This film is part of Free

St Edward the Martyr

Communities honour Edward the Martyr

Current affairs 1979 2 mins Silent

In partnership with:

Logo for The Box


Processions and Church Services are held across Dorset and Somerset to honour the day one thousand years ago that King Edward was reburied at Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset. A teenage King Edward visits his stepmother, his dead father King Edgar’s third wife, Elfryda and half-brother Ethelred at Corfe Castle. In a dispute over succession, on 18 March 978 Edward is murdered and hastily buried. Ethelred accedes to the throne.

Early in 979 Edward is disinterred and given a ceremonial burial at Shaftesbury Abbey but his remains are said to be found in perfect condition and this is taken as a sign of sainthood. Edward is never canonised but he is recognised by Christians as a saint so St Edward the Martyr. His remains were hidden during the Dissolution of the Monasteries but in 1931 archaeologists found them and they were confirmed as Edward in 1970 owing to the manner of his murder by stabbing. He is now enshrined at St Edward the Martyr Church in Woking. Men murdered him but God exalted him. So states the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. His feast day is 18 March, the day of his death.