( Half King ) Ealdorman of East Anglia
It is possible that the A/Elliston family have connections to Æthelstan of East Anglia, the naming convention is the same and he would have been well known to the English in that area around the time of the Domesday.
It is postulated that Æthelstan grandfather was Æthelhelm or Æþelhelm (c. 859–923) who was the younger son of Æthelred of Wessex (Æþelræd).
Both he and his brother were too young to inherit the throne in 871 and it passed to their uncle King Alfred the Great (Ælfred) who granted them both lands. On Alfred’s death in 899 his elder brother Æthelwold contested the succession and was killed. Æthelhelm remained loyal, and is believed to have been Ealdorman of Wiltshire.
Two children have been attributed to Æthelhelm:
* Ælfflæd (c. 890–918), consort to King Edward the Elder (c. 871–924), is called by one source daughter of Ealdorman Æthelhelm (although there were several Ealdormen of this name at the time, this has been taken to refer to the Ealdorman of Wiltshire); and
* Æthelfrith of Wessex (c. 900–927), a landholder, father to four Ealdormen: Æthelstan Half-King (East Anglia), Ælfstan (Mercia), Æthelwald (Kent), and Eadric (Wessex). Æthelfrith is hypothesized to be son of Æthelhelm because Ealdorman Æthelweard ‘the Historian’, who is thought to be son of Eadric, called himself ‘grandson’s grandson’ of Æthelhelm’s father Æthelred I and held lands originally granted to Æthelhelm by Alfred. From Æthelweard the reconstructed pedigree is traced through Æthelmar Cild (c. 960–1015), a benefactor of Eynsham Abbey; and Wulfnoth Cild (c. 983–1015), Thegn of Sussex; to Earl Godwin, thereby making Æthelhelm ancestor of King Harold II, Godwin’s son.
Æthelstan of East Anglia was the son of Ealdorman Æthelfrith or Æthelferth who held lands in Berkshire, Somerset and Middelesex, Æthelfrith was the Grandson of Æthelred I elder brother of Alfred The Great. Æthelstan’s mother was Æthelgyth, daughter of Æthelwulf. His brothers Ælfstan, Æthelwald, and Eadric, were Ealdormen of Mercia, of Kent, and of Wessex, respectively.
Æthelstan himself was appointed by King Æthelstan as Ealdorman of East Anglia and other lands which had formed part of the eastern part of the Danelaw, in the early 930s. His brother Ælfstan became Ealdorman of parts of Mercia at about the same time, while Eadric and Æthelwald were witnessing charters as Ealdormen by 940.
Æthelstan and his family were supporters of the monastic reforms of Saint Dunstan which introduced the Benedictine rule to Glastonbury. Both Glastonbury, and Abingdon Abbey, were endowed by Æthelstan who was also Lord of Uffington near Abingdon.
The ties to Abingdon are quite interesting as the D’Veres for whom the later A/Elliston family were allied also had strong Abingdon monastic ties.
The land held near Glastonbury was at Wrington it was land originally granted to Æthelfrith, Æthelstan’s father.
