King Aethelred, King Canute, Queen Emma, their son Edward and the Fire Test
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
My Crowded Sanctuary – Clare Sheridan
Edward did not love his mother, ..... At all events, he behaved towards her in a most unfilial manner. History reputes her being very rich. He seized all her jewels and property.
When she retired to Winchester he brought improper accusations against her, citing the Bishop. Now, if Emma was eighteen at the time of her marriage, was married fourteen years to AEthelred and nineteen to Canute, she could not have been less than fifty-one. In those days women were old long before that. The accusation seems to be most unjust. That she was frequently close-closeted with the Bishop is not surprising, in view of her attachment to the church.
It is said that she petitioned to be allowed to prove her innocence through the fire test - in Anglo-Saxon laws, walking barefoot over glowing ploughshares - , and that she triumphantly vindicated herself. Whether it be true or only legend, it seems to have raised her in the public esteem almost to the rank of Saint.