ENGLAND, ANGLO-SAXON & DANISH KINGS

v3.0 Updated 29 May 2014

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

INTRODUCTION. 2

Chapter 1.                KINGS of the EAST ANGLES (EAST ANGLIA) 571-[905] 8

Chapter 2.                KINGS of ESSEX (EAST SAXONS) 21

Chapter 3.                KINGS of KENT [488]-825. 31

Chapter 4.                KINGS of MERCIA 626-877. 52

Chapter 5.                RULERS of the HWICCE. 78

Chapter 6.                KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA. 80

A.         KINGS of DEIRA, KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 617-633. 81

B.         KINGS of BERNICIA, KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 634-716. 88

C.        KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 729-788. 104

D.        KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 765-790. 109

E.         KING of NORTHUMBRIA 759-895. 111

F.         DANISH KINGS OF YORK 919-927. 117

Chapter 7.                KINGS of SUSSEX (SOUTH SAXONS) [491]-686. 122

Chapter 8.                KINGS of WESSEX 534-944, KINGS of ENGLAND 944-1066. 126

A.         EARLY KINGS of WESSEX 534-611, 674-676. 127

B.         FAMILY of CYNEGILS KING of WESSEX 611-685. 134

C.        FAMILY of ÆSCWINE KING of WESSEX 674-676. 138

D.        FAMILY of CÆDWALLA KING of WESSEX 685-688. 139

E.         FAMILY of INE KING of WESSEX 688-728. 140

F.         FAMILY of ÆTHELHEARD KING of WESSEX 728-739. 143

G.        KINGS of WESSEX 740-802. 144

H.        KINGS of WESSEX 802-944, KINGS of ENGLAND 944-1066. 148

Chapter 9.                KINGS of ENGLAND from the DANISH ROYAL FAMILY 1014-1042. 199

Chapter 10.              FAMILY of KING HAROLD II 206

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

The various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were founded by immigrants from northern continental Europe who landed and settled in different parts of England during the 5th and 6th centuries.  The numerous early settlements, described in the 11th century Tribal Hidage[1], grouped together over time into seven main kingdoms.  The kingdom of Kent was settled principally by Jutes, the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria by Angles, and the kingdoms of Essex (East Saxons), Mercia, Sussex (South Saxons) and Wessex (West Saxons) mainly by Saxons, although the precise origin of the settlers is open to debate as discussed below. 

 

The traditional descents of kings of these seven kingdoms are given in outline form in different parts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, of which the first compilation is dated to the 9th century[2], more than three hundred years after the arrival of the settlers.  Information on the first Anglo-Saxon kings is also found in earlier written sources, including the De Excidio Brittaniae of Gildas (probably dating from the mid-6th century) and Bede's Ecclesiastical History (completed in [731]).  In addition, the main religious houses produced king-lists and genealogies which were ultimately copied into the later sources, the largest surviving group of which is the so-called Anglian collection, dated by Dumville to the later 8th century[3]

 

All these primary sources relied heavily on oral recollection, no doubt expanded with the retelling.  The significant delay before the written recording of events inspires little confidence in the factual accuracy of the documentation.  In addition, many details in the genealogies of the different Anglo-Saxon royal families are found only in much later post-conquest sources, such as Florence of Worcester and William of Malmesbury, and even the late 13th century Roger of Wendover, although the last named sacrifices credibility by including material on King Arthur interspersed with his record of the early Anglo-Saxon kings.  It is not known what earlier sources, now disappeared, may have been available to these later historians, so their narratives relating to the Anglo-Saxon period cannot be dismissed entirely. 

 

In assessing the reliability of the available information, it is useful to consider the material in four successive periods, which reflect different phases in the development of the early kingdoms before the emergence of Wessex as the primary power in the early 9th century. 

 

1.      The mythical ancestry.  The settlers brought with them from northern Germany, or created in their adopted homeland, mythical traditions of descent of their leaders from gods in Norse mythology.  It is not known when these were first consigned to writing, but it is clear that by that time they must already have acquired something of the quality of folk tales, reflecting the spirit of greatness attributed to past and present chiefs rather than accurate representations of truth.  It is interesting to note that no similar lines of descent from deities have been found in any of the sources consulted relating to Saxon leaders on the mainland of northern Germany, although it is true that all such Saxon sources are dated to much later than the corresponding Anglo-Saxon records.  In fact, there is generally less interest in descents in these German sources prior to the early 11th century chronicles of Thietmar and the Annalista Saxo, contrasting sharply with the preoccupation with genealogies which prevails in all the early Anglo-Saxon documents.  It is unsafe to draw definite conclusions from these observations, but they do suggest a stronger connection between the early invaders and Scandinavia, where the sagas demonstrate a long tradition of interest in genealogical matters.  The precise origin of these early newcomers to England will probably never be known with certainty.  However, it is not impossible that northern Germany constituted an intermediate point of temporary settlement on a longer journey originating somewhere in Scandinavia.  It is clear from the examples of the Goths and the Lombards (discussed in the document HUNGARY KINGS) that mass migrations during the early medieval period could involve several stages of settlement before the ultimate destination was reached.  Whatever the precise origin of the invaders, it is certain that there is little historical accuracy in the mythical ancestries which are included in the primary sources and are reproduced in the present document for general rather than historical interest. 

 

2.      Early settlers and first kings.  Information about the 5th and 6th century kings is based solely on sources compiled long after the events and is sparse and, in some cases, contradictory.  The most interesting question is how far the individuals named as leaders of the immigrant settlers were actual historical figures or whether their names amount to no more than an extension of the mythological descents, in other words where does myth end and fact start.  Barbara Yorke highlights the alliterative nature of the names of some of the founding kinsmen (Hengist and Horsa in Kent, Cerdic and Cynric in Wessex), which are reminiscent of foundation legends from other parts of the Indo-European world and suggest only a vague basis of factual accuracy[4].  Two further factors appear relevant in considering this issue.  The first is the use of family epithets applied to some of the royal families by the early sources.  Bede refers to the family of the kings of the East Angles as Wuffingas, but gives no information about the eponymous Wuffa, their first reputed king, or Tytilus his son, apart from their names[5].  Similarly, the early Kentish kings are called Oiscingas, after Oisc/Æsc son of Hengist, with an equal absence of information about these early named ancestors.  Interestingly, the kings of Mercia were known as Icelingas and the royal family of Wessex as Gewisse[6],  there being no pretence in either case that the names derived from any other than one of the mythical ancestors.  The importance of these "tribal" names is a question which needs further investigation.  It is interesting to note a parallel with the early Lombard kings in Pannonia and Italy, four of whom are named in early Lombard sources by reference to a tribal name which is allegedly linked to an early, maybe mythical or semi-mythical, ancestor (see the document HUNGARY KINGS, Chapter 2 Kings of the Lombards in Pannonia, for full citations).  One possibility is that the tribal name came first, passed down by longstanding tradition, and that the names of the ancestors were derived from these tribal names as part of the process of elaborating the early tribal history as and when the oral tales were first consigned to writing.  The second factor is the process by which genealogies were assigned to 7th and 8th century monarchs who replaced the early dynastic lines, especially in Northumbria and Wessex.  This is discussed more fully below in relation to the fourth phase, but in summary the convenience of tracing a line of descent from a remote named ancestor may have prompted an over-enthusiastic scribe either to invent the ancestor in question or to use a known person's name in this new context.  The dating of events in the early sources adds to the uncertainty.  On one level, an obvious observation concerns the inevitable inaccuracy of these dates.  However, their unreliability may go beyond inaccuracy.  It is possible that the compilers of the early sources saw dates principally as a way of adding credibility to their narratives.  If that is correct, there may have been little attempt at accuracy, which suggests that most of the dates are meaningless.  Whatever the truth of all this speculation, the only reliable conclusion is that the "factual" information included in the available sources on the early settlers and their leaders should be treated with considerable caution. 

 

3.      The "core" dynastic period.  In the case of each ruling family, a "core" dynastic period can be identified after each kingdom consolidated its rule in its own area of the country.  During this period, the sources report that the kingship passed mainly between members of the same family.  In most cases the successor is recorded as the son, brother, uncle or first cousin of his predecessor.  The length of this core dynastic period varies by kingdom.  In East Anglia, successive kings are recorded as having belonged to the same family, with only two exceptions, from the accession of King Rædwald (said to be in 590) until the death of King Æthelberht in 794.  Similar continuity is found in Kent, from King Æthelberht (said to have succeeded in 568) to King Eadberht who was deposed around 762.  The core dynastic period in Mercia was shorter, lasting from the accession of King Penda recorded in 626 to the death of King Ceolred in 716.  The case of Northumbria is complicated by the existence of the rival kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia during the early period, but the accessions between Æthelfrith King of Bernicia (killed in battle in 616) and Osred I (murdered in 716) are recorded as being within the same family.  In Wessex, it is difficult to identify any "core" dynastic period at all, as the reported succession is more irregular than in any of these other four kingdoms.  The kingdoms of the East Saxons and South Saxons present their own problems, the traditional genealogies of the former being impossible to reconcile chronologically and the surviving information on the latter being sparse.   So what of the reliability of the sources for these "core" dynastic periods?  Bede's Ecclesiastical History represents a major primary source for the earlier years of these "core" periods, its reliability presumably increasing in relation to events which were within the living memory of the author.  Some corroboration is found in the traditional king-lists and genealogies which were ultimately copied into later sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, although Yorke has commented that these show "evident signs of clerical literary embellishment"[7].  More importantly, charter evidence also provides corroboration of family relationships.  The snippets of genealogical information contained in the charters were mostly incidental to the primary purpose of the documents, which was principally to record changes in property ownership.  It was presumably therefore less susceptible to fabrication by later copiers, even if most surviving charters are later copies.  It may even be said that, the greater the embellishment of the property-related information, the greater necessity for the forger to retain accuracy in the genealogical data in order to provide a convincing backdrop for his fraud.  As far as charters are concerned, the kingdom of Kent is best represented, with 32 surviving charters dated between 604 and 762.  Fourteen charters have survived for Mercia, from 664 to 716.  By contrast, no charters have survived for East Anglia, only one for Northumbria and only a handful for Sussex and Essex.  Some further corroboration of family relationships in the Anglo-Saxon royal families is provided, at least in the cases of East Anglia, Kent, Mercia and Northumbria, by primary sources from continental Europe.  In conclusion, the ability to cross-check some of the information between different primary sources provides some reassurance that the recording of events and individuals during the "core" dynastic periods is more accurate than for earlier times. 

 

4.      The later period.  With the end of the "core" dynastic periods, and before the emergence of Wessex as the primary centre of power in the early 9th century, we enter another phase of incompleteness and less reliability in the primary sources.  With the passage of time, the position of the royal families in each kingdom became less secure.  In Mercia, the last king of the "core" dynasty died young without direct male heirs.  In Northumbria, the last king of the original dynasty was violent and probably mentally unstable.  With expansion in population, competitors emerged to challenge the established royal families.  Some of these later arrivals are named in the sources without any information about their ancestry.  What seem to be dubious descents from earlier monarchs are attributed to other challengers in contemporary sources.  The later kings of Northumbria provide a good illustration of this last point.  King Osred and his successor King Cenred, who succeeded in 716, are both shown in the traditional genealogies as descendants of Ida first king of Bernicia, who supposedly died in 560.  However, Bede, writing in [731], does not mention the ancestry of his patron Ceolwulf King of Northumbria, the brother and ultimate successor of King Cenred, and to whom he claims to have sent a draft copy of his work for comment.  Admittedly Bede was concerned primarily with writing ecclesiastical history, but in other parts of his text he does not hesitate to recite descents.  The inevitable conclusion is that the ancestry of the brothers Cenred and Ceolwulf was not considered worthy enough to have been reported either by Bede or by his royal patron.  If this is correct, it is unlikely that the brothers were truly related to their predecessors.  What, then, was the basis for the subsequently created supposed descent from King Ida, and does it have any validity at all?  Was it a way of flattering later monarchs, or did it fulfil a more important role in establishing the credibility of a successor king?  It would appear that, by the time such descents were first proposed, the kings in question were long since dead.  In any case, the successful challenger to an established royal line would probably owe his immediate accession to force of arms.  It is therefore difficult to see the relevance of a written line of descent, which would probably not be widely known to the general population with little access to written records, to a newly-arrived strong king.  The key is probably the passage of time and the relative weakness of subsequent candidates for kingship.  A new weaker candidate for the monarchy may have sought ways of improving his credentials.  In a society which, judging by contemporary documentation, appears to have held ancestry in high regard, what better way than to fabricate a more illustrious descent than that of his rivals?  For this purpose, there would have been little point in creating a descent only for the current candidate.  Creating ancestors for his immediate predecessors would also have been necessary to complete a coherent picture.  In such an environment, the more remote the descent, beyond living memory, the better, in order to achieve an effective fabrication.  Returning to the Northumbrian example, King Ida would have ruled before the "core" dynastic period for Northumbria noted above under phase 3.  At the time of the composition of the genealogy, assumed to be no earlier than the later 8th century, there must have been few if any available records concerning kings such as Ida.  What would have been easier than to "invent" a younger son of the king and provide a list of names of descendants, completely unrecorded elsewhere?  It is noteworthy that King Cenred is allegedly seven generations removed from his supposed common ancestor with King Osred, far greater than the stretch of living memory, which even today would rarely stretch to a grandson recalling his grandfather's recollections of the latter's own grandfather.  The claimed descent of King Cenred would therefore have been impossible to verify if challenged.  Another important factor which supports the hypothesis is that, with a single exception, there is no record of any line of descent from younger sons of early kings which does not culminate in a reigning monarch.  The exception relates to the ancestry of Oswald ætheling of Wessex, who was a strong contender for the throne at the time and who may therefore have needed appropriate ancestors[8].  Another interesting question is whether any challenge would, in any event, have been raised to such fabricated descents.  The answer is probably no.  In the first place, it is likely that contemporaries would have assumed that such a descent was correct, if postulated.  No record has survived in any of the primary sources consulted of such a descent being questioned.  In the second place, the precise nature of the descent was probably irrelevant to the contemporary audience, the importance being to establish a link between the current monarch and his illustrious predecessors.  It is interesting that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that the direct paternal ancestry of both Æthelheard King of Wessex (died 740) and Beorhtric King of Wessex (died 802) "goes back to Cerdic" without providing any details of the descent in question[9], suggesting that by that time the concept of the descent was probably more important than the detail.  In summary, therefore, after the end of the "core" dynastic period in each Anglo-Saxon kingdom, it is probably safer to assume that each small family group of succeeding monarchs was unrelated to its predecessors, unless corroborative evidence exists in other primary sources which supports the existence of family relationships.  In the following document, care has been taken to highlight where such reported descents are dubious. 

 

The balance of power between the different Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England fluctuated over time.  Although independent from each other, the different kingdoms appear to have developed a loose confederacy under the overall leadership of whoever was the most powerful king at the time.  Bede names seven kings who, he says, had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber[10].  Bede's original list is as follows: 

    • Ælle King of the South Saxons (Sussex)
    • Ceawlin King of the West Saxons (Wessex)
    • Æthelberht King of Kent
    • Rædwald King of the East Angles
    • Edwin King of Northumbria
    • Oswald King of Northumbria
    • Oswiu King of Northumbria

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle repeats these names, adding Ecgberht King of Wessex as an eighth name although more than 130 years separated him from Oswiu, and uses the term bretwalda to describe these leaders[11].  The precise etymology of the term is open to discussion.  Some of the different theories are discussed by Freeman[12].  Stenton suggests "Briton ruler" as an appropriate modern English translation of the term[13].  It appears inappropriate to refer to bretwalda as a title: the early documentation suggests that it was more a descriptive term applied to the monarchs in question.  The term is also used in later sources, with variable spellings[14], although it is not certain that it was applied by contemporaries to describe their rulers at the time.  It is noteworthy that a variation of the word ("Brytœnwalda", reproduced in the Latin version of the document as "Angul-Saxon necnon et totius Britanniæ rex") is only found in a single surviving charter, of Æthelstan King of Wessex (whose name is not on the original list of bretwalda) dated 934[15].  The position appears not to have been inherited.  Although the appearance of three successive Northumbrian rulers at the end of Bede’s original list suggests that general acceptance of some form of automatic transmission of the title may have been evolving, it is probably appropriate to assume that each king developed his personal confederacy based on his own network of influence.  It should be noted that several kings who were at least as powerful as those who appear on the list are never referred to as bretwalda, for example Penda and Offa kings of Mercia.  At the outset, the term does not appear to have been used to describe any real supremacy over the other rulers.  With time, its use may have developed into a "first among equals" epithet, with the bretwalda acting (according to Stenton) "as the patron rather than leader of his dependents"[16]

 

The process of consolidation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into one was slow, with uncertainty until the early 9th century about which kingdom would eventually dominate.  During the mid-8th century, Mercia came to dominate East Anglia, Kent and, more briefly, Wessex.  However, the successors of Offa King of Mercia were unable to maintain this momentum and, during the third decade of the 9th century Wessex emerged as the clearly dominant entity, subjugating Sussex and Kent in 824, Mercia the following year, and exacting tribute from Northumbria in 829.  Later kings are recorded in East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria, although clearly subject to the dominance of Wessex until the Danish invasions of the 860s and 870s.  It was not until Edgar "the Peaceable" King of Wessex that the concept of "England" as an entity became settled and the style "King of England" appears frequently in contemporary charters to describe the monarch.  Earlier kings are styled "king of the English" or similarly in contemporary documentation, for example Offa King of Mercia was "Offa rex Anglorum" in a 774 charter[17], although Kirby does not consider that this meant that he aspired to lordship over all the Anglo-Saxons or that the significance of the phrase was the same as it would have had in the 10th century[18].  Another area for potential study is provided by the symbols of royal power, for instance the used of a helmet instead of a crown until [900][19]

 

The present document sets out the families of the kings of all the pre-conquest kingdoms in England, including the kings of Danish origin after 1014.  The families of other noblemen in Anglo-Saxon England are shown in the companion document ENGLAND, ANGLO-SAXON NOBILITY.  Charters and testaments are cited in this document by updated "Sawyer" numbers, produced by Dr Susan Kelly, and used as the search tool on The New Regesta Regum Anglorum website[20]

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1.    KINGS of the EAST ANGLES (EAST ANGLIA) 571-[905]

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Angles were ancestors of "Orientales Angli, Mediterranei Angli, Merci, tota Nordanhymbrorum progenies" (people of East Anglia, the Midland Angles, Mercians and Northumbrians)[21].  He records that the kings of East Anglia were called "Uuffingas" after "Uuffa", grandfather of King Rædwald[22].  Wuffa and his son are not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in which references to the kings of East Anglia are limited to brief mentions of Rædwald, Eorpwald, Anna, Æthelberht and (St) Edmund.  As pointed out in the Introduction to the present document, it is possible that Wuffa and his immediate successors were semi-historical figures.  The early 7th century King Rædwald is the first king of the East Angles about whom the sources give any information other than his name.  The only surviving regnal lists are those in 12th century sources such as William of Malmesbury and Florence of Worcester.  The genealogy of Ælfwald King of the East Angles provided by the latter is inconsistent with the version which has survived in the Anglian collection.  The early 9th century Historia Brittonum of Nennius sets out a mythical descent of Wuffa from Woden: "Woden/Casser/Titinon/Trigil/Rodmunt/Rippa/Guillem Guercha/Uffa"[23].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives no ancestry of the kings of East Anglia. 

 

There are many gaps in our knowledge of the history of the kingdom of East Anglia.  For example, nothing is known about any East Anglian kings after the reign of King Aldwulf, alleged to have succeeded in 664, until King Selræd in 747.  The succession of the kings who succeeded Selræd and the family relationships if any between them are uncertain.  East Anglia fell under Mercian domination in the mid-8th century.  Although the kingdom of East Anglia survived until 869, when King Edmund was killed by the Danes, no pre-Viking charters have survived, presumably because the invaders destroyed the religious houses which acted as repositories for such documentation[24].  The information from which the genealogy of the kings of East Anglia is reconstructed is therefore sparse and unreliable.  Edward "the Elder" King of Wessex conquered East Anglia in [918/21] and expelled the Danes[25]

 

 

[WUFFA, son of [WEHHA] (-578).  Bede names "Uuffa" as father of "Tytili", adding that the kings of East Anglia were called "Uuffingas" from his name[26].  A mythical descent of Wuffa from Woden is set out in the early 9th century Historia Brittonum of Nennius, as shown above[27].  According to the 13th century chronicle of Roger of Wendover, Wuffa's accession is dated to 571 and his death to 578[28].  He is not named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and there must be considerable doubt about his historical existence.]  [One child]: 

1.         [TYTTLA [Titil] (-599).  Bede names "Tytili" as son of "Uuffa"[29].  Nennius also names Tytillus as son of Wuffa[30].  He is not named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and, as with his father, there must be considerable doubt whether he ever existed.]  [Two children]: 

a)         RÆDWALD (-[620/27]).  Bede records that "rex Reduald" was "filius Tytili", recounting that Æthelberht King of Kent persuaded Rædwald to accept baptism in Kent, but none of his subjects followed him and, encouraged by his wife, that he abjured the faith[31].  King Rædwald supported the claim to the kingdom of Northumbria by Eadwine, son of Ælle King of Deira, who had sought refuge at his court.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Rædwald king of East Anglia killed Æthelfrith King of Northumbria in 617[32].  Bede names "Reduald rex Orientalium Anglorum" as fourth of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber, adding that Rædwald had ruled under Æthelberht King of Kent while the latter had lived[33].  This is repeated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[34].  Rædwald is the first East Anglian king about whose actions any information has survived.  Bede records that "Redualdum regem Anglorum" defeated and killed Æthelfrith King of Northumbria, supporting the claim of Eadwine to the Northumbrian throne[35], the event dated elsewhere to 616.  Yorke comments that it is possible that King Rædwald was buried in the ship discovered at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge in Suffolk[36]m as her second husband ---, widow of --- [father of King Sigeberht], daughter of --- (-after 616).  The name of King Rædwald's wife is not known.  According to Bede, she tempted her husband away from the Christian faith on his return to East Anglia after his baptism[37], although it is possible that this story was inspired by Bede's wish to find a scapegoat for this apparent retreat from Christianity.  She encouraged him to attack Æthelfrith King of Northumbria in 616 in support of Eadwine[38].  Her earlier marriage is deduced from William of Malmesbury, according to whom King Sigeberht was King Rædwald's stepson[39].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies also state that "frater suus ex parte matris, Sigeberhtus" succeeded on the death of "Eorpwaldus"[40].  King Rædwald & his wife had two children:

i)          EORPWALD (-murdered 627).  Bede records that "regi Orientalium Anglorum, Earpualdo filio Redualdi" was converted to Christianity through the efforts of Eadwine King of Northumbria[41].  He is not named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  According to William of Malmesbury, Eadwine King of Northumbria was recognised by the East Anglians as their overlord[42].  Presumably this understates the nature and extent of Northumbrian influence in East Anglia during this period.  Bede records that "regi Orientalium Anglorum, Earpualdo filio Redualdi" was killed by "viro gentili…Ricberto" and that the province was three years "in errore"[43]

ii)         RÆGENHER (-killed in battle 616).  Bede records that "filius Redualdi…Rægenheri" was killed in the battle in which his father defeated and killed Æthelfrith King of Northumbria[44], the event dated elsewhere to 616. 

b)         [ENNI.  Nennius names Enni as son of Tytillus[45].  William of Malmesbury names Enni as brother of King Rædwald[46].  It is possible that Enni was a later invention to explain a family connection between King Rædwald and King Anna.] 

-        see below

 

 

1.         RICHBERT, son of --- (-630).  Bede records that "regi Orientalium Anglorum, Earpualdo filio Redualdi" was killed by "viro gentili…Ricberto" and that the province was three years "in errore"[47], although it is not clear from this text whether Richbert succeeded as king or whether there was a period of leaderless chaos.  Another interpretation is that Richbert was the leader of a locally inspired revolt against Northumbrian domination. 

 

 

1.         [---.  No information has been found about the father of King Sigeberht.  The name of his son suggests a dynastic connection with the kings of the East Saxons (Essex).  It is possible that king Sigeberht's reign marked a period of domination by Essex to the south.  m as her first husband, ---.  She married secondly Rædwald King of the East Angles.]  One child: 

a)         SIGEBERHT (-killed in battle 635).  Bede records that "frater…Eorpualdi Sigberct", who had been exiled in France during his brother’s reign, succeeded three years after Eorpwald was killed[48].  According to Florence of Worcester’s genealogies, "frater suus ex parte matris, Sigeberhtus" succeeded on the death of "Eorpwaldus"[49].  William of Malmesbury also records that Sigeberht was King Rædwald's stepson[50].  This is an unlikely detail to be provided by such a late source and should be treated with scepticism.  As mentioned above, King Sigeberht's name suggests a family connection with the kings of Essex.  His name also sounds Frankish, which may also indicate a connection with the dynasty of the Merovingian Franks.  In a later passage, Bede clarifies that Sigeberht had been "…in Gallia" fleeing from the enmity of "Redualdi"[51], which could favour the hypothesis about a Merovingian connection.  Bede records that "regi Orientalium Anglorum, Earpualdo filio Redualdi" was killed by "viro gentili…Ricberto" after which the province was three years "in errore"[52], which would date Sigeberht’s accession to 630 if the other dates are correct.  "Sigeberto rege" is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as having appointed Felix as bishop "in Domuce"[53].  William of Malmesbury reports that King Sigeberht encouraged the spread of Christianity among the East Anglian people, and "instituted schools of learning in different places"[54].  Bede records that "Sigberet" abdicated the throne in favour of "cognato suo Ecgrice" who had previously held part of the kingdom and retired to a monastery[55].  William of Malmesbury records that Sigeberht abdicated in favour of "his kinsman" Ecgric in 634 and became a monk at Bury St Edmunds[56].  Bede recounts that, after East Anglia was attacked by Penda King of Mercia, the East Anglians entreated ex-king Sigeberht to go with them into battle.  After he refused, they forcibly removed him from his monastery and took him into battle, where he was immediately killed, along with Ecgric, as he refused to carry weapons[57]

Related to the above, the precise relationship is not known: 

1.         ECGRIC, son of --- (-killed in battle 635).  Bede records that "Sigberet" abdicated the throne in favour of "cognato suo Ecgrice" who had previously held part of the kingdom and retired to a monastery[58].  Bede records that he was killed in the same battle as his predecessor fighting Penda King of Mercia[59]

 

 

[ENNI, son of [TYTTLA King of the East Angles] .  Nennius names Enni as son of Tytillus[60].  Bede specifies that Enni was "of the blood royal" but does not give his precise relationship to the other members of the family[61].  William of Malmesbury names Enni as brother of King Rædwald[62].  It is possible that Enni was a later invention to explain a family connection between King Rædwald and King Anna.] 

m ---.  The name of the wife of Enni is not known. 

[Enni] had four children:

1.         ANNA (-killed in battle 654).  Bede records that "Anna filius Eni de regio genere" succeeded after the death of Ecgric[63].  William of Malmesbury names Anna as son of Enni and successor of Ecgric[64].  He succeeded in 635 as ANNA King of the East Angles.  Bede records that Cenwalh King of Wessex found refuge with "regem Orientalium Anglorum…Anna" after he was expelled from his kingdom[65].  The event is dated to [645/46] in other sources.  Penda of Mercia attacked East Anglia in [650], destroyed the monastery of Cnobheresburg (possibly Burgh Castle, Norfolk) and expelled King Anna temporarily.  Bede specifies that King Anna was "also slain by the same pagan commander as his predecessor had been"[66].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "king Anna was killed" in 653/54, but gives no details[67].  [m firstly --- .  As noted below, the difference between the estimated birth dates of King Anna's two daughters suggests that he may have been married twice but this has not been corroborated by any primary source so far consulted.]  m [secondly] ([635 or after]) as her second husband, ---.  The name of the wife of King Anna is not known.  The fact that this was her second marriage is deduced from Bede naming "Saethryd filia uxoris Annae regis Orientalium Anglorum" among those sent to monasteries in France[68].  If the details are correct, Bede must be referring to King Anna's second wife (assuming that it is correct that he was married twice).  The name "Sæthryd" appears to be composed of root elements similar to those in names of the kings of the East Saxons (Essex).  This recalls the East Saxon sounding name of King Anna's predecessor, King Sigeberht.  It is therefore possible that King Anna married the widow of his predecessor but one in order to affirm his position as ruler in East Anglia after 635.  If this is correct, it may have been his second marriage in view of the estimated birth date of his daughter Seaxburh (see below).  King Anna & his [first wife] had one child:

a)         SEAXBURH ([620/30]-after 695).  Bede records that "Annae regis Orientalium Anglorum…filia maior Sexburg" married "Earconbercti regis Cantuariorum"[69].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Seaxburh, daughter of Anna king of the East Angles", as mother of Eorcengota[70].  Her birth and marriage dates are estimated on the basis of the probable birth date of her husband and an approximate chronology of her descendants which appears to be reasonably precise.  Abbess of Ely.  Bede records that "soror eius Sexburg" succeeded "Aedilthrydam, filiam Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum" as abbess of Ely, adding that she planned to remove her sister’s remains sixteen years after she died but found that the body was uncorrupted when the coffin was opened[71]m ([640/45]) EORCENBERHT King of Kent, son of EADBALD King of Kent & his second wife Emma of the Franks ([620]-14 Jul 664). 

King Anna & his [second wife] had two children:

b)         ÆTHELTHRYTH ([640/45]-679).  Bede records that "rex Ecgfrid" married "Aedilthrydam, filiam Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum", who had previously married "princeps…Australium Gyruiorum…Tondberct" who had died soon after their marriage, adding that Bishop Wilfrid had informed him that the couple lived together for twelve years without consummating their marriage[72].  William of Malmesbury names "Etheldritha, Ethelburga and Sexburga" as the three daughters of Anna king of the East Angles, specifying that Etheldritha was married to two husbands[73].  Given the birth date of her second husband, it is likely that Æthelthryth was still an infant at the time of her two marriages, which would also explain the reported non-consummation of her second marriage, at least during the early years.  If this is correct, it is probable that Æthelthryth was the half-sister of Seaxburh, born from a second marriage of her father.  Æthelthryth granted land at Hexham to Wilfrid Bishop of York on which he founded a reat monastery.  Bede recounts that she entered the monastery of "Aebbæ abbatissæ…amita regis Ecgfridi" at "Coludi urbem" and afterwards was appointed abbess "in regione…Elge" [Ely], and records her death seven years after becoming abbess[74].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that St Æthelthryth founded the monastery of Ely in 673[75]m firstly TONBERT chief [princeps] of South Gyrwe.  This marriage may have eased the absorption of the South Gyrwe, located in the area of Ely, into East Anglian jurisdiction[76].  This may have been a childhood betrothal, considering the birth date of Æthelthryth's second husband.  m secondly ([648], marriage not consummated, divorced [before 677]) as his first wife, ECGFRITH of Northumbria, son of OSWIU King of Northumbria & his wife Eanflæd of Deira [Northumbria] (645-killed in battle Nechtansmere [near Duin Nechtain in Forfarshire] 20 May 685).  He succeeded his father in 670 as ECGFRITH King of Northumbria

c)         WIHTBURGA (-bur Derham, transferred 974 to Ely).  The Vitæ sanctarum Etheldrithæ, Ethelburgæ, Sexburgæ et Wihtburgæ records the lives of the named four sisters who were all daughters of Anna King of East Anglia[77].  The identity of the mother of Wihtburga, who is not mentioned by Bede, is not known.  The De sancta Withburga virgine names "sancta Wythburga" as daughter of "Anne regis Estanglorum" and sister of "sancte Etheldrede virginis", records that she built a monastery at Derham, her burial at Derham, and the transfer of her body to Ely in 974[78].  According to Florence of Worcester’s genealogies, "sancta Wihtburga" was her father’s fourth daughter[79], which would suggest that she was born from his second marriage (unless she was illegitimate). 

