St Edmund was King of East Anglia. The ‘Great Heathen Army’ devastated the kingdom in 869. The Danes had him cornered and demanded that he renounce his faith. When he refused to do so the Danes beat him, shot at him with arrows and decapitated him. He was buried at Bury St Edmunds where a stone church was built for his relics. His shrine in London was visited by many kings, When the Vikings becane Christian, King Canute rebuilt the abbey and made a pilgrimage there and offered his own crown in atonement for the sins of his forefathers. During the medieval period he was regarded as the Patron Saint of England.
When at the Reformation is shrine was plundered over 5000 marks in gold were looted.