Edmund was the son of King Ethelred the Unready of England and was chosen by the council members in London to take the throne of England when his father died in April 1016. He was nicknamed "Ironside" because of his great courage, and he needed courage because Canute, son of Sweyn Forkbeard who had conquered England during Ethelred's reign, had come to try and take England for Denmark again. Edmund and Canute fought a battle in Essex, and though Canute won, Edmund put up enough of a fight that the two decided to divide the kingdom between them, Edmund getting western parts and Canute getting the east. However, in November of the same year, Edmund died; legend says he was stabbed in a privy by the son of one of his enemies. Canute took over all of England.