King Anna had one illegitimate daughter by an unknown mistress:

d)         ÆTHELBERG (-bur Farmoutiers-en-Brie).  Bede names "Annæ regis Orientalium Anglorum…filia naturalis…Aedilberg" among those sent to monasteries in France, specifying that she was made abbess of the "monasterii Brigensis" [Farmoutiers-en-Brie], adding that she was buried in the church whose construction she had started at the monastery[80]

2.         ÆTHELHERE [Æthelric] (-killed in battle Winwæd, near Leeds 15 Nov 654).  Bede names "Aedilheri, frater Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum" when recording that he succeeded his brother as king[81].  Nennius names "Edric" as son of Eni, presumably indicating the same person called Æthelhere by Bede as he also says that he was the father of Aldwulf[82].  According to the genealogy in the Anglian collection, the name of Hereswith's husband was Æthelric[83].  He succeeded his brother in 654 as ÆTHELHERE King of the East Angles.  Bede records that "Aedilheri frater Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum", who had succeeded his brother as king, allied himself with Penda King of Mercia and was killed by "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" with the Mercian king near "fluvium Vinuaed", dated in a later passage to "XVII Kal Dec" in the thirteenth year of King Oswiu’s reign[84].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Æthelhere brother of Anna king of East Anglia" as one of the thirty princes slain with Penda by Oswy at "Winwidfeld" in 654[85]m (repudiated 647) HERESWITH, daughter of HERERIC of Deira [Northumbria] & his wife Beorhtswith.  Bede names "Hild…soror ipsius Heresuid, mater Alduulfi regis Orientalium Anglorum" when recording that she was living "Galliam…in monasterio Cale" to which her sister Hild was also planning to go[86].  According to the genealogy in the Anglian collection, the name of Hereswith's husband was Æthelric[87].  After being repudiated by her husband, she became a nun at the convent of Chelles near Paris in [647].  King Æthelhere & his wife had two children:

a)         [ALDWULF (-713).  William of Malmesbury names "Aldulph and Elcwold, the sons of Æthelhere" as successors of Æthelwald[88], although this is chronologically difficult to sustain if his date of death is correct as shown here.  Nennius names Aldwulf as son of "Edric", son of Eni[89].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Aldwulfum et Ælfwoldum" as the two sons of "Æthelherum…de regina sua sancta Hereswitha, sorore sanctæ Hild abbatissæ"[90].  According to the genealogy in the Anglian collection, his father was named Æthelric[91].  He succeeded [his uncle in 664] as ALDWULF King of the East Angles, [jointly with his brother Ælcwald].  Considering the alleged span of his reign, it is more likely that there were intermediate monarchs between Æthelwald and Aldwulf.  The dating clause of an instrument presented by Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury to the Council of Hatfield, dated "XV Kal Oct" [680], refers to the seventeenth year of "Alduulfo rege Estranglorum"[92].  Nothing is known about the kings of East Anglia after the death of Aldwulf and before King Selræd mentioned in 747.]  King Aldwulf had [three] children:

i)          ECBURGA.  Abbess of Repton.  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci records that "Ecgburh the abbess, the daughter of Aldwulf the king" sent a lead coffin and winding-sheet to Guthlac for his burial[93].  714. 

ii)         [ÆLRIC .  Nennius names "Elric" as son of Aldwulf[94].] 

iii)        [ÆLFWALD (-749).  According to the genealogy in the Anglian collection, his father was King Aldwulf (see above), whom he succeeded as king in 713[95].  William of Malmesbury records that he succeeded King Selræd in 747[96] as ÆLFWALD King of the East Angles.  "Ælbuualdus Æstanglorum…regis" wrote to Boniface dated [747/49][97].  He ordered the compilation of the earliest life of St Guthlac.  Simeon of Durham records the death in 749 of "Elfwald king of the East Angles", stating that thereafter "Hunbeanna and Alberht divided the kingdom between them"[98].]

b)         [ÆLCWALD (-690).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Aldwulfum et Ælfwoldum" as the two sons of "Æthelherum…de regina sua sancta Hereswitha, sorore sanctæ Hild abbatissæ"[99].  William of Malmesbury names "Aldulph and Elcwold, the sons of Æthelhere" as successors of Æthelwald[100].  He succeeded [his uncle in 664] as ÆLCWALD King of the East Angles, [jointly with his brother Aldwulf].] 

3.         ÆTHELWALD (-664).  William of Malmesbury names Æthelwald as brother and successor of Æthelhere[101].  He succeeded his brother in 655 as ÆTHELWALD King of the East Angles

 

 

SELRÆD of the East Saxons, son of SIGEBERHT King of the East Saxons "the Good" (-killed 747).  He succeeded as SELRÆD King of the East Angles[102].  The date of his accession is not known.  As nothing is known about the kings of East Anglia after the death of King Aldwulf, estimated in 713, it is possible that the kingdom fell under the domination of Essex. 

 

 

The origins of Beorna are not known:

BEORNA (-757).  Simeon of Durham records the death in 749 of "Elfwald king of the East Angles", stating that thereafter "Hunbeanna and Alberht divided the kingdom between them"[103].  According to the Northern annals of the Historia Regum, East Anglia was divided between Hun, Alberht and Beorna[104], suggesting that these were three separate individuals.  The last named was the only one to mint coins in his own name, inscribed Beonna rex[105].  He succeeded in 749[106] as BEORNA King of the East Angles.  Ipswich gradually emerged as an expanding trading centre, and there was an attempt to restore silver coinage, suggesting some reassertion of independence from Mercian control[107]

m ---.  The name of Beorna’s wife is not known. 

Beorna [& his wife] had one child: 

1.         ÆTHELRED (-790).  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.   He succeeded his father in 757[108] as ÆTHELRED King of the East Anglesm LEOFRUNA, daughter of ---.  The De sancto Ethelberto rege et martiro names "patre…Ethelredo, matre…Leoveromia" as parents of "Orientalium Anglorum rex Ethelbertus"[109].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Leofruna" as wife of "Æthelredus"[110].  Æthelred & his wife had [one possible child]: 

a)         [ÆTHELBERHT (-beheaded [Sutton Walls, near Hereford] 794, bur Hereford Cathedral).  The De sancto Ethelberto rege et martiro names "patre…Ethelredo, matre…Leoveromia" as parents of "Orientalium Anglorum rex Ethelbertus"[111].  William of Malmesbury also states that Æthelberht was the son of Æthelred[112].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctum Æthelberhtum" as son of "Æthelredus…de regina sua Leofruna"[113].  He succeeded in 790 as ÆTHELBERHT King of the East Angles.  He had started minting his own coins, but was stopped by Offa King of Mercia[114].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was beheaded on the orders of Offa King of Mercia[115].  The De sancto Ethelberto rege et martiro records that "Orientalium Anglorum rex Ethelbertus" was buried "in loco…Fernlega"[116].  He was afterwards regarded as a martyr, his relics being preserved at Hereford which became the centre of his cult.  m ([790/93], not consummated) ÆLFTHRYTH, daughter of OFFA King of Mercia & [his wife Cynethryth].  The De sancto Ethelberto rege et martiro records that "Orientalium Anglorum rex Ethelbertus" refused to marry "Egeonis filiam…Seledridam" but wanted to marry "Offam regem Merciorum…filiam eius…Alftrida"[117].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that "Siward the lord abbot of Croyland" lived for four months in the cell of "the most holy virgin Etheldritha (she was the daughter of Offa, the former king of the Mercians, and wife of the holy martyr Ethelbert, the former king of East Anglia)" while Mercia was overrun by Ecgberht King of Wessex[118].  If this marriage is correct, it was presumably arranged by Ælfthryth's father shortly after Æthelberht's accession in an attempt to form an alliance or subjugate East Anglia.  Ælfthryth lived as a recluse at Croyland abbey.] 

 

 

EADWALD, son of ---.  He succeeded as EADWALD King of the East Angles, although the date of his accession is unknown.  Evidence for his existence is found in coins minted in his name [late 790s] in East Anglia[119], indicating presumably that Mercia ceased to control East Anglia after the death of King Offa.  Yorke suggests that he was ousted by Cenwulf King of Mercia[120]

 

 

ÆTHELSTAN, son of ---.  He succeeded in [830][121] as ÆTHELSTAN King of the East Angles.  Yorke suggests that he made his first bid for the throne after the death of Cenwulf King of Mercia, was subsequently ousted by Ceolwulf, re-emerged as king after Ceolwulf's death, and that he was probably the anonymous East Anglian king who is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the slayer of Kings Beornwulf and Ludeca in 826 and 827 respectively[122]

 

 

ÆTHELWEARD, son of ---.  Evidence for his existence is found in coins minted in his name[123]

 

 

1.         [ALKMUND .  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex libello de vita S. Edmundi regis Estanglorum", names "S. Alcmundus rex Saxoniæ et Siuara" as parents of "S. Edwoldum confessorum et anchoritam…"[124].  However, Leland gives no indication of the date of this manuscript.  m SIVARA, daughter of ---.  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex libello de vita S. Edmundi regis Estanglorum", names "S. Alcmundus rex Saxoniæ et Siuara" as parents of "S. Edwoldum confessorum et anchoritam"[125].  [Alkmund & his wife had three children]: 

a)         [EADWOLD (-bur Cerne monastery).  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex libello de vita S. Edmundi regis Estanglorum", names "S. Edwoldum confessorum et anchoritam" as first son of "S. Alcmundus rex Saxoniæ et Siuara", adding that he was buried "in monasterio de Cerne"[126].] 

b)         [(St) EADMUND ([840]-murdered 20 Nov 869[127], bur Beodricsworth).  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex libello de vita S. Edmundi regis Estanglorum", names "Edmundum" as second son of "S. Alcmundus rex Saxoniæ et Siuara", adding that he was born "apud Norembrigia in Saxonia" in 841 and later governed "orientalibus Anglis"[128].  Eadmund may have been a descendant of the earlier kings of East Anglia[129], but the precise descent is not known.  Asser records that "Edmund…king of the East Angles" began to reign on "the eighth day before the kalends of January i.e. on the birthday of our Lord in the fourteenth year of his age"[130].  He succeeded 8 Jan 855 as EDMUND King of the East Angles.  He was crowned on Christmas Day 854[131].  He was defeated and killed by Ingvar[132], a Dane under Halfdan.  His cult was developed in [985/87] by Abbo Abbot of Fleury, commemorated in his Martyrdom of St Edmund King of the East Angles 870[133].  The town of Bury St Edmunds developed around his grave.] 

c)         [ELBERT (-bur Cormin).  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex libello de vita S. Edmundi regis Estanglorum", names "Elbertum" as third son of "S. Alcmundus rex Saxoniæ et Siuara", adding that he was buried "in Cormin civitate Holandiæ transmarinæ in quodam cœnobio monach: Benedict:"[134].] 

 

 

ÆTHELRED, son of ---.  He succeeded in ---- as ÆTHELRED King of the East Angles.  He is identified only by evidence from coins[135], and was presumably appointed as king by the Danes. 

 

 

OSWALD, son of ---.  He succeeded in ---- as OSWALD King of the East Angles.  He is identified only by evidence from coins[136], and was presumably appointed as king by the Danes. 

 

 

GUTHRUM, son of --- (-890).  According to William of Malmesbury he was a Dane and reigned for twelve years as GUTHRUM King of the East Angles, in the time of Alfred King of We ssex[137].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 890 of "Guthrum the northern king, whose baptismal name was Athelstan", adding that he was King Alfred’s godson and "dwelt in East Anglia, and was the first to take possession of that country"[138].  Roger of Wendover records that "Gytro Danus, rex orientalium Anglorum" died in 890[139]

 

 

EOHRIC, son of --- (-killed at the battle of the Holm [902/05]).  A Dane, he succeeded King Guthrum as EOHRIC King of the East Angles.  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record that "Eohric" succeeded "Guthrum" and reigned for fourteen years before he was killed by "Angli"[140].  William of Malmesbury records that he was killed by the Angles "because he conducted himself with cruelty towards them"[141].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "king Eohric" was killed in battle with "Æthelwold" [cousin of Eadward King of Wessex] in 905 "between the dikes and the Wissey"[142].  This represents the last reference to a king of East Anglia. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2.    KINGS of ESSEX (EAST SAXONS)

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Saxons were ancestors of "Orientales Saxones, Meridiani Saxones, Occidui Saxones" (people of Essex, Sussex and Wessex)[143].  Henry of Huntingdon sets out the ancestry of "Erchenwin" who, he says, was first king of "Orientalium Saxonum": "Erchenwin…fuit filius Offæ, filii Biedcan, filii Sigewlf, filii Spoewe, filii Gesac, filii Andesc, filii Saxnat"[144].  An alternative line of ancestry is provided by Roger of Wendover who records that "Erkenwinus" was son of "Offæ, qui fuit Diedcan, qui fuit Sigeuulf, que fuit Susannæ, qui fuit Gesac, qui fuit Andessc, qui fuit Nascad"[145].  Yorke points out that the East Saxon kings were the only ones among their Anglo-Saxon contemporaries whose descent is claimed not from Woden but instead from "Saxnat", identified as the god Seaxneting or Saxnot who was worshipped by the Old Saxons of Germany[146], although Roger of Wendover records that "Sledda" was tenth in descent "a Wodeno"[147]

 

Very little is known about the lives of the kings of Essex.  The only references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are to kings Sæberht and Sigeric.  The pedigrees of three kings of the East Saxons, Offa, Swithred and Sigered, are found in a 9th century West Saxon manuscript[148].  After the time of Bede, there is considerable uncertainty about the relationships between the kings of Essex.  Few charters have survived, and none at all which are dated after the first decade of the 8th century.  Most of the information relating to the family relationships of the kings of Essex is found in post-conquest sources.  As it is of course not known what other earlier material, since disappeared, may still have been available at the time of their composition, the later sources should not be dismissed entirely.  However, in view of this unusual situation, the reconstruction of the kings of Essex is presented in this chapter in two sections: the first section shows the limited material which is available in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Bede, while the second combines this material with information from the later sources.  The whole of the second section should be viewed with some caution. 

 

After the expulsion of Sigered King of Essex in [826], the kingdom was ruled by Æthelwulf, son of Ecgberht King of Wessex, as a sub-kingdom together with the Sussex, Kent and Surrey.  The outline genealogy shown below is reconstructed mainly from the 12th century chronicle of William of Malmesbury, which was presumably based on earlier traditional genealogies and regnal lists which have not been identified.  The more obvious problems with the chronology have been highlighted below.  Many of the relationships between the earlier monarchs, and even their names, are not included in Bede.  The suspicion is that the genealogy has been expanded by subsequent compilers in order to present a unified picture of the history of the kings of Essex.  Large parts of it are likely to be factually incorrect although this is of course impossible to verify.  Anglo-Saxon nobles with the root "Sige-" in their names are identified in sources as living in the late 9th and early 10th centuries (see the document ENGLAND, ANGLO-SAXON NOBILITY), which suggests a family connection with the families of the earlier kings of Essex. 

 

 

 

SECTION 1: KINGS of ESSEX (EARLY SOURCE MATERIAL ONLY)

 

 

1.         --- .  m RICULA of Kent, daughter of EORMENRIC King of Kent & his wife ---.  Her parentage and marriage are indicated by Bede who records that her son "Saberet nepos Aedilbercti ex sorore Ricula" was king of "provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum", but subject to King Æthelberht, when Augustine appointed Mellitus as bishop in 604[149].  One child: 

a)         SÆBERHT (-[616/626]).  Bede records that "Saberet nepos Aedilbercti ex sorore Ricula" was king of "provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum", but subject to King Æthelberht, when Augustine appointed Mellitus as bishop in 604[150].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Sæberht the son of Ricole, Æthelberht's sister" as having been appointed king of the East Saxons by Æthelberht[151].  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans[152]m ---.  The name of Sæberht’s wife is not known.  Sæberht & [his wife] had three children: 

i)          three sons .  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans and drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[153]

 

2.         SIGEBERHT "Parvus" .  Bede names "Orientales Saxones…rex…Sigberct" as successor of "Sigberctum cognomento Parvum"[154]

 

3.         SIGEBERHT (-[660s]).  Bede names "Orientales Saxones…rex…Sigberct" as successor of "Sigberctum cognomento Parvum", adding that he was a friend of Oswy King of Northumbria who influenced his conversion to Christianity through Cedd who was appointed bishop of London[155]

 

4.         SEAXBALDm ---.  The name of Seaxbald’s wife is not known.  Seaxbald & his wife had one child: 

a)         SWITHELM (-[665]).  Bede names "Suidhelm filius Sexbaldi" as successor of Sigeberht, specifying that Swithelm was baptised by Cedd at the royal manor of the Angles of Rendlesham [near Sutton Hoo], King Æthelwald acting as sponsor[156]

 

5.         SIGEHERE [Sigher] (-[680s]).  Bede names "reges Sigheri et Sebbi" as successors of "Suidhelmum" as kings of the East Saxons, subject to Wulfhere King of Mercia, specifying that Sigehere lapsed into paganism at the time of a plague but that King Wulfhere organised his reconversion[157].  One child: 

a)         OFFA (-Rome [after 709]).  Bede records that "filius Sigheri regis Orientalium Saxonum…Offa" left his wife and went to Rome with "Coinred [rex] Merciorum" and became a monk[158]m ---.  The name of Offa’s wife is not known.  Bede records that "filius Sigheri regis Orientalium Saxonum…Offa" left his wife and went to Rome with "Coinred [rex] Merciorum"[159]

 

6.         SÆBBI .  Bede names "reges Sigheri et Sebbi" as successors of "Suidhelmum" as kings of the East Saxons, subject to Wulfhere King of Mercia, specifying that Sigehere lapsed into paganism at the time of a plague but that King Wulfhere organised his reconversion[160]m ---.  The name of Sæbbi’s wife is not known.  Sæbbi & his wife had two children: 

a)         SIGEHEARD (-[704 or before]).  Bede records that "filio…Sighardo…cum fratre Suefredo" succeeded their father "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi"[161]

b)         SWÆFRED (-[704 or before]).  Bede records that "filio…Sighardo…cum fratre Suefredo" succeeded their father "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi"[162]

 

 

 

SECTION 2: KINGS of ESSEX (ALL SOURCE MATERIAL)

 

 

SLEDDA, son of ERCHENWIN [Æscwine] (-[597]).  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Slede filius eius" succeeded "Erchenwin" as king of "Orientalium Saxonum"[163].  Roger of Wendover records that "Sledda filius eius" succeeded "Erkenwino rege orientalium Saxonum" in 587[164].  According to William of Malmesbury, Sledda was the first king of the East Saxons from [587][165].  He is not referred to either by Bede or in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

m RICULA of Kent, daughter of EORMENRIC King of Kent & his wife ---.  Her parentage and marriage are indicated by Bede who records that her son "Saberet nepos Aedilbercti ex sorore Ricula" was king of "provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum", but subject to King Æthelberht, when Augustine appointed Mellitus as bishop in 604[166].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Slede" married "filiam Ermenrici regis Cantuariorum, sororem…Ethelberti"[167].  Her marriage indicates the close relationship between the kingdom of Kent and the kingdom of the East Saxons, Yorke suggesting that Kent played a key role in bringing her husband's family to power[168]

Sledda & his wife had [two] children: 

1.         SÆBERHT [Sigeberht] (-[616/626]).  Bede records that "Saberet nepos Aedilbercti ex sorore Ricula" was king of "provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum", but subject to King Æthelberht, when Augustine appointed Mellitus as bishop in 604[169].  Henry of Huntingdon names "Siberctum" as son of "Slede" and his wife "filiam Ermenrici regis Cantuariorum, sororem…Ethelberti"[170].  William of Malmesbury names Sebert as son of Sledda[171].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Sæberht the son of Ricole, Æthelberht's sister" as having been appointed king of the East Saxons by Æthelberht[172].  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans[173].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Sebertus rex Estsexe" died in the same year in which Penda succeeded as king of Mercia[174], dated to 626 in other sources.  m ---.  The name of Sæberht’s wife is not known.  Sæberht & [his wife] had three children: 

a)         SÆWEARD [Sigeweard] (-killed [623]).  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans and drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[175].  William of Malmesbury names Sexred and Seward as sons of Sebert[176].  He succeeded his father as king of Essex, jointly with his two brothers.  Roger of Wendover records that "Sexredum et Siwardum fratres" were killed by "Kinegilso rege occidentalium Saxonum et Quichelmo filio eius" in 623[177].  This date is inconsistent with Henry of Huntingdon’s report that their father died in 626 (see above).  William of Malmesbury records that he and his brother were killed by the West Saxons[178].  Sæweard had three children: 

i)          SIGEBERHT "Parvus" (-653).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record that "Sigeberhtus cognomento Parvus…Sæwardi filius" succeeded when his father and uncle were killed[179].  Roger of Wendover records that "Sigebertus cognomento Parwus, Siwardi…filius" succeeded as king "apud orientales Saxones" after "Sexredum et Siwardum fratres", adding that the people immediately expelled "Mellitum Londonensium episcopum"[180].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Sigebertus cognomina Parvus" succeeded as king of Essex on the death of "Sebertus rex Estsexe" but gives no relationship between the two[181].  William of Malmesbury names "Sigebert surnamed the Little" as son of Sæweard[182].  Sigeberht had one child: 

(a)       SIGEHERE [Sigher] (-[683]).  William of Malmesbury names "Sigher the son of Sigebert the Little and Sebbi the son of Seward" as successors of Swithelm, specifying that Sigher died before Sæbbi[183].  Bede names "reges Sigheri et Sebbi" as successors of "Suidhelmum" as kings of the East Saxons, subject to Wulfhere King of Mercia, specifying that Sigehere lapsed into paganism at the time of a plague but that King Wulfhere organised his reconversion[184].  Roger of Wendover records that "Sebba filio Sewardi et Sigehero filio Sigeberti parvi" ordained "Erkenwaldum" as bishop of London in 675[185].  Roger of Wendover records the death in 683 of "Sigehero orientalium Saxonum rege" adding that thereafter "Sebba" ruled as sole king[186]m [OSYTH, daughter of ---.  She founded a religious house at Chich in Essex[187].  The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified.]   Sigehere & [his wife] had one child: 

(1)       OFFA (-Rome after 709).  William of Malmesbury names Offa son of Sigeher as successor of "Segard and Seufred", sons of Sæbbi, specifying that he governed the kingdom for a short time, was "a youth of engaging countenance and disposition", and went to Rome with "Cenred King of the Mercians and the blessed Egwin bishop of Wictians" where he died soon after[188].  He succeeded his cousin King Swæfred in 704 as King of the East Saxons.  Bede records that "filius Sigheri regis Orientalium Saxonum…Offa" left his wife and went to Rome with "Coinred [rex] Merciorum" and became a monk[189]m ---.  The name of Offa’s wife is not known.  Bede records that "filius Sigheri regis Orientalium Saxonum…Offa" left his wife and went to Rome with "Coinred [rex] Merciorum"[190]

ii)         son .  Bede records that, after the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", his three sons who were still pagans drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[191]

iii)        son .  Bede records that, after the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", his three sons who were still pagans drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[192]

iv)       [SÆWEARD .  William of Malmesbury, as noted below, records Sæbbi as the son of Sæweard.  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record precisely that "Sæbbi filius Sæwardi, filii regis S. Sæberhti" succeeded as one of the joint kings on the death of King Swithhelm[193].  From a chronological point of view, it appears unlikely that this Sæweard was the same person as King Sæweard who was killed in [623].  It is therefore possible that he was one of the unnamed sons of King Sæweard named by Bede (see above).  This would be consistent with Sæbbi having succeeded as king jointly with Sigehere, who would have been Sæbbi’s first cousin in this scenario.  m ---.  The name of Sæweard’s wife is not known.  Sæweard & [his wife] had one child: 

(a)       SÆBBI (-London 694).  Bede names "reges Sigheri et Sebbi" as successors of "Suidhelmum" as kings of the East Saxons, subject to Wulfhere King of Mercia, specifying that Sigehere lapsed into paganism at the time of a plague but that King Wulfhere organised his reconversion[194].  William of Malmesbury names "Sigher the son of Sigebert the Little and Sebbi the son of Seward" as successors of Swithelm, specifying that Sæbbi abdicated "in his thirtieth year" and became a monk "as Beda relates"[195]

-         see below

b)         SEXRED (-killed [623]).  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans and drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[196].  William of Malmesbury names Sexred and Seward as sons of Sebert[197].  He succeeded his father as King of Essex, jointly with his two brothers.  Roger of Wendover records that "Sexredum et Siwardum fratres" were killed by "Kinegilso rege occidentalium Saxonum et Quichelmo filio eius" in 623[198].  This date is inconsistent with Henry of Huntingdon’s report that their father died in 626 (see above).  William of Malmesbury records that he and his brother were killed by the West Saxons[199]

c)         son .  Bede records the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", after the death of Æthelberht King of Kent, adding that he left three sons who were still pagans and drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[200]

2.         [SIGEBALD [Seaxbald].  William of Malmesbury names "Sigebert the son of Sigebald who was the brother of Sebert"[201], although it appears more likely from a chronological point of view that his sons belonged to the following generation.  If this is correct, Sigebald may have been the son of Sæberht.]  Three children: 

a)         SIGEBERHT (-killed [660]).  William of Malmesbury names "Sigebert the son of Sigebald who was the brother of Sebert" as successor of Sigeberht "the Little", specifying that he was baptised in Northumbria by Bishop Finan, encouraged by Oswiu King of Northumbria[202].  Bede names "Orientales Saxones…rex…Sigberct" as successor of "Sigberctum cognomento Parvum", adding that he was a friend of Oswy King of Northumbria who influenced his conversion to Christianity through Cedd who was appointed bishop of London[203].  Roger of Wendover dates the baptism of "Sigebertum regem orientalium Saxonum" to 649[204].  William of Malmesbury records that he was murdered by his relations[205]m ---.  The name of Sigeberht’s wife is not known.  Sigeberht & [his wife] had one child: 

i)          SELRÆD (-killed 747).  William of Malmesbury names "Selred son of Sigebert the Good" as successor of Offa, specifying that he ruled for 38 years but was slain[206].  He succeeded as SELRÆD King of the East Angles[207], although the date of his accession is not known. 

b)         SWITHELM (-[665]).  William of Malmesbury names Swithelm as brother and successor of Sigeberht, specifying that he had been baptised by Chedd in East Anglia[208].  Bede names "Suidhelm filius Sexbaldi" as successor of Sigeberht, although he does not say that the two were brothers, specifying that Swithelm was baptised by Cedd at the royal manor of the Angles of Rendlesham [near Sutton Hoo], King Æthelwald acting as sponsor[209].  Roger of Wendover records that "Swithelmus filius Sexbaldi" succeeded "Sigeberto in regnum orientalium Saxonum"[210]

c)         SWITHFRITH.  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.   Co-ruler with his brother King Swithhelm. 

 

 

SÆBBI, son of SÆWEARD (-London 694).  Bede records that, after the death of "Sabercti regis Orientalium Saxonum", his three sons who were still pagans drove Bishop Mellitus to France because he refused to give them the Eucharistic bread[211].  Bede names "reges Sigheri et Sebbi" as successors of "Suidhelmum" as kings of the East Saxons, subject to Wulfhere King of Mercia, specifying that Sigehere lapsed into paganism at the time of a plague but that King Wulfhere organised his reconversion[212].  William of Malmesbury names "Sigher the son of Sigebert the Little and Sebbi the son of Seward" as successors of Swithelm, specifying that Sæbbi abdicated "in his thirtieth year" and became a monk "as Beda relates"[213].  Roger of Wendover records that "Sebba filio Sewardi et Sigehero filio Sigeberti parvi" ordained "Erkenwaldum" as bishop of London in 675[214].  Roger of Wendover records the death in 683 of "Sigehero orientalium Saxonum rege" adding that thereafter "Sebba" ruled as sole king[215].  "Sebbe regis ac consensus patris mei" subscribed the charter dated 689 of "Suabhardus rex Cantuariorum"[216].  Bede records that "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi" became a monk after reigning for 30 years, died soon afterwards, and was buried "in ecclesia beati doctoris gentium", no year stated[217]

m ---.  The name of Sæbbi's wife is not known.  Bede records that the wife of "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi" became a nun when her husband became a monk[218]

King Sæbbi & [his wife] had two sons:

1.         SIGEHEARD (-704 or before).  Bede records that "filio…Sighardo…cum fratre Suefredo" succeeded their father "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi"[219].  William of Malmesbury names "Segard and Seufred" as sons and successors of Sæbbi[220]m ---.  The name of Sigeheard’s wife is not known.  Sigeheard & [his wife] had one child: 

a)         SIGEMUND.  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.   m ---.  The name of Sigemund’s wife is not known.  Sigemund & [his wife] had [one possible child]: 

i)          [SWITHRED.  William of Malmesbury names "Swithed" as successor to Selred, but specifies that he was expelled by Ecgberht King of Wessex in the same year that the latter subdued Kent (which was in 824)[221], although it is chronologically impossible for Swithred still to have been reigning when the king of Essex was expelled.] 

2.         SWÆFRED [Swæfheard] (-704 after 13 Jun[222]).  Bede records that "filio…Sighardo…cum fratre Suefredo" succeeded their father "[rex] Orientalium Saxonum…Sebbi"[223].  William of Malmesbury names "Segard and Seufred" as sons and successors of Sæbbi[224], which is corroborated by his father's subscription of Swæfred's charter dated 689225.   The same charter reveals that he briefly succeeded as SWÆFRED King of Kent, as it records "Suabhardus rex Cantuariorum" granting land at Thanet and Sturry, Kent to Æbba abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, subscribed by "Ædilredi regis Merciorum" and "Sebbe regis ac consensus patris mei"[225].  Swæfred presumably returned to Essex in 690 on the accession of Wihtred King of Kent.  "Sueabræd rex Eastsaxanorum" granted land at Twickenham to bishop Waldhario by charter dated 704, subscribed by "Ciolred [rex] Mercensium"[226], which suggests that Essex was under Mercian control during King Swæfred's reign. 

 

 

The connection between the following individuals and the previous family of kings of Essex has not been established. 

1.         SIGERIC, son of --- (-after 798).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Sigeric king of Essex journeyed to Rome" in 798[227]

 

2.         SIGERED, son of --- (-after [829/37])  He appears in two charters of Cenwulf King of Mercia with the title king in 811, but thereafter appears as dux[228].  He surrendered to Ecgberht King of Wessex after the defeat of Cenwulf King of Mercia in 825[229].  He was expelled from his kingdom [826][230].  During the period when Wiglaf returned as King of Mercia, Sigered is recorded as king of the East Saxons in a lease of land in Hertfordshire dated [829/37][231]

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3.    KINGS of KENT [488]-825

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Jutes were ancestors of "Cantuarii et Uictarii" (people of Kent and the Isle of Wight)[232].  Bede records that the kings of Kent were usually called "Oiscingas" after "Oeric cognomento Oisc", alleged great-grandfather of Æthelberht King of Kent[233].  The Kentish kings claimed descent from Woden in common with the founder kings of the other main Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.  The mythical descent of Wihtgils, father of Hengist and Horsa, is set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[234]: "Woden/Wecta/Witta/Wihtgils".  As mentioned in the Introduction to the present document, early sources give no information about the earliest kings of Kent and their ancestors.  It is therefore possible that the first few generations of the genealogy were fabricated by later compilers in order to give a more complete and unified picture of the history of the Kentish kingdom. 

 

Kent is alleged to have been the first kingdom founded in Britain by the invaders and also the first to embrace Christianity.  King Æthelberht married a Christian princess of the Merovingian Frankish dynasty and welcomed St Augustine in 597, which led to the establishment of the bishopric, later archbishopric, of Canterbury.  Frankish influence in Kent is reflected by the number of marriages with the Merovingian royal family, and in the Frankish sounding name of King Hlothhere which resembles the Merovingian "Clotaire" and the Carolingian "Lothar".  The earlier history of the kingdom of Kent is mainly derived from Bede's Ecclesiastical History.  The genealogy of the kings until Æthelberht II (who died in 762) is included in the Anglian collection.  There is also a 12th century copy of a regnal list, and 41 charters which have survived from the religious houses of Canterbury, Rochester, Minster-in-Thanet, Lyminge and Reculver.  These sources are supplemented by other minor primary sources, such as the texts relating the Legend of St Mildrith[235].  Æthelberht I is the first king of Kent about whom there is contemporary documentary evidence other than the Kentish royal genealogy, supplemented by references in the Frankish chronicle of Gregory of Tours.  After the death of King Æthelberht II, there is considerable uncertainty about the kings of Kent, with little evidence for their existence except for names in charters. 

