Search the Collection
King Edward (circa 1003-1066), Known as 'The Confessor', reigned 1043-1066
Sitter in 13 portraits
Born between 1003 and 1005, the son of King Ethelred II the Unready and Emma, daughter of Richard II of Normandy, he became King in 1043. For the first eleven years of his reign the real ruler of England was Godwine, Earl of Wessex. Despite Edward marrying Godwine's daughter Edith, there was a breach between the two men. When Godwine died in 1053, his son Harold succeeded him. It was Harold, not Edward, who dealt with Welsh and Northumbrian rebellions. Consequently, before his death, Edward named Harold as his successor even though he may have promised the crown to a distant cousin, William, Duke of Normandy. Edward was canonised in 1161 and remains the patron saint of the Royal Family.
after Unknown artist
woodcut, published 1684
by J.G. Wooding, after Hamilton
line engraving, circa 1788-1790