In 955 Eadred died, having completed the work which Ælfred had begun, and which had been carried on by his son and his three grandsons. England, from the Forth to the Channel, was under one ruler. Even the contrast between Englishmen and Danes was soon, for the most part, wiped out. They were both of the same Teutonic stock, and therefore their languages were akin to one another and their institutions very similar. The Danes of the north were for some time fiercer and less easily controlled than the English of the south, but there was little national distinction between them, and what little there was gradually passed away.
Eadred was succeeded by Eadwig, the
eldest son of his brother Eadmund. Eadwig was hardly more than fifteen
years old, and it would be difficult for a boy to keep order amongst
the great ealdormen and earls. At his coronation feast he gave deep
offence by leaving his place to amuse himself with a young kinswoman,
Ælfgifu, in her mother's room, whence he was followed and dragged back
by two ecclesiastics, one of whom was Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury.
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