The Somerset lands:http://www.wringtonsomerset.org.uk/history/wringtoncharter02.html
Æthelstan appears to have had six sons :
1. ÆTHELWOLD (-before 964, bur Ramsey, Huntingdonshire). The Chronicon Rameseiensis names “primus Æthelwoldus, secundus Alfwoldus, tertius Athelsinus, quartus Æthelwynus” as the four sons of “Æthelstan Halfkyng, quod est semirex”. The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelstan as father of Æthelwine, Ælfwald, Æthelwald and Æthelwig. Florence of Worcester names him and his three brothers without naming their parents. Ealdorman of East Anglia 956. “Æthelwold dux” subscribed charters of Kings Edmund, Eadwig, and Edgar dated between 940 and 961. In a charter of King Æthelred II, “Æthelwold” is recorded as the previous holder of land at Wylye, Wiltshire which the king then granted to Ælfgar, minister, although it is not certain that this was the same person. Simeon of Durham records the marriage of King Eadgar and “the daughter of Ordgar duke of Devonshire after the death of her husband Elfwold…duke of the East Angles” in 964. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 971 of “Ethelwoldus comes, frater Ailwini” and his burial at Ramsey, although this date is inconsistent with his widow´s remarriage as shown below. [m firstly —. There is no proof that Æthelwold had an earlier marriage. However, Ælfthryth must have considerably younger than her husband, who was already active in the administration of the country in 940, the earliest date when his name appears in subscription lists of charters, which makes an earlier marriage probable.] m [secondly] as her first husband, ÆLFTHRYTH, daughter of Ealdorman ORDGAR of Devon (Lydford Castle, Devon (-Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire [999/1002], bur Wherwell Abbey). The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelwald as husband of Ælfthryth. She married secondly () as his second wife, “the Peaceable” Edgar King of England. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the marriage in 965 of King Edgar and Ælfthryth, stating that she was the daughter of ealdorman Ordgar. Simeon of Durham records the marriage of King Eadgar and “the daughter of Ordgar duke of Devonshire after the death of her husband Elfwold…duke of the East Angles” in 964. Roger of Hoveden names her, her father and her first husband, when recording her second marriage. Geoffrey Gaimar records a lengthy account of King Edgar having sent “Edelwoth” to woo “Estrueth la fille Orgar” on his behalf, and Æthelwold having married her without the king´s knowledge. King Edgar granted land in Buckinghamshire to “Ælfgifu que mihi afinitate mundialis cruoris coniuncta” in 966. “Ælfthryth regina” subscribed charters of King Edgar dated between 964 and 974. William of Malmesbury recounts that King Edgar killed Ælfthryth’s first husband to enable him to marry her. She was crowned queen with her husband in 973, which was the first instance of the coronation of a queen in England. It was alleged that she was involved in the plot to kill her stepson so her own son could succeed as King. “Ælfthryth regina” subscribed charters of King Æthelred II between 979 and 983, and “Ælfthryth regis mater” between 981 and 999. She became a nun at Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire in . Her son King Æthelred II granted privileges to Wherwell Abbey in 1002 for the benefit of her soul.
2. ÆLFWOLD (-14 Apr 990, bur Ramsey, Huntingdonshire). The Chronicon Rameseiensis names “primus Æthelwoldus, secundus Alfwoldus, tertius Athelsinus, quartus Æthelwynus” as the four sons of “Æthelstan Halfkyng, quod est semirex”. The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelstan as father of Æthelwine, Ælfwald, Æthelwald and Æthelwig. Florence of Worcester names him and his three brothers without naming their parents. Florence of Worcester names him and his three brothers. Florence of Worcester records Ælfwold as “germanus” of Æthelwine, as well as his opposition to the expulsion of the monks from the Mercian monasteries in 975. The Chronicon Rameseiensis records that “dux Ailwinus et eius frater Alfwoldus” defended the monasteries of East Anglia. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 990 of “Alfwoldus comes, frater Ailwini”, his donation of “Hotton et Witton, Rippon cum Wenigton, Bithern cum Elinton”, and his burial at Ramsey. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “XVIII Kal Mai” of “Ailwoldus comes frater Ailwini ducis, qui dedit Hocton et Withon”. m ÆTHELFLEDA, daughter of — (-997, bur Ramsey, Huntingdonshire). The Chronicon Rameseiensis records that “Alfild” confirmed donations made by “vir meus Alfwoldus comes frater Ailwyni Aldermanni” and records that “Ædnotho filio filiæ meæ” was punished for mocking St Ivo. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 997 of “Ethelfleda comitissa uxor Ethelwoldi fratris Ailwini” and her burial at Ramsey. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “VI Id Sep” of “Ailflid comitissa, uxor Oswaldi fratris Ailwini ducis, quæ dedit Welinctune, et Weninctune, et Bitherne, et Riptun”. It is suggested that these inconsistent entries should be interpreted as indicating that Æthelfleda was the wife of Ælfwold, but this is not beyond doubt. At any rate, it is incompatible with other primary source data for her to have been the wife of Æthelwold, Æthelwine´s first brother (see above). Ælfwold & his wife had one child:
a) daughter . m —. One child:
i) ÆDNOTH . The Chronicon Rameseiensis records that “Alfild” confirmed donations made by “vir meus Alfwoldus comes frater Ailwyni Aldermanni” and records that “Ædnotho filio filiæ meæ” was punished for mocking St Ivo.