 

 

 

[WIHTGILS.]  [Two children]: 

1.         [HENGIST (-[488]).  Bede names "duo fratres Hengist et Horsa…filii Uictigilsi, cuius pater Uecta, cuius pater Uoden" as the first Jutish commanders, adding that the Jutes were ancestors of "Cantuarii et Uictarii" (people of Kent and the Isle of Wight)[236].  In a later passage, Bede states that Hengist and his son "Oeric cognomento Oisc" were first invited into Britain "a Uurtigerno" [Vortigern][237].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates the arrival of Hengist and Horsa to the reign of Emperors Mauricius and Valentianus ([449/57]), adding that they arreived at "Ypwinesfleot" [Ebbsfleet] "at first to help the Britons, but later they fought against them"[238].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 455 Hengist and Horsa fought against King Vortigern at "Agælesfrep" [Aylesford] where Horsa was killed, adding that "after that Hengest succeeded to the kingdom and Æsc his son"[239].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 457 "Hengist and Æesc" fought against the Britons at "Crecganford" [Crayford] where they "slew four thousand men" after which "the Britons…forsook Kent and fled to London"[240].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 465 "Hengist and Æsc" fought against the Welsh near "Wippedesfleot" where they "slew twelve Welsh nobles"[241].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 473 "Hengist and Æesc" fought against the Welsh again[242].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 488 "Æsc succeeded to the kingdom and was king of the people of Kent twenty-four years" but does not say that this was when Hengist died[243].  William of Malmesbury reports that Hengist died "in the thirty-ninth year after his arrival"[244].]  [One child:]

a)         [ŒRIC [Oisc/Æsc] (-512).  Bede names "Oeric cognomento Oisc" as son of "Hengist", adding that the kings of Kent were usually called "Oiscingas" after his name[245].  He was the son of Ochta, son of Hengist, according to the genealogy in the Anglian collection.] 

-        see below

2.         [HORSA (-killed in battle Agæles threp 455, bur [Horsted, Kent]).  Bede names "duo fratres Hengist et Horsa…filii Uictigilsi, cuius pater Uecta, cuius pater Uoden" as the first Jutish commanders, adding that Horsa was killed in battle "a Brettonibus" and that a monument in eastern Kent bears his name[246].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 455 Hengist and Horsa fought against King Vortigern at "Agælesfrep" [Aylesford] where Horsa was killed[247].] 

 

 

[ŒRIC [Oisc/Æsc], son of HENGIST (-512).  Bede names "Oeric cognomento Oisc" as son of "Hengist", adding that the kings of Kent were usually called "Oiscingas" after his name[248].  He was the son of Ochta, son of Hengist, according to the genealogy in the Anglian collection.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 455 Hengist and Horsa fought against King Vortigern at "Agælesfrep" [Aylesford] where Horsa was killed, adding that "after that Hengest succeeded to the kingdom and Æsc his son"[249].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 457 "Hengist and Æesc" fought against the Britons at "Crecganford" [Crayford] where they "slew four thousand men" after which "the Britons…forsook Kent and fled to London"[250].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 465 "Hengist and Æsc" fought against the Welsh near "Wippedesfleot" where they "slew twelve Welsh nobles"[251].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 473 "Hengist and Æesc" fought against the Welsh again[252].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 488 "Æsc succeeded to the kingdom and was king of the people of Kent twenty-four years" but does not say that this was when Hengist died[253].  William of Malmesbury records that he was "more intent on defending than enlarging his dominions, never exceeded his paternal bounds"[254]. William of Malmesbury reports that Œric died "at the expiration of twenty-four years [from his accession]"[255].]

King Oisc had one son:

1.         [OCHTA (-539).  Bede records that "Octa" was son of "Oeric cognomento Oisc"[256].  Son of Hengist and father of Oisc according to the genealogy in the Anglian collection.  He succeeded his father as king of Kent.]  m ---.  The name of Ochta's wife is not known.  King Ochta & [his wife] had [one child]:

a)         [EORMENRIC (-[560/80]).  Bede names "Irminrici" as son of "Octa"[257].  The sources are contradictory regarding dates.  According to William of Malmesbury[258] "to the times of both [King Ochta and King Eormenric] the Chronicles assign fifty-three years".  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the accession of King Æthelberht in 565[259].  However, elsewhere the Chronicle assigns an improbably long reign of fifty three years to Eormenric's son Æthelberht which, assuming the latter did in fact die in 616, would place his father's death in 563.  Bede (see below) states that King Æthelberht ruled for fifty-six years, indicating an even earlier accession in 560.  The decisive evidence may be provided by the marriage of King Æthelberht which, according to Gregory of Tours, occurred while his father still ruled Kent but which, as explained below, is likely to be dated to [580].  m ---.  The name of King Eormenric's wife is not known.]  King Eormenric & [his wife] had two children:

i)          ÆTHELBERHT (after [550]-616).  Bede records that "Aedilbert tex Cantuariorum" was "filius Irminrici"[260].  He succeeded his father in [565] as ÆTHELBERHT I King of Kent.   

-         see below

ii)         RICULA.  Her parentage and marriage are indicated by Bede who records that her son "Saberet nepos Aedilbercti ex sorore Ricula" was king of "provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum", but subject to King Æthelberht, when Augustine appointed Mellitus as bishop in 604[261].  Her marriage indicates the close relationship between Kent and the kingdom of the East Saxons, Yorke suggesting that Kent played a key role in bringing her husband's family to power[262].  Her husband is named by William of Malmesbury as first king of the East Saxons from [587][263], but this is not verified by earlier primary sources.  m SLEDDA King of the East Saxons, son of ERCENWINI [Æscwine] (-597). 

 

 

ÆTHELBERHT, son of EORMENRIC King of Kent & his wife --- (after [550]-24 Feb 616, bur Canterbury, Church of St Peter and St Paul).  Bede records that "Aedilbert tex Cantuariorum" was "filius Irminrici"[264].  He succeeded his father as ÆTHELBERHT I King of Kent, the dating of the event being discussed above in relation to his father's death.  In the early years of his reign according to Bede, he was "defeated in two battles, he could scarcely defend his frontier" but in the later years "subjugated every kingdom of the Angles, with the exception of the Northumbrians"[265].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin and Cutha" fought against "Æthelberht" [King of Kent] in 568 and "drove him into Kent", and "slew two princes Oslaf and Cnebba at Wibbandun"[266].  Bede records that "rex Aedilberct in Cantia" had extended his authority as far as the river Humber when Augustine landed at Thanet island, Kent[267].  Bede records that the king’s royal court was at Canterbury ("in civitate Doruuernensi"), where Augustine was allowed to settle after the king eventually allowed him to leave Thanet[268].  King Æthelberht converted to Christianity, the first of the Anglo-Saxon kings to do so, presumably some time before 601, the date of the letter from Pope Gregory I welcoming him to the Christian faith[269].  Bede quotes the text of this letter, dated "X Kal Jul" in the nineteenth year of the reign of Emperor Mauricius (601), addressed to "Aedilbercto regi Anglorum"[270].  Yorke suggests[271] that the king's conversion by the Papal representative, rather than by his first wife's Frankish bishop Liudhard, represented an assertion of his independence from Frankish control.  Augustine established his see at Canterbury, a second see being founded at Rochester in 604 with Justus as bishop, and a third in London at St Paul's under Mellitus.  He promulgated laws, similar in form to the lex salica of Clovis King of the Franks, which represent the earliest body of law in any Germanic language.  He granted land at Rochester to the church in a charter dated 28 Apr 604[272], the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon charter.  Bede records the death in 616 "twenty one years after Augustine was sent to England" of "Aedilbert tex Cantuariorum" after a reign of 56 years, the third king who had authority over the southern provinces, adding in a later passage that he died 24 Feb twenty one years after converting to Christianity and was buried "in portico sancti Martini intro ecclesiam beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli" where "Berctæ regina" was buried[273].  Assuming that the generally accepted date of 597 for St Augustine's landing is correct, both references are overstated.  The Annales Lindisfarnenses et Cantuarienses record the death "618 VI Kal Mar" of "filius rex Edilbert Cantioriorum Irminrici"[274]

m firstly ([580]) BERTA of the Franks, daughter of CHARIBERT King of the Franks & his first wife Ingelberge ([before 560]-[601/before 616], bur Canterbury, Church of St Peter and St Paul).  Gregory of Tours records that the daughter of King Charibert and his wife Ingoberg "eventually married a man from Kent and went to live there"[275].  Bede records that "rex Aedilberct in Cantia" had "uxorem…Christianam de gente Francorum regia…Bercta" whom he had received "a parentibus" on condition she retained her religion[276].  It is reasonable to assume that Berta was born before 560, given the subsequent marital history of her father, who died in 567 having married three times after repudiating his first wife, although it is possible that some if not all his marriages were polygamous.  Already a Christian when she came to England, she was accompanied by Liudhard, a Frankish bishop[277], although if he attempted to convert her husband his efforts must have been unsuccessful in view of the king’s later conversion by St Augustine.  Kirby suggests that the marriage took place in [580] after analysing the various contradictory chronological indications in contemporary sources[278].  According to Bede, as noted above, King Æthelberht received Bertha "a parentibus".  As her father died in 567, and her mother in 589, the text if taken literally means that she married before 567, although this seems unlikely.  The word "parents" may in this context mean "relatives" more broadly.  Queen Bertha is named in Pope Gregory I's letter of 601 to her husband[279].  Bede records the burial of "Aedilbert tex Cantuariorum" in "portico sancti Martini intro ecclesiam beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli" stating that this was where "Berctæ regina" was buried[280]

m secondly (after 601), as her first husband,  --- (-after [618]).  The name of the second wife of King Æthelberht is not known.  According to William of Malmesbury[281], she was "another Frankish princess" but no corroboration has been found for this.  She married secondly, as his first wife, her stepson Eadbald King of Kent after the death of King Æthelberht, but was repudiated (see below).  Her second marriage is confirmed by Bede who records that "filius eius Eadbald" succeeded as king after the death of "Aedilbercti", adding that he refused to embrace Christianity and was also "fornicatione pollutus" because he had "uxorem patris", adding in a later passage that her husband was persuaded to repudiate her when he was converted to Christianity[282]

King Æthelberht & his first wife had two children: 

1.         ÆTHELBERG [Tate] ([590]-after 633).  Bede records that "rege…Aeduino" married "Aedilbergae filia Aedilberti regis…Tatae vocabatur" and that she was taken to Northumbria by Paulinus after he was ordained bishop by Archbishop Justus "XII Kal Aug" in 625[283].  This date is inconsistent with the correspondence of Pope Boniface V, who was Pope from 619 to 625, in particular the letter to Queen Æthelberg, quoted by Bede[284].  Bede records that "rege…Aeduino" was converted to Christianity by "Paulino"[285], which was written after the Pope learned of her brother's conversion and admonishing her husband for his continued non-conversion.  The date range [619/23] for the marriage seems a safer hypothesis.  Bede records that, after her husband was killed, Paulinus took "regina Aedilberge" to Kent by sea where they were received with honour by "Honorio archiepiscopo et rege Eadbaldo"[286]m ([619/23]) as his second wife, EADWINE King of Northumbria, son of ÆLLE King of Deira [Northumbria] & his wife --- (585-killed in battle Hatfield Chase, near Doncaster 12 Oct 633 or 634, bur Whitby Abbey). 

2.         EADBALD (-20 Jan 640).  "Eadbaldo filio meo" subscribed King Æthelberht's charter dated 604[287].  He succeeded his father in 616 as EADBALD King of Kent.  Bede records that "filius eius Eadbald" succeeded as king after the death of "Aedilbercti", adding that he refused to embrace Christianity and was also "fornicatione pollutus" because he had "uxorem patris"[288].  A heathen on his accession, Justus Bishop of Rochester fled to France with Mellitus Bishop of London fearing persecution.  Laurentius (Augustine's successor at Canterbury) was planning to follow them, but allegedly received a scourging from St Peter in a dream.  Bede says that it is recounted that, fearing for himself on seeing Laurentius's flesh wounds, King Eadbald renounced his unlawful marriage and embraced Christianity[289].  This was presumably marked by his grant of land at Northbourne, Kent to St Augustine, by charter dated 618[290].  The king recalled Justus and Mellitus from France, and restored Justus as Bishop of Rochester.  Mellitus succeeded Laurentius as Archbishop of Canterbury in [619], and Justus succeeded Mellitus at Canterbury in 624[291].  During the period of Bishop Honorius, who succeeded Justus, the church at Canterbury consolidated its position and Christianity became firmly established in Kent under the patronage of King Eadbald.  Eadbald was also responsible for minting the first gold coins in London[292], maybe as a result of Frankish influences through his wife.  Bede records that "Honorio archiepiscopo et rege Eadbaldo" received with honour Paulinus and "regina Aedilberge" after they fled to Kent following the battle of Hatfield Chase in 633[293].  According to Stenton[294], the year of King Eadbald's death is recorded in the annals of the church of Salzburg, but not in any English source.  His death is, however, referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[295].  Bede records the death in 640 of "Eadbald rex Cantuariorum"[296]m firstly (repudiated [618]) as her second husband, his stepmother, ---, widow of ÆTHELBERHT King of Kent, daughter of --- (-after [618]).  Her second marriage is confirmed by Bede who records that "filius eius Eadbald" succeeded as king after the death of "Aedilbercti", adding that he refused to embrace Christianity and was also "fornicatione pollutus" because he had "uxorem patris", adding in a later passage that her husband was persuaded to repudiate her when he was converted to Christianity[297]m secondly (after [618]) EMMA of the Franks, daughter of [CHLOTHACHAR II King of the Franks & his first wife Adaltrudis].  "Emma Francorum regis filia et regis Eadbaldi copula" subscribed her husband's 618 charter[298].  Although Emma seems an unlikely name for a Merovingian princess, given the more complex names which are typical of the family, Settipani suggests that it is the diminutive of a name containing a root similar to "Ermen-", like Ermenberga or Ermentrudis, which would also explain the root "Eormen-" in her son's name[299].  Stenton says[300] that there seems no doubt that Eadbald's second wife belonged to the Frankish royal house but that her parentage has not been ascertained.  Werner suggests[301] that she was the daughter of Erchinoald, maior domus of the palace of Neustria, linking the name root "Eorcen-"  with "Erchin-".  Settipani[302] identifies Emma's parents as shown above, seemingly because he eliminates all other possible couples from the known members of the Merovingian royal family from a chronological viewpoint.  He prefers a Merovingian ancestry in order to explain the name "Hlothhere" given to Emma's grandson, similar to "Chlothachar" or "Chlothaire", the name of Emma's supposed father.  King Eadbald & his [first/second] wife had one child: 

a)         EORMENRED (-[640/64]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Eormenred and Eorcenberht" as the two sons of King Eadbald, adding that Eorcenberht succeeded their father[303].  Roger of Wendover names "Ermenredum et Erkenbertum" as the two sons of King Eadbald, adding that "junior Erkenbertus" deprived his brother of the throne[304].  If this is correct, it is not clear why he did not succeed as king of Kent on the death of his father.  One explanation could be that Eormenred was the son of his father’s scandalous first marriage, and therefore considered unfit for succession.  It has been suggested that Eormenred did share power with his brother in Kent[305], although it is not clear on what evidence this suggestion is based.  Eormenred's being the older son of his father is consistent with the treatment of his two sons by their cousin King Ecgberht, best explained if they had a superior claim to the throne.  Eormenred presumably died before his brother in 664, as there is no mention of his having asserted his claim to succeed at that time.  In addition, if he had still been alive, he would presumably have been able to ensure adequate protection for his two sons.  m OSLAVA, daughter of --- (-after [664/73]).  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Oslava" as wife of Eormenred and mother of his children[306].  William of Malmesbury records that she was granted land on the Isle of Thanet on which to construct a monastery by her husband's nephew Ecgberht King of Kent on whose orders her two sons had been murdered, presumably in expiation of the crime[307].  Eormenred & his wife had [seven] children:

i)          ÆTHELRED [Elbert] (-[664/73], bur ---, transferred [959/75] to Romsey Abbey[308]).  The Passio Beatorum Martyrum Ethelredi et Ethelbricti, probably written by Goscelin (mid-11th century), records that Æthelred and Æthelberht were sons of Eormenred, son of Eadbald King of Kent, who were murdered by their first cousin Ecgberht King of Kent[309].  William of Malmesbury names "Ethelred" and "Egelbirt" as sons of King Ecgberht's uncle Eormenred, recording that the brothers were kept at the court of their cousin Ecgberht King of Kent but later murdered on his orders[310]

ii)         ÆTHELBERHT (-[664/73], bur Romsey Abbey308).  William of Malmesbury names "Ethelred" and "Egelbirt" as sons of King Ecgberht's uncle Eormenred, recording that the brothers were kept at the court of their cousin Ecgberht King of Kent but later murdered on his orders[311]

iii)        EORMENBEORG [Domneva] .  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Domneva, Eormenburga, Ermeneburga and Ermengitha" as the four daughters of Eormenred and his wife, adding that "Domneva" was mother of three daughters "Milburga, Mildretha and Milgitha"[312].  There appears to be confusion between the two daughters named Domneva and Eormenbeorg, as William of Malmesbury states that Merewald, son of Penda, married "Ermenburga daughter of Ermenred, brother of…Ercombert"[313].  In addition, Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctam…Eormenbeorgam…regina Merewaldi regis West-Anglorum, sanctam Eormenburgam, sanctam Ætheldrytham, sanctam Eormengytham" as the four daughters of "Eormenredus" and "regina sua Oslava"[314].  The Passio Beatorum Martyrum Ethelredi et Ethelbricti, probably written by Goscelin (mid-11th century), records that, after the murder of Æthelred and Æthelberht sons of Eormenred, Ecgberht King of Kent sent for "their sister Domneva" to pay her compensation and that she built a church on the land granted where daughter Mildreth was a nun[315]m MEREWALH, ruler of the Magonsætan[316], son of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise ---[317]

iv)       EREMENEBERG .  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Domneva, Eormenburga, Ermeneburga and Ermengitha" as the four daughters of Eormenred and his wife[318].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctam…Eormenbeorgam…regina Merewaldi regis West-Anglorum, sanctam Eormenburgam, sanctam Ætheldrytham, sanctam Eormengytham" as the four daughters of "Eormenredus" and "regina sua Oslava"[319]

v)        ÆTHELDRYTH .  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctam…Eormenbeorgam…regina Merewaldi regis West-Anglorum, sanctam Eormenburgam, sanctam Ætheldrytham, sanctam Eormengytham" as the four daughters of "Eormenredus" and "regina sua Oslava"[320]

vi)       ERMENGYTH .  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Domneva, Eormenburga, Ermeneburga and Ermengitha" as the four daughters of Eormenred and his wife[321].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctam…Eormenbeorgam…regina Merewaldi regis West-Anglorum, sanctam Eormenburgam, sanctam Ætheldrytham, sanctam Eormengytham" as the four daughters of "Eormenredus" and "regina sua Oslava"[322]

vii)      [ÆBBE [Eafe] (-before 691).  The primary source which confirms her parentage has not yet been identified.  She founded the monastery of Minster in Thanet, founded by King Ecgberht to atone for the murder of her brothers[323]

King Eadbald & his second wife had [two] children: 

b)         EORCENBERHT ([620/25]-14 Jul 664).  Bede records that "Earconbercto filio" succeeded after the death of "Eadbald rex Cantuariorum" in 640 and reigned for twenty-four years[324].  He succeeded his father in 640 as EORCENBERHT King of Kent.   

-        see below

c)         [EANSWITH .  The life of St Eanswith cannot now be traced to any earlier authority than John of Tinmouth, who wrote in the second quarter of the 14th century[325].  His De sancta Eanswida virgine et abbatissa names "rex Cancie…Edbaldus" and "Emma regis Francorum filia" as parents of "Ermenredum et Ercombertum et filiam Eanswidam", adding that Eanswith refused to marry and retired to Folkestone where her father built a church dedicated to St Peter[326].] 

 

 

EORCENBERHT, son of EADBALD King of Kent & his second wife Emma of the Franks ([620/25]-14 Jul 664).  Bede records that "Earconbercto filio" succeeded after the death of "Eadbald rex Cantuariorum" in 640 and reigned for twenty-four years[327].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Eormenred and Eorcenberht" as the two sons of King Eadbald, adding that Eorcenberht succeeded their father[328].  Roger of Wendover names "Ermenredum et Erkenbertum" as the two sons of King Eadbald, adding that "junior Erkenbertus" deprived his brother of the throne[329].  He succeeded his father in 640 as EORCENBERHT King of Kent.  Bede records that he was the first English king to order the destruction of idols throughout his kingdom[330].  According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he was the first English king to enforce the observance of Lent[331].  Bede records the death "pridie Id Jul" of "Erconberct rex Cantuariorum", no year stated[332].  He dates the event to 664 in his general chronology[333]

m ([640/45]) SEAXBURG, daughter of ANNA King of the East Anglians & his [first] wife --- (-after 695).  Bede records that "Annae regis Orientalium Anglorum…filia maior Sexburg" married "Earconbercti regis Cantuariorum"[334].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Seaxburh, daughter of Anna king of the East Angles", as mother of Eorcengota[335].  Bede records that "soror eius Sexburg" succeeded "Aedilthrydam, filiam Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum" as abbess of Ely, adding that she planned to remove her sister’s remains sixteen years after she died but found that the body was uncorrupted when the coffin was opened[336]

King Eorcenberht & his wife had four children:

1.         ECGBERHT ([640/45]-1 Jul 673).  Bede records that "Ecgberto filio" succeeded on the death of "Erconberct rex Cantuariorum" and reigned for nine years[337].  He succeeded his father in 664 as ECGBERHT King of Kent.   

-        see below

2.         HLOTHHERE (-killed in battle 6 Feb 685).  Bede records that "Cantiam…regem Hlotheri" was "filius sororis Aedilthrydæ reginæ"[338].  He succeeded his brother in 673 as HLOTHHERE King of Kent.  According to William of Malmesbury, he is alleged to have "ridiculed the notion" of holding up his cousins Æthelred and Æthelberht, murdered on the orders of his older brother, as martyrs[339].  "Lotharius rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Stodmarsh, Kent to St Augustine by charter dated 1 Apr 675[340].  Bede records that "Aedilred rex Merciorum" ravaged Kent with a powerful army in 676 and destroyed "civitatem…Hrofi" [Rochester][341].  His succession was challenged by his nephew Eadric.  The dating clause of an instrument presented by Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury to the Council of Hatfield, dated "XV Kal Oct" [680], refers to the seventh year of "Hlothario rege Cantuariorum"[342].  Bede records the death "VIII Id Feb" in 685 of "Hlotheri Cantuariorum rex" after reigning for twelve years, mortally wounded "in pugna Australium Saxonum" against "Edric filius Ecgberti", adding that he had succeeded "Ecgbertum fratrem suum" (who had reigned for eight years) as king[343].  The Annales Lindisfarnenses et Cantuarienses record the death "685 VII Id Feb" of "Hlotheri frater Ecberti Cantuariorum"[344]

3.         EORCENGOTA.  Bede names "Earcongatam" as daughter of "Annae regis Orientalium Anglorum…filia maior Sexburg" and her husband "Earconbercti regis Cantuariorum", adding in an earlier passage that she lived as a nun in "in regione Francorum…monasterio…in Brige" [Farmoutiers-en-Brie] built by "abbatissa…Fara", and describing her good works[345].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes her as "a holy virgin and a remarkable person"[346]

4.         EORMENHILD (-bur Ely).  William of Malmesbury names "Ercongota and Ermenilda" as the two daughters of King Eorcenberht & his wife, recording Eormenhild's marriage Wulfhere King of Mercia, and her burial at Ely where she was abbess after her mother[347].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies also record that the second daughter of "regis Erconberht ac Sexburgæ…sancta Eormengilda" married "Wlferi regis Merciorum"[348]m WULFHERE King of Mercia, son of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise ([638/39]-675). 

 

 

ECGBERHT, son of EORCENBERHT King of Kent & his wife Seaxburg of the East Anglians ([640/45]-1 Jul 673).  Bede records that "Ecgberto filio" succeeded on the death of "Erconberct rex Cantuariorum" and reigned for nine years[349].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Ecgberht as son of Eorcenberht when recording that he succeeded his father[350].  He succeeded his father in 664 as ECGBERHT King of Kent.  He ordered the murder of his first cousins Æthelred and Æthelberht, sons of his father's brother Eormenred[351].  Bede records that, together with Oswiu King of Northumbria, he chose Wighard to succeed Deusdedit as Archbishop of Canterbury in 667, but the archbishop-elect died of plague in Rome immediately after his consecration by Pope Vitalian.  King Ecgberht facilitated the arrival in England in 669 of Theodore, the successor chosen by the Pope, who became a powerful church leader after the first synod of the whole English church which met at Hertford 26 Sep 672 until he died 19 Sep 690[352].  Building on the work of his predecessors, King Ecgberht presided over the adoption of new silver penny coinage[353].  King Ecgberht founded Chertsey abbey, implying Kentish control over parts at least of Surrey.  Bede, in his general chronology, records the death in 673 of "Ecgberct rex Cantuariorum"[354].  The Annales Lindisfarnenses et Cantuarienses record the death "673 IV Non Iul" of "Ecbert Cantuariorum rex"[355]

m ---.  The name of King Ecgberht's wife is not known. 

King Ecgberht & [his wife] had [three] children:

1.         [EORMENHILD].  Paulus Diaconus names "Hermelindam ex Saxonum Anglorum genere" as wife of Cunincpert King of the Lombards in Italy[356].  There is no proof that she belonged to the royal family of Kent.  However, Kirby suggests that "Hermelinda" is a "Kentish-type name (Eormenhild?)"[357].  If she belonged to the royal house of Kent, it is most likely from a chronological point of view that she was the daughter of King Ecgberht, given her husband's birth estimated in [660].  The connection between the Lombard kings and Kent is first mentioned when the exiled King Perctarit, father of Cunincpert, is reported to have been preparing to move to Kent when he learned that the usurper King Grimoald had died (which is dated to 671)[358]m CUNINCPERT associate King of the Lombards, son of PERCTARIT King of the Lombards & his wife Rodelinda --- ([660]-700).  He succeeded his father in 686 as CUNINCPERT King of the Lombards at Pavia.]

2.         EADRIC ([668]-31 Aug 687).  Bede names "Edric filius Ecgberti" when recording his rebellion against his uncle King Hlothhere[359].  He consented to a grant of land in Thanet by his uncle King Hlothhere to Abbot Brihtwold in 679[360].  If Eadric's estimated birth date is correct, he was little more than an adolescent at the time of his rebellion.  However, it is unlikely that he was born much earlier than this in view of the estimated birth date of his paternal grandmother.  Bede records that "Hlotheri Cantuariorum rex" was mortally wounded "in pugna Australium Saxonum" against "Edric filius Ecgberti", adding that the latter succeeded his king but died one year later[361].  He defeated his uncle, presumably with support from the South Saxons, and succeeded in 685 as EADRIC King of Kent.  "Eadricus rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Stodmarsh, Kent to St Augustine by charter dated Jun 686[362].  Cædwalla King of Wessex invaded Kent in 686 and installed his brother Mul as King of Kent, although the latter was burned to death with twelve followers by the Kentishmen the following year[363].  The Annales Lindisfarnenses et Cantuarienses record the death "687 II Kal Sep" of "Edric Cantuariorum rex"[364]

3.         WIHTRED ([670]-23 Apr 725).  Bede records that "Uictred…filius Ecgberti" was unable to succeed immediately on the death of "Edric filius Ecgberti" because "kings of doubtful title, foreigners, for some time wasted the kingdom", before he succeeded in imposing his rule[365].  He was chosen as WIHTRED King of Kent in 690 after the period of chaos which followed the invasion of Kent by Cædwalla King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the continuing dispute with Wessex which followed the murder of Mul, brother of King Cædwalla, was settled by payment of "thirty thousands" (the unit of currency is not named) compensation by the Kentishmen to Ine King of Wessex in 694[366].  "Uuihtredus rex Cantie" made a joint grant of land at Thanet, Kent to Æbba abbess of Minster-in-Thanet with "Kinigitha regina coniuge mea" by charter dated 694[367].  King Wihtred issued a legal code in an assembly of nobles and clergy in 695, relating mainly to matters of ecclesiastical interest including complete exemption from taxation for the church, attributed by Stenton to the powerful influence of Berhtwald (previously abbot of Reculver) who was chosen to succeed Theodore as archbishop of Canterbury 1 Jul 692[368].  "Wihtredus rex Cantie" and his wife Æthelburga granted land at Littlebourne, Kent to St Augustine by charter dated [696 or Mar 711] and  "Wihtredus rex Cantuariorum" and his wife Æthelburga granted land to "Eabbe abbatissa" by charter dated 697[369].  Finally, "Whytredus rex Cantie" and "Werburga regina" jointly made land grants in Kent dated 699[370].  This rapid succession of charters in which King Wihtred names three different queens suggests the possibility that his marriages were polygamous, although as pointed out below the name of his third wife may have been a misreading for Æthelburga.  Bede records the death "IX Kal Mai" in 725 of "Uictred filius Ecgberti rex Cantuariorum" after reigning for 34 years and one half[371]m firstly KINIGITHA, daughter of ---.  "Kinigitha regina coniuge mea" made a joint grant of land at Thanet, Kent with "Uuihtredus rex Cantie" dated 694367m secondly ÆTHELBURGA, daughter of ---.  "Adelburga coniunx mea" and "Æthilburgæ reginæ" subscribed two charters of "Wihtredus rex Cantie" dated 696 and 697369m thirdly WERBURGA, daughter of ---.  "Whytredus rex Cantie" and "Werburga regina" made land grants in Kent dated 699370.  It is possible that the name "Werburga" was a copyist's error for "Æthelburga".  King Wihtred & his [first/second/third] wife had two children:

a)         ÆTHELBERHT (-762[372]).  Bede names "Aedilberctum, Eadberctum et Alricum" as the three sons of "Uictred filius Ecgberti rex Cantuariorum"[373].  "Æthelbertus filius regis Wihtredi" granted property to abbess Mildred by charter dated 11 Jul 724, consented to by "Eadbertus ad petitionem germani sui Æthelberti"[374].  He succeeded his father in 725 as ÆTHELBERHT II joint King of Kent, ruling jointly with his brother Eadberht.  Yorke says that, according to charter evidence, Æthelberht was the older of the two brothers[375], but this is not apparent from the charters referred to below.  "Æthilberht rex Cantuariorum" granted fishing rights and land at Broomhill, Kent to the abbey of Lyminge St Mary by charter dated 741[376].  "Æthilberchtus rex Cantie" subscribed a charter of "Eardulfus rex Cantuariorum" dated 748 which granted land in Kent to the church of Rochester St Andrew's[377].  He continued to rule after the death of his brother Eadberht.  "Æthilbertus rex Cantiæ" wrote to Boniface, dated [748/54][378].  "Æthilberhctus rex Cantie" exchanged pasture rights for use of a mill with St Augustine's, Canterbury, by charter dated 762[379].  Canterbury was burned during his reign[380]

b)         EADBERHT ([700]-[748] or after [762/63]).  Bede names "Aedilberctum, Eadberctum et Alricum" as the three sons of "Uictred filius Ecgberti rex Cantuariorum"[381].  "Æthelbertus filius regis Wihtredi" granted property to abbess Mildred by charter dated 11 Jul 724, consented to by "Eadbertus ad petitionem germani sui Æthelberti"[382].  He succeeded his father in 725 as EADBERHT joint King of Kent, ruling jointly with his brother Æthelberht.  "Eadbertus rex Cantuariorum" granted land to "Mildrithe abbatisse" by charter dated 727[383].  "Eadberht rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Stoke-in-Hoo, Kent to bishop Ealdwulf by charter dated 738[384].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records King Eadberht's death in 748[385].  However, there must be some doubt about the accuracy of this date as "Eadbertus rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Monheham, Kent to St Augustine's, Canterbury by charter dated [762/63], and "Eadberht rex Cantiæ" also subscribed a charter of "Sigiræd rex Cantiæ" dated 762[386], although it is possible that these two references relate to a second King Eadberht about whom no other information has been found.  Alternatively, they may refer to King Heahbert or King Ecgberht (see below).  According to Florence of Worcester’s genealogies, "frater suus Eadberhtus qui et Pren" succeeded on the death of "Æthelberhtum"[387], which would also place Eadberht’s death after [762/63].  However, it is likely that Florence has confused Eadberht, son of Wihtred, both with Ecgberht King of Kent (who succeeded in [765]) and with Eadberht "Præn" King of Kent (who succeeded in [796]), both of whom are shown below.  m ---.  The name of Eadberht's wife is not known.  Eadberht & [his wife] had one child: 

i)          EARDULF (-after 760).  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.  He ruled as joint king of Kent with his father and uncle[388].  "Eardulfus rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Petteridge and Lindridge, Kent to Rochester St Andrew's by charter dated 748, subscribed by "Æthilberchtus rex Cantie"[389].  "Æarduulfo rege Cantiæ" wrote a letter to Lullus with Eardulf Bishop of Rochester, dated to [760/78] in the compilation although the basis for this dating is not clear from the text[390]

King Wihtred & his third wife had one child:

c)         EALRICH (-after 762).  Bede names "Aedilberctum, Eadberctum et Alricum" as the three sons of "Uictred filius Ecgberti rex Cantuariorum"[391].  "Ælrico filio nostro" subscribed his parents' charter dated 699[392].  He succeeded his brother in 762 as EALRICH joint King of Kent.  According to William of Malmesbury[393], King Ealrich reigned for thirty four years but this seems unlikely given the likely birth dates of the sons of King Wihtred. 

