This unusual scene was carved by Robert Carpenter (born 1750 or 1751), who is only known to have produced one other work, a closely related wood relief of Queen Margaret and the Robbers, 1808, likewise inscribed and placed in a similar frame, now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool. The present example depicts the murder of King Edward the Martyr (c.962 - 978), who was killed by his jealous stepmother, the former Queen Elfrida, eager to see her own son, Ethelred, on the throne. Edward was out hunting when he decided to visit his young brother Ethelred, who was living with his mother at Corfe Castle, Dorset. Edward had just arrived and was still on horseback when he was offered a cup of mead by Elfrida, and as he took it one of her retinue stabbed the young King in the back. A favorite of St. Dunstan, Edward was unpopular with many noblemen for his pious support of the monasteries; as such his death is considered martyrdom and he was even canonised in 1008, following a series of miracles associated with his relics. It is possible that when creating the present composition Carpenter used as a source a print of the same subject by the engraver John Hall, published in The Copper-Plate Magazine or A Monthly Treasure in 1776, which shows similarities in the King's costume, the inclusion of a portcullis and in the general arrangement of figures.