Matching family tree profiles for Ælfgifu
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For other persons of the same name, see Ælfgifu.
Elgiva or Ælfgifu (died September 959) was the wife of king Edwy of England. Not much is known about her but we do know she was already Edwy's 3rd cousin once removed before they got married. This is because Elgiva was the great-great-granddaughter of Ethelred I of England. Edwy and his brother Edgar were children when their father King Edmund I was murdered and they were fostered with Eadric of Washington and his brother, Athelstan Half-King respectively. Elgiva was the daughter of Eadric of Washington and his wife Aethelgiva. Her brother was Aethelweard the Historian. At his coronation feast in 945CE Edwy preferred Elgiva and Aethelgiva's company to that of the official banquet. St. Dunstan and his relative Cynesige, Bishop of Lichfield, dragged King Edwy (then 16 years old) physically out. As a result Dunstan was exiled. However Dunstan returned after his friend Oda the Severe, Archbishop of Canterbury annulled the marriage of Edwy and Elgiva as being within nine degrees of consanguinity, even though Edgar had married his first wife in exactly the same relationship.
Elgiva was disfigured and sold into slavery in Ireland, but the Irish took pity on her and she returned to England. On the way to be reunited with Edwy her party was ambushed by unknown assailants and she was murdered. Edwy died shortly after. Both Elgiva and Edwy are buried in Winchester Cathedral.
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