 

 

 

During the period between the invasion of Kent by Cædwalla King of Wessex in 686 and the accession of King Wihtred in 690, three non-Kentish kings are recorded as having ruled in Kent:

 

 

MUL of Wessex, son of CŒNBERHT under-King of Wessex & his wife --- (-murdered 687).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cædwalla and Mul" ("Cædwalla and Mul his brother" in manuscript E) laid waste to Kent and the Isle of Wight in 686[394].  He was installed as MUL King of Kent in 686 by his brother Cædwalla King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Mul was burned to death in Kent and twelve men with him" in 687, after which "Cædwalla again laid waste to Kent"[395]

 

 

OSWINE, son of --- (-after 690).  It has been suggested that Oswine was related to the previous royal Kentish house, descended from Eormenred, son of Eadbald King of Kent[396].  He was installed as OSWINE King of eastern Kent in 688 after the abdication of Cædwalla King of Wessex, Swæfred of Essex ruling in western Kent.  The fact that "Oswynus rex" subscribed one of the 690 charters of his fellow king Swæfred[397] suggests that the division of power was amicable.  Oswine does not appear in the regnal lists of Kent.  "Oswynus rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Thanet and Sturry, Kent to Æbba abbess of Minster-in-Thanet under three charters dated 689 and 690 (two)[398].  Æthelred King of Mercia confirmed charters for King Oswine, suggesting Mercian supremacy over Kent[399].  He was deposed in 690 by King Wihtred.  No indication has been found of his subsequent fate. 

 

 

SWÆFRED, son of SÆBBI King of Essex & his wife --- (-704 after 13 Jun[400]).  He was installed as SWÆFRED King of western Kent in 688 after the abdication of Cædwalla King of Wessex, Oswine ruling in eastern Kent.  Swæfred of Essex's rule in Kent is corroborated by a charter dated 689 under which "Suabhardus rex Cantuariorum" granted land at Thanet and Sturry, Kent to Æbba abbess of Minster-in-Thanet[401].  This charter was subscribed by "Ædilredi regis Merciorum", suggesting that at least the part of Kent ruled by Swæfred was under Mercian influence.  "Suabhardus rex Cantuariorum" granted further land at Sturry and Bodsham, Kent to abbess Æbba by charter dated 690[402].  The fact that "Oswynus rex" subscribed the latter charter suggests that the division of power between the two Kentish kings was amicable.  King Swæfred was presumably expelled from Kent and returned to Essex in 690 on the accession of Wihtred King of Kent.  He succeeded his father in 694 as SWÆFRED joint King of Essex, jointly with his brother.  "Sueabræd rex Eastsaxanorum" granted land at Twickenham to bishop Waldhario by charter dated 704, which was subscribed by "Ciolred [rex] Mercensium"[403]

 

 

 

After the death of King Æthelberht II in 762, there appears to have been a succession of joint kings in Kent.  The documentary evidence suggests that they ruled in parallel over different parts of Kent. but the details are too imprecise to make an assessment about the geographic split.  As there are only isolated references to these kings in charters, it is not possible to give accurate dates for their reigns or guess about any relationships between them. 

 

 

SIGERED, son of ---.  Although nothing is known with certainty about the origins of Sigered, his name suggests a connection with the royal house of Essex.  He succeeded in [760/62] as SIGERED King of [part of] Kent.  "Sigiræd rex Cantiæ" granted land in Rochester to bishop Eardulf by charter dated 762[404].  "Sigeredus rex dimidie parties provincie Cantuariorum" granted land at Islingham, Kent by charter dated [761/64], which was subscribed by "Eanmundus rex"[405]

 

 

EANMUND, son of ---.  He succeeded in [762] as EANMUND King of [part of] Kent.  "Eanmundus rex" subscribed a charter of "Sigeredus rex dimidie parties provincie Cantuariorum" dated [761/64][406].  Offa King of Mercia appears to have taken control of Kent in 764 when he re-granted in his own name land which King Sigered and King Eanmund had previously granted to the church of Rochester. 

 

 

HEAHBERHT, son of ---.  He succeeded in [764] as HEAHBERHT King of Kent.  "Hehberhti regis Cantie" subscribed the charter of "Ecgberhtus rex Cantie" dated 765 which granted land at Rochester, Kent to bishop Eardulf[407].  The charters of Æthelbald King of Mercia dated 736 and 758 which are subscribed by "Heardberhti frater atque dux præfati regis" and "Heardberhti"[408] suggest that this may have been the same person as Heahberht King of Kent.  "Eadbertus rex Cantuariorum", who granted land at Monheham, Kent to St Augustine's, Canterbury by charter dated [762/63], and "Eadberht rex Cantiæ" who subscribed a charter of "Sigiræd rex Cantiæ" dated 762, may be identifiable with Heahberht, although this is only one of the possibilities (as discussed above under King Eadberht)[409].  "Heaberhtus rex" subscribed the charter of "Egcberth rex Cantie" dated 765 which granted land at Halling, Kent to bishop Dioran[410].  Silver coins were minted in the name of King Heahberht[411]

 

 

ECGBERHT, son of --- (-779 or after).  "Eadbertus rex Cantuariorum", who granted land at Monheham, Kent to St Augustine's, Canterbury by charter dated [762/63], and "Eadberht rex Cantiæ" who subscribed a charter of "Sigiræd rex Cantiæ" dated 762, may be identifiable with Ecgberht, although this is only one of the possibilities (as discussed above under King Eadberht)[412].  He succeeded in [765] as ECGBERHT King of Kent.  "Ecgberhtus rex Cantie" granted land at Rochester, Kent to bishop Eardulf by charter dated 765, subscribed by "Hehberhti regis cantie"[413].  "Egcberth rex Cantie" granted land at Halling, Kent to bishop Dioran by charter dated 765, subscribed by "Heaberhtus rex"[414].  "Offa rex Merciorum" subscribed another charter of "Ecgberhtus rex Cantie" dated 766, under which he granted land at Rochester to bishop Eardulf[415].  "Ecberht rex Cantuariorum" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 772[416].  The latter two references suggest that Kent was under Mercian control at the time, although It is uncertain how long this state of affairs may have lasted.  Ecgberht was still king in 778 and 779, the dates of two charters under which "Ecgberhtus rex Cantie" granted land at Bromhey, Kent to "Dioran Hrofensis"[417], although the absence of subscriptions to either charter make it impossible to draw definite conclusions about the relative independence of Kent from Mercia at that time.  Kirby suggests[418] that Mercian authority may have been short-lived after [764/65], but the grant by "Offa rex Anglorum" of land at Higham Upshire, Kent to archbishop Jænberht by charter dated 774, without any subscription by a Kentish ruler[419], suggests that Mercia was in full control of Kent at that date.  In 776, Mercians and Kentishmen fought at Otford[420].  Although the outcome is not known, Stenton suggests a Mercian defeat is indicated by the subsequent grant of land in Kent in 784 in the name of King Ealhmund (see below)[421].  It is not known when or how King Ecgberht ceased ruling in Kent. 

 

 

EALHMUND [of Wessex], son of [EAFA & his wife ---] (-after [789]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "rex Ealhmundus" was "in Cantia rex" in 784, adding that "this king Ealhmund was the father of Egbert, the father of Æthelwulf"[422].  He succeeded as EALHMUND King of Kent, in 784 or before.  "Ealmundus rex Canciæ" granted land at Sheldwich, Kent to Hwitrede abbot of Reculver by charter dated 784[423].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Ealhmund as son of Eafa, in a late passage which sets out the ancestry of Æthelwulf King of Wessex[424].  However, Ealhmund's predecessor as king of Kent, and Ealhmund's own son, were both named Ecgberht, a name which was not particularly common in any of the Anglo-Saxon royal families.  In view of the general practice of name inheritance within the ruling families, and the absence of the name "Ecgberht" from the house of Wessex as recorded in the traditional genealogies, it is not impossible that Ealhmund's origins lay in Kent and not in Wessex.  This would of course mean that the usually represented ancestry of Ecgberht King of Wessex would require reconsideration.  Mercian involvement in Kentish affairs appears to have increased again in 785-89[425].  Presumably King Ealhmund was deposed as king of Kent by Offa King of Mercia as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that "the Kentishmen … formerly … had been wrongly forced away from their allegiance to [Ecgberht King of Wessex's] kinsmen"[426].  This event may have taken place in 789, the date when King Ealhmund's son Ecgberht is later described as having been expelled from England by Beorhtric King of Wessex and Offa King of Mercia[427]

-        see below, KINGS of WESSEX

 

 

EADBERHT, son of --- (-798).  Probably the same person as "Odberht", a priest living in exile at the court of Charles I King of the Franks (later Emperor Charlemagne).  He was described as "Julian the Apostate" by Pope Leo III[428].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he returned, maybe after the death in 796 of Ecgfrith King of Mercia, and established himself as EADBERHT "Præn" King of Kent[429].  He minted his own coins at Canterbury[430].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 798, Cenwulf King of Mercia raided Kent as far as Romney Marsh, seized King Eadberht, had him blinded and his hands cut off, and led him bound back to Mercia[431]

 

 

CUTHRED of Mercia, son of CUTHBERT of Mercia & his wife --- (-[807]).  His brother Cenwulf King of Mercia installed him in 798 as CUTHRED King of Kent.  "Cuthredus rex Cantiæ" granted land at Ruckinge, Kent to "Aldberhto et Seledrythe abbatissæ" and land at Buckholt, Kent to Wulfredo, under two charters dated 805[432].  "Cuthredus rex cantwariorum" made grants of land at Eythorne, Kent to "Æthelnodo prefecto meo" under another charter dated 805[433].  All three charters were subscribed by "Coenulfi regis Merciorum", suggesting that Kent had once more fallen under Mercian control.  Roger of Wendover records the death in 807 of "Cuthredus rex Cantuarensis"[434].  After the death of King Cuthred, Kent became a province of Mercia. 

 

 

BEALDRED, son of --- (-825 or after).  Roger of Wendover records that "Baldredus" succeeded in 807 after the death of "Cuthredus rex Cantuarensis"[435].  He was appointed as BEALDRED under King of Kent, probably by Beornwulf King of Mercia[436].  If this is correct, Bealdred's appointment occurred between 823 and 825, when Beornwulf ruled Mercia.  However, William of Malmesbury[437] says that Bealdred "possessed" the kingdom of Kent for eighteen years, indicating an 807 accession from the death of King Cuthred.  William of Malmesbury describes King Bealdred as "the abortion of royal dignity"[438].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Bealdred was driven north over the Thames in 825 after Æthelwulf, son of Ecgberht King of Wessex, invaded Kent[439]

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4.    KINGS of MERCIA 626-877

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Angles were ancestors of "Orientales Angli, Mediterranei Angli, Merci, tota Nordanhymbrorum progenies" (people of East Anglia, the Midland Angles, Mercians and Northumbrians)[440].  According to Stenton, the name Mercia derives from the tribal name "Mierce", meaning "boundary folk"[441].  He also suggests that the boundary in question may have been the belt of high land connecting Cannock Chase with the forest of Arden.  Lichfield was the seat of the bishop of Mercia and Tamworth that of the Mercian kings.  In common with the founder kings of the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Creoda, first king of Mercia, claimed descent from Woden.  The mythical descent set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[442] is: "Woden/Wihtlæg/Wermund/Offa/Angeltheow/Eomer/Icel/Cnebba/Cynewald/Creoda/Pybba/Penda".  The version in Nennius's Historia Brittonum is different: "Woden/Guedolgeat/Gueagon/Guithleg/Guerdmund/Ossa/Ongen/Eamer/Pubba/Penda"[443].  The kings of Mercia were known collectively as Icelingas, after one of these mythical ancestors. 

 

The kingdom of Mercia is only mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle from 626, when it records the accession of Penda.  Penda’s supposed predecessors are named in the Chronicle only in the passages which set out the supposed early ancestry of the Mercian kings.  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name none of the supposed kings of Mercia before the accession of King Penda in 626[444].  Mercia was probably only a province of the kingdom of Northumbria before the accession of King Penda, and he continued to rule under Northumbrian overlordship.  However, Penda rebelled and defeated the Northumbrians in 633.  Although he appears to have been the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings in England at the time, there appears to be no evidence that he asserted his supremacy over his fellow rulers.  King Penda was killed in 654 in an invasion of Northumbria, when the Northumbrians effectively annexed that part of Mercia north of the river Trent after the battle.  Mercian autonomy was revived by King Wulfhere, who also imposed his overlordship on Essex and parts of Wessex around the Chilterns.  King Æthelbald established Mercian overlordship over all the other southern English kingdoms in the late 720s, but there are indications that he lost control over his realm towards the end of his reign.  Civil war broke out in Mercia after his death in 757, although his successor King Offa restored the fortunes of the kingdom.  The end of Mercia's ascendancy was marked when Ecgberht King of Wessex defeated Beornwulf King of Mercia in 825.  The Danes appropriated the northern part of Mercia in 877, and no further Mercian kings are recorded after King Ceolwulf II in that year. 

 

The alleged descents of the later kings of Mercia after the early 8th century are suspect, for the reasons explained in the Introduction to the present document. 

 

 

 

[CREODA, son of CYNEWALD (-[588/95]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Penda was the son of "Pybba, son of Creoda, son of Creowald…" when recording Penda’s accession[445], but gives no other details about the lives of these alleged ancestors.   Henry of Huntingdon names "Crida" as first king in "regnum Merce" but does not date his reign[446].  Roger of Wendover records that "Credda" became king of Mercia in 585[447].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Crida rex Merce" died (no date stated but dated to [590/95] from the context) and was succeeded by "filius eius Wipha"[448].  Roger of Wendover records the death of "Credda Merciorum rege" in 588[449].  No corroboration has been found in any earlier sources for any of this information.]  [Two children:]

1.         [PYBBA (-[591/615]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Penda was the son of "Pybba, son of Creoda, son of Creowald…" when recording Penda’s accession[450], but gives no other details about the lives of these alleged ancestors.  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Crida rex Merce" died (no date stated but dated to [590/95] from the context) and was succeeded by "filius eius Wipha"[451].  Roger of Wendover records that "Wibba filius eius" succeeded on the death of "Credda Merciorum rege" in 588 and ruled for three years[452].]  [Four children:] 

a)         [PENDA (-killed in battle Winwæd, near Leeds Autumn 654).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records, under 626, that "Penda ruled for thirty years" and was "fifty when he succeeded to the kingdom", adding that he was son of "Pybba, son of Creoda, son of Cynewald…"[453].   Bearing in mind the likely birth dates estimated for some of his sons (see below), his age must be exaggerated in this source.  He succeeded in [626] as PENDA King of Mercia, under the overlordship of Northumbria.]   

-        see below

b)         [EOPPA [Eawa or Offa] (-killed in battle Maserfeld 641).  Eoppa is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as grandfather of Æthelbald King of Mercia: "Æthelbald…son of Alweo, son of Eawa, son of Pybba"[454].]

-        see below

c)         CYNEBURGA.  It is possible that her marriage was part of the "agreement" reached between her brother Penda King of Mercia and Cynegils King of Wessex in 628 after the battle of Cirencester which is referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[455].  Bede records that "Coinualch" repudiated "sorore Pendan regis Merciorum" to marry a second wife[456].  The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified.  m ([628], repudiated 645) as his first wife, CENWALH of Wessex, son of CYNEGILS King of Wessex (-672).  He succeeded his father in 641 as CENWALH King of Wessex.  He was expelled from Wessex in 645 by Penda King of Mercia, in revenge for repudiating his wife who was Penda's sister. 

d)         [daughter .  Roger of Wendover records that the mother of "rex Britonum Cadwallo…Cadwaladrus filius eius…juvenem" was "soror Pendæ regis Merciorum" whom Cadwallon married after his alliance with King Penda[457].  However, the passage in this source is confused as it also records the death of King Cadwallon senior in 676.  m CADWALLON ap Cadfan King of Gwynedd, son of CADFAN ap Iago & his wife --- (-killed in battle Denisesburn [635]).  He joined forces with Penda King of Mercia against Eadwine King of Northumbria at Hatfield Chase in 633[458]

2.         [KINEMUND.]  [One child:]

a)         [CEARL (-[625]).  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Cherlus…consanguineus eius" reigned after "Wippam", undated[459].]  One child:

i)          CWENBURH (-before [619/23]).  Bede names "Quoenburga filia Cearli regis Merciorum" as mother of King Eadwine’s sons "Osfrid et Eadfrid" when recording their baptism with their father, adding that they had both been born during their father’s exile before his accession[460].  Eadwine’s marriage must presumably therefore be dated to before 616, which if correct indicates that the marriage took place before the accession of Cwenburh's father in Mercia.  m ([before 616]) as his first wife, EADWINE of Deira, son of ÆLLE King of Deira [Northumbria] (585-killed in battle Hatfield Chase, near Doncaster 12 Oct 633 or 634, bur Whitby Abbey).  He succeeded in 617 as EADWINE King of Northumbria

 

 

PENDA, son of PYBBA King of Mercia ([575]-killed in battle Winwæd near Leeds Autumn [654/55]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records, under 626, that "Penda ruled for thirty years" and was "fifty when he succeeded to the kingdom", adding that he was son of "Pybba, son of Creoda, son of Cynewald…"[461].   Bearing in mind the likely birth dates estimated for some of his sons (see below), his age must be exaggerated in this source.  He succeeded in [626] as PENDA King of Mercia, under the overlordship of Northumbria.  William of Malmesbury records that "he began to attack the neighbouring cities, to infest the confines of the surrounding kings, and to fill everything with terror and confusion"[462].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he fought Cynegils and Cwichelm Kings of Wessex in 628 at Cirencester "and then they came to an agreement"[463].  Bede records that "Caedualla rex Brettonum", helped by "Penda…de region genere Merciorum", rebelled against "Aeduini" [Eadwine King of Northumbria] who was killed in  battle "IV Id Oct" in 633 at "Haethfelth", adding that the rebels continued to govern the country with varying success for 22 years[464].  Bede records that "Osuald…rex Nordanhymbrorum" was killed in battle 5 Aug (year not stated) by the same "rege Merciorum" [Penda King of Mercia] who had killed his predecessor [King Eadwine], "in loco…Maserfelth"[465].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates this event to 641[466].  Stenton suggests that the place was probably Oswestry in Shropshire[467].  Although he appears to have been the most powerful king in England at the time, there is no evidence that Penda tried to impose his overlordship on the other kingdoms[468].  In 645, King Penda forced Cenwalh King of Wessex into exile in East Anglia for three years, in revenge for having repudiated his wife, who was Penda's sister[469].  Bede records that "regis Merciorum" [Penda] was killed by "rex Osuiu" near "fluvium Vinuaed", dated in a later passage to "XVII Kal Dec" in the thirteenth year of King Oswiu’s reign[470].  He dates this event to 655 in his general chronology[471].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that, supported by Æthelhere King of the East Angles, King Penda invaded Northumbria in 654 but was killed in battle by King Oswiu[472].  He remained a pagan throughout his life, though tolerated his son's conversion. 

m CYNEWISE [Kineswitha] --- (-after 654).  Bede records that "alius filius eius Ecgfrid" was a hostage "in provincia Merciorum apud reginam Cynuise" when "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" defeated and killed Penda King of Mercia near "fluvium Vinuaed", undated[473].  William of Malmesbury names Kineswitha as the queen of Penda[474]

King Penda & his wife had [eight] children:

1.         PEADA (-murdered [17 Apr] 656[475]).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Weda, Wulfer, Ethelred, Merewald, Mercelin" as the sons of King Penda & his wife[476].  Bede records that "Peada filio Pendan regis" was baptised by Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, at the time of his marriage, dating the event to two years before the death of King Penda[477].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his father in 654[478] as PEADA King of Mercia, but only ruled south of the river Trent under the overlordship of Oswiu King of Northumbria, his father-in-law.  That part of Mercia north of the river Trent was effectively annexed by Northumbria after Penda's defeat.  Finan Bishop of Lindisfarne consecrated Diuma in 654 as bishop of a see comprising Mercia, Middle Anglia and Lindsay.  Bede records that "Peada" was killed was killed in spring [656] "by the treachery, as is said, of his wife"[479].  After his death, Oswiu King of Northumbria became ruler of the whole of Mercia until 657 when Peada's brother Wulfhere was proclaimed king.  m (653) ALHFLÆD [Alehfleda], illegitimate daughter of OSWIU King of Bernicia [Northumbria] & his mistress --- (-after 656).  Bede records that "Peada filio Pendan regis" married "Osuiu…filiam eius Alchfledam" on condition that he accepted Christainity[480].  William of Malmesbury states that Peada married the (unnamed) daughter of King Oswiu "on condition of renouncing his idols and embracing Christianity" and that Peada's death was "hastened as they say by the intrigues of his wife"[481].  The primary source which confirms that she was illegitimate has not yet been identified.  Bede records that "Peada" was killed was killed in spring [656] "by the treachery, as is said, of his wife"[482]

2.         WULFHERE ([638/39]-675).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Weda, Wulfer, Ethelred, Merewald, Mercelin" as the sons of King Penda & his wife[483].  Bede records that, three years after the death of King Penda, "duces gentis Merciorum Immin et Eafa et Eadberct" set up as king "Uulfhere filio…Pendan adulescente" who they had kept hidden, adding that he reigned for 17 years[484].  Roger of Wendover records that "frater eius Wlfherus" was seventeen years old when he succeeded in 657 following the death of "Peada filius Pendæ"[485].  He was proclaimed WULFHERE King of Mercia in 657, after a rebellion against King Oswiu but William of Malmesbury records that he was "heavily oppressed by the King of the West Saxons" in the early years of his reign[486].  Bede records that Wini Bishop of Winchester found refuge with "regem Merciorum…Uulfheri" after he was expelled from Wessex and purchased the see of London where he remained bishop until he died[487].  He restored the power of Mercia, imposing his overlordship on Essex and occupying part of Wessex around the Chilterns.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that, in 661, King Wulfhere ravaged the Isle of Wight, at that time part of the kingdom of the West Saxons, and gave it to Æthelwalh king of the South Saxons "because Wulfhere had stood sponsor for him at baptism"[488].  According to Bede[489], King Æthelwalh was baptised shortly before 675.  If this is correct, King Wulfhere held the Isle of Wight for about fourteen years before giving it to the king of the South Saxons.  Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury consecrated Ceadda, previously Bishop of York, as Bishop in Mercia in 669 and established his seat at Lichfield[490].  King Wulfhere invaded Northumbria in 674, but was defeated by King Ecgfrith.  "Wulfhere rex Mercianorum" confirmed land grants to Chertsey St Peter's by charter dated 666[491].  "Wulfhere rex Mercentium" granted land at Dillington, Hertfordshire to "Berhferthe propinqs meus" by charter dated 674, subscribed by "Eadbriht princeps" and "Cynred princeps"[492].  Bede, in his general chronology, records the death in 675 of "Uulfheri rex Merciorum" after reigning for seventeen years[493]m firstly EORMENHILD of Kent, daughter of EORCENBERHT King of Kent & his wife Seaxburg of the East Anglians (-bur Ely).  William of Malmesbury names "Ercongota and Ermenilda" as the two daughters of King Eorcenberht & his wife, recording Eormenhild's marriage to Wulfhere King of Mercia, and her burial at Ely where she was abbess after her mother[494].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies also record that the second daughter of "regis Erconberht ac Sexburgæ…sancta Eormengilda" married "Wlferi regis Merciorum"[495]m secondly EADBURGH, daughter of --- (-[8 Oct] 735, bur Gloucester St Peter).  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the grant of land by King Ethelred for the foundation of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester and the installation of "Keneburgam sororem suam" as abbess, followed by "Eadburga cognata eius…quæ ante fuit regina Wlfredi regis Merciorum"[496].  This is the only reference so far found to this presumably second marriage of King Wulfhere, a later reference in the same source clarifying that she was "Edburga…quondam regina Wlferi regis"[497].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the death in 735 of abbess "Edburga" and her burial in the monastery[498].  The calendar of Echternach includes "VIII Id Oct Eodburgæ virginis"[499].  [m thirdly EVA, daughter of --- (-767, bur Gloucester St Peter).  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the installation of "Eva, quæ fuit uxor et regina Wolferi filii Pendæ regis"" as abbess of the monastery in succession to Eadburgh (also recorded in the same source as the wife of King Wulfhere), her death in 767, and burial in the monastery[500].  This provides the only reference so far identified to this supposed third wife of King Wuflhere, but the reported date of her death indicates that it must be treated with considerable suspicion.  If she was in fact the king's wife, the marriage must have taken place when she was still an infant, and it must also have been polygamous as no reference has been found to the king having repudiated Eadburgh.  In any case, her name is atypical of contemporary Anglo-Saxon names.]  King Wulfhere & his [first/second] wife had [three] children:

a)         [EADBERHT .  "Eadbriht princeps" subscribed a charter of "Wulfhere rex Merciorum" dated 674[501].  There is no indication of his relationship, if any, with King Wulfhere but the possibility of his being a close family member should be considered, bearing in mind particularly that the filial relationship of the king's son Cenred is not specified in the same charter.  As Eadberht's name is listed before Cenred's in the charter, it is likely that he enjoyed some seniority of position.  If the two were brothers, his being listed first would indicate that he was the older of the two.  However, it is also possible that "seniority" may indicate priority in the future succession, in which case Eadberht may have been Wulfhere's brother.]  

b)         CENRED (-after 709).  William of Malmesbury names "Kenred and Waraburga" as the children of King Wulfhere & his wife[502].  "Cynred princeps" subscribed a charter of "Wulfhere rex Merciorum" dated 674[503].  Bede names "Coenredi" as successor of Æthelred King of Mercia but does not state the relationship between the two[504].  He succeeded his uncle in 704[505] as CENRED King of Mercia.  "Coenredus [rex] Mercensium" subscribed a charter of "Sueabræd rex Eastsaxanorum" dated 704 together with "Ciolred [rex] Mercensium"[506], which appears to indicate that King Cenred ruled jointly with his cousin.  "Kenredus rex Merciorum" granted land at Abbot's Morton, Worcester to Ecgwin bishop of the Hwicce by charter dated 708[507].  During his reign there were large-scale raids over Mercia by the Welsh, which may have prompted the construction of Wat's dyke[508].  Bede records that "Coinred [rex] Merciorum" abdicated in the fourth year of the reign of Osred King of Northumbria and went to Rome and became a monk[509].  In his general chronology, he dates this event to 709[510].  He was canonised. 

c)         WEREBURGH (-Threckingham, Lincolnshire, bur Chester).  William of Malmesbury names "Kenred and Waraburga" as the children of King Wulfhere & his wife, specifying that the latter was "a most holy virgin who lies buried at Chester"[511], where her body was transferred to save it from "the marauding Danes"[512].  The Vita Werbergæ records the life of the daughter of King Wulfhere, names her supposed brothers "Wulfad and Rufinus" (allegedly killed by their father after supporting Wereburgh’s refusal to marry), and records that Wereburgh joined her aunt at Ely where she was joined by her mother "Ermenilda" after the death of her father[513].  The existence of the two supposed brothers is unlikely, given the birth date of Wulfhere estimated above.  In addition, the charters quoted above show that Eormenhild could not have been the wife of King Wulfhere when he died.  Canonised, her feast day is 3 Feb[514]

3.         ÆTHELRED (-after 709, bur Bardney Abbey[515]).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Weda, Wulfer, Ethelred, Merewald, Mercelin" as the sons of King Penda & his wife[516].  His paternity is corroborated by the charter of his son King Ceolred dated 710, which names the latter "Cheolrudus Æthelredi Pende"[517].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his brother in 675[518] as ÆTHELRED King of Mercia.  Bede records that "Aedilred rex Merciorum" ravaged Kent with a powerful army in 676 and destroyed "civitatem…Hrofi" [Rochester][519].  Bede records a battle between "Aedilredum regem Merciorum" and "Ecgfridi [rex]", in the ninth year of the reign of the latter, "iuxta fluvium Treanta" in which "Aelfuini frater regis Ecgfridi" was killed[520].  In his general chronology, he dates this event to 679[521].  King Æthelred recaptured Lindsay for Mercia.  "Ethelredus rex Merciorum" granted land at Gloucester to "Osrico et Oswaldo fratri eius in provincial Huicciorum" by charter dated [671 for 679?], for the purposes of founding a minster[522].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the grant of land by King Ethelred for the foundation of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester and the installation of "Keneburgam sororem suam" as abbess, followed by "Eadburga cognata eius…quæ ante fuit regina Wlfredi regis Merciorum"[523].  "Ædelredus rex" granted land at Tetbury to abbot Aldhelm by charter dated [680 for 681][524].  The dating clause of an instrument presented by Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury to the Council of Hatfield, dated "XV Kal Oct" [680], refers to the sixth year of "Aedilredo rege Mercinensium"[525].  "Æthelred rex Mercensium" granted land at Henbury to bishop Otforo by charter dated [691/99][526].  A close relationship between Mercia and Wessex during the late 680s is suggested by "Ethelridi regis Merciorum" subscribing a charter of "Ine rex Westsaxonum" dated 687 which granted land in Berkshire to abbot Hean[527].  It is likely that Mercia exercised influence over part of Kent, during the period of disorder which followed the invasion by Cædwalla King of Wessex in 686, as suggested by "Ædilredi regis Merciorum" subscribing a charter issued by "Suabhardus rex Cantuariorum" dated 689[528].  Wilfrid, expelled as Bishop of Ripon by Aldfrith King of Northumbria, sought refuge in Mercia.  King Æthelred founded Abingdon Abbey.  m (before 679) OSTHRYTH of Northumbria, daughter of OSWIU King of Northumbria & his second wife Eanflæd of Deira [Northumbria] (-murdered 697, bur Bardney Abbey).  Bede records that "Aedilredum regem Merciorum" married "Aelfuini frater regis Ecgfridi…sororem eius…Osthryd", dated to before the battle in which her brother Ælfwine was killed[529].  The Vita Wilfridi refers to the wife of King Æthelred as "soror Ecgfridi regis" but does not name her[530].  Alcuin's poem names "regis Edelredi regina Osthfrida…Oswaldi sancti…filia fratris"[531].  William of Malmesbury names "Ostgida sister of Egfrid king of the Northumbrians" as the wife of King Æthelred[532].  Bede records that the bones of Oswald King of Northumbria were transferred to "monasterium…in provincie Landissi…Beardaneu" by "reginæ Merciorum Osthrydæ…filia fratris eius…Osuiu…cum viro suo Aedilredo"[533].  Bede, in his general chronology, records that "Osthryd regina" was killed "a suis, id est Merciorum" in 697[534].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that she was killed by the Mercians[535].  King Æthelred & his wife had one child:

a)         CEOLRED (-716, bur Lichfield[536]).  Bede records that "Ceolredo filio Aedilredi" succeeded when "Coinred [rex] Merciorum" abdicated[537].  William of Malmesbury names Ceolred as the son of King Æthelred & his wife[538].  This paternity is corroborated by the charter dated 710 in which he is named "Cheolrudus Æthelredi Pende"541.  He succeeded his cousin in 709[539] as CEOLRED King of Mercia.  "Ciolred [rex] Mercensium" subscribed a charter of "Sueabræd rex Eastsaxanorum" dated 704 together with "Coenredus rex Mercensium"[540], which appears to provide clear proof of King Ceolred's succession as joint king, probably at the same time as his cousin's accession.  "Cheolrudus Æthelredi Pende filius" granted land in Warwickshire to the abbey of Evesham St Mary by charter dated 710[541].  A dissolute youth who oppressed monasteries, he died after falling into a frenzied fit "when feasting in splendour among his companions" according to St Boniface[542].  Bede, in his general chronology, records that "rex Merciorum Ceolred" died in 716[543]

4.         MEREWALD .  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Weda, Wulfer, Ethelred, Merewald, Mercelin" as the sons of King Penda & his wife[544].  He is also named as the fourth son of King Penda in Florence of Worcester’s genealogies[545]m EORMENBEORG of Kent, daughter of EORMENRED of Kent & his wife Oslafa ---.  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Domneva, Eormenburga, Ermeneburga and Ermengitha" as the four daughters of Eormenred and his wife, adding that "Domneva" was mother of three daughters "Milburga, Mildretha and Milgitha"[546].  There appears to be confusion between the two daughters named Domneva and Eormenbeorg, as William of Malmesbury states that Merewald, son of Penda, married "Ermenburga daughter of Ermenred, brother of…Ercombert"[547].  In addition, Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "sanctam…Eormenbeorgam…regina Merewaldi regis West-Anglorum, sanctam Eormenburgam, sanctam Ætheldrytham, sanctam Eormengytham" as the four daughters of "Eormenredus" and "regina sua Oslava"[548].  The Passio Beatorum Martyrum Ethelredi et Ethelbricti, probably written by Goscelin (mid-11th century), records that, after the murder of Æthelred and Æthelberht sons of Eormenred, Ecgberht King of Kent sent for "their sister Domneva" to pay her compensation and that she built a church on the land granted where daughter Mildreth was a nun[549].  Merewalh & his wife had four children: 

a)         MILDTHRYTH (-727 or after, bur Kent St Augustine).  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Milburga, Mildretha and Milgitha" as the three daughters of "Domneva" daughter of Eormenred[550].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Milburga…Mildritha…Mildritha [Mildgytha]" as the three daughters of Merewald & his wife, specifying that the first named Mildritha was buried in Kent at the monastery of St Augustine[551].  She succeeded her maternal aunt as abbess of Minster in Thanet before 691, and became the subject of the Mildthrith Legend.  "Wythredus rex Cantuariorum" granted privileges for Minster-in-Thanet to "Mildrythe abbatisse" by charter dated 696[552].  "Eadbertus rex Cantuariorum" granted land to "Mildrithe abbattisse" by charter dated 727[553]

b)         MILDBURG (-bur Weneloc).  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Milburga, Mildretha and Milgitha" as the three daughters of "Domneva" daughter of Eormenred[554].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Milburga…Mildritha…Mildritha [Mildgytha]" as the three daughters of Merewald & his wife, specifying that Mildburg was buried at Weneloc[555].  She founded the monastery of Much Wenlock. 

c)         MILDGYTH .  The Vitæ…Virginis Mildrethæ, written by Goscelin (mid- to late-11th century), names "Milburga, Mildretha and Milgitha" as the three daughters of "Domneva" daughter of Eormenred[556].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Milburga…Mildritha…Mildritha [Mildgytha]" as the three daughters of Merewald & his wife[557].  Nun at Eastry  in Kent. 

d)         MEREFIN .  William of Malmesbury names Merefin as the son of Merewald & his wife[558].  He is also named as the son of Merewalh and his wife in Florence of Worcester’s genealogies[559]

5.         MERCELIN.  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Weda, Wulfer, Ethelred, Merewald, Mercelin" as the sons of King Penda & his wife[560].  He is also named as the fifth son of King Penda in Florence of Worcester’s genealogies[561]m ---.  The name of Mercelin's wife is not known.  Mercelin & his wife had [one possible child]: 

a)         [BERHTWALD .  The Vita Wilfridi names "Berhtwald filium fratris Aedilredi regis Merciorum"[562].  Although Berhtwald's father is not named in the source, Mercelin is the most likely candidate.  It is likely that other sources would have named Berhtwald if he had been the son of either King Peada or King Wulfhere, and William of Malmesbury apparently gives a complete list of the children of Merewald.]

