Æthelred became king of England in 978, following the murder of his brother Edward the Martyr (possibly at the instigation of their mother) at Corfe. On his own death in April 1016, his son Edmund Ironside succeeded him and fought the invading Danes bravely, but died in November of the same year after being defeated at the battle of Assandun, leading to the House of Wessex being replaced by a Danish king, Cnut. Æthelred, in constrast to his predecessor and successor, reigned (except for a few months in 1013-14), largely unchallenged for thirty-eight years, despite presiding over a period which saw many Danish invasions and much internal strife. If not a great king, he was certainly a survivor whose posthumous reputation and nickname (meaning 'Noble Council the No Council') do him little justice. In Æthelred the Unready Ann Williams, a leading scholar on his reign, discounts the later rumours and misinterpretations that have dogged his reputation to construct a record of his reign from contemporary sources.