund's son Eadwig.