Deadman’s Day, Feast of St. Edmund
Edmund, like William Rufus, reigns among those who have been herald as divine victims-the king slain for the love of the land and his people. Edmund was the king of East Angles in 865. In 869, he was captured by the Vikings, who offered to spare his life were he to share his kingdom with their leader, Ingvarr the Bonless. Edmund refused to relinquish any of his land or people to the heathen leader. Thus, Edmund was tied to a tree and used for target practice for the Danish archers, after which he was beheaded. Following his ritualistic death, his head was thrown into a thicket. When his followers happened upon it they found a grey wolf guarding the head. His tomb, in the holy city of Saint Edmundsbury, has been the site of many miracles, and it was upon his bones that the barons swore their oath that led to the Magna Carter-the beginning of human rights in England.