Edmund ascended the throne at the age of nineteen and spent most of his six-year reign fighting battles, with a fair degree of success. He met his end with more drama than most: at the beginning of his reign, Edmund had sentenced a thief to exile. The thief waited six years, then returned, determined to get revenge. Security was more lax then than now, and the thief was able to waltz straight into the royal dining hall, where Edmund was tucking into a meal under the surveillance of guards who watched as the thief pulled up a chair next to Edmund. Edmund looked up, recognized the thief, and motioned to the guards to take him away. The guards watched, but did nothing, so Edmund got up to attend to the matter himself. The two were shortly tussling on the floor, and the thief pulled out a knife and stabbed Edmund to the heart. At this point the guards suddenly came to life and fell upon the thief, hacking him to pieces with their swords.