3. ÆTHELSINE (-13 Oct 987, bur Ramsey, Huntingdonshire). The Chronicon Rameseiensis names “primus Æthelwoldus, secundus Alfwoldus, tertius Athelsinus, quartus Æthelwynus” as the four sons of “Æthelstan Halfkyng, quod est semirex”. Florence of Worcester names him and his three brothers. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 987 of “Ethelsinus frater Ailwini” and his burial at Ramsey. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “III Id Oct” of “Ailsinus frater Æthelwini ducis”.
4. ÆTHELWINE (-24 Apr [992/93], bur Ramsey, Huntingdonshire). The Chronicon Rameseiensis names “primus Æthelwoldus, secundus Alfwoldus, tertius Athelsinus, quartus Æthelwynus” as the four sons of “Æthelstan Halfkyng, quod est semirex”. The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelstan as father of Æthelwine, Ælfwald, Æthelwald and Æthelwig. Florence of Worcester names him and his three brothers. Ealdorman of East Anglia. “Æthelwine dux” subscribed charters for Kings Edgar, Edward and Æthelred II dated between 964 and 988. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records that “sanctus Oswaldus et dux Ailwinus” constructed Ramsey Monastery in 969. Florence of Worcester records that he opposed the expulsion of the monks from the Mercian monasteries founded by King Edgar after the king died in 975 and defended the monasteries. The Chronicon Rameseiensis records that “dux Ailwinus et eius frater Alfwoldus” defended the monasteries of East Anglia. The list of sureties for estates of Peterborough Abbey records that “Æthelsige the earl’s uncle” was one of the sureties for gift by “Earl Æthelwine and Abbot Ealdulf”. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 993 of “comes Ailwinus”. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “VIII Kal Mai” of “Ailwinus comes fundator Ramesiensis monasterii”. Florence of Worcester states that he “excelled his brothers in meekness, piety, goodness and justice”. m firstly ÆTHELFLEDA, daughter of — (-11 Oct 977). The Chronicon Rameseiensis records donations by “dux Ailwinus pater filiæ maritatæ”, including land inherited from “pater Æthefledæ uxoris suæ”. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 977 of “Ethelfleda comitissa uxor Ailwini prima” and her donation of “Saltreiam”. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “V Id Oct” of “Ethelfleda uxor Ailwini ducis prima, quæ dedit Stivecle”. m secondly ÆTHELGIFU, daughter of — (-985). The Chronicon Rameseiensis records donations by “Athelgiva comitissa”. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 985 of “Ethelgiva uxor Ailwini secunda”. m thirdly WULFGIFU, daughter of — (-24 Aug 994, bur Ramsey). The Chronicon Rameseiensis records the donations made by “tertia…uxor comitis Wlfgiva”. The Genealogia Comitis Ailwini records the death in 994 of “Wlgiva com uxor Ailwini tertia”, her donation of “Brancester”, and her burial at Ramsey. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “IX Kal Sep” of “Wulgifa comitissa, uxor Ailwini ducis tertia…quæ dedit Brancestre”. Æthelwine & his — wife had two children:
a) EDWIN . The Vita Oswaldi names Edwin as son of Æthelwine.
b) ÆTHELWEARD (-killed in battle Ashingdon 19 Oct 1016). The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelweard as son of Æthelwine. Florence of Worcester records that he was one of those who advised King Æthelred II to pay tribute to the Danes in 991. Simeon of Durham names “duke Ethelward son of Ethelwine duke of the East Angles” among those killed in 1016 in the final battle between King Edmund II and Knud of Denmark. The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “XIV Kal Nov” of “Ethelwardus filius Æthelwini ducis…interfect[us] a Danis quando Cnut venit in Angliam”.