6.         CYNEBURGA (-[680][563]).  Bede records that "filio regis Osuiu…Alchfrido" married "sororem [Peadæ]…Cyniburgam, filiam Pendan regis"[564].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Kineburga and Kineswitha" as the daughters of King Penda & his wife, commenting that they were "both distinguished for inviolable chastity"[565].  He also records the marriage of Cyneburga and "Alfrid king of the Northumbrians" but says that "after a time, disgusted with wedlock, took the habit of a nun in the monastery which her brothers Wulfer and Æthelred had founded"[566].  She was abbess at Castor in Northamptonshire.  She was canonised, her feast day is 6 Mar[567]m ALHFRITH under-King of Deira, son of OSWIU King of Northumbria & his first wife Riemmelth of Rheged (-[664/69]). 

7.         CYNESWITH [Cyneswide].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Kineburga and Kineswitha" as the daughters of King Penda & his wife, commenting that they were "both distinguished for inviolable chastity"[568].  She is also named as the younger daughter of King Penda in Florence of Worcester’s genealogies[569].  She was canonised. 

8.         [--- .  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex Historia quam mutiosumsi a Do Garterio", suggests a family relationship between King Æthelred and the brothers Oswald and Osric, rulers of the Hwicce, when it records that "duo fratribus Osuualdo et Ostrico…regis…Athelredi ministries nepotibus" founded the monasteries of "Persora" and "Glovernia" respectively in [680][570].  The document is undated, but includes entries until the late-14th century, although it is not known what earlier sources provided for the basis for the earliest entries.  It is not known whether "nepotibus" in this document should be translated as nephews, but if that is correct the mother of the two brothers would have been the daughter of King Penda.  One possibility is that she was the same person as one of his known daughters Cyneburga, later wife of Alhfrith under-King of Deira, or Cyneswith.  The name of her daughter, Kyneburga, also suggests a close family relationship with the kings of Mercia.  m --- of the Hwicce, son of ---.]  Two children: 

 

 

It is not known how the following family was related to the kings of Mercia but the reference to their belonging to the "Iclings" suggests that there was a connection. 

 

1.         PENWALD .  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci names "Penwald…of the oldest and noblest family [of Mercia] who were named Iclings" as the father of St. Guthlac, adding that he lived "in the days of Æthelred…king of the Mercians" [late 7th, early 8th century][571]m TETTE, daughter of ---.  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci names "Tette" as the wife of Penwald and mother of St. Guthlac[572].  Penwald & his wife had two children: 

a)         GUTHLAC ([672/73]-Crowland 11 Apr 714).  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci names "Guthlac" as the son of Penwald and his wife, adding that he entered the monastery of "Hrypadun…under abbess Ælfthrytha" before becoming a hermit at Crowland when he was twenty-six years old[573].  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci records that Guthlac died "after…serving God for fifteen years…on Wednesday…of Easter week" as the wife of Penwald and mother of St. Guthlac[574].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of "St Guthlac" in 714[575]

b)         PEGE (-after 714).  Felix’s Vita Guthlaci refers to Guthlac’s sister "Pege" who buried her brother’s body[576]

 

 

 

[EOPPA [Eowa or Offa], son of [PYBBA King of Mercia] (-killed in battle Maserfeld 641).  Eoppa is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as grandfather of Æthelbald King of Mercia: "Æthelbald…son of Alweo, son of Eawa, son of Pybba"[577].]  However, the absence of any information about the lives of either Eoppa or his son suggests that this descent may have been fabricated.] 

[Two children:]

1.         [ALWIH [Alweo].  Eoppa is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as grandfather of Æthelbald King of Mercia: "Æthelbald…son of Alweo, son of Eawa, son of Pybba"[578].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland names "the Clito Ethelbald" as "great nephew of Penda, through Alwy, his brother"[579], which ignores Eoppa.]  Two children: 

a)         ÆTHELBALD (-murdered Seckington, near Tamworth 757, bur Repton[580]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelbald as the son of Alweo when recording his accession[581].  He was expelled from Mercia by King Ceolred, whom the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded in 716[582] as ÆTHELBALD King of Mercia.  Following the death of Wihtred King of Kent in 725 and the abdication of Ine King of Wessex in 726, King Æthelbald was able to establish Mercian overlordship over all the other southern English kingdoms.  "Æthildbold rex Mercensium" granted land at Acton Beauchamp, Herefordshire to Buca by charter dated 727[583].  Bede, in his general chronology, records the consecration of Archbishop Tatuin in the fifteenth year of "Aedilbaldo rex Merciorum" in 731[584].  "Ethilbald rex Merciorum" granted land in Worcester to "Cyneberht comes" by charter dated 736, subscribed by "Heardberht frater atque dux præfati regis"[585].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Aedilbaldus rex Merciorum" devastated part of Northumbria in 740 while "rex…Eadberctus" was away with his army fighting the Picts[586].  "Ethelbaldi rex Merciorum" granted the remission of half the toll due on a ship to abbess Eadburga by charter dated 748[587].  He captured Somerton in 733[588].  Boniface wrote letters to Æthelbald King of Mercia dated [745/46] and [746/47][589].  In 749, he freed churches of all public burdens except the fundamental duties of repairing bridges and maintaining fortresses, possibly in reaction to Boniface's reproaches of his dissolute way of life[590].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Cudretus rex Occidentalium Saxonum" rebelled against "Aedilbaldum regem et Oengusum" in 750[591].  Towards the end of his reign, there are signs of his losing control over his realm:  the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Cuthred King of Wessex made war on Mercia in 740/41[592] and in 752 at Beorhfeord, putting King Æthelbald to flight[593].  Ipswich in East Anglia appears to have expanded as a trading centre, and Mercian territory must have been lost in the west to provoke the later construction of massive defence fortifications[594].  He is described as "Æthilbald rex non solum Mercensium" when he granted land at Tockinham, Wiltshire to abbot Eanberht by charter dated 757, subscribed by "Cynulf rex Uuest Saxsorum" and "Heardberhti"[595].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Aedilbaldus rex Merciorum" was murdered "a suis tutoribus" in 757[596].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record that Æthelbaldus was killed by "Beornedus tyrannus in Secgeswalde"[597].  Civil war broke out in Mercia following his death.  m (repudiated before 745) ---.  The name of King Æthelbald's wife is not known.  The king deserted his wife to "live in guilty intercourse with adulteresses and nuns" according to the letter from Boniface dated [745/46][598].  It is possible that she was named WERBURGH, as Simeon of Durham records the death in 783 of "Werburhg formerly queen of the Mercians then abbess"[599] who has not been linked to another king of Mercia. 

b)         HEARDBERHT (-after 758).  "Heardberhti frater atque dux præfati regis" and "Heardberhti" subscribed charters of Æthelbald King of Mercia in 736 and 758[600].  It is an interesting speculation that he may have been the same person as Heahberht King of Kent. 

2.         [OSMOD [Osulf].  Osmud is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as ancestor of Offa King of Mercia: "Offa…son of Thingfrith, son of Eanwulf, son of Osmod, son of Eawa, son of Pybba…"[601].  Nennius's Historia Brittonum names Ossulf, son of Eawa[602].]  One child: 

a)         EANWULF [Eadulf].  Eanwulf is named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as ancestor of Offa King of Mercia: "Offa…son of Thingfrith, son of Eanwulf, son of Osmod, son of Eawa, son of Pybba…"[603].  Nennius's Historia Brittonum names Enwulf as son of Ossulf[604].  He received land from King Æthelbald at Westbury and Henbury in the land of the Hwicce.  He founded the monastery of Bredon in Worcestershire[605].  One child: 

i)          THINGFRITH [Wingferd].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Thingfrith as son of Eanwulf[606]

-         see below

 

 

BEORNRED, son of --- (-after 757).  The Continuator of Bede records that "Beornredus" captured the kingdom after "Aedilbaldus rex Merciorum" was murdered "a suis tutoribus" in 757[607].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record that Æthelbaldus was killed by "Beornedus tyrannus in Secgeswalde"[608].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded in 757 as BEORNRED King of Mercia, but was expelled by Offa within a year[609].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Offa" seized "Merciorum regnum" in 757 after "Beornredo" fled[610]

 

 

THINGFRITH, son of EANWULF [Eadulf] of Mercia.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Thingfrith as son of Eanwulf[611].  He is also named in one charter of his son King Offa, when the latter was well into his reign and presumably many years after Thingfrith's death.  This was not common practice in the charters of reigning monarchs and no explanation has been found for his name being included in the document. 

m [MARCELLINA], daughter of ---.  Matthew of Paris’s Vitæ Duorum Offarum names "Offa" as son of "Tuinfredus" and "Marcellina", recording that he was initially called "Winefredus" and was deaf and blind since childhood[612].  It is unlikely that this source is anything more than legend.  In any case, the Roman name Marcellina is improbable for an Anglo-Saxon queen. 

Thingfrith & his wife had one child:

1.         OFFA (-29 Jul 796[613]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Offa as son of Thingfrith[614].  His paternity is proved by his charter dated 777 in which he is named "Offa filius Thingfrith rex Merciorum"[615].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he expelled King Beornred and succeeded in 757[616] as OFFA King of Mercia.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Offa" seized "Merciorum regnum" in 757 after "Beornredo" fled[617].  He gained lordship over Kent by 764, when he granted land in Kent to the Bishop of Rochester in his own name, although Kirby suggests that this domination may have been short-lived.  Offa's series of Kentish charters resumes in 785, indicating that he had restored control of Kent by then[618].  A similar pattern was followed in Sussex, with a brief period of control in 771, while permanent Mercian annexation was delayed until the late 780s[619].  King Offa appears to have gained control over London, which became an important minting centre for the new silver coins he produced in the 760s and 770s[620].  The titles attributed to King Offa have been the subject of debate.  "Offa rex Merciorum" granted land at Pyrton, Oxfordshire to Milred bishop of the Hwicce by charter dated 765[621].  By charter dated 772, "Offa rex Merciorum" granted land at Bexhill, Sussex to bishop Oswald[622].  In contrast, "Offa rex Anglorum" granted land at Higham Upshire, Kent to archbishop Jænberht by charter dated 774[623].  This is an isolated example of Offa's use of a broader title not restricted to Mercia.  Kirby does not consider that the epithet means that Offa aspired to lordship over all the Anglo-Saxons or that it necessarily had the same significance as it later had in the 10th century[624].  One explanation is that the wider title was used because the land in question was in Kent, presumably in an area of the neighbouring kingdom over which Mercia was claiming jurisdiction at the time.  King Offa reverts to the usual Mercian title by 777, the date of a charter under which "Offa filius Thingfrith rex Merciorum" granted land in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to the abbey of Evesham St Mary[625].  Whatever title he used, it is clear that Offa became a powerful ruler, demonstrated by his defeat of Cynewulf King of Wessex in 779 when he retook Bensington near Dorchester-on-Thames[626].  The Annales Laurissenses record that in 786 Charles I King of the Franks sent his army to "partibus Brittaniæ" with his missus "Audulfo sinescalco".  In the same paragraph, it is clarified that this refers to "Brittania insula" not Brittany[627].  It is not clear in which part of Britain the Frankish army fought.  Mercia and Northumbria appear to be the most likely possibilities as other sources record contact between the Franks and these kingdoms towards the end of the 8th century.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that a great church council took place at Chelsea in 787, supervised by papal legates Theophylact Bishop of Todi and George Bishop of Ostia after their visits to Mercia and Northumbria, and presided over by Jaenberht Archbishop of Canterbury, which promulgated decrees reforming the church and at which King Offa agreed to send annual payments to Rome[628].  Offa was also successful in having the papacy raise the Mercian see of Lichfield to archiepiscopal status, although the decision was reversed soon after he died[629].  The construction of the massive "Offa's Dyke", marking the boundary between Mercia and Wales and serving as protection against Welsh harassment of Mercia, is attributed to him[630].  He introduced a heavy penny coinage to conform with contemporary Carolingian developments[631].  For a time, Offa enjoyed close relations with Charles I King of the Franks.  The Chronicon Fontanellense records that Charles I King of the Franks proposed a marriage between “Offæ Rege Anglorum sive Merciorum…filiam” and “Carolus iunior”, but that King Offa refused unless “Berta filia Caroli Magni” was also married to his son which was unacceptable to the Frankish king[632].  King Charles ordered an embargo on trade imports from England as a result, although this was not long maintained[633].  King Offa ordered the beheading of Æthelberht King of the East Angles in 794[634], after which East Anglia seems to have been merged into the kingdom of Mercia.  Simeon of Durham records the death "VII Kal Aug" of "Offa king of the Mercians"[635]m CYNETHRYTH, daughter of ---. "Cynethrythe regina" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Anglorum" dated 774[636].  "Kineswithe regina" subscribed a charter of "Offa filius Thingfrith rex Merciorum" dated 777[637].  King Offa & his wife had four children: 

a)         ÆLFLÆD.  Ælflæd was most likely the daughter of King Offa whose hand Charlemagne requested for his son Charles in [789].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 792 "king Æthelred married again on 29 Sep, and the lady was called Ælfled" but does not give her origin[638].  Simeon of Durham records the marriage in 792 of "King Ethelred" and "Elfled daughter of Offa king of the Mercians" at "Catterick III Kal Oct"[639]m (Catterick 29 Sep [792 or 794]) as his second wife, ÆTHELRED King of Northumbria, son of ÆTHELWALD "Moll" King of Northumbria (-murdered 18 Apr 796).  His death marked the end of Mercian influence in Northumbria. 

b)         ECGFRITH (-[17 Dec 796][640]).  "Ecgferth filius regis" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 794[641].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was consecrated associate king of the Mercians 787[642], maybe by Hygeberht newly consecrated Archbishop of Lichfield.  Stenton suggests that this was the first time a religious element was introduced into the inauguration of an English ruler[643].  This was followed by a "purge" of rival claimants to assure Ecgfrith's smooth accession, lamented by Alcuin[644].  The Chronicon Fontanellense records that Charles I King of the Franks proposed a marriage between “Offæ Rege Anglorum sive Merciorum…filiam” and “Carolus iunior”, but that King Offa refused unless “Berta filia Caroli Magni” was also married to his son which was unacceptable to the Frankish king[645].  King of Kent 785-796.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his father in 796[646] as ECGFRITH King of Mercia.  "Egeferth rex Merciorum" granted land at Huntena to "Æthelmund princeps" (who has not been identified) by charter dated 796[647].  "Egeferth rex Merciorum" granted land in Purton, Wiltshire to abbot Cuthbert by charter dated 796, which was subscribed by "Beorhtrich rex occidentalium Saxonim"[648].  His date of death is an approximation based on the 141 days of his rule, mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[649], projected forward from the supposed date of his father's death.  Simeon of Durham records that he died later in the same year as his father[650]

c)         EADBURH (-after 802).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the marriage of Beorhtric and "Eadburh daughter of Offa" in 789[651].  According to William of Malmesbury[652], her marriage was arranged as part of King Offa's agreement to betray Ecgberht of Wessex who had sought refuge in Mercia after being expelled by King Beorhtric.  "Eadburg regina" subscribed the 796 charter of "Egeferth rex Merciorum"[653].  This suggests that, as sister of the monarch and queen of Wessex, she was associated in some way as ruler with her brother.  A domineering queen, she poisoned her adversaries, and maybe also accidentally poisoned her husband, after which she fled to the court of Charlemagne who made her abbess of a monastery from which she was later expelled.  Asser records that she died in poverty in Pavia[654]m (789) BEORHTRIC King of Wessex, son of --- (-802, bur Wareham).  No issue.  His death marked the end of Mercian influence in Wessex. 

d)         ÆLFTHRYTH .  The De sancto Ethelberto rege et martiro records that "Orientalium Anglorum rex Ethelbertus" refused to marry "Egeonis filiam…Seledridam" but wanted to marry "Offam regem Merciorum…filiam eius…Alftrida"[655].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that "Siward the lord abbot of Croyland" lived for four months in the cell of "the most holy virgin Etheldritha (she was the daughter of Offa, the former king of the Mercians, and wife of the holy martyr Ethelbert, the former king of East Anglia)" while Mercia was overrun by Ecgberht King of Wessex[656].  If this marriage is correct, it was presumably arranged by Ælfthryth's father shortly after Æthelberht's accession in an attempt to form an alliance or subjugate East Anglia.  Ælfthryth lived as a recluse at Croyland abbey.  m ([790/93], not consummated) ÆTHELBERHT King of East Anglia, son of [ÆTHELRED King of East Anglia & his wife Leoveromia ---] (-beheaded [Sutton Walls, near Hereford] 794, bur Hereford Cathedral). 

 

 

 

Two brothers: 

1.         CENWULF (-Basingwerk, Flintshire 821, bur Winchcomb, Gloucestershire).  He succeeded [his distant cousin] King Ecgfrith in 796 as CENWULF King of Mercia.  Simeon of Durham records that "Coenuulf the father of St Kenelm" succeeded "Ecgfrith" as king of Mercia[657].  Kent revolted in 796, Eadberht "Præn" installing himself as king of Kent.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Cenwulf suppressed the rebellion vigorously, led Eadberht "Praen" bound back to Mercia[658], and appointed his younger brother Cuthred as under-king of Kent in 798.  He failed to obtain papal support for establishing London as an archiepiscopal see.  He revived Mercian expansion into Wales, killed Caradog ap Meirion King of Gwynedd in 798, and raided the district between Clwyd and the Elwy in 816 and Dyfed in 818-819.  Eardwulf King of Northumbria invaded Mercia in 801, but peace was imposed following mediation of English bishops and nobles[659].  "Cenuulf rex merciorum" granted freedoms to Glastonbury Abbey by charter dated 797[660].  Mercian control over Kent, at least during the period 801-811, is demonstrated by "Coenuulfus rex Merciorum" making a joint grant of land in Kent with "Cuthredo fratre meo rege Cantuariorum" dated 801[661], "Coenulfi regis Merciorum" subscribing three charters of "Cuthredus rex Cantiæ" dated 805[662], and "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" granting land at Rochester, Kent to bishop Beornmod by charter dated 811 (subscribed by, among others, "Sigered rex", "Beornnoth dux" and "Eadberht dux", none of whom have been identified)[663].  A dispute with Wulfred Archbishop of Canterbury concerning the king's right to make certain religious appointments appears to have led to the former's suspension from office from 817 to 821[664].  [m firstly ---.  The evident age difference between King Cenwulf's known children Cwenthryth and Cynehelm suggests that they were probably born from different marriages although this has not been corroborated from any primary source so far consulted.]  m [secondly] ÆLTHRYTH, daughter of --- (-821 or after).  "Æthrith/Ælbthryth regina" subscribed charters of King Cenwulf in 804 and 811, and "Eldredia regina" a charter dated 821[665].  King Cenwulf & his [first] wife had [two] children:

a)         CWENTHRYTH .  William of Malmesbury names "Quendrida" as the older sister of St Kenelm, whom his father had entrusted to this sister for his education[666].  Roger of Wendover names "Quendridam et Burgenildam" as the daughters of "Kenulfus…[et[ regina sua Alfritha"[667].  As pointed out above, the age difference between Cwenthryth and her brother Cynehelm suggests that they may not have shared the same mother.  "Quoenthryth filia regis" subscribed a charter of "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" dated 811[668].  She was appointed Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, by her father.  William of Malmesbury states that she murdered her brother Cynehelm[669]

b)         [BURGENILDA .  Roger of Wendover names "Quendridam et Burgenildam" as the daughters of "Kenulfus…[et[ regina sua Alfritha"[670]

King Cenwulf & his [second] wife had [three] children:

c)         CYNEHELM [Kenelme] ([806/11]-murdered [821/22], bur [Winchcombe, Gloucestershire]).  He is named as son of King Cenwulf by William of Malmesbury[671].  "Cynehelm dux" subscribed the charter of "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" dated 811[672].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that "his son Saint Kenelm, a boy then seven years old" succeeded "Kenulph…king of the Mercians" but was murdered "through the treachery of his sister Quendreda" within a few months of the death of his father and buried beside his father[673], although his age must be underestimated in this source if he is the same person who subscribed the 811 charter of King Cenwulf.  His paternity is corroborated by "Kenelmus filius regis" subscribing a charter of "Kenulfus rex Merciorum" dated 821[674].  William of Malmesbury states that he was brought up by his sister Cwenthryth, but that she ordered his murder[675].  Goscelin of Saint-Bertin wrote his biography Vita S. Kenelmi in the mid-1060s[676]

d)         [EADBERHT .  "Eadberht dux" subscribed the charter of "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" dated 811, his name listed directly after "Cynehelm dux" and before "Cyneberht propinquo regis"[677], which suggests a closer relationship to the king than "propinquo", possibly a younger son.] 

e)         [EADBURGA.  Asser records that Alfred's mother-in-law "Edburga of the royal line of Mercia…was a venerable lady and after the decease of her husband, she remained many years a widow, even till her own death"[678].  According to Weir[679], she was perhaps the daughter of Cenwulf King of Mercia but the basis for this speculation is not known.  m ÆTHELRED "Mucil" Ealdorman of the Gainas [in Mercia].] 

2.         CEOLWULF (-823 or after).  "Celwall frater regis Kenulphi" subscribed a charter of "Kenulphus rex Merciorum" dated 806[680].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his brother in 821[681] as CEOLWULF I King of Mercia.  He continued his brother's invasions of Wales, destroying the fortress of Deganwy at the mouth of the river Conway and bringing the kingdom of Powys under their control in 822.  William of Malmesbury records that he was deposed in 823 by Beornwulf[682]m ---.  The name of Ceolwulf's wife is not known.  Ceolwulf & his wife had one child: 

a)         ÆLFFLÆD (-[839/40], bur Croyland Abbey).  William of Malmesbury names "Elhfleda, daughter of Chelwulf" as the mother of "Wistan"[683].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the accession of "Wichtlaf duke of the Wiccii whose son Wymund had married Alfleda, the daughter of Ceolwulph the former king"[684], dating her marriage to before her father-in-law's accession.  According to Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland, Ælflæd died soon after her husband[685]m WIGMUND, son of WIGLAF King of Mercia (-before 849). 

3.         CUTHRED (-807).  His brother Cenwulf King of Mercia installed him in 798 as CUTHRED King of Kent.  His lack of autonomy in Kent is indicated by "Cuthredo fratre meo rege Cantuariorum" making a joint grant of land in Kent with "Coenulfus rex Merciorum" by charter dated 801[686], and "Coenulfi regis Merciorum" also subscribing three charters of "Cuthredus rex Cantiæ" dated 805[687].  After his death, Kent once more became a province of Mercia.  m ---.  The name of Cuthred's wife is not known.  Cuthred & his wife had one child: 

a)         COENWALD (-811 or after).  "Coenwaldi filii regis" subscribed a charter of "Cuthredus rex Cantiæ" dated 805[688].  "Coenwald propinquo regis" subscribed a charter of "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" dated 811[689]

 

 

The precise relationship between the following two individuals and the family set out above has not been established: 

1.         CYNEBERHT (-811 or after).  "Cyneberht propinquo regis" subscribed the charter of "Coenwulf rex Merciorum" dated 811[690], his name listed directly after "Eadberht dux" and before "Coenwald propinquo regis", although there is no precise indication of his relationship to the king. 

 

2.         EANBERHT (-811 or after).  "Eanberto consanguinitatis nostro communi propinquo" and "Eanberht dux" subscribed charters of Cenwulf King of Mercia dated 804 and 811[691], his name in the latter being listed directly after "Cyneberht propinquo regis" and before "Quoenthryth filia regis", although his precise relationship to the king has not been identified. 

 

 

 

BEORNWULF, son of --- (-killed in battle 825).  William of Malmesbury records that he expelled King Ceolwulf I and usurped the throne in 823[692] as BEORNWULF King of Mercia.  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the succession of "Bernulph, a foolish man, but remarkable for his wealth and influence, though in no way connected with the royal line"[693].  He was defeated by Ecgberht King of Wessex at Ellendun [=Wroughton, Wiltshire] in 825, marking the end of Mercia's ascendancy.  Roger of Wendover records that "Bernulfus Merciorum rex" was killed "ab orientalibus Anglis" in 826[694].  William of Malmesbury records that he was killed in battle by the East Anglians, who had rebelled against him and sought King Ecgberht's protection[695]

 

 

LUDECA, son of --- (-murdered 827).  A kinsman of Beornwulf, although the precise relationship is not known.  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the succession of "Ludecan his kinsman" after the death of Beornwulf[696].  He succeeded in 825 as LUDECA King of Mercia, which by that time was reduced to Mercia itself, Lindsey, Middle Anglia and the provinces of the Hwicce and Magonsætan[697].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ludeca king of Mercia…and his five ealdormen" were killed in 827[698]

 

 

Two brothers, parents not known: 

1.         WIGLAF (-839, bur Repton).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded in 827[699] as WIGLAF King of Mercia.  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the accession of "Wichtlaf duke of the Wiccii"[700].  Ecgberht King of Wessex conquered Mercia and all its dependencies in 829[701], taking the title rex Merciorum, but in 830 lost control again to Wiglaf[702], who appears to have ruled without any Wessex overlordship for the rest of his life.  "Uuiglaf rex Merciorum" granted land at Botwell, Middlesex to archbishop Wulfred by charter dated 831[703].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the death of King Wiglaf "in the thirteenth year of his reign" and his burial at Repton monastery[704]m CYNETHRYTH, daughter of ---.  "Cynethryth regina" subscribed a charter of "Uuiglaf rex Merciorum" dated 831703.  Wiglaf & his wife had one child: 

a)         WIGMUND (-before 839, bur Croyland Abbey).  William of Malmesbury names "Wimund son of Wihtlaf king of the Mercians"[705].  "Wigmund filius regis" subscribed a charter of "Wiglaf rex Merciorum" dated 831[706].  According to Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland, Wigmund predeceased his father and was buried at Croyland abbey[707]m (before 827) ÆLFFLÆD of Mercia, daughter of CEOLWULF King of Mercia & his wife --- (-[839/40], bur Croyland Abbey).  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the accession of "Wichtlaf duke of the Wiccii whose son Wymund had married Alfleda, the daughter of Ceolwulph the former king"[708], dating her marriage to before her father-in-law's accession.  William of Malmesbury names "Elhfleda, daughter of Chelwulf" as the mother of "Wistan"[709].  According to Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland, Ælflæd died soon after her husband[710].  Wigmund & his wife had one child: 

i)          WIGSTAN (-killed Wistanstowe 25 May 849, bur Repton, later transferred to Evesham).  William of Malmesbury names "Wistan" as son of "Wimund son of Wihtlaf king of the Mercians" & his wife[711].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that "Berfert his son [Beorhtwulf's]" killed "his kinsman the holy Wistan, son of Wimund, the son of king Wichtlaf and of Alfleda the daughter of Ceolwulph"[712].  Roger of Wendover records that "Bertferthus regis Merciorum filius…Berthwlfi" killed "cognatum suum sanctum Wlstanum…nepos duorum regum de regnum Merciorum" in 849 "in vigilia Pentecostes", adding that Wigstan was buried "ad monasterio…Rependuna…in mausoleo avi sui regis Wilafi"[713].  According to William of Malmesbury, he was murdered by Beorhtfrith because he had opposed Beorhtfrith's plan to marry his widowed mother[714], but this appears to be inaccurate if it is correct, as stated above, that Wigstan's mother died soon after his father.  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that Wigstan was buried at Repton, but that his body was later transferred to Evesham[715]

2.         BEORHTWULF (-852).  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the accession of "his brother Bertulph" after the death of King Wiglaf, as tributary king of Æthelwulf King of Wessex[716].  His name suggests a relationship with Beorhtrich King of Wessex.  He succeeded his brother in 839 as BEORHTWULF King of Mercia.  "Beorhtwulf rex Merciorum" granted land in Worcestershire to Heahbert bishop of Worcester under two charters dated 840[717].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was driven to flight by a large Danish army in 851[718].  Roger of Wendover records the death in 852 of "Merciorum rex Bertulfus"[719]m SAETHRYTH, daughter of ---.  "Sethrith/Saethryth regina" subscribed two charters of "Beorhtwulf rex Merciorum" dated 840717.  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Sæthryth" as wife of "Beorhtwlfus"[720].  Beorhtwulf & his wife had one child: 

a)         BEORHTRICH .  "Berhtric filius regis" subscribed a charter of "Bertwlf rex Merciorum" dated 840[721].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that "Berfert his son [Beorhtwulf's]" killed "his kinsman the holy Wistan, son of Wimund, the son of king Wichtlaf and of Alfleda the daughter of Ceolwulph"[722].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies record that "Berhtferthum", son of "Beorhtwlfus…[et] Sæthryth regina" killed "sanctum Wistanum"[723].  Roger of Wendover records that "Bertferthus regis Merciorum filius…Berthwlfi" killed "cognatum suum sanctum Wlstanum…nepos duorum regum de regnum Merciorum" in 849 "in vigilia Pentecostes"[724]

 

 

BURGHRED, son of --- (-Rome after 874, bur Rome, English church of St Mary[725]).  Roger of Wendover records that "Burchredum" succeeded on the death of "Merciorum rex Bertulfus" in 852 and reigned for twenty-two years[726].  He succeeded in 852 as BURGHRED King of Mercia.  He turned to Æthelwulf King of Wessex in 853 for help against the Britons of Wales[727].  "Burgred rex Mercensium" granted land to bishop Alhhun by charter dated 855[728].  Burghred, in alliance with his brothers-in-law Æthelred and Alfred of Wessex, gathered near Nottingham in 868 to fight the Danes but bought peace from them without fighting.  "Burgred rex" granted land at Upthrop to Wulflaf by charter dated 869[729].  The Danish army moved on Repton in late 873, and King Burghred was forced out in 874.  He left for Rome where he spent the rest of his life. 

m (Chippenham 853) ÆTHELSWITH of Wessex, daughter of ÆTHELWULF King of Wessex & his [second] wife Osburga (-in Italy 888, bur Pavia).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Æthelwulf gave his (unnamed) daughter in marriage to King Burghred[730].  Asser records that in 853 after Easter King Æthelwulf "gave his daughter to Burhred king of the Mercians…at the royal vill of Chippenham"[731].  Her name is confirmed by the charter of "Burgred rex Mercensium" dated 855 subscribed by "Æthelswith regina"[732].  It is assumed that Æthelswith was her father's legitimate daughter by his wife Osburga, but this is not certain.  She was most probably older than her brothers Æthelred and Alfred in view of her 853 marriage, although the possibility of an infant marriage cannot be excluded.  She had no known children from whose birth dates one could calculate their mother's age.  "Æthelswith regina" was co-grantor with King Burgred in a grant of land at Upthrop to Wulflaf dated 869[733].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 888 "ealdorman Beocca and queen Æthelswith who was king Alfred's sister took the alms of the West Saxons and of king Alfred to Rome", one manuscript specifying that she "passed away on the way to Rome", another that she was buried in Pavia[734].   

