Few historical facts about Edmund are known. The kingdom of East Anglia was devastated by the Vikings, who destroyed any contemporary evidence of his reign. Coins minted by Edmund indicate that he succeeded Æthelweard of East Anglia, as they shared the same moneyers. He is thought to have been of East Anglian origin, but 12th century writers produced fictitious accounts of his family, succession and his rule as king. Edmund’s death was mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which relates that he was killed in 869 after the Great Heathen Army advanced into East Anglia. Medieval versions of Edmund’s life and martyrdom differ as to whether he died in battle fighting the Great Heathen Army, or if he met his death after being captured and then refusing the Viking leaders’ demand that he renounce Christ.
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