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East Anglia was once a great Anglo-Saxon kingdom. The Kings lived and were buried in great splendour. It was also a brutal time. We can onl guess at the details o! their lives and deaths" as their stories did not survive the #dark ages#" with one exception$ the extraordinar stor o! brave King Edmund. There were man earl %hristian mart rs willing to die !or their belie!s& however" not man managed to in!lict their revenge - over a hundred ears a!ter their murder' It was back in ()) when Edmund became king o! East Anglia. *is kingdom was under constant threat !rom invasion and Edmund had to battle to maintain his land and position. +ne da " in (,-" a .iking leader called *inguar and his warriors invaded the Kingdom o! East Anglia. The .ikings destro ed one o! the cities and the people were ver !rightened. King Edmund summoned his arm and went to war. The Saxons battled hard but the .iking !orces were large and de!eated them. King Edmund was taken prisoner. *inguar insisted that Edmund serve him and bow be!ore the .iking gods. Edmund knew that" i! he re!used" the penalt would be a particularl gruesome death. *owever" Edmund was a religious man and took his commitment to god ver seriousl . *e bravel re!used. +n a cold /ovember morning" King Edmund was led out onto a !ield at *aegelisdun. The de!eated warriors looked on in horror as their king was thrashed" tied to a tree" shot !ull o! arrows and" whilst still barel alive" beheaded. +nlookers later commented that poor Edmund was shot with so man arrows" #he bristled with them like a hedgehog#. The King#s head was then thrown into the bramble thickets at *aegelisdun Wood. The Saxon warriors that had survived the battle searched !or the head o! their king" so the could give him a proper burial. The could not !ind it. 0ust as the sad and de!eated men were about to give up" the were alerted b the cries o! an animal. In the thick undergrowth was a large gre wol!" the wol! was guarding the head o! the king. The death o! King Edmund saw East Anglia plunged into battle" as both 1anes and .ikings attacked. *owever" during this time o! great upheaval" King Edmund did not lie 2uiet" !or a number o! miraculous events began to occur. 3eople saw visions o! the dead king and several sick people were cured o! their illnesses. 4ocal people" even some o! the .iking settlers" would visit his grave !or inspiration in times o! trouble.
To man " Edmund was the !irst and true patron saint o! England. The .the de!eat o! an invading king" ending Swe n#s t rann towards the English' +ne hundred ears a!ter his death" he was !inall able to exact revenge !or his earlier treatment at the hands o! the .onks recorded in their <ournal that the were <oined b an imposing but unwelcome visitor . *owever" the most miraculous event was still to occur. The king#s remains were brought to the town o! 5ur St. *is arrogant repl was clearl not the kind o! response the saint expected and lacked respect !or English values" !or Edmund was !urious. Saint Edmund had been dead over a hundred ears when" on 8ebruar the 7rd 969:" witnesses watched as a miracle took place.the new king Swe n 8orkbeard. The saint stormed up to Swe n" raised his arm and struck him a blow o! such !orce that the invading king was dead within moments. *e had arrived !resh !rom con2uering England. +thers saw visions or consulted the saint be!ore going to war" as did man o! the earl kings o! England.Word soon spread o! the remarkable miracles connected with the mart red king. Edmunds in -67 and a shrine was dedicated to Saint Edmund. . Edmunds shrine" where she claimed to have miraculousl recovered her speech. The de!eat o! Swe n was <ust one o! a number o! miracles attributed to Edmund as his !ame grew. In gratitude" she devoted her li!e to keeping the shrine tid . Edmund and the propert o! his new East Anglian sub<ects. Edmund#s !ame grew to such an extent that !ew would travel through the area" without stopping o!! to pa their respects at his shrine. Even the monks" despite their belie! in the miraculous power o! their saint" were speechless. So Edmund had achieved" as a saint" what he had not been able to achieve in his li!etime . The appearance o! the long dead king proved electri! ing !or those present. Swe n 8orkbeard" however" remained calm. St. The king was intent on plundering treasure !rom both the wealth shrine o! St.ikings. In 96)6" a dumb woman named Al!geth went on a pilgrimage to St. *owever" be!ore he could begin" suddenl a vision o! Saint Edmund appeared and began to scold the king !or his oppression o! the English people.