The definitive history of the death of King Edmund in 869 AD
is said to be the 'Life of St. Edmund' written by Abbo de Fluery in about 985 AD; in Ramsey Abbey near St. Ives, Cambridgeshire
. He says the he heard the story from his Archbishop
, who in turn heard it as a young boy from a very old man who claimed to have been King Edmund's armour
bearer. The basic facts of this story are probably correct.
Two Danish leaders, Hinguar and Habba, came to Northumbria, which they overran. Hinguar proceeded to the east with a fleet and surprised a city which they sacked ...
Eventually Edmund was taken prisoner, whipped and tied to a tree and shot with arrows 'until he bristled with them like a hedgehog or thistle'. He was then beheaded and the head thrown into bramble thickets in Hegelisdun Wood. The date was given as November 20th which remains St Edmunds' Feast Day today. The survivors searched for the head and found it guarded by a wolf and calling 'here, here, here'.
The king was buried in a small chapel
built for the purpose where the body remained for many years before being moved to Bedericsworth. Stories of remarkable miracles
soon became attributed to his remains, indeed his body was said to be incorruptable
. He was held in such high esteem
that about 20 years after his death memorial
coinage was issued. His popularity was such this was allowed and legal
under the Dane's
laws, his killers!
This settlement Bedericsworth, later become known as Bury St. Edmunds