Edward "the Martyr"

When Edgar died, the witanagemot voted that he be succeeded by his son Edward, then twelve years old, in preference to Alfthryth's son Æthelred, then about seven. Edmund was murdered three years later; the chronicles of the time give various accounts as to how. Many blame Æthelred, but most historians find this hard to swallow given that Æthelred would have been about ten years old. One chronicler blames Alfthryth and describes the murder thus: Edward came to Corfe Castle to visit his stepmother and brother. At the gates, he was received by a guard who kissed Edward ceremonially on the cheek and simultaneously slashed his side open with a knife. The horse bolted, jolting Edward off; but not completely, thanks to a stirrup. The gutted corpse was found some time later. According to tradition, Edward was buried at the church in Winchester (?).

In the 1950s, the floor of the church at Winchester was ripped up to be replaced, and a narrow wooden coffin was discovered, containing a set of human bones. Given the tradition that Edward the Martyr was buried there, the bones were sent to be analysed by a forensic anthropologist. According to him, the corpse had sustained severe and unusual injuries, the kind that it would be difficult to inflict even if one tried. In his opinion, the injuries fit in with the above account better than any other.