her Saxon father, King Anna, Etheldreda became an ardent Christian and
would like to have devoted her life to religion, but for political reasons
it became desirable to marry her to Tonbert, the Prince of the South Gyrvii,
whose territory bordered East Anglia.
THE MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS ETHELDREDA AND PRINCE EGFRITH
< Picture left: From an engraving of one of the 14th Century carvings
in the Cathedral Octagon.
The wedding took place in the year 652 and, as a dowry, Tonbert gave
Etheldreda the land and royal rights of the Isle of Ely.
Tonbert died three years later.
For five years she lived on her estates, but once again policy necessitated
her marriage to a prince, this time Egfrith, heir to the Kingdom of Bernicia
in the north of England...