 

 

CEOLWULF, son of --- (-after 877).  A follower of Burghred, he succeeded in 874 as CEOLWULF II King of Mercia, William of Malmesbury specifying that he was a tributary king appointed by the Danes[735].  "Ceolwulf rex Merciorum" granted exemptions to Wærferth bishop of Worcester by charter dated 875[736].  In 877, the Danes divided Mercia, appropriating the northern part for division among themselves, leaving Ceolwulf with the other half.  Nothing more is known of him after that date.  There is no record of any subsequent king of Mercia. 

 

 

 

Chapter 5.    RULERS of the HWICCE

 

 

 

1.         EANFRITHRuler of the Hwiccem ---.  The name of Eanfrith’s wife is not known.  Eanfrith & his wife had one child: 

a)         EAFE .  Bede records that "regina…Eabae [provinciam Australium Saxonum]…filia Eanfridi fratris Ænheri" had been baptised (before her marriage to "rex gentis ipsius Aedilualch") in "sua…Huicciorum provincia"[737]m ÆTHELWALH King of the South Saxons, son of --- (-[686/87]). 

 

2.         --- Ruler of the Hwiccem [--- of Mercia, daughter of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise.  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex Historia quam mutiosumsi a Do Garterio", suggests a family relationship between King Æthelred and the brothers Oswald and Osric, rulers of the Hwicce, when it records that "duo fratribus Osuualdo et Ostrico…regis…Athelredi ministries nepotibus" founded the monasteries of "Persora" and "Glovernia" respectively in [680][738].  The document is undated, but includes entries until the late-14th century, although it is not known what earlier sources provided for the basis for the earliest entries.  It is not known whether "nepotibus" in this document should be translated as nephews, but if that is correct the mother of the two brothers would have been the daughter of King Penda.  One possibility is that she was the same person as one of his known daughters Cyneburga, later wife of Alhfrith under-King of Deira, or Cyneswith.  The name of her daughter, Kyneburga, also suggests a close family relationship with the kings of Mercia.]  Three children: 

a)         OSWALD .  "Ethelredus rex Merciorum" granted land at Gloucester to "duobus ministries meis nobillis generis in provincia Huicciorum, Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius in vicarium" by charter dated [671 for 679?], for the purposes of founding a minster[739].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the grant of land by King Æthelred for the foundation of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester to "in provincia Wicciorum duobus ministries suis nobilis generis Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius", to "Osrico trecentorum tributariorum in Gloucestreschire" (on which he founded "in civitate Gloucestriæ monasterium cœnobiale in honore Sancti Peteri Apostoli") and to "Oswaldo…trecentorum casatorum apud Persovere"[740].  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex Historia quam mutiosumsi a Do Garterio", suggests a family relationship between King Æthelred and the brothers when it records that "duo fratribus Osuualdo et Ostrico…regis…Athelredi ministries nepotibus" founded the monasteries of "Persora" and "Glovernia" respectively in [680][741].  The document is undated, but includes entries until the late-14th century, although it is not known what earlier sources provided for the basis for the earliest entries. 

b)         OSRIC (-[729/30]).  "Ethelredus rex Merciorum" granted land at Gloucester to "duobus ministries meis nobillis generis in provincia Huicciorum, Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius in vicarium" by charter dated [671 for 679?], for the purposes of founding a minster[742].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the grant of land by King Æthelred for the foundation of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester to "in provincia Wicciorum duobus ministries suis nobilis generis Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius", to "Osrico trecentorum tributariorum in Gloucestreschire" and to "Oswaldo…trecentorum casatorum apud Persovere"[743].  A manuscript reproduced in Leland’s Collectanea, entitled "Ex Historia quam mutiosumsi a Do Garterio", suggests a family relationship between King Æthelred and the brothers when it records that "duo fratribus Osuualdo et Ostrico…regis…Athelredi ministries nepotibus" founded the monasteries of "Persora" and "Glovernia" respectively in [680][744].  The document is undated, but includes entries until the late-14th century, although it is not known what earlier sources provided for the basis for the earliest entries.  Ruler of the Hwicce.  The History of Gloucester St Peter records that "Keneburgam sororem suam" died nineteen years before her brother[745]

c)         KYNEBURGA (-[710]).  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the founding of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester by "Osrico" and the installation of "Keneburgam sororem suam" as first abbess, a later passage recording the consecration of "Kyneburga soror regis Osrici" as abbess and her death twenty-nine years later[746]

 

 

3.         ORWALDm ---.  The name of Orwald’s wife is not known.  Orwald & his wife had one child: 

a)         ADELMUND .  The full text of the charter of "Ethelredus rex Merciorum", granting land to "in provincia Wicciorum duobus ministries suis nobilis generis Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius", records later donations by "Adelbadui rex" to "Adelmund filium Orwaldi cognatum eius" and by "subregulus Huicciorum Aldred"[747]

 

4.         ALDREDRuler of the Hwicce.  The full text of the charter of "Ethelredus rex Merciorum", granting land to "in provincia Wicciorum duobus ministries suis nobilis generis Osrico…et Oswaldo fratri eius", records later donations by "Adelbadui rex" to "Adelmund filium Orwaldi cognatum eius" and by "subregulus Huicciorum Aldred"[748]

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6.    KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA

 

 

 

A.      KINGS of DEIRA, KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 617-633

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Angles were ancestors of "Orientales Angli, Mediterranei Angli, Merci, tota Nordanhymbrorum progenies" (people of East Anglia, the Midland Angles, Mercians and Northumbrians)[749].  The kingdom of Northumbria was formed later than the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England, out of the two earlier kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia.  The southern kingdom of Deira, based in the centre and east of Yorkshire, was named after "the Dere", an Anglian people who probably first settled along the tributaries of the river Humber, although Yorke suggests that the name was British and that both Deira and Bernicia were Celtic kingdoms or territories which were taken over by the Anglo-Saxons[750].  The Deirians appear to have reached York by 500, and eventually the kingdom covered the whole area north of the river Humber as far as the river Tyne[751].  The northern kingdom of Bernicia was based at Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast, named after an Anglian people "the Bernice" who extended their authority southwards from the far northern coastland.  At its greatest extent, the kingdom of Bernicia controlled the area north of the river Tyne as far as the Firth of Forth[752].  Yorke suggests that the name "Northumbria" may have been invented by Bede and popularised through his Ecclesiastical History[753].  The history of the Northumbrian "core" dynastic period which, as suggested in the Introduction to the present document lasted from 616 to 716, is well covered both by Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  However, only a single charter (dated 685) has survived for Northumbria, in contrast to the relative wealth of documentation for the kingdoms of Kent and Mercia.  Few sources are available for Northumbria in the later 8th and 9th centuries so information on the later kings is sparse, the notable exception being the later Chronicle written by Symeon of Durham. 

 

In common with the founders of the other kingdoms, the Kings of Deira claimed descent from Woden, as set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[754]: "Woden/Wægdæg/Sigegar/Swebdæg/Sigegeat/Sæbald/Sæfugl/Westerflaca/Wilgisi/Uxfrea/Yffe".  The version in Nennius's Historia Brittonum is different: "Woden/Beldeg…Brond/Siggar/Sigar/Zegulf/Soemil/Sguerthing/Giulglis/Ulfrea/Iffi"[755]

 

 

[YFFE, son of UXFREA.]  [Two children:]

1.         [ÆLLE (-588).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ælle succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians" in 560, after the death of Ida King of Bernicia, and reigned thirty years, adding that he was the son of "Yffe, son of Uxfrea…"[756].] 

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2.         [ÆLFRIC.  Bede names "patrui eius Aelfrici", referring to King Eadwine, when recording the succession of his son in "regnum Deirorum"[757].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Ælfric, Edwin's paternal uncle" as father of Osric"[758].]  One child: 

a)         OSRIC (-killed in battle summer 634).  Bede records that, after King Eadwine was killed in 633, "filius patrui eius Aelfrici…Osric" succeeded in "regnum Deirorum"[759].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Osric as son of "Ælfric, Edwin's paternal uncle" when recording that he was baptised by Paulinus Bishop of York and succeeded his cousin King Eadwine as OSRIC King of Deira in 634[760].  William of Malmesbury states that Osric later renounced Christianity[761].  Bede records that "rex Brettonum Ceadualla" killed "Osricum" [King of Deira] in the following summer, and ruled "provinciæ Nordanhymbrorum" for a year before also killing "Eanfridum" [King of Bernicia] who had visited Cadwallon to sue for peace[762]m ---.  The name of Osric's wife is not known.  Osric & his wife had one child: 

i)          OSWINE (-murdered Ingethlingum [Gilling] 20 Aug 651).  Bede records that "Osuini, de stirpe regis Aeduini…filium Osrici" shared the throne during the first years of King Oswiu’s reign, governing "provinciæ Derorum" for seven years, while Oswiu governed "Berniciorum provinciam"[763].  William of Malmesbury records that, on the death of Oswald King of Northumbria in 641, "Oswin the son of Osric" succeeded as OSWINE King of Deira[764].  According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[765], Oswine succeeded as king of Deira in 644, but there is no explanation about who may have ruled Deira during the previous three years.  Bede states that King Oswiu murdered Oswine "XIII Kal Sep" (year not stated), in the ninth year of his reign, in the house of "comitis Hunualdi", with whom Oswine had taken refuge, by the hands of "præfectum suum Ediluinum" at "Ingetlingum", where a monastery was later built to atone for the crime[766].  He dates this event to 651 in his general chronology[767].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that he was a "man of wonderful piety and devotion" and that he was murdered on the orders of Oswiu King of Bernicia[768].  The calendar of Echternach includes "XIII Kal Sep Osuini regis"[769]

 

 

ÆLLE, son of YFFE (-588).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ælle succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians" in 560, after the death of Ida King of Bernicia, and reigned thirty years, adding that he was the son of "Yffe, son of Uxfrea…"[770].  It is not clear whether Ælle succeeded to the whole of Bernicia[771] and whether the kingdom of Deira continued to exist during his reign as a separate entity.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of Ælle in 588, and that "Æthelric" [of Bernicia] reigned five years after him[772]

m ---.  The name of King Ælle's wife is not known. 

King Ælle & [his wife] had [three] children:

1.         UCHA ([575/80]-).  Her parentage and marriage are confirmed by Bede who records that her son "Osualdi" was "nepos Aeduini regis ex sorore Acha"[773].  William of Malmesbury names "Acca, the daughter of Alla, sister of Edwin" as the mother of King Æthelfrith's childen[774].  Ucha must have been several years older than her brother King Eadwine, assuming that the latter was indeed born in 585, which suggests that they may have had different mothers.  According to Bede, her second son Oswald was born in [602/03].  m ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia [Northumbria], son of ÆTHELRIC King of Bernicia [Northumbria] & his wife --- (-killed in battle 616). 

2.         EADWINE (585-killed in battle Hatfield Chase, near Doncaster 12 Oct 633 or 634, bur Whitby Abbey).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelfrith king of Northumbria" was killed by "Rædwald king of East Anglia" and that "Edwin son of Ælle" succeeded to the kingdom, adding that he "conquered all Britain except Kent alone, and drove out the princes, the sons of Æthelfrith"[775].  He succeeded in 617 as EADWINE King of Northumbria

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3.         [ ---.]  [One child:]

a)         [HERERIC (-murdered [616]).  Bede names "nepotis Eduini regis…Hererici" when recording the death of his daughter Hild[776].  This relationship seems chronologically unlikely if his daughter Hild was indeed aged 66 when she died, so born in [613/14].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Herericus" as son of "Eadfrith", son of King Eadwine[777], but this is clearly impossible.  Stenton describes Hereric as the "son of an unnamed nephew of Eadwine", which also seems unlikely.  According to the genealogy reproduced in Yorke, he was the brother of King Eadwine, although elsewhere the author refers to him as the nephew of King Eadwine[778].  Hereric was exiled to the British kingdom of Elmet during the reign of Æthelfrith King of Northumbria.  Bede records that "Hereric" lived in banishment under "rege Brettonum Cerdice" where he was poisoned[779], identified by Stenton as Ceretic King of Elmet[780], the same author also suggesting that King Eadwine's conquest of Elmet was in revenge for his kinsman's death.]  m BEORHTSWITH, daughter of ---.  Bede names "Bregusuid" as mother of Abbess Hild[781].  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Beorhtswitha" as wife of "Herericus"[782].  Hereric & his wife had two children: 

i)          HILD ([613/14]-17 Nov 680).  Bede records that "religiosissima Christi famula Hild, abbatissa monasterii…Strenaeshalc" was "filia nepotis Eduini regis…Hererici"[783].  Bede names Hilda as the daughter of Hereric, nephew to King Edwin.  She was baptised with Eadwine King of Northumbria at York in 627.  She became a nun in 647, Aidan persuading her to follow her calling in England rather than follow her sister to France.  First abbess of Heruteu (island of the hart) or Streoneshalh (later Whitby Abbey) 657.  Bede records the death "XV Kal Dec" in 680 of "religiosissima Christi famula Hild, abbatissa monasterii…Strenaeshalc" aged 66[784]

ii)         HERESWITH (-after [647]).  Bede names "Hild…soror ipsius Heresuid, mater Alduulfi regis Orientalium Anglorum" when recording that she was living "Galliam…in monasterio Cale" to which her sister Hild was also planning to go[785].  According to the genealogy in the Anglian collection, the name of Hereswith's husband was Æthelric[786].  After being repudiated by her husband, she became a nun at the convent of Chelles near Paris in [647].  m (repudiated 647) ÆTHELHERE of the East Angles, son of ENNI of the East Angles (-killed in battle Winwæd near Leeds 654).  He succeeded his brother in 654 as ÆTHELHERE King of the East Angles

 

 

EADWINE, son of ÆLLE King of the Northumbrians & his wife --- (585-killed in battle Hatfield Chase, near Doncaster 14 Oct 633, bur Whitby Abbey).  William of Malmesbury names "Edwin the son of Alla", commenting that he was "a youth of no mean worth"[787].  Bede records that "regis Aeduini" had been forced into exile with "Redualdum regem Anglorum" before he became king, where he was persecuted by "Aedilfrido", his predecessor in Northumbria, who tried to arrange his assassination[788].  He was forced into exile by his brother-in-law Æthelfrith King of Northumbria in Bernicia, living first in north Wales and later at the court of Rædwald King of the East Angles[789].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelfrith king of Northumbria" was killed by "Rædwald king of East Anglia" and that "Edwin son of Ælle" succeeded to the kingdom, adding that he "conquered all Britain except Kent alone, and drove out the princes, the sons of Æthelfrith"[790].  He succeeded in 617 as EADWINE King of Northumbria.  Bede names "Aeduini rex Nordanhymbrorum gentis" as fifth of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber, adding that he ruled over all peoples except "Cantuariis" and conquered "Meuanias Brettonum insulas…inter Hiberniam et Brittaniam"[791].  Bede records that "rege…Aeduino" was converted to Christianity by "Paulino"[792].  Bede records that, after promising his Christian second wife to respect her religion, King Eadwine prevaricated about his own baptism although Paulinus was ordained Bishop of York 21 Jul 625.  Following admonitory letters from Pope Boniface V, Eadwine was finally baptised at York 12 Apr 627[793].  Bede records that "rege Occidentalium Saxonum…Cuichelmo" sent "sicarius…Eumer" to assassinate King Eadwine "primo die paschae iuxta amnem Deruuentionem"[794].  This event is dated to 626 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[795].  King Eadwine conquered the Isle of Man.  He also conquered Anglesey and besieged Cadwallon King of Gwynedd in Priestholm off the eastern point of the island[796].  Bede records that "Caedualla rex Brettonum", helped by "Penda…de region genere Merciorum", rebelled against "Aeduini" who was killed in  battle "IV Id Oct" in 633 at "Haethfelth", aged 48, adding that the rebels continued to govern the country with varying success for 22 years[797].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Edwin" was killed in 633, manuscript E adding that he was killed "by Cadawallon and Penda at Hatfield Chase on 14 Oct"[798].  The calendar of Echternach includes "III Id Oct Aeduini regis"[799].  Bede records that the head of King Eadwine was brought to York and was taken to "ecclesiam beati apostolic Petri", a church whose construction the king had started but which was completed by his successor "Osuald"[800].  Bede records that "rex Osuiu…filiam suam Aelffledam…pater eius Osuiu et mater eius Aeanfled et pater matris eius Aeduini" were buried "in ecclesia sancti apostolic Petri" [later Whitby Abbey][801].  After his death, Northumbria reverted into its constituent parts of Deira and Bernicia.  Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle both record that Paulinus fled to Kent where he was made Bishop of Rochester[802], triggering a major decline in the fledging church in Northumbria. 

m firstly (before [616]) CWENBURH of Mercia, daughter of CEARL King of Mercia & his wife --- (-before [619/23]).  Bede names "Quoenburga filia Cearli regis Merciorum" as mother of King Eadwine’s sons "Osfrid et Eadfrid" when recording their baptism with their father, adding that they had both been born during their father’s exile before his accession[803].  Eadwine’s marriage must presumably therefore be dated to before 616, which if correct indicates that the marriage took place before the accession of Cwenburh's father in Mercia. 

m secondly ([619/23]) ÆTHELBERG Tate of Kent, daughter of ÆTHELBERHT King of Kent & his first wife Bertha of the Franks ([590]-after 633).  Bede records that "rege…Aeduino" married "Aedilbergae filia Aedilberti regis…Tatae vocabatur" and that she was taken to Northumbria by Paulinus after he was ordained bishop by Archbishop Justus "XII Kal Aug" in 625[804].  This date is inconsistent with the correspondence of Pope Boniface V, who was Pope from 619 to 625, in particular the letter to Queen Æthelberg, quoted by Bede[805].  Bede records that "rege…Aeduino" was converted to Christianity by "Paulino"[806], which was written after the Pope learned of her brother's conversion and admonishing her husband for his continued non-conversion.  The date range [619/23] for the marriage seems a safer hypothesis.  Bede records that, after her husband was killed, Paulinus took "regina Aedilberge" to Kent by sea where they were received with honour by "Honorio archiepiscopo et rege Eadbaldo"[807].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the same event in 633[808]

King Eadwine & his first wife had two children:

1.         OSFRITH ([before 616]-killed in battle Hatfield Chase, near Doncaster 14 Oct 633).  Bede names "Quoenburga filia Cearli regis Merciorum" as mother of King Eadwine’s sons "Osfrid et Eadfrid" when recording their baptism with their father, adding that they had both been born during their father’s exile before his accession[809].  Bede records that "unus filius eius Osfrid" was killed in  battle "IV Id Oct" in 633 at "Haethfelth" with his father[810].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Osfrith as son of King Eadwine when recording that he was killed in battle with his father 14 Oct 633[811]m ---.  The name of Osfrith's wife is not known.  Osfrith & his wife had one child: 

a)         YFFI ([627/32]-in France after 633, bur in France).  Bede records that "Yffi filius Osfridi" was baptised[812].  Bede records that, after their father was killed, "duce Basso milite regis Æduini" took "Eanfledam filiam et Uuscfrean filium Æduini, necnon et Yffi filium Osfridi filius eius" to Kent, from where their mother, fearing "Eadbaldi et Osualdi regum", sent them "in Galliam" to her friend "regi Daegberecto" but that both children died and were buried there[813]

2.         EADFRITH ([before 616]-murdered [in Mercia] [635/41]).  Bede names "Quoenburga filia Cearli regis Merciorum" as mother of King Eadwine’s sons "Osfrid et Eadfrid" when recording their baptism with their father, adding that they had both been born during their father’s exile before his accession[814].  Bede records that "filius eius…alter Eadfrid" fled to "Penda…de region genere Merciorum" after the battle in which his father and brother were killed, but was killed there during the reign of "Osualdo"[815]

King Eadwine & his second wife had four children: 

3.         EANFLÆD (Easter Sunday 626-after 680, bur Whitby Abbey).  Bede records the birth of "filiam regi…Æanfled" on "nocte sacrosancta dominici paschae", the same day as the assassination attempt on her father, adding that she was baptised "die sancto pentecostes prima de gente Nordanhymbrorum" with eleven other family members[816].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the baptism of "Eanfled, daughter of king Edwin" on "the holy eve of Whit Sunday" in 626, adding (in manuscript E) that King Eadwine "promised … to give his daughter to God" if he defeated Cwichelm King of Wessex in revenge for this attempt on his life[817].  Bede records that, after their father was killed, "duce Basso milite regis Æduini" took "Eanfledam filiam et Uuscfrean filium Æduini, necnon et Yffi filium Osfridi filius eius" to Kent, from where their mother, fearing "Eadbaldi et Osualdi regum", sent them "in Galliam" to her friend "regi Daegberecto" but that both children died and were buried there[818].  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy had two wives, Riemmelth, the daughter of Royth, son of Rum, and Eanfled, the daughter of Edwin, son of Alla"[819].  Bede records that "filiam…Æduini regis Eanfledam", who had been taken to Kent after her father was killed, was brought back by "presbyter…Utta" to marry "regi Osuio"[820].  The Vita Wilfridi names "reginam regis Oswiu nomine Eanfled"[821].  She succeeded Hilda as second abbess of Whitby 680.  Bede records that "rex Osuiu…filiam suam Aelffledam…pater eius Osuiu et mater eius Aeanfled et pater matris eius Aeduini" were buried "in ecclesia sancti apostolic Petri" [later Whitby Abbey][822]m (before 645[823]) as his second wife, OSWIU King of Northumbria, son of ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia [Northumbria] & his wife Ucha of Deira [Northumbria] ([610/11] -15 Feb 670, bur Whitby Abbey). 

4.         ÆTHELHUN ([627/29]-young, bur York).  Bede records that "alii liberi eius [Eadwine] de Aedilberga regina…Aedilhun et Aedilthryd filia et alter filius Uuscfrea" were baptised, but that the first two died as infants and were buried "Eburaci in ecclesia"[824]

5.         ÆTHELDRITH ([628/31]-young, bur York).  Bede records that "alii liberi eius [Eadwine] de Aedilberga regina…Aedilhun et Aedilthryd filia et alter filius Uuscfrea" were baptised, but that the first two died as infants and were buried "Eburaci in ecclesia"[825]

6.         WUSCFREA ([632/33]-in France after 633, bur France).  Bede records that "alii liberi eius [Eadwine] de Aedilberga regina…Aedilhun et Aedilthryd filia et alter filius Uuscfrea" were baptised[826].  Bede records that, after their father was killed, "duce Basso milite regis Æduini" took "Eanfledam filiam et Uuscfrean filium Æduini, necnon et Yffi filium Osfridi filius eius" to Kent, from where their mother, fearing "Eadbaldi et Osualdi regum", sent them "in Galliam" to her friend "regi Daegberecto" but that both children died and were buried there[827]

 

 

 

B.      KINGS of BERNICIA, KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 634-716

 

 

The Kings of Bernicia claimed descent from Wodin, which is set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[828] as follows: "Woden/Bældæg/Brand/Benoc/Aloc/Angenwit/Ingui/Esa/Eoppa/Ida".  This differs from the descent given in the Historia Brittonum of Nennius: "Woden/Beldeg/Beornec/Gethbrond/Aluson/Ingwi/Edibrith/Esa/Eoppa/Ida"[829]

 

 

[IDA, son of [EOPPA] (-560).  Bede, in his general chronology, records that "Ida", ancestor of "regalis Nordanhymbrorum prosapia", began to reign in 547[830].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ida from whom sprang the royal race of the Northumbrians succeeded to the kingdom" in 547, reigned twelve years, and built Bamburgh, which was "first enclosed by a stockade and thereafter by a rampart", adding (in manuscript A) that Ida was the son of "Eoppa, son of Esa, son of Ingui…" and so forth back to Ida’s supposed ancestor Woden and Woden’s own ancestors back three generations[831].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Ælle succeeded in 560 "Ida having died"[832].] 

[m BEBBA, daughter of ---.  The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified.  Bede records that the royal city of Northumbria was named after "Bebbæ quondam reginæ", when recounting that it was ravaged by the forces of Penda King of Mercia[833].] 

King Ida & [his wife] had [seven] children:

1.         [ADDA .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[834].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis", adding in a later passage that Adda, the eldest son of Ida, reigned in Bernicia for seven years while Ælle was living[835].] 

2.         [BELRIC .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[836].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis"[837].] 

3.         [THEODERIC .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[838].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis"[839].] 

4.         [ÆTHELRIC (-593[840]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Æthelric son of Ida" as father of Æthelfrith, when recording the latter's accession[841].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis"[842].  On the death of his father, Ælle succeeded as King of Bernicia.  It is not clear whether Æthelric also succeeded, jointly with his brothers, as king in part of Bernicia at that time[843].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that, on the death of King Ælle in 588, "Æthelric reigned five years after him"[844].  He succeeded as ÆTHELRIC King of Bernicia and Deira.  According to William of Malmesbury, at that time "he was advanced to extreme old age, after a life consumed in penury…he was a pitiable prince"[845].  According to Brooks[846], the Æthelric who ruled in Deira was not the same person as Æthelric King of Bernicia.]  m ---.  The name of Æthelric’s wife is not known.  Æthelric & [his wife] had two children: 

a)         ÆTHELFRITH (-killed in battle 616).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelfrith as son of "Æthelric son of Ida" when recording his accession[847].  He succeeded his father 593 as ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia.   

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b)         THEODBALD (-killed in battle Degsastan 603).  Bede records that "Theodbald frater Aedilfridi" was killed fighting "Aedan rex Scottorum" [Aedan mac Gabrain, King of Argyll] at "Degsestán, id est Degsa lapis" in 603[848].  

5.         [THEODHERE .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[849].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis"[850].] 

6.         [OSMER .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[851].  Florence of Worcester names "Addam, Bælricum, Theodricum, Æthelricum, Theodherum, Osmærum" as Ida’s six sons "ex reginis"[852].] 

7.         [BEARNOCH .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[853].]   

King Ida had [six] illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:

8.          [OCGA [Offa]Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[854].  According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ceolwulf King of Northumbria descended from Ocga, supposedly son of Ida King of Bernicia :  the Chronicle records that "Ceolwulf succeeded to the kingdom", after Osric King of Northumbria was killed, and ruled eight years, adding that he was the son of "Cutha, son of Cuthwine, son of Leodwald, son of Ecgwald, son of Aldhelm, son of Ocga, son of Ida…"[855].  However, this reported descent is extremely suspect as no other information is available on any of these individuals.] 

9.          [EALRICThe Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ida had twelve sons, Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen, Bearnoch, Ealric"[856].  Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[857].  According to Florence of Worcester, Ealric was the direct male line ancestor of Alhred King of Northumbria:  he records that "Alhredus" succeeded after "Moll" was expelled from "regnum Northanhymbrorum", adding that he was "filius Eanwini…qui fuit Byrnhom, qui fuit Bofa, qui fuit Bleacman, qui fuit Ealric, qui fuit Idæ"[858].  This appears to be another suspect line of descent.  It is not included in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.] 

10.       [ECCA .  Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[859]. 

11.       [OSWALD .  Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[860]. 

12.       [SOGOR .  Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[861]. 

13.       [SOGETHERE .  Florence of Worcester names "Occ, Alricum, Eccam, Oswold, Sogor, Sogetherum" as Ida’s six sons "ex pellicibus"[862]. 

