Friday, July 9, 2010

Born to be Queen - Agatha

Agatha Wife of Eadweard the Exile.
Agatha is the mother of St. Margaret.
Your 28th, 29th, 30th,and 31st, and 32nd great grandmother,
a total of twenty nine time,
Agatha married Eadweard "the Exile" sometime before his return to England in 1057. She was still living in 1067, when she accompanied her children as a refugee into Scotland [ASC(D) s.a. 1067 (p. 201); Sim. Durh., c. 155 (2: 190)].
Date of birth: Say 1015×1035?
Place of birth:
Unknown.Given the surviving evidence, the best we can hope for is to give a range of dates in which Agatha's birth probably occurred, based on the slim evidence that exists for the ages of her children. Her son Eadgar Ætheling was said by Orderic Vitalis to have been the same age as Robert of Normandy, son of William the Conqueror ["... ducemque sibi coævum ..." OV x, 11 (vol. 4, p. 70)]. Robert was the eldest son (and probably the eldest child) of a marriage which occurred between 1049 and 1053, and probably in 1050 or 1051 [see the page of William I], thus born probably between 1050 and 1054, and such a birthdate would fit well for Eadgar, whom the contemporary Guillaume de Poitiers calls a "puer" in referring to events of 1066 ["Regem statuerant Edgarum Athelinum, ex Edwardi Regis nobilitate annis puerum." Guillaume de Poitiers, ii, 28 (pp. 146-7); see also ibid., ii, 35 (pp. 162-3)], making it unlikely that Eadgar was born before 1050. Agatha's daughter Margaret was married to Malcolm III of Scotland, probably in about 1070 [see the page of Malcolm III for a discussion of this date]. If we assume that Agatha and Margaret did not marry before the age of 17 and did not have a child before the age of 18, then that would place Agatha's birth in 1035 or before, with dates a year or two later possible but highly improbable, and with a birth in 1030 or before providing a more comfortable margin. In the other direction, although it seems very unlikely that Agatha was older than her husband (born 1016×7), the possibility that she was born a decade earlier cannot be strictly ruled out. Jetté places the marriage of Margaret about 1067 ("about ten years" after 1057). This is probably a few years too early [Freeman (1870-9), 4: 783-7; see the page of Malcolm III]. Because Malcolm asked for the permission of Margaret's brother Eadgar to marry her, and because "enough was known about his [Edgar's] personality to separate him from the throne of England in 1066", Jetté argues that the eldest of Margaret's children was born between 1045 and 1050 "at the latest" and thus that Agatha "cannot be born after 1030 and that she was more likely born around 1020" [Jetté (1996), 420]. However, although Agatha may have been born that early, there seems to be no reason to insist on it.
Date of death: After 1067.Place of death: Unknown.As noted above, Agatha was still living in 1067. Ingham places her death about 1068, saying that she is thought to have been deceased before her daughter married king Malcolm [Ingham (1998b), 240 & n. 32]. The reason for this belief would appear to be the fact that Malcolm asked Eadgar for his sister's hand [ASC(D) s.a. 1067]. The Crowland Psalter has the addition of the obituary under 18 March of a person whose name starts with "A", in the same hand as additions giving the obituaries of Eadweard and his brother Eadmund [Keynes (1985), 359-60]. This could be the date of Agatha's death, but the obituary could also be that of Eadweard's mother Ealdgyth (Aldgitha).
Father: Unknown.Mother: Unknown.There have been a number of mutually contradictory theories regarding the origin of Agatha, and a definitive solution is still lacking. The alternatives are discussed in detail in the Commentary section.
Spouse: Eadweard "the Exile", d. 19 April 1057.
Children:See the page of Eadweard "the Exile" for details.
MALE Eadgar "the Atheling", living 1125, claimant to the English throne in 1066.
FEMALE St. Margaret, d. 16(?) November 1093;
m. 1070×1,
Máel Coluim mac Donnchada (Malcolm III), d. 13 November 1093, king of Scotland.
FEMALE Christina, living 1086, nun at Romsey, prob. d. 1095×1100....
[Agatha's Unknown Ancestors]
...The Theories
The main hypotheses are listed here, along with the labels that they have been assigned for purposes of the discussion below. A few impossible theories which can be easily dismissed are not given labels.
The German Hypothesis (main version):Conjectured father (possible): Liudolf, d. 15 or 23 April 1038, count (Braunschweig).Conjectured mother (possible): Gertrude.
The Russian Hypothesis:Conjectured father (possible): Iaroslav I, d. 1054, grand prince of Kiev.Conjectured mother (possible): Ingegerd, daughter of Olaf, king of Sweden.
The Polish Hypothesis:Conjectured father (improbable): Mieszko II Lambert, d. 10 May 1034, king of Poland.Conjectured mother (improbable): Richenza, daughter of Ezzo, count palatine of Lorraine.
The Bulgarian Hypothesis:Conjectured father (improbable): Gavril Radomir, d. 1015, emperor of Bulgaria.Conjectured mother (improbable): NN, sister of István (Stephen) I, king of Hungary.
The Hungarian Hypothesis:Conjectured father (very improbable): István (Stephen) I, d. 1038, king of Hungary.Conjectured mother (improbable): Gisela, sister of Heinrich II, emperor.
