So interesting......

12 June 918 - death of Æthelflæd
Women commemorated in stained glass windows are not ordinarily portrayed with swords, but then Æthelflæd was no ordinary medieval woman…
Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex and burner of cakes. She suffered the fate typical to high-born woman of the time, and was married off for the family’s political advantage.
Æthelred was alderman, or earl of Mercia, at the time of continuing Danish invasions. There is no record of his actually having taken part in the campaigns – paradoxically for the time, he seems to have been content to leave military affairs in his wife’s hands.
Æthelflæd was actually a kick-ass military commander, and was usually pictured, as below, carrying a sword. When her husband died in 911 after many years of illness, there was no question of who would succeed him. Æthelflæd was recognized as “Lady of the Mercians”, effectively, Queen of Mercia. She continued actively campaigning against both the Danes, and the Welsh, in retaliation for the murder of a Mercian abbot. She was regarded as a formidable ally by her brother, King Edward the Elder, and a potential protector by the people of York. She earned this respect by continued military success, as well as by constant preparedness, which included the construction of a series of fortified towns to protect the Midlands against the Danes.