The succession to Edward the Confessor was by no means the first (or the last) to be contested in the recent history of either England or the house of Wessex. Indeed, Aethelred the Unready had gained the throne as a result of the murder at Corfe, by his supporters, of his elder half-brother Edward (978). Prior to the succession to the throne by the Confessor in 1042, each succession since that of Edgar (959) had been contested, and the earlier history of the house of Wessex contained numerous disputes over the succession. In general, these did not involve ‘foreign’ elements, but, as soon as Wessex expanded territorially, the succession became intertwined with questions about the relationship between different parts of the kingdom.
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