The Cristinus Hypothesis:Conjectured father (very improbable): Christinus, count.Conjectured mother (highly improbable): Oda, daughter of Bernhard, count of Haldensleben.
The German Hypothesis (alternate version):Conjectured father (very improbable): Ernst II, d. 17 August 1030, duke of Swabia.
The Bruno Hypothesis:Conjectured father (very improbable): Bruno, d. 24 April 1029, bishop of Augsburg, 1007-1029, brother of emperor Heinrich II.
The Byzantine Hypothesis:Conjectured father (no reasonable basis): Constantine IX "Monomachos", d. 1055, Byzantine emperor.
Falsely attributed father: Salomon, d. 1087, king of Hungary, 1063-74.[OV; see above for details] Orderic Vitalis is the only early medieval source to name the alleged father of Eadweard's wife. However, the claim is chronologically impossible.
Falsely attributed father: Heinrich II, d. 13 July 1024, emperor.[e.g., Burke (1848-51), 1: ped. cxix; 2: ped. xxxviii] Although the secondary sources giving this relationship of which I am aware do not state sources, it is clear that this theory came about because "filia germani imperatoris Heinrici" was misinterpreted as "daughter of the German emperor Heinrich" [see Appendix 3 for the meaning of germanus]. However, it is virtually impossible that a child of Heinrich II, if one had existed, would have gone unmentioned by continental sources.
Falsely attributed father: Heinrich III, d. 5 October 1056, emperor.[e.g., Baverstock (1832), 20] This comes about by the same misunderstanding as the previous theory. It is chronologically impossible.
Falsely attributed father: Hardicanute, d. 8 June 1042, king of Denmark and England.[Felch (1894), 2, mentions this claim, the ultimate source of which was apparently royal pedigrees published by Reusner in 1592; this reference was pointed out by Todd Farmerie on soc.genealogy.medieval] The supposed logic behind this chronologically impossible theory is unknown....
...Clearly, the different sources say different things about the origin of Agatha. The early accounts we have on Agatha's parentage can be placed in four main categories.
  • First, there are the sources in which Agatha is related to an emperor. This includes the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, John of Worcester (and numerous others who use him as a source), and one of the alternate accounts of Ailred of Rievaulx, with the latter two specifying that Agatha was the daughter of a germanus of emperor Heinrich. John of Worcester's genealogical appendix explicitly names the emperor as Heinrich III.
  • Second, there are sources in which Agatha is a member of the Hungarian royal family. This includes Orderic Vitalis, Geoffrey Gaimar, and the other account of Ailred. The only one to identify the father is Orderic, and we know that his statement is chronologically impossible.
  • Third, there is the interpolation made ca. 1200 into the Laws of Edward the Confessor, which indicates that Agatha was a member of the Russian royal family. Although she is not explicitly called a daughter of king Malesclodus, it is arguable that that was the interpolator's intent.
  • Finally, the is the account of William of Malmesbury, who states that Agatha was a sister of the Hungarian queen, whose identity is not specified.
The natural first attempt would be to look for an individual who simultaneously fits into all of the above categories. However, it has not proved possible to find a parentage for Agatha which agrees with all of these sources. Thus, there seems to be the inescapable conclusion that some of these sources are unreliable. The following table indicates how well the various pieces of basic information match with the various hypotheses which have been proposed, ranging from an excellent fit with the statement of the evidence to being inconsistent with the evidence. Some cases which would involve significantly stretching the definition of a word have been rated poor or very poor. Of course, the first two columns are related, but one is more specific than the other. The first two columns assume that any emperor Heinrich is allowed.

As can be seen from the table, every one of the hypotheses rates as inconsistent in at least two columns, and each theory rates as either inconsistent or poor in at least three columns. Clearly, it has not been possible to find a theory which fits well with all of the basic primary evidence. It would be unwise to try to assign a "score" to each of the theories by somehow tabulating the results from this table, which is only a rough guide (and contains some entries which are judgment calls). The evidence for Agatha's parentage is complicated, and depends on many additional factors which could not be easily enumerated on such tables, and which may be weighed differently by different researchers. Also, the information in the table could be potentially misleading. Opponents of the German Hypothesis could complain that the information from the first two columns might not be independent, and that including both gives the German Hypothesis an extra "vote". Opponents of the Russian Hypothesis could complain that the last column is based on a late interpolation. Thus, it is important to consider the comparative reliability of each of the sources....

Included here is only a little of the more than 30 pages dedicated to Agatha at the source below. Links above will take you to the original website.
See source:

No comments: