Edwy, surnamed the Fair, a king of the Anglo-Saxons, son of Edmund I., and successor of his uncle Edred, born about 938, ascended the throne in 955, and died at the close of 958. He was passionate and dissolute. Having on the day of his coronation retired from the banquet to the apartment of a young princess named Elgiva, he was violently taken back to the table by St. Dunstan, whom he then banished from the kingdom. Archbishop Odo broke with an armed force into the villa where Elgiva resided, defaced the beauty of that lady with brands, and exiled her to Ireland; but she returned to England, where she suffered hamstringing and died. It is in dispute among historians whether Elgiva, who was within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, was the wife or the mistress of Edwy. The English favored the ecclesiastics rather than the king, and a rebellion broke out under Edgar, a younger brother of Edwy, who was chosen king by the Mercians. Edwy was obliged to flee beyond the Thames, and the civil war was ended in 957 by a general meeting of the thanes, who determined that that river should be a boundary between the dominions of the two brothers.
Edwy governed Wessex and Kent till his death.