Edgar the Peaceable’s reign was a golden age of peace, prosperity and monastic reform. Unfortunately, once he’d gone his wife stuck a knife into her stepson, and the trouble starts over. But his reign should be remembered as the apogee of the Anglo Saxon state. Edgar’s is the first recorded Coronation oath, and still remains the basis for the coronation oath today.
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The Coronation Oath of Edgar the Peaceable, 973
This record has been copied letter by letter from that which Archbishop Dunstan gave to our lord at Kingston on the day that he was consecrated king, forbidding him to give any pledge except this one which he laid upon Christ’s altar as the bishop told him:
In the name of the Holy Trinity, I promise three things to the Christian people subject to me:
Firstly that God’s church and all the Christian people of my dominions will be held in true peace.
Secondly I will forbid robbery and all unlawful deeds by all ranks of men.
Thirdly I promise and command justice and mercy in all judgements, in order that the gracious and merciful lord, who liveth and reigneth, may thereby forgive us all through his everlasting mercy.