Ethelred the Unready (Ethelred II) Penny

Ethelred the Unready (Ethelred II) (978-1013 and 1014-106)

Classification: ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of All England. Hammered.

Ethelred the Unready (Æthelred the Unready, Ethelred II or Aethelred the Redeless) ruled twice, 18 March 978 until 1013 and then 1014 to 23 April 1016. He was born about 966, making him 12 years old when he took the throne first time.

'The Unready' was probably a poor translation, as in the day this was a pun as 'Etherlred' means well-advised but he was actually 'the poorly advised'. On most accounts he was spoilt, inconsistent, and a bit of a back-stabber even to his own noblemen. His rule altogether totalled 37 years, but it was considered poor, if not disastrous.

Ethelred's military ability was also lacking, and this was a problem with the Danes making frequent attacks on England since the 980s. Ethelred tried to stop this by paying the Danegeld (a tax, more like a bribe, given to the Vikings to prevent raids) but not long after in 1002 made the mistake of massacring all the Danish Settlers in York. King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark eventually came looking for revenge and Ethelred fled to Normandy and Sweyn became King in 1013.

When Sweyn died the following year, Ethelred returned and ruled for a couple more years. Ethelred died 23 April 1016, aged about 50.

 Obverse Reverse 979 Penny - Aethered II (Ethelred the Unready) Ipswich
Mintage: N/A
 Obverse Reverse 991 Penny - Aethelred II Lincoln
Mintage: N/A
 Obverse Reverse 991 Penny – Aethelred II Rochester
Mintage: N/A
 Obverse Reverse 997-1003 Penny - AEthelred II
Mintage: N/A