 

 

ÆTHELFRITH, son of ÆTHELRIC King of Bernicia and Deira & his wife --- (-killed in battle 616).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelfrith as son of "Æthelric son of Ida" when recording his accession[863].  He succeeded his father in 593 as ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia.  He significantly extended the power of Bernicia inland to the west, as well as over Deira.  Bede records that "rex…Aedilfrid" governed Northumbria at the time Æthelberht King of Kent was converted to Christianity (601), that he conquered much territory from the Britons and defeated "Aedan rex Scottorum" [Aedan mac Gabrain, King of Argyll] at "Degsestán, id est Degsa lapis" in 603, adding that this was the eleventh year of the reign of Æthelfrith who ruled in total twenty-four years[864].  Bede records that "rex Anglorum…Aedilfrid" defeated the Britons at "civitatem Legionum, quæ a gente Anglorum Legacaestir, a Brettonibus…Carlegion" [Chester] at "Degsestán, id est Degsa lapis", undated[865].  This victory, probably datable to [613/16], brought the English to the Irish Sea and separated the territory of the Britons of Wales from the Britons of the north.  In a later passage, Bede records that "Aedilfrido" forced his rival the future "regis Aeduini" into exile, and that he was killed in battle by "Redualdum regem Anglorum" who had welcomed Eadwine[866].  William of Malmesbury records that King Æthelfrith was killed in battle against Rædwald King of the East Angles, who supported the claim of Edwin son of Ælle King of Deira, who had sought refuge at the East Anglian court[867]

m UCHA of Deira, daughter of ÆLLE King of Deira [Northumbria] & his wife --- ([575/80] -).  Her parentage and marriage are confirmed by Bede who records that her son "Osualdi" was "nepos Aeduini regis ex sorore Acha"[868].  William of Malmesbury names "Acca, the daughter of Alla, sister of Edwin" as the mother of King Æthelfrith's childen[869]

King Æthelfrith & his wife had [eight] children:

1.         EANFRITH (-murdered 635).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[870].  The Anglo-Saxon Chroncle names "Æthelfrith's son Eanfrith" when recording his accession in Bernicia[871].  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[872].  He claimed to succeed as king of Bernicia in opposition to Eadwine King of Northumbria from 617.  William of Malmesbury states that he lived in exile with the "Scots or Picts" during the reign of King Eadwine, where he was baptised[873].  He succeeded in 634 as EANFRITH King of Bernicia after the death of King Eadwine, but renounced Christianity[874].  Bede records that, after King Eadwine was killed in 633, "filius Aedilfridi…Eanfrid" succeeded in "regnum Berniciorum", adding that all King Æthelfrith’s sons had lived in exile "apud Scottos sive Pictos" from where they then returned home[875].  Bede records that "rex Brettonum Ceadualla" killed "Osricum" [King of Deira] in the following summer, and ruled "provinciæ Nordanhymbrorum" for a year before also killing "Eanfridum" [King of Bernicia] who had visited Cadwallon to sue for peace[876]m ---.  The name of King Eanfrith's wife is not known.  However, the accession of her son as king of the Picts is best explained if she was a Pict who, according to Bede[877], chose their kings from the female line when the succession to the kingdom was in doubt.  Eanfrith & his wife had one child: 

a)         TALORGAN mac Enfret (-[653 or 656]).  The Annals of Tigernach record that "Tolartach son of Anfrait king of the Picts" won the battle of "Srath Ethairt" in 651[878].  King of the Picts from 653[879].  The Annals of Tigernach record that "Tolorgan, son of Ainfrith, king of the Picts" died in [653 or 656][880]

2.         OSWALD ([602/03]-killed in battle Maserfelth 5 Aug [641/42], bur Beardeneu [Beardney] Monastery, Lindsey, transferred 906 to Gloucester).  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[881].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[882].  William of Malmesbury names "Oswald, aged 12, and Oswiu, 4 years" as sons of King Æthelfith when recording their escape to Scotland on the death of their father[883].  They lived in exile throughout the reign of their maternal uncle, during which time they were baptised by the monks of Iona[884].  William of Malmesbury records that he defeated and killed Cadwallon King of Gwynedd in late 635 at Dilston, near Rowley Burn south of Hexham[885], and was immediately accepted as OSWALD King of Bernicia and Deira, in effect establishing himself as King of Northumbria.  Bede records that "Osualdi", after the death of "fratris [eius] Eanfridi", defeated and killed "Bretonnici regis tyrannidem" (referring to "rex Brettonum Ceadualla") at "Denisesburgna, id est riuus Denisi"[886].  Bede names "Osuald…Nordanhymbrorum rex" as sixth of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber[887].  Bede records that King Oswald brought Aidan from Iona in 635 to revive Christianity in Northumbria, establishing him at Lindisfarne with his monks[888].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he stood sponsor for his father-in-law Cynegils King of Wessex at the latter's baptism in 635[889].  He is listed as Sixth Bretwalda by Bede who describes him as "lord of all the nations and provinces of Britain, whether British, Pictish, Irish or English".  King Oswald is referred to as totius Brittaniæ imperator by Adomnán, abbot of Iona, in the Life of Columba[890].  Bede records that "Osuald…rex Nordanhymbrorum" reigned for nine years and was killed in battle 5 Aug (year not stated) by the same "rege Merciorum" [Penda King of Mercia] who had killed his predecessor [King Eadwine], "in loco…Maserfelth", aged 38[891].  He dates this event to 642 in his general chronology[892].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates this event to 641[893].  Stenton suggests that the place was probably Oswestry in Shropshire[894].  The calendar of Echternach includes "Non Aug Osualdi regis"[895].  Northumbria was once more split into Deira and Bernicia after his death.  Bede records that King Oswald’s bones were transferred to "monasterium…in provincie Landissi…Beardaneu" by "reginæ Merciorum Osthrydæ…filia fratris eius…Osuiu…cum viro suo Aedilredo"[896].  Bede states that "abbatissa…Aedilhild, soror…Aediluini et Alduini, quorum prior episcopus in Lindissi prouincia, secundus…abbas in monasterio…Peartaneu" reported miracles from the place of burial of King Oswald[897].  King Oswald was canonised, his feast day is 9 Aug[898]m (635 or after) CYNEBURH of Wessex, daughter of CYNEGILS King of Wessex & his wife ---.  Bede records that "regem Nordanhymbrorum Osualdum" married "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rege] Cynigilso…filiam" after her father was baptised[899].  The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified.   Oswald & his wife had one child: 

a)         ÆTHELWALD (-654).  Bede records that "fratruo, id est fratris sui que ante eum regnavit, filio Oidilualdo" gave much trouble during the reign of King Oswiu[900].  He was chosen to succeed as ÆTHELWALD King of Deira in 651 after the murder of King Oswine.  He placed himself under the protection of Penda King of Mercia, Deira in effect becoming a province of Mercia.  Bede records that "Oidiluald filius Osualdi regis", who reigned "in Derorum partibus", gave land to Cedd for the construction of a monastery now called "Laestingaeu"[901].  Bede records that "filius…Osualdi regis Oidiluald" allied himself with Penda King of Mercia when "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" defeated and killed the Mercian king near "fluvium Vinuaed", dated in a later passage to "XVII Kal Dec" in the thirteenth year of King Oswiu’s reign[902]

3.         OSWIU ([610/11]-15 Feb 670, bur Whitby Abbey).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[903].  He succeeded his brother in 641 as OSWIU King of Bernicia.   

-        see below

4.         [OSWUDU .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[904].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[905].] 

5.         [OSLAC .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[906].]  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[907].] 

6.         [OSLAF .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[908].] 

7.         [OFFA .  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[909].]  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "the eldest Eanfrith…Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswudu, Oslaf and Offa" as the sons of "Æthelfrith" who were driven out of the kingdom after their father was killed[910]

8.         ÆBBA .  The Vita Wilfridi names "sanctissima…Æbbæ soror Osviu regis" as materfamilias "ad cœnobium...Colodæsburg"[911]

 

 

OSWIU, son of ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia & his wife Ucha of Deira ([610/11]-15 Feb 670, bur Whitby Abbey).  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Ethelfrid…had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa"[912].  William of Malmesbury names "Oswald, aged 12, and Oswiu, 4 years" as sons of King Æthelfith when recording their escape to Scotland on the death of their father[913].  They lived in exile throughout the reign of their maternal uncle, during which time they were baptised by the monks of Iona[914].  He succeeded his brother in 641 as OSWIU King of Bernicia.  Bede records that "frater eius Osuiu", aged about 30 years, succeeded on the death of King Oswald and ruled for 28 years, but with much trouble from "pagana gente Merciorum", from "filio quoque suo Alchfrido" and from "fratruo, id est fratris sui que ante eum regnavit, filio Oidilualdo"[915].  He invaded Deira in 651 with the aim of reuniting the two kingdoms, and ordered the murder of King Oswine, but his nephew Æthelwald was chosen to succeed as King of Deira.  He defeated and killed Penda King of Mercia in 654 at Winwæd near Leeds[916].  By his victory he became overlord of Mercia, annexing the part of Mercia north of the river Trent.  Following the death of his nephew Æthelwald, he was accepted as King of Deira, becoming OSWIU King of Northumbria.  Bede names "Osuiu" brother of "Osuald…Nordanhymbrorum rex" as seventh of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber, adding that he also subjugated "Pictorum quoque atque Scottorum gentes"[917].  Bede records that "regis Merciorum" [Penda] was killed by "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" near "fluvium Vinuaed…in regione Loidis", dated in a later passage to "XVII Kal Dec" in the thirteenth year of King Oswiu’s reign[918].  He became ruler of Mercia in 656 after the murder of Peada, until the proclamation of Peada's younger brother Wulfhere as king in 657.  He presided over the synod of Streoneshalh[919], which in 664 settled the longstanding ecclesiastical dispute concerning the calculation of the movement of Easter[920].  According to Stenton[921], the monks from Iona had brought with them the Irish tradition of calculation, supported by King Oswiu, while Queen Eanflæd had been educated in Kent and supported the Roman usage.  After the decision, Colman Bishop of Lindisfarne, the main proponent of the Irish method of calculation, retired to Iona.  Following his departure, Lindisfarne ceased to be a bishop's seat and two new bishoprics were established at Ripon (under Wilfred) and York (under Ceadda, brother of Cedd Bishop of Essex).  Bede records the death "XV Kal Mar" in 670 of "Osuiu rex Nordanhymbrorum" aged 58[922].  Bede records that "rex Osuiu…filiam suam Aelffledam…pater eius Osuiu et mater eius Aeanfled et pater matris eius Aeduini" were buried "in ecclesia sancti apostolic Petri" [later Whitby Abbey][923]

m firstly ([early 630s]) RIEMMELTH, daughter of ROYTH, granddaughter of RHUN British Prince of Rheged.  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy had two wives, Riemmelth, the daughter of Royth, son of Rum, and Eanfled, the daughter of Edwin, son of Alla"[924]

m secondly (before 645[925]) EANFLÆD of Northumbria, daughter of EADWINE King of Northumbria & his second wife Æthelberg Tate of Kent (Easter Sunday 626-after 680, bur Whitby Abbey).  Bede records the birth of "filiam regi…Æanfled" on "nocte sacrosancta dominici paschae", the same day as the assassination attempt on her father, adding that she was baptised "die sancto pentecostes prima de gente Nordanhymbrorum" with eleven other family members[926].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Eadwine "promised … to give his daughter to God" if he defeated Cwichelm King of Wessex in revenge for this attempt on his life[927].  Bede records that, after their father was killed, "duce Basso milite regis Æduini" took "Eanfledam filiam et Uuscfrean filium Æduini, necnon et Yffi filium Osfridi filius eius" to Kent, from where their mother, fearing "Eadbaldi et Osualdi regum", sent them "in Galliam" to her friend "regi Daegberecto" but that both children died and were buried there[928].  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy had two wives, Riemmelth, the daughter of Royth, son of Rum, and Eanfled, the daughter of Edwin, son of Alla"[929].  Bede records that "filiam…Æduini regis Eanfledam", who had been taken to Kent after her father was killed, was brought back by "presbyter…Utta" to marry "regi Osuio"[930].  The Vita Wilfridi names "reginam regis Oswiu nomine Eanfled"[931].  She succeeded Hilda as second abbess of Whitby 680.  Bede records that "rex Osuiu…filiam suam Aelffledam…pater eius Osuiu et mater eius Aeanfled et pater matris eius Aeduini" were buried "in ecclesia sancti apostolic Petri" [later Whitby Abbey][932]

Mistress (1): ---.  The name of Oswiu's first mistress is not known. 

Mistress (2): ([650]) FÍN, [daughter or granddaughter] of COLMÁN RÍMID, Uí Néill king in Ireland.  The primary source which confirms her parentage and relationship with King Oswiu has not yet been identified.  Colin Ireland discusses the sources which confirm her identity, including the Annals of Tigernach for 704[933].  Kirby states that "Fin, daughter according to genealogical tradition, of the northern Uí Néill king in Ireland, Colmán Rímid who died in [604]" was the mother of Aldfrith, speculating that King Oswiu's relationship with her took place when he was seeking Irish support in his fight with Penda King of Mercia[934]

King Oswiu & his first wife had one child:

1.         ALHFRITH (-[664/69]).  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy begat Alfrid, Elfwin and Egfrid"[935].  Under-King of Deira [655/56].  Bede records that "filio quoque suo Alchfrido" caused much trouble during the reign of King Oswiu[936].  Bede records that "regis Merciorum" [Penda] was killed by "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" near "fluvium Vinuaed…in regione Loidis", dated in a later passage to "XVII Kal Dec" in the thirteenth year of King Oswiu’s reign[937].  He installed St Wilfrid as Bishop of Ripon [664].  The Vita Wilfridi names "Alchfridus qui cum Osviu patre suo regnabat" when recording his contacts with St Wilfrid[938]m CYNEBURGA, daughter of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise (-[680][939]).  Bede records that "filio regis Osuiu…Alchfrido" married "sororem [Peadæ]…Cyniburgam, filiam Pendan regis"[940].  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Kineburga and Kineswitha" as the daughters of King Penda & his wife, commenting that they were "both distinguished for inviolable chastity"[941].  He also records the marriage of Cyneburga and "Alfrid king of the Northumbrians" but says that "after a time, disgusted with wedlock, took the habit of a nun in the monastery which her brothers Wulfer and Æthelred had founded"[942].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the grant of land by King Ethelred for the foundation of the monastery of St Peter at Gloucester and the installation of "Keneburgam sororem suam" as first abbess[943].  She was abbess at Castor in Northamptonshire.  She was canonised, her feast day is 6 Mar[944]

King Oswiu & his second wife had four children:

2.         ECGFRITH (645-killed in battle Nechtanesmere [Dún Nechtain[945], Dunnichen in Forfarshire] 20 May 685).  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy begat Alfrid, Elfwin and Egfrid", specifying that "Egfrid is he who made war against his cousin Brudei king of the Picts, and he fell therein with all the strength of his army"[946].  Bede records that "alius filius eius Ecgfrid" was a hostage "in provincia Merciorum apud reginam Cynuise" when "rex Osuiu…cum Alchfrido filio" defeated and killed Penda King of Mercia near "fluvium Vinuaed", undated[947].  Bede records that "Ecgfridum filium" succeeded on the death of "Osuiu rex Nordanhymbrorum"[948].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his father in 670 as ECGFRITH King of Northumbria[949].  He crushed a Pictish rebellion [672], establishing the new bishopric of Abercorn on the Firth of Forth in 681 to reinforce his rule in the north.  He defeated an invasion of Wulfhere King of Mercia in 674, establishing his rule over Lindsey until losing it to Æthelred King of Mercia in 678 at the battle of the Trent.  Bede records that his expulsion of Wilfrid as Bishop of York 677, and procurement of the creation of three new sees by Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury, triggered a crisis in the Northumbrian church[950].  He ignored the Lateran council decision of Oct 679 restoring Wilfrid to his seat.  Bede records a battle between "Aedilredum regem Merciorum" and "Ecgfridi [rex]", in the ninth year of the reign of the latter, "iuxta fluvium Treanta" in which "Aelfuini frater regis Ecgfridi" was killed[951].  In his general chronology, he dates this event to 679[952].  The dating clause of an instrument presented by Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury to the Council of Hatfield, dated "XV Kal Oct" [680], refers to the tenth year of "Ecgfrido rege Hymbronensium"[953].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he sent his general Beort to invade Ireland in 684 and "they pitiably laid waste and burned God's churches"[954], but the army was repelled.  Bede records that "Ecgfrid rex Nordanhymbrorum" was killed in battle "XIII Kal Jun", in the year following the king’s expedition to Ireland which Bede states was 684, by the Picts, aged 40 and in the fifteenth year of his reign[955].  In his general chronology, he dates this event to 685[956].  The calendar of Echternach includes "XIV Kal Iun Ecfridi regis"[957]m firstly ([648], marriage not consummated, divorced [before 677]) as her second husband, ÆTHELTHRYTH of the East Angles, widow of TONBERT chief of the southern Girvii, daughter of ANNA King of the East Angles & his wife --- (-679).  Bede records that "rex Ecgfrid" married "Aedilthrydam, filiam Anna regis Orientalium Anglorum", who had previously married "princeps…Australium Gyruiorum…Tondberct" who had died soon after their marriage, adding that Bishop Wilfrid had informed him that the couple lived together for twelve years without consummating their marriage[958].  The Vita Wilfridi names "regina Aethildrythe" as the wife of King Ecgfrith, stating that she was twisted by envy[959].  Alcuin's poem records the marriage of "Egfridus" and "Adiltrudam…nobilium genitam regali stirpe parentum"[960].  William of Malmesbury names "Etheldritha, Ethelburga and Sexburga" as the three daughters of Anna king of the East Angles, specifying that Etheldritha was married to two husbands[961].  She granted land at Hexham to Wilfrid Bishop of York on which he founded a reat monastery.  Bede recounts that she entered the monastery of "Aebbæ abbatissæ…amita regis Ecgfridi" at "Coludi urbem" and afterwards was appointed abbess "in regione…Elge" [Ely], and records her death seven years after becoming abbess[962].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that St Æthelthryth founded the monastery of Ely in 673[963]m secondly ([before 677]) EORMENBURH, sister of the wife of CENTWINE King of Wessex, daughter of ---.  The Vita Wilfridi names "regis Ecgfridi regina nomine Irmenburg", stating that her body was not corrupted after she died, and in a later passage names her "regem Westsexona…Centwini…regina soror Irminburge regina"[964].  According to William of Malmesbury, King Ecgfrith's wife (whom he does not name) was an enemy of Wilfrid and encouraged her husband to deprive him of his bishopric[965], presumably because she understood the influence which he had held over his first wife. 

3.         ÆLFLÆD ([652/53]-712).  Bede names "rex Osuiu…filiam suam Aelffledam", scarcely one year old, when recording that her father, as thanks for having defeated Penda King of Mercia, consecrated her to God at the monastery of "Heruteu" ["island of the hart", later Whitby Abbey], then presided over by "Hild abbatissa"[966].  The Vita Wilfridi names "Aelfelda abbatissa…filia regis"[967].  Bede names "virgo Aelbfled…cum matre Eanflede" as abbess of "monasterio…Streanæshalch"[968]

4.         OSTHRYTH (-murdered 697, bur Bardney Abbey).  Bede records that "Aedilredum regem Merciorum" married "Aelfuini frater regis Ecgfridi…sororem eius…Osthryd", dated to before the battle in which her brother Ælfwine was killed[969].  The Vita Wilfridi refers to the wife of King Æthelred as "soror Ecgfridi regis" but does not name her[970].  Alcuin's poem names "regis Edelredi regina Osthfrida…Oswaldi sancti…filia fratris"[971].  William of Malmesbury names "Ostgida sister of Egfrid king of the Northumbrians" as the wife of King Æthelred[972].  Bede records that the bones of Oswald King of Northumbria were transferred to "monasterium…in provincie Landissi…Beardaneu" by "reginæ Merciorum Osthrydæ…filia fratris eius…Osuiu…cum viro suo Aedilredo"[973].  Bede, in his general chronology, records that "Osthryd regina" was killed "a suis, id est Merciorum" in 697[974].  She was murdered by the Mercians[975]m (before 679) ÆTHELRED King of Mercia, son of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise (-after 709, bur Bardney Abbey).  He abdicated in 704 and became a monk at Bardney Abbey, Lincolnshire.   

5.         ÆLFWINE ([660/61]-killed in battle Trent 679).  The Historia Brittonum of Nennius records that "Oswy begat Alfrid, Elfwin and Egfrid"[976].  Bede records a battle between "Aedilredum regem Merciorum" and "Ecgfridi [rex]", in the ninth year of the reign of the latter, "iuxta fluvium Treanta" in which "Aelfuini frater regis Ecgfridi" was killed, aged 18[977].  Bede, in his general chronology, dates this event to 679[978].  Alcuin's poem records the death in battle of "regis frater…Aelwine"[979]

King Oswiu had one illegitimate daughter by Mistress (1):

6.          ALHFLÆD [Alehfleda]Bede records that "Peada filio Pendan regis" married "Osuiu…filiam eius Alchfledam" on condition that he accepted Christainity[980].  William of Malmesbury states that Peada married the (unnamed) daughter of King Oswiu "on condition of renouncing his idols and embracing Christianity" and that Peada's death was "hastened as they say by the intrigues of his wife"[981].  The primary source which confirms that she was illegitimate has not yet been identified.  She betrayed her husband who was murdered as a result of the plot[982]m (653) PEADA of Mercia, son of PENDA King of Mercia & his wife Cynewise (-murdered 656[983]).  He succeeded his father 654 as PEADA King of Mercia, but only ruled south of the river Trent under the overlordship of Oswiu King of Northumbria, his father-in-law. 

King Oswiu had one illegitimate son by Mistress (2): 

7.          ALDFRITH ([650] -Driffield 14 Dec 704)Bede records that "Aldfrid…frater eius et filius Osuiu regis" succeeded on the death of "Ecgfrido"[984].  He succeeded his half-brother in 685 as ALDFRITH King of Northumbria

-        see below

 

 

ALDFRITH, illegitimate son of OSWIU King of Northumbria & his mistress Fín ([650]-Driffield 14 Dec 704).  Bede records that "Aldfrid…frater eius et filius Osuiu regis" succeeded on the death of "Ecgfrido"[985].  William of Malmesbury names Alfrid as illegitimate elder brother of King Ecgfrith, recording that he had retired to Ireland "either through compulsion or indignation" where he had "become deeply versed in literature"[986].  The primary source which confirms his mother's name has not yet been identified.  According to Kirby, Oswiu's relationship with Aldfrith's mother occurred when he was seeking Irish support in his fight with Penda King of Mercia, dated to [650][987].  Educated for the priesthood, maybe in Wessex[988].  He lived on Iona in 685[989].  William of Malmesbury records that he was recalled to Northumbria in 685[990] to succeed his half-brother as ALDFRITH King of Northumbria.  On the request of Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury, he made peace with Wilfrid who returned to Northumbria in 686, taking the vacant see of Ripon.  However, King Aldfrith expelled Wilfrid in 691 because he refused to accept Theodore's settlement of the Northumbrian church.  The issue remained unresolved after the council of Austerfield in 702, and was only settled after Aldfrith's death, with Wilfrid's restoration to the sees of Ripon and Hexham.  King Aldfrith's reign was marked by attacks on Northumbria's northern border by the Picts, increasing after their defeat of Aldfrith's predecessor.  Bede, in his general chronology, records that "Berctrud dux regius Nordanhymbrorum" was killed "a Pictis" in 698[991].  Aldfrith's successful defence of the Northumbrian monasteries permitted their cultural development.  A learned man, poems written in Irish are attributed to him.  The first Northumbrian silver coins were minted during his reign.  Bede records the death in 705 of "Aldfrid rex Nordanhymbrorum" after reigning for 20 years[992].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the place and date of his death[993]

m firstly (separated before [696/97][994]) CUTHBURH of Wessex, sister of INE King of Wessex, daughter of CENRED under-King of Wessex (-[725][995]).  After her repudiation, she became a nun at Barking.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Cwenburh and Cuthburh" as sisters of Ingeld and Ine, recording that Cuthburh married Aldfrith king of Northumbria "but they parted during their lifetime" and founded the monastic community at Wimborne[996].  She was canonised, her feast day is 3 Sep[997]

m secondly ---.  The name of King Aldfrith's second wife is not known. 

King Aldfrith & his second wife had two children: 

1.         OSRED ([696/97]-murdered in Mercia 716[998]).  Bede records that "filius suus Osred", eight years old, succeeded on the death of "Aldfrid rex Nordanhymbrorum" and reigned for eleven years[999].  The Vita Wilfridi names "Osred filius Aldfridi regis", specifying that he was adopted by St Wilfred[1000].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded his father in 705 as OSRED I King of Northumbria[1001], after Bishop Wilfrid became one of his supporters who defeated the rival King Eadwulf at Bamburgh.  Wilfrid was not restored to the see of York, but remained as Bishop of Hexham, dying as such in 710.  St. Boniface regarded Osred as "a worthless youth who led an evil life and violated the ancient privileges of the Northumbrian church"[1002].  According to William of Malmesbury, he spent "an ignominious life in the seducing of nuns, was ultimately taken off by the hostility of his relations"[1003].  Bede records that "Osredo" was killed in 716[1004].  He is also immortalised in Æthelwulf's De Abbatibus, appearing as a wild and irreligious king who killed many of his nobles and forced others into exile. 

2.         OFFA.  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.  An uprising in his favour took place against King Eadberht in 750, but this was suppressed after Offa was besieged in Lindisfarne. 

 

 

EADWULF, son of ---.  He succeeded in 705 as EADWULF King of Northumbria.  The primary source which confirms his name has not yet been identified.  He was supported by Wilfrid, but rejected this support[1005].  He was beaten by King Osred I's supporters at Bamburgh. 

m ---.  The name of Eadwulf's wife is not known. 

Eadwulf & his wife had one child: 

1.         EARNWINE (-killed 740).  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. 

 

 

Brother [and sister], parents not known: 

1.         OSRIC, son of --- (-killed in battle 9 May 729, bur Gloucester St Peter).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded King Cenred in 718 as OSRIC King of Northumbria[1006].  Bede refers to the year 725 as the seventh year of "Osrici regis Nordanhymbrorum" who had succeeded "Coenredo"[1007].  Kirby suggests that Osric could have been a son of Ahlfrith or of Aldfrith[1008], but if this is correct it seems surprising that Bede would not have mentioned the relationship as he was writing so soon after Osric's reign.  He adopted Ceolwulf as his successor[1009].  Bede records the death "VII Id Mai" of "Osric rex Nordanhymbrorum" after reigning for eleven years[1010].  He dates this event to 729 in his general chronology[1011].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the death "VII Id Mai" in 729 of "rex Osricus" and his burial at Gloucester St Peter[1012]

2.         [CYNEBURGA (-710, bur Gloucester St Peter).  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the installation of "Kyneburga soror regis Osrici" as abbess of the monastery, her death in 710 (clarifying that she died 19 years before her brother), and burial next to her brother[1013].  However, the same passage in the text states that Cyneburga was succeeded by "Edburga uxor et regina Wolferi regis Merciorum", which reveals some confusion in the source which in an earlier paragraph states that Cyneburga, sister of Æthelred King of Mercia founder of the monastery, was installed as first abbess and succeeded by Edburgh[1014].  There must therefore be some doubt about the historical accuracy of the source and the existence of Cyneburga sister of King Osric.] 

 

 

 

C.      KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 729-788

 

 

The descent of King Ceolwulf from King Ida, through Ocga, Ealdhelm, Ecgweald, Leodwald, Cuthwine, and Cutha is set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1015].  However, it is especially suspect.  No mention of any of these named individuals appears elsewhere, and it is unlikely that the religious houses which first compiled such genealogies would have recorded the descents of younger brothers of the ruling monarchs to the sixth generation in this way.  As noted in the Introduction to the present document, no example has been found of a record of any such junior line of any of the Anglo-Saxon royal families which does not end with the name of a ruling monarch or a strong candidate for the monarchy.  It may have been appealing for the supporters of King Cenred and his relatives to have fabricated descent from the earlier kings to boost his credentials and attract wider support for his accession. 

 

 

Two brothers: 

1.         CENRED (-718).  Bede records that "Coenred" succeeded after "Osredo" was killed in 716[1016].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he succeeded King Osred in 716 as CENRED King of Northumbria[1017].  The History of Gloucester St Peter records the death in 708 of "Kenred rex Northhanhynbrorum"[1018], although there appears to be some confusion in this source with Cenred King of Mercia. 

2.         CEOLWULF (-[764], bur Lindisfarne[1019]).  Bede records that "Osric rex Nordanhymbrorum" appointed "Ceoluulfum…fratrem…Coenredi regis" as his successor[1020].  According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ceolwulf and his brother were descendants of Ocga, supposedly son of Ida King of Bernicia:  the Chronicle records that "Ceolwulf succeeded to the kingdom", after Osric King of Northumbria was killed, and ruled eight years, adding that he was the son of "Cutha, son of Cuthwine, son of Leodwald, son of Ecgwald, son of Aldhelm, son of Ocga, son of Ida…"[1021].  He succeeded in 729 as CEOLWULF King of Northumbria.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Ceoluulf rex" was captured, tonsured and expelled in 731[1022].  He was restored later the same year.  It is not known who replaced him as king during this period[1023].  Bede sent King Ceolwulf a copy of his Historia Ecclesiastica for revision, and he is named in the dedication to the work.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Ceoluulfus" abdicated in 737, became a monk, and left the kingdom to "Eadbercto"[1024].  William of Malmesbury states that he abdicated in 737 and became a monk at Lindisfarne[1025]

 

 

1.         EADBERHT (-19/20 Aug 768[1026], bur York Minster).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Eadberht succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom" in 738, adding that he was the son of "Eata, son of Leodwald" and that he ruled twenty-one years[1027].  The same Leodwald was recorded as paternal great-grandfather of King Ceolwulf (see above), and therefore Eadberht was also alleged descended from Ocga, supposedly son of Ida King of Bernicia.  As noted in the introduction to this part, this supposed descent is extremely dubious.  He succeeded his cousin Ceolwulf in 737 as EADBERHT King of Northumbria.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Ceoluulfus" abdicated in 737, became a monk, and left the kingdom to "Eadbercto"[1028].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Aedilbaldus rex Merciorum" devastated part of Northumbria in 740 while "rex…Eadberctus" was away with his army fighting the Picts[1029].  In 750, King Eadberht conquered Kyle in Ayrshire from the Britons of Strathclyde, and in 756 attacked Alcluith, the British capital, in alliance with Óengus King of the Picts.  However, his army was slaughtered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 756, maybe by the Britons[1030].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he abdicated in 757[1031] and became a monk at York.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Eadberctus rex Nordanhymbrorum" abdicated and became a monk in 758[1032]m ---.  The name of Eadberht's wife is not known.  Eadberht & his wife had one child: 

a)         OSWULF (-murdered 24 Jul 759).  The Continuator of Bede records that "filio suo Osuulfo" succeeded in 758 after "Eadberctus rex Nordanhymbrorum" abdicated and became a monk[1033].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Oswulf as son of King Eadberht when recording his accession, and that "members of his household" killed him on 24 Jul[1034].  He succeeded his father in 757 as OSWULF King of Northumbria.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Osuulfus" was killed in 758 "a suis ministris"[1035].  William of Malmesbury says that he was killed "without any offence on his part"[1036]m ---.  The name of Oswulf's wife is not known.  Oswulf & his wife had two children:

i)          ÆLFWALD (-murdered near Hadrian's wall 23 Sep 788, bur Hexham St Andrew).  He succeeded in 779 as ÆLFWALD I King of Northumbria, after driving out King Æthelred.  Simeon of Durham records that "Ethelred" was driven into exile in 779 and that "Elfwald son of Oswulf" succeeded and ruled Northumbria for ten years[1037].  Simeon of Durham records that "dukes Osbald and Athelheard" burnt "Bearn a nobleman of King Elfwald in Selatune IX Kal Jan" in 780[1038].  The Annales Laurissenses record that in 786 Charles I King of the Franks sent his army to "partibus Brittaniæ" with his missus "Audulfo sinescalco".  In the same paragraph, it is clarified that this refers to "Brittania insula" not Brittany[1039].  It is not clear in which part of Britain the Frankish army fought.  Mercia and Northumbria appear to be the most likely possibilities as other sources record contact with the Franks from these kingdoms towards the end of the 8th century.  Simeon of Durham records that "King Elfwald" was killed "IX Kal Oct at…Scythlescester near the Wall" in 788 and was buried at "Hehstealdesige [Hexham]…church of St Andrew"[1040].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was murdered[1041], "though guiltless" according to William of Malmesbury who also records his burial at Hexham[1042].  Simeon of Durham records that "duke Sicga who murdered king Elfwald" committed suicide and was buried "isle of Lindisfarne IX Kal Mai"[1043]m ---.  The name of Ælfwald's wife is not known.  Ælfwald & his wife had two children:

(a)       ŒLF (-murdered 791).  After his father's murder, he and his brother sought refuge in St Peter's church in York.  They were persuaded to leave the church in 791 and killed by King Æthelred in Wonwaldremere[1044].  Simeon of Durham records that "the sons of King Elfwald…Oelf and Oelfwine" were "carried from the city of York by force" and killed by King Æthelred in 791[1045]

(b)       ŒLFWINE (-murdered 791).  After his father's murder, he met the same fate as his brother[1046].  Simeon of Durham records that "the sons of King Elfwald…Oelf and Oelfwine" were "carried from the city of York by force" and killed by King Æthelred in 791[1047]

ii)         OSGIFU.  Her ancestry is deduced from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which records that "Osred, Alhred's son, succeeded to the kingdom because he was the nephew of Ælfwald"[1048].  Simeon of Durham records the marriage in 768 of "King Alcred" and "Osgearn"[1049].  Her name is recorded in the letter which "Alhredus rex et Osgeofu regina" wrote to Lullus dated 773[1050]m (768) ALHRED King of Northumbria, son of EANWINE & his wife --- (-after 774). 

