“Iron Lady of the Mercians” &
“Founding Mother of England”
She believed to be charged by god to defend her people & rebuild Mercia which layed the foundation for England
Successfully attacked & wiped out an entire generation of previous Viking invaders
Not many people would associate Anglo-Saxon England with powerful women, but years ago lived Æthelflæd, “Lady of the Mercians”.
Before there were Kings and queens, rulers were known as lord or lady and although she had all but been forgotten in English history, Lady Æthelflæd was an extremely important figure before her death in 918, (50).
Æthelflæd was born in the early 870s. Her father, Alfred “the Great” was the King of the West Saxons and her mother, Eahlswith, may have been from Mercian royal kindred. Back then Anglo-Saxon “England” was divided up into smaller kingdoms. They all faced Viking forces that were growing in strength and taking over land piece by piece
Æthelflæd spent most of her life in the Kingdom of Mercia and was married to Æthelred who died leaving Mercia in her hands. This was widely accepted by her people because when Mercia had seen dark days the two of them protected their followers and held their ground against the incoming Viking threats.
After her husband’s death in 911, she successfully campaigned against the Welsh and thier kings. Her kingdom expanded and she even took control of Viking-occupied Derby, Leicester, and just before her death, the Scandinavian lords of southern Northumbria submitted to her.
Legendary stories tell of her defenders of Chester (one of her fortresses) pouring boiling beer and dropping bee hives on Viking attackers, thus rendering them unable to move because of the stinging bees.
She held authority in so many territories it made her one of the three most important rulers in mainland Britain – the others being her brother Edward king of the Anglo-Saxons and Constantin II macAeda, King of the Scots.
She refounded churches, new relic collections and Saints’ cults. The now known “Iron Lady of the Mercians” died in Tamworth as one of the most powerful political figures in 10th-century Britain. She was even able to pass her power over to her daughter Ælfwynn. All of Æthelflæd’s successes helped set the stage for the birth of England.
“Make yourself dreadful to your enemies and indispensable to your allies.”
RYNO666 of RYNO666.COM