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Eadgifu of Wessex

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Eadgifu of Wessex
A 15th-century depiction of Eadgifu of Wessex, with her son Louis IV
Queen consort of the West Franks
Tenure7 October 919 – 922
Diedin or after 951
SpouseCharles III of France
Herbert III of Omois
IssueLouis IV of France
FatherEdward the Elder

Eadgifu or Edgifu (d. in or after 951), also known as Edgiva or Ogive (Old English: Ēadgifu), was Queen of the West Franks as the wife of King Charles the Simple. She was a daughter of Edward the Elder, King of Wessex and England, and his second wife Ælfflæd.[1]



Eadgifu was one of three West Saxon sisters married to Continental rulers: the others were Eadgyth, who married Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor and Eadhild, who married Hugh the Great. Eadgifu became the second wife of Charles the Simple (more correctly "the Straightforward") King of the West Franks, whom she married between 917 and 919 after the death of his first wife. Eadgifu was mother to King Louis IV of France.[1]

Flight to England


In 923 Charles III was deposed after being defeated at the Battle of Soissons, and he was taken prisoner by Count Herbert II of Vermandois. To protect her son's safety, Eadgifu took Louis to England in 923 and he was brought up at the court of her half-brother, King Æthelstan of England. Because of this, Louis became known as Louis d'Outremer ("from over the sea"). He stayed there until 936, when he was called back to France to be crowned King. Eadgifu accompanied him.[2]

She retired to a convent in Laon.[3] In 951, Herbert the Old, Count of Omois, abducted and married her, to the great anger of her son.[4] She died at Soissons on 26 December in an unknown year and is not recorded after 951.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Nelson 2004.
  2. ^ Williams. p. 112
  3. ^ Schwennicke, 49
  4. ^ Dunbabin, p. 384


  • Dunbabin, Jean (1999). "West Francia: The Kingdom". In Reuter, Timothy (ed.). The New Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. III. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36447-7.
  • Nelson, Janet (2004). "Eadgifu (d. in or after 951)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39220. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 24 June 2021. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • Schwennicke, Detlev (1984) Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 1 (Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt), Tafel 49
  • Williams, Ann; Smyth, Alfred P.; Kirby, D. P. (1991). A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales. Routledge. ISBN 1-85264-047-2.

Further reading

  • MacLean, Simon (2012). "Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics: King Athelstan's Sisters and Frankish Queenship". In Fouracre, Paul; Ganz, David (eds.). Frankland: The Franks and the World of the Early Middle Ages (Paperback ed.). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. pp. 167–90. ISBN 978-0-7190-8772-1.
Eadgifu of Wessex
 Died: in or after 951
Royal titles
Preceded by Queen of the West Franks
Succeeded by