b.bet abt 768 and 788
d.0839 Wessex, England
Facts and Events
Redburga or Raedburh appears in a late medieval manuscript held by Oxford University as wife of king Egbert of Wessex. She is described there as "regis Francorum sororia", which translates as: "sister of the king of France". THe imprecision with which such relational terms were used has caused this phrase to be taken to mean sister of Charlemagne, sister-in-law as the sister of his fourth wife, Luitgard, or some more distant relationship. Her very existence has been questioned, she being found only in manuscript of a much later date, suggested to have been forged to link the early Kings of England to the great West Emperor.
Chronologically, it has been suggested that Charlemagne arranged Raedburh's marriage to Egbert in the year 800. Egbert, who had been forced into exile at Charlemagne's court by Offa, King of Mercia, returned to England in 802, where he became King of Wessex.
The uncertainty over Redburga has been further complicated by the existence of an Egbert at the Carolingian court, and attempts have been made to identify this continental nobleman with the exiled Wessex prince. That Egbert, who was duke of all Saxony between the Rhine and the Weser, died in 811. He was survived by his widow, who devoted her life to helping the poor and became known as "Saint Ida of Herzfeld", the patron saint of brides and widows. These identifications would make Redburga identical to Saint Ida. However, unless the Egbert reported in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to have regained his throne in Wessex in 802 was, in fact, serving instead as a feudal supporter of Charlemagne in Saxony for many of the years following his return to Wessex, Saint Ida was not the Raedburh who married Egbert of Wessex. Given the irreconcilable differences in the dates of death given for these two Egberts, this solution is dismissed by most scholars.