2.         ECGBERHT (-York 19 Nov 766[1051], bur York Minster).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "archbishop Egbert, son of Eata" as brother of King Eadberht[1052].  Pupil of Bede.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Ecgberct" was made "Eboraci episcopus" by Wilfrid in 732, adding in another passage that "Ecgberctus episcopus" was made archbishop by the Pope in 735[1053].  This ended the constitutional unity of the English church.  He founded a school at York, appointing to its charge his kinsman Æthelberht who created one of the greatest libraries in western Europe there[1054].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Ecgberctus archiepiscopus prosapia regali" died in 766[1055].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in York on 19 Nov 766 of "archbishop Egbert", having been "bishop thirty-six years"[1056]

3.         EGRED (-Rome [before 735]).  Simeon's History of the Church of Durham records that "Ecgbert…went to Rome…with his brother Egred" and returned home after the death of his brother[1057]

 

 

The precise relationship between the following persons and the family set out above has not yet been established: 

1.         OFFA (-murdered [737/68]).  Simeon's History of the Church of Durham records that "during the reign of Eadbert…one of the royal family…Offa…fled to the body of St Cuthbert but…was put to death"[1058]

 

2.         ÆTHELBERHT (-Tours 804).  Kinsman of Archbishop Ecgberht, the precise relationship is not known.  Appointed Archbishop of York in 767, succeeding Ecgberht.  He resigned his see in 780.  Having journeyed to Rome, he received permanent hospitality at the court of Charlemagne on his way home, being installed as Abbot of St Martin at Tours in 796[1059]

 

 

 

D.      KINGS of NORTHUMBRIA 765-790

 

 

1.         ALHRED (-after 774).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Alhred succeeded to the kingdom of Northumbria" in 765 and reigned eight years[1060].  King Alhred was allegedly descended from Ealric, son of Ida King of Deira:  Florence of Worcester records that "Alhredus" succeeded after "Moll" was expelled from "regnum Northanhymbrorum", adding that he was "filius Eanwini…qui fuit Byrnhom, qui fuit Bofa, qui fuit Bleacman, qui fuit Ealric, qui fuit Idæ"[1061].  This is another suspect line of descent.  It is not included in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  Simeon of Durham records the succession of "Alcred, prosapia Idæ regis exortus, ut quidam dicunt", the wording suggesting that he did not believe it to be true[1062].  He succeeded in 765 as ALHRED King of Northumbria.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Aluchredus" became king in 765[1063].  He authorised St Willehad's mission to Frisia which led to the foundation of the archbishopric of Bremen.  He was deposed and expelled from York at Easter 774[1064], and fled into the land of the Picts.  m (768) OSGIFU, daughter of OSWULF King of Northumbria.  "Alhredus rex et Osgeofu regina" wrote to Lullus, dated 773[1065].  Simeon of Durham records the marriage in 768 of "King Alcred" and "Osgearn"[1066].  Her ancestry is deduced from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which records that "Osred, Alhred's son, succeeded to the kingdom because he was the nephew of Ælfwald"[1067].  King Alhred & his wife had one child: 

a)         OSRED (-murdered 14 Sep 792, bur Tynemouth monastery[1068]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Osred, Alhred's son" when recording his accession[1069].  Simeon of Durham records that "King Elfwald" was killed "IX Kal Oct at…Scythlescester near the Wall" in 788 and succeeded by "his nephew Osred son of Alcred" who reigned for one year[1070].  He succeeded in 789 as OSRED II King of Northumbria[1071].  He was "betrayed and driven from the Kingdom" in 790[1072].  Simeon of Durham records that "king Osred" was "taken prisoner" in 790 "assumed the tonsure in the city of York and afterwards, driven by necessity, went into exile"[1073].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he fled to the Isle of Man, returned from exile and was restored as king, but was "seized and slain" in 792[1074].  Simeon of Durham records that "Osred…came secretly from his exile in Eufania [Man]", was captured by King Æthelred in 792 and killed "at…Aynsburg XVIII Kal Oct" and buried at "the mouth of the river Tyne…monastery"[1075]

King Alhred had [one possible illegitimate child]: 

b)         [ALHMUND (-murdered 800).  Simeon of Durham records that "Alchmund son of king Alcred as some say" was seized and murdered by the "guardians of king Eardwulf" in 800[1076], implying that he was involved in a conspiracy to kill the king.  The phrase “as some say” suggests doubt about his parentage.  Florence of Worcester does not mention this doubt when he records that "Alhmundus filius Alhredi regis Northymbrorum" was killed, undated[1077]m [(after 784) as her [second] husband, ---, widow of EALHMUND of Wessex King of Kent, daughter of ---.   According to a manuscript which recounts the founding of Wilton Monastery, “Elburga, filia Alqmundi martyris, filii Alrudi regis Northumbrorum” was “soror Egberti Regis, ex parte regis”, clarifying that he was Ecgberht King of Wessex (“quia Egbertus fuit filius Alqmundi, filii Offæ Regis, de prosapia Inæ”)[1078].  The reliability of this manuscript is not known.  The document dates the founding of Wilton abbey by King Echberht to 773, which is clearly anachronistic, and shows that it cannot be relied upon entirely.  It is probably safer to treat the narrative with caution until some other corroboration is found in another source.]  Alhmund & his wife had [one possible child]:

i)          [[St] ALBURGA ([785 or after]-Wilton [810], bur Wilton).  A manuscript which recounts the founding of Wilton Monastery names “Elburga, filia Alqmundi martyris, filii Alrudi regis Northumbrorum” and her husband “Wulstani comitis de Ellendinia[1079].  If Alburga’s mother is correctly identified in the same source as the mother of Ecgberht King of Wessex (see above), Alburga’s parents must have married after 784 when her mother’s supposed first husband is recorded in other sources, which places Alburga’s birth in 785 at the earliest.  This would mean that Alburga was very young when she married.  Nun at Wilton after her husband died.  m WULFSTAN [Weohstan] Ealdorman [of Wiltshire] (-killed in battle Kempsford 802).  He defeated Æthelmund Ealdorman of the Hwicce in 802, although both leaders were killed in the battle[1080].]

 

 

 

E.      KING of NORTHUMBRIA 759-895

 

 

[Two possible] brothers, parents not known: 

1.         ÆTHELWALD "Moll" (-after 765).  He succeeded 5 Aug 759 as ÆTHELWALD King of Northumbria.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Edilualdus" became king "a suis plebe electus" in 758 after "Osuulfus" was killed "a suis ministris"[1081].  Unconnected with the royal family, this suggests that he was chosen as king by popular demand[1082].  Henry of Huntingdon names "Mol Edelwold" as successor of "Osulf" as king of Northumbria[1083].  He defeated a rebellion by Oswine, who has not been identified, at Eildon 9 Aug 761.  The Continuator of Bede records that "Osuini" was killed in 761[1084].  He "lost the Kingdom of the Northumbrians" at Pincanheale 30 Oct 765, maybe deposed there by a gathering of magnates[1085]m (Catterick 762) ÆTHELTHRYTH, daughter of ---.  The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified.  King Æthelwald & his wife had one child: 

a)         ÆTHELRED (-murdered [Corbridge] 18 Apr 796).  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Aedelred filius Mol" succeeded "Alredus" as king of Northumbria and reigned for three years before fleeing, but was restored after "Osred" and reigned for four more years before he was killed[1086].  William of Malmesbury records that he "was elected king by their [his countrymen's] consent"[1087] following the deposition of King Alhred and succeeded 774 as ÆTHELRED King of Northumbria.  Florence of Worcester records the succession "Festi Paschalis tempore" of "filium…regis Molli Æthelberhtum" after the expulsion from York of "regem…Alhredum Alhredum"[1088].  Simeon of Durham records that "in the fourth year of king Ethelred…three dukes…Aldwulf, Cynwulf and Ecga…were…put to death" by "the princes Ethelbald and Headberht" at his command "III Kal Oct"[1089].  He was deposed in 779 by Ælfwald, son of King Oswulf.  Simeon of Durham records that "Ethelred" was driven into exile in 779 and that "Elfwald son of Oswulf" succeeded and ruled Northumbria for ten years[1090].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was restored in 790[1091].  Simeon of Durham records that "Ethelred was freed from banishment" in 790 and restored to the throne[1092].  Simeon of Durham records that "duke Eardulf" was "taken prisoner…[at] Ripon…[and] put to death" in "the second year [of king Ethelred]"[1093].  The Norsemen sacked Lindisfarne in 793.  King Æthelred received letters from Alcuin, active correspondent and adviser at the court of Charles I King of the Franks, who sent him gifts[1094].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was "killed by his own court" on 18 Apr[1095].  Simeon of Durham records that "King Ethelred" was killed "at Cobre XIV Kal May"[1096]m firstly ---.  The evidence for this earlier marriage is provided by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which records that in 792 "king Æthelred married again…"[1097].  No information has been found concerning this first wife.  m secondly (Catterick 29 Sep [792 or 794]) ÆLFLÆD of Mercia, daughter of OFFA King of Mercia & his wife Cynethryth.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 792 "king Æthelred married again on 29 Sep, and the lady was called Ælfled" but does not give her origin[1098].  Simeon of Durham records the marriage in 792 of "King Ethelred" and "Elfled daughter of Offa king of the Mercians" at "Catterick III Kal Oct"[1099]

2.         [FORTHRED.  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.  Abbot, from whom King Eadberht and Archbishop Ecgberht seized the monasteries of Stonegrave and Coxwold in Yorkshire, and given to his brother the patrician Moll, who may have been the same person as King Æthelwald "Moll"[1100].] 

 

 

1.         OSBALD, son of --- (-799, bur York).  Ealdorman.  He was chosen to succeed in 796 as OSBALD King of Northumbria, after the murder of King Æthelred.  Simeon of Durham records that "Osbald the patrician was appointed to succeed" after the murder of King Æthelred in 796 but that "27 days after…[he was] expelled…to island of Lindisfarne and thence by ship…to the king of the Picts"[1101].  Simeon of Durham records that "Osbald once duke and patrician…and for a time king, after that abbot" died in 799 and was buried "in the church of the city of York"[1102]

 

 

EARDWULF, son of ---.  One child: 

1.         EARDWULF (-810).  He was captured in 791 and brought to Ripon, where King Æthelred ordered him to be killed but the attempt failed and he escaped into exile[1103].  Apparently unimplicated in the conspiracy against King Æthelred, he returned from exile, attracted the supporters of King Osbald, and was acclaimed 14 May 796 as EARDWULF King of Northumbria, consecrated at York 26 May 796[1104].  Simeon of Durham records that "Eardulf…son of Eardulf" was recalled from exile and succeeded as king after King Osbald was exiled in 796, consecrated at York "VII Kal Jun"[1105].  He defeated a rebellion led by Ealdorman Wada at Billington Moor, near Whalley, Lancashire 2 Apr 798.  Simeon of Durham records that "duke Wada [with] the murderers of king Etheldred" was defeated by King Eardwulf at "Billingahoth near Walalega" in 798[1106].  He repudiated his wife and lived with a concubine, which estranged him from Eanbald Archbishop of Canterbury.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Alric, son of Heardberht (not otherwise identified), was killed at the battle of Whalley in Northumbria "and many others with him" 2 Apr 798[1107].  He placed himself under Charlemagne's protection.  He invaded Mercia in 801, but peace was imposed following mediation of English bishops and nobles[1108].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he was "driven from his kingdom"[1109] in 806 by Ælfwald II.  He sought refuge at Charlemagne's court at Nijmegen, and thence went to Rome from where he was escorted back by both Papal and Imperial envoys[1110].  He returned to Northumbria in 808 where he was restored as king.  The Annales Fuldenses record that "Eardulfus rex Nordanumbrorum" was expelled from his kingdom in 808, sought refuge with the emperor and from there went to Rome, a subsequent passage recording that he was restored in 809 by imperial and papal legates[1111]m firstly (repudiated 797) ---.  The name of King Eardwulf's first wife is not known.  However, the chronology of the king's son Eanred indicates that he must have been born from an earlier marriage.  m secondly ([806/08]) --- .  The Annales Lindesfarnenses record that "Eardulf" married "filiam regis Karoli"[1112].  This seems unlikely considering how well documented the children of Emperor Charlemagne are and the absence of other references to this marriage, although it is possible that his wife was related to the Carolingians or a prominent courtier.  The marriage presumably took place while Eardwulf was at the emperor's court.  King Eardwulf & his first wife had one child:

a)         EANRED (-[840])  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.  As it is likely that Eanred was more than a baby when he succeeded, it is probable that he was the son of King Eardwulf's first wife, in view of the estimated date range of Eardwulf's second marriage.  He succeeded in 809 as EANRED King of Northumbria, until 840.  Roger of Wendover records that "Alfwoldus" died in 810 and was succeeded by "Eandredus" who reigned for thirty-two years[1113].  Ecgberht King of Wessex exacted tribute from him in 829.  Roger of Wendover records the death in 840 of "rege Northanhumbrorum Andredo" and the succession of "Athelredus filius eius" who reigned for seven years[1114]m ---.  The name of Eanred's wife is not known.  Eanred & his wife had one child: 

i)          ÆTHELRED (-killed [848]).  Roger of Wendover records the death in 840 of "rege Northanhumbrorum Andredo" and the succession of "Athelredus filius eius" who reigned for seven years[1115].  He succeeded his father in 840 as ÆTHELRED II King of Northumbria.  Roger of Wendover records that "rex Northanhumbrorum Athelredus" fled in 844 and was replaced by "Readwlfus", but that the latter was killed in battle "apud Alutthelia" with "consul Alfredus" whereupon Æthelred was restored[1116].  Roger of Wendover records that "Athelredo rege Northanhumbrorum" was killed in 848 and succeeded by "Osbertus" who reigned for eighteen years[1117]

 

 

ÆLFWALD, son of --- (-[810])  Roger of Wendover records that "Alfwoldus" succeeded after "Eardulfo Northanhumbrorum rege", which he dates to 808, and reigned for two years[1118].  He deposed and expelled King Eardwulf in 806, succeeding as ÆLFWALD II King of Northumbria.  Roger of Wendover records that "Alfwoldus" died in 810 and was succeeded by "Eandredus" who reigned for thirty-two years[1119]

 

 

RÆDWULF, son of --- (-killed in battle Alutthelia [844]).  He succeeded in 844 as RÆDWULF King of Northumbria.  Roger of Wendover records that "rex Northanhumbrorum Athelredus" fled in 844 and was replaced by "Readwlfus", but that the latter was killed in battle "apud Alutthelia" with "consul Alfredus" whereupon Æthelred was restored[1120].  He was killed by a Danish army[1121]

 

 

Two brothers, parents not known:

1.         OSBERHT (-killed in battle York 21 Mar 867).  Roger of Wendover records that "Athelredo rege Northanhumbrorum" was killed in 848 and succeeded by "Osbertus" who reigned for eighteen years[1122].  He succeeded in 848 as OSBERHT King of Northumbria.  He was deposed 862 in favour of Ælla, but combined with him to recapture York in early 867.  He was killed during the attack. 

2.         ÆLLA (-killed in battle York 21 Mar 867).  He succeeded in 862 as ÆLLA King of Northumbria.  Roger of Wendover names (in order) "…Osbertus, Ella…" in his list of kings of Northumbria[1123].  The Danes occupied York 1 Nov 866, resisting a Northumbrian counter-attack 21 Mar 867 in which both Ælla and Osberht his predecessor were killed. 

 

 

ECGBERHT, son of --- (-873).  Roger of Hoveden records that he was established in 867 as ECGBERHT tributary King of Northumbria by the Danes[1124].  The same source records that the Northumbrians expelled him in 872[1125].  Ecgberht sought refuge with Burghred King of Mercia.  Northumbria was conquered by the Danes in 878.  Danish kings ruled Northumbria until the mid-10th century. 

 

 

RICSIGE, son of --- (-876).  Roger of Hoveden records that he was chosen by the Danes in [873] as RICSIGE tributary King of Northumbria to succeed King Ecgberht[1126].  Simeon of Durham records that "Ricsig king of the Northumbrians" died in 876[1127]

 

 

ECGBERHT, son of ---.  He succeeded King Ricsige in 876 as ECGBERHT tributary King of Northumbria appointed by the Danes, according to Roger of Hoveden who specifies that this was "secundus Egbert" presumably indicating a different person from the previous King Egbert of Northumbria[1128].  Simeon of Durham records that "Egbert the second reigned over the Northumbrians beyond the river Tyne" after the death of Ricsige in 876[1129]

 

 

GUTHFRITH, son of --- (-York 24 Aug 895, bur York Minster).  Clare Downham speculates on the possible family relationship between King Guthfrith and the Norse kings of Dublin (see the document IRELAND)[1130].  He was appointed GUTHFRITH King of Northumbria.  Roger of Wendover names "…Cuthredus" last in his list of kings of Northumbria[1131].  Simeon of Durham records that "St Cuthbert" had a vision in 883 that "Guthord the son of Hardicnut whom the Danes had sold as a slave to a certain widow at Whittingham" to be chosen as king and that he "reigned over York" while Ecgberht ruled "over the Northumbrians"[1132].  Simeon of Durham records that "Guthred king of the Northumbrians" died in 894[1133].  The Chronicle of Æthelweard records the death of "Guthfrid king of the Northumbrians…on the nativity of St Bartholomew" and his burial "in the city of York in the high church", dated to [866/67][1134]

 

 

SIEGFRITH (-[900/05?]).  [The Chronicle of Æthelweard records that "Sigeferth the pirate arrived from the land of the Northumbrians with a large fleet, ravaged twice along the coast on that one expedition, and afterwards sailed back to his own land", dated to [894][1135].]  King of Northumbria.  "Siefredus/Sievert rex" is named on coins dated to the late 9th/early 10th centuries, Grierson and Blackburn commenting that most of them are earlier than those of Knud but adding "though there may have been a period when the kings were minting concurrently since there is close die-linking between certain of their coin types and some coins bear both their names"[1136]

 

 

KNUD (-[900/10?].  King of Northumbria.  "Cnut rex" is named on coins dated to the late 9th/early 10th centuries, Grierson and Blackburn commenting that most of them are later than those of Siegfrith but adding "though there may have been a period when the kings were minting concurrently since there is close die-linking between certain of their coin types and some coins bear both their names"[1137]

 

 

 

F.      DANISH KINGS OF YORK 919-927

 

 

The following three individuals are recorded in the sources as grandsons of Imar, but it is not known whether they were brothers. 

 

1.         RÆGNALD, grandson of IMAR, son of --- (-921).  Simeon of Durham records that "King Reingwald and earl Oter and Osvul Cracabane" broke into and plundered "Dunbline" in 912[1138].  The Annals of Ulster record that "Ragnall grandson of Imar” defeated “Barid son of Oitir” in “a naval battle at Manu” in 914[1139].  He descended on the Northumbrian coast between 913 and 915, and at Corbridge defeated an army led by Constantine King of the Scots and Ealdred ealdorman of Bernicia.  The Annals of Ulster record that "Sitriuc grandson of Imar landed with his fleet at Cenn Fuait on the coast of Laigin” and “Ragnall grandson of Imar with his second fleet moved against the foreigners of Loch dá Chaech” in 917[1140].  The Annals of Ulster record that "the foreigners of Loch dá Chaech i.e. Ragnall king of the dark foreigners and the two jarls Oitir and Gragabai forsook Ireland and proceeded…against Scotland” in 918, “Gothfrith grandson of Imar” leading a battalion in a battle “on the bank of the Tyne in northern Saxonland” where Oitir and Gragabai were killed[1141].  Following an expedition against the Scots in 918, he stormed York in 919 and declared himself RÆGNALD I King of York.  Simeon of Durham records that "King Inguald stormed York" in 919[1142].  The 10th century Pictish Chronicle Cronica de Origine Antiquorum Pictorum records that King Constantine defeated "Regnall" (presumably referring to Rægnald I King of York) in "bellum Tinemore" in the 17th year of his reign[1143].  Florence of Worcester records that "rex Scottorum…Reignoldus rex Danorum…rex Streatcledwalorum" submitted to King Eadward and signed a treaty, undated but dateable to [920/22] from the context[1144].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates this event to 923[1145], but this is not compatible with Rægnald’s date of death in 921 as recorded in the Annals of Ulster.  In accepting Edward "the Elder" King of Wessex as overlord, Rægnald gained acceptance of his new kingdom.  The Annals of Ulster record the death in 921 of "Ragnall grandson of Imar, king of the fair foreigners and the dark foreigners[1146]

 

2.         GUTHFRITH, grandson of IMAR, son of ---  (-934).  The Annals of Ulster record that "the foreigners of Loch dá Chaech i.e. Ragnall king of the dark foreigners and the two jarls Oitir and Gragabai forsook Ireland and proceeded…against Scotland” in 918, “Gothfrith grandson of Imar” leading a battalion in a battle “on the bank of the Tyne in northern Saxonland” where Oitir and Gragabai were killed[1147]King of Dublin [919/19].  The Annals of the Four Masters record that “Godfrey grandson of Imhar took up his residence at Ath-Cliath” in 919[1148].  The Annals of Ulster record that of "Gothfrith grandson of Imar entered Ath Cliath” in 921[1149].  The Annals of Ulster record in 927 that "Gothfrith abandoned Ath Cliath, and Gothfrith returned again within six months" in the passage after the one reporting the death of "Sitruic grandson of Imar, king of the dark foreigners and the fair foreigners[1150], suggesting that Guthfrith left for York to claim the succession of King Sihtric.  The Annals of Ulster record that in 930 "Gothfrith grandson of Ímar with the foreigners of Áth Cliath razed Derc Ferna"[1151].  He was expelled by Æthelstan King of Wessex[1152], and sought refuge with Constantine King of the Scots[1153].  After returning to lay siege briefly to York, he surrendered to Æthelstan and was allowed to return to Ireland.  The Annals of Ulster record the death in 934 of "Gothfrith grandson of Ímar…of a sickness"[1154]m ---.  The name of Guthfrith's wife is not known.  Guthfrith & his wife had four children: 

a)         OLAF Guthfrithson (-end 940).  Adam of Bremen names "Analaph, Sigtrih et Reginold" as sons of Gudred, ruling in England[1155], although this is of uncertain accuracy as the undated paragraph is anachronistic as it follows that recording the succession of Emperor Otto III in 983.  The Annals of the Four Masters record that “Amhlaeibh son of Godfrey” plundered “the province of Ulster” in 931 but defeated by “Muircheartach son of Niall[1156].  He succeeded his father 934 as King of Dublin.  The Annals of Ulster record that "Amlaíb grandson of Imar” sacked “the island of Loch Gabor” in 935[1157].  In 937, he sailed with a large fleet for England to reconquer York, joining forces with his father-in-law Constantine King of the Scots and Owen King of Strathclyde, but was defeated by Æthelstan King of Wessex at Brunanburh, and returned to Ireland[1158].  Simeon of Durham records that "Anlaf the pagan king of the Irishmen…stirred up by his father-in-law Constantine king of the Scots" and entered the mouth of the Humber river in 937[1159].  The Annals of Ulster record that "Amlaíb son of Gothfrith” was “in Ath Cliath again” in 938[1160].  He invaded England in 939 and by the end of that year had occupied York, installing himself as OLAF King of York.  Simeon of Durham records that "King Onlaf first came to York" in 939[1161].  In raids on northern Mercia the following year, he took Tamworth and nearby land, and by treaty with Edmund took the whole of modern Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  He continued by invading Northumbria over the Tees before he died.  Edmund regained the lost territories from his successor Olaf Sitrihcson in 942.   

b)         RÆGNALD Guthfrithson (-after 944).  After his cousin Olaf was deposed, he succeeded 942 as RÆGNALD II King of York.  He was expelled by Edmund King of Wessex in 944[1162].  Simeon of Durham records that King Edmund expelled "king…Anlaf the son of Sihtric and [king] Reignold the son of Guthferth" from Northumbria in 944[1163].  Florence of Worcester records that Eadmund King of Wessex expelled "duos reges, Anlafum regis…Sihtrici filium, et Reignoldum Guthferthi filium" from Northumbria, undated but dateable to [944] from the context[1164].  He

c)         other children: KINGS of DUBLIN

 

3.         SIHTRIC "Caoch", grandson of IMAR, son of ---  (-[926/27]).  The Annals of Ulster record that "Sitriuc grandson of Imar landed with his fleet at Cenn Fuait on the coast of Laigin” and “Ragnall grandson of Imar with his second fleet moved against the foreigners of Loch dá Chaech” in 917[1165].  The Annals of Ulster record that "Sitriuc grandson of Imar” defeated “Niall son of Aed king of Ireland…in the battle of Cenn Fuait” in 917 and that he “entered Ath Cliath” in the same year[1166].  The Annals of Ulster record that "Sitriuc grandson of Imar abandoned Ath Cliath” in 920[1167].  He invaded Mercia in 920 with an army from Dublin, destroying Davenport in Cheshire[1168].  Simeon of Durham records that "King Sihtric stormed Devonport" in 920[1169].  He succeeded his first cousin in 921 as SIHTRIC King of York.  He proposed an alliance to Æthelstan King of Wessex, which was sealed in 926 by his marriage to King Æthelstan's sister.  The Annals of Ulster record the death in 927 of "Sitriuc grandson of Ímar, king of the dark foreigners and the fair foreigners…at an immature age"[1170].  Simeon of Durham records the death of "Sihtric king of the Northumbrians" died in 926[1171].  The Annals of the Four Masters record the death in 925 of “Sitric son of Imhar lord of the Dubhghoill and Finnghoill[1172].  Florence of Worcester records the death of "Northanhymbrorum rex Sihtricus", undated but dateable to [926/27] from the context[1173]m firstly ---.  The name of Sihtric's first wife is not known but the fact of this earlier marriage is dictated by the chronology of his sons.  m secondly (Tamworth 30 Jan 926) EADGYTH of Wessex, daughter of EDWARD I “the Elder” King of Wessex & his first wife Ecgwynn ([895/902]-, bur Tamworth).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that "King Athelstan [gave] Sihtric king of Northumbria…his sister in marriage" at Tamworth 30 Jan 925[1174].  The Book of Hyde names "Athelstanum…et Elfredum et Edgytham" as the children of King Eadweard "ex concubina Egwynna", specifying that Eadgyth married "Sirichio regi Northanhymbrorum" and was buried at Tamworth[1175].  Her marriage was arranged to seal the alliance which Sihtric King of York proposed to her brother.  After her husband's death, she became a nun at Polesworth Abbey, Warwickshire in 927, transferring to Tamworth Abbey, Gloucestershire where she was elected Abbess.  Later canonised as St Edith of Polesworth or St Edith of Tamworth, her feast day is 15 or 19 July[1176].  King Sihtric & his first wife had four children: 

a)         OLAF [Amlaib] Sihtricsson ([900]-Iona [978/80]).  He was accepted as OLAF King of York by the Northumbrians in 927 after the death of his father, and was supported by his uncle Guthfrith who came from Dublin.  However, Æthelstan invaded Northumbria and expelled Olaf who joined his father's former associates in Ireland[1177].  Florence of Worcester records that "Northhymbrenses" chose "regem Northmannorum Anlafum" as king, undated but dateable to [941] from the context[1178].  Siimeon of Durham records that "the son of Sihtric named Onlaf reigned over the Northumbrians" in 941 but was driven out in 943[1179].  He lost the territories gained by Olaf Guthfrithson to Edmund King of Wessex in 942, and he was driven out of York and deposed in favour of his cousin Rægnald.  He returned to Northumbria in 944, reasserting himself as king in opposition to Rægnald, but he was expelled by Edmund King of Wessex later that year[1180].  Simeon of Durham records that King Edmund expelled "king…Anlaf the son of Sihtric and [king] Reignold the son of Guthferth" from Northumbria in 944[1181].  Florence of Worcester records that Eadmund King of Wessex expelled "duos reges, Anlafum regis…Sihtrici filium, et Reignoldum Guthferthi filium" from Northumbria, undated but dateable to [944] from the context[1182].  He returned to York once more in 949, expelling King Erik "Blodøks/Blood-axe", but was finally driven out in his turn by Erik in 952.  King of Dublin 941/43, 945/49 and 953/981. 

-        KINGS of DUBLIN

b)         other children:  see KINGS of DUBLIN

 

 

ERIK Haraldsen, son of HARALD I "Hårfagre/Harfagri/Fairhair" King of Norway & his sixth wife Ragnhild "the Rich" Eriksdatter of Haithabu ([895]-murdered Stainmore Westmoreland 954).  He succeeded in [930] on the abdication of his father as ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" Over-King of Norway, but was deposed in 936 by his half-brother Haakon and fled in 937 to Orkney where he established himself as king and took to piracy having little land.  The Historia Norwegie records that he was deposed after ruling one year and fled to England where he was baptised and appointed "toti Northimbrie comes" by King Athelstan[1183].  Clare Downham discusses other sources which cast doubt on the co-identity of Erik I King of Norway with Erik King of York[1184].  He was accepted as ERIK King of York after a Danish revolt 947-948, but driven out in 949 by Olaf Sihtricson.  Florence of Worcester records that "quondam Danica stirpe progenitum, Yrcum" was made king of Northumbria, undated but dateable to [949] from the context[1185].  After Olaf Sihtricson was deposed, Erik became King of York once more in 952 until 954 when the Northumbrians rebelled and defeated him.  He was killed by Maccus son of Harald Sihtricsson King of Limerick.  Simeon of Durham records that "the last of the kings of [Northumbria]…Eiric" was killed by "Muccus the son of Onlaf"[1186]

1.         children: - see NORWAY

 

 

 

 

Chapter 7.    KINGS of SUSSEX (SOUTH SAXONS) [491]-686

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Saxons were ancestors of "Orientales Saxones, Meridiani Saxones, Occidui Saxones" (people of Essex, Sussex and Wessex)[1187].  The documentary record of the history of this kingdom is scant.  There are no surviving genealogies or regnal lists.  The brief outline set out below is all that has so far been possible by way of reconstruction of the relationships between the kings.  The kingdom was, according to tradition, founded by Ælle in [490]. 

 

 

ÆLLE, son of --- (-[514]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ælle came to Britain in 477 with "his three sons Cymen, Wlencing and Cissa", landing at "Cymenesora" [The Owers, south of Selsey Bill][1188].  Bede names "Aelli rex Australium Saxonum" as the first of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber[1189].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ælle fought "the Welsh" near the bank of "Mearcrædesburna" in 485[1190].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ælle and Cissa" besieged "Andredescester" [the Roman fort of Anderida, Pevensey] and "slew all the inhabitants" in 491[1191].  He became first King of the South Saxons (Sussex) from [490].  Roger of Wendover records that "Elle, quem omnes Saxones pro rege habuerunt" died in 514[1192].  [Three children:]

1.         [CYMEN .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ælle came to Britain in 477 with "his three sons Cymen, Wlencing and Cissa", landing at "Cymenesora" [The Owers, south of Selsey Bill][1193].] 

2.         [WLENCING .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ælle came to Britain in 477 with "his three sons Cymen, Wlencing and Cissa", landing at "Cymenesora" [The Owers, south of Selsey Bill][1194].] 

3.         [CISSA .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ælle came to Britain in 477 with "his three sons Cymen, Wlencing and Cissa", landing at "Cymenesora" [The Owers, south of Selsey Bill][1195].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ælle and Cissa" besieged "Andredescester" [the Roman fort of Anderida, Pevensey] and "slew all the inhabitants" in 491[1196].  He succeeded his father as King of the South Saxons.  Roger of Wendover records that "Cissa filius eius" succeeded on the death of "Elle, quem omnes Saxones pro rege habuerunt"[1197].  Roger of Wendover records the death of "Cissa rege australium Saxonum" in 590, adding that "regem occidentalium Saxonum Ceaulinum" acquired his kingdom[1198].  This date is clearly inconsistent with Cissa’s reported arrival in England in 477, and the reported date of death of his supposed father.  One possibility is that the reference is to a successor of Cissa, who himself must have died many years earlier.] 

 

 

1.         --- (-[after 607?].  The takeover of the South Saxon kingdom by Wessex, as reported by Roger of Wendover in 590 (see above), must have been temporary as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceolwulf [King of Wessex] fought against the South Saxons" in 607[1199].  The name of the South Saxon leader at the time is not stated. 

 

 

1.         ÆTHELWALH, son of --- (-[686/87]).  Roger of Wendover names (in order) "Ella, Cissa, Aethelwaldus, Berthunus, Aldhunus" as the kings of the South Saxons[1200].  His relationship, if any, with the previous kings of the South Saxons is not known.  King of the South Saxons [648]-686.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 661 Wulfhere King of Mercia ravaged the Isle of Wight and gave it to Æthelwalh King of the South Saxons "because Wulfhere had stood sponsor for him at baptism"[1201].  Bede records that Wilfrid converted "provinciam Australium Saxonum" to Christianity and that "rex gentis ipsius Aedilualch" was baptised, with Wulfhere King of Mercia standing as godfather and gave him "duas…provincias…Vectam…insulam et Meanuarorum provinciam in gente Occidentalium Saxonum"[1202].  Bede records that "rex Aedilualch" gave land in "Selæseu" [Selsey] to Wilfred who built a monastery there[1203].  Bede records that "Caedualla iuvenis…de regio genere Geuissorum" killed "regem Aedilualch" and ravaged his province, but was expelled by "ducibus…regis Bercthuno et Andhuno" who then held "regnum provinciæ", adding that the first named ("Bercthuno") was also killed by "Caedualla" and that the latter’s successor "Ini" maintained the province under servitude[1204].  This suggests that Æthelwalh died in [686/87].  m EAFE, daughter of EANFRITH ruler of the Hwicce & his wife ---.  Bede records that "regina…Eabae [provinciam Australium Saxonum]…filia Eanfridi fratris Ænheri" had been baptised (before her marriage to "rex gentis ipsius Aedilualch") in "sua…Huicciorum provincia"[1205]

 

 

2.         BERCTHUN (-[687/88]).  Bede records that "Caedualla iuvenis…de regio genere Geuissorum" killed "regem Aedilualch" and ravaged his province, but was expelled by "ducibus…regis Bercthuno et Andhuno" