Essays, Who's Who in the Viking Age
Leave a comment

Ælfgifu of York

Ælfgifu (or Ælfgiva) of York live from 960s until c. 1002, was the wife of Æthelred II ‘the Unready’.

A Brief Summary

Very little is known about Ælfgifu of York. Most likely, she is born in the 960s as daughter of a northern ealdorman. Some sources claim this was Thored, earl of southern Northumbria. After her marriage to Æthelred in the early 980s she is not anointed as queen as her mother-in-law Ælfthryth has been, nor does she sign any documents of state affairs.

Æthelred and Ælfgifu have (at least) six sons and daughters, but only one, Edmund, will succeed his father as king. Their daughters will strategically marry powerful ealdormen in the realm.1


  1. Kenneth J. Panton, Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. (Plymouth: Scarecrow Press Inc, 2011), pp. 21–22.
    Charles Cawley, ‘Ælfgiva.’ Foundation of Medieval Genealogy. Last Accessed 25 May 2019.  ↩

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.