5. ÆTHELWIG . The Vita Oswaldi names Æthelstan as father of Æthelwine, Ælfwald, Æthelwald and Æthelwig.
6. [ÆLFNOTH . King Æthelred granted land at Ardley, Oxfordshire, forfeited by three brothers Ælfnoth, Ælfric and Æthelwine, to Æthelwig miles by charter dated 995. It is not known whether this was the same family as that of Æthelwold ealdorman of East Anglia]
Of these it is ÆTHELWINE who ended up being Earl of East Anglia.
In “Anglo-Saxon England”, vol. 2, 1973 (ed. by Peter Clemoes) there is
an article by Cyril Hart on the genealogy of Æthelstan “Half-King”,
ealdorman of East Anglia. I do not know if this article is familiar to
those on this list who are researching Anglo-Saxon England, so I will
summarize Mr. Hart’s findings here.
Æthelstan was one of four sons of Æthelfrith, ealdorman of south-east
Mercia (who lived at least 916). Hart identifies Æthelfrith’s wife as
Æthelgyth, daughter of Æthelwulf. The oldest of Æthelstan’s brothers,
Ælfstan, disappears from charters after June 7 934, and Hart suggests
he died during the campaign in Scotland that summer. He left a son,
unnamed, who inherited an estate in Hampshire and who Hart says may
have been the father of ealdorman Æthelweard and Ælfgifu, the wife of
Æthelstan’s two younger brothers, Æthelwold and Eadric, witness
charters as thegns from 931 onward. Æthelwold became an ealdorman in
940 but died in 946, leaving a will but no provisions for either a
wife or children, so probably he died a bachelor. Eadric became
ealdorman in central Wessex; he seems to have been the father of
‘Ælfsige mine breder suna’ who was left land in his uncle Æthelwold’s
Æthelstan’s wife was Ælfwyn, and they had four sons: Æthelwold II,
Ælfwold, Æthelsige, and Æthelwine. In addition, he and his wife
fostered Edgar, the son of King Edmund, after the death of Edgar’s
mother in 944 (see the Ramsey Chronicle). Æthelwold II married
Ælfthryth in 956, and they had two sons, Leofric and Æthelnoth, before
Æthelwold’s death in 962. In 964 Ælfthryth remarried to King Edgar,
who was her deceased husband’s foster-brother. Æthelwold’s sons were
therefore the half-brothers of King Æthelred. Hart identifies
Æthelwold II’s son Leofric with the Leofric who founded St. Neot’s
Priory along with his wife Leoflaed. This Leofric and Leoflaed seem to
have been, in turn, the parents of Leogifu and Oscytel, who later
controlled St. Neot’s.
Later Ælfthryth was to be implicated in the murder of Edward the Martyr leading to this prophecy:
“… Aethelred, king of the English, died at London after a life of great disquiet and manifold tribulations, all of which St.Dunstan on his coronation-day, after placing the crown on his head, prophetically announced as about to come upon him: “Because,” said he, “thou hast obtained the kingdom by the death of thy brother, whom thy mother has slain, therefore, hear now the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord, “The sword shall not depart from thy house, but shall rage against thee all the days of thy life, slaying thy seed, until thy kingdom be given to another kingdom whose manners and language the nation whom thou governest knoweth not.” And thy sin, and the sin of thy mother, and the sins of the men who have wickedly shed blood by her direction, shall be expiated only by long-continued punishment.” [See: No Worse Deed Than This] His body was honourably buried in the church of St.Paul the apostle. After his death, the bishops, abbots, ealdormen, and all the nobles of England assembled, and unanimously chose Canute to be their lord and king; and having come to him at Southampton, and renounced and repudiated all the descendants of king Aethelred, made peace and swore fealty to him; and he, in his turn, swore that both in Devine and secular affairs he would be a faithful master to them. But the citizens of London and some of the nobles who were then at London, unanimously chose Eadmund the etheling to be king. Exalted to the kingly throne, he boldly and without delay marched into West Saxony [Wessex], and being gladly welcomed by the whole population, he quickly reduced it under his dominion; and a great number of the English people, hearing of this, hastened to make spontaneous submission to him.”
Florence of Worcester
Ælfwold, Æthelstan’s son, appears in King Edgar’s charters as thegn
after 958. He was married to Ælfhild, and their son Eadnoth became a
novice at Ramsey Abbey. Ælfwold died April 14 990. His brother
Æthelsige also began witnessing charters at the same time as Ælfwold,
and he became Edgar’s chamberlain. He died October 13 987. Æthelwine
succeeded to his brother Æthelwold II’s lands in 962. He married three
times: Æthelflaed, Æthelgifu, and Wulfgifu, and had by his first wife
sons Leofwine, Eadwine, and Æthelweard (died 1016). Æthelwine died in 992.
Æthelweard was killed in the the battle of Ashingdon which took place on 18th October 1016. The ‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ does not carry the allegation that Eadric had made a prior agreement, with Cnut, to withdraw his men from the battlefield, but implies he was simply a coward. The Encomiast, however, writes:
“And according to some, it was afterwards evident that he [Eadric] did this not out of fear but in guile; and what many assert is that he had promised this secretly to the Danes in return for some favour.”
The Encomiast describes the battle in some detail, though how much of this is the product of a lively imagination is open to debate. He refers to Thorkell inspiring the Danish troops (with references to a magic banner) before the battle. The battle is said to have started “in the ninth hour of the day” and carried on into the night. Despite the withdrawal of Eadric’s men, the Danes were numerically inferior, though more determined. The English eventually weakened, and fled the field. The Danes “… did not pursue the fugitives far, for they were unfamiliar with the locality, and were held back by the darkness of night… Then, when it was already past midnight, the victors, rejoicing in their triumph. passed the remainder of the night among the bodies of the dead. They did not, however, divide the spoil in the night, but in the meantime sought their companions, and gathering together in order to be more secure, remained all together in one place. At the coming of the morning light they became aware that many of their men had fallen in battle, and so far as they could, they buried their bodies. They also stripped the spoil from the limbs of their enemies, but left their bodies to the beasts and birds …”
Many English leaders had been killed:
“And all the nobility of the English nation was there destroyed.”
Among the dead were: Bishop Eadnoth of Dorchester, Abbot Wulfsige of Ramsey, Ealdorman Ælfric of Hampshire, Ealdorman Godwine of Lindsey, Æthelweard (son of Ealdorman Æthelsige of East Anglia), and Ulfcytel of East Anglia. According to material later added to an Icelandic volume originally written at the end of the 14th century (Flateyjarbók), Ulfcytel was married to a daughter of Æthelred called Wulfhild, and after Ulfcytel’s death she married Thorkell. However, in his entry for 1021, Florence of Worcester names Thorkell’s wife as Eadgyth.
I suspect Alestan in the domesday may be the son or grandson of Aethlweard as Æthelwine was the one who succeeded to the lands of Æthelstan.
The succession would have been Æthelstan to Æthelwold his son, Æthelwold is then killed and the lands pass to his brother Æthelwine who has three sons Leofwine, Eadwine, and Æthelweard. Alestan probably inherited via one of these brothers
Another version can be found here
King Aethelred I born 837 becomes King in 866 dies 871 age 34
King Alfred born 847 King in 871 Dies 899 dies aged 52
Aethelred I son Aethelwold dies 901 after a dispute over the throne with Edward the Elder son of Alfred in 899
Aethelred I son Aethelhelm dies 898
AethelFrith of Wessex son of Aethelhelm 870 to 927 age 57
Aethelstan of East Anglia subscribes charters from 931 to 970
Aethelwold died c. 947
Aelfstan died after 934
Eadric b. c 925 died 949 Father of the historian Aethelweard d.998 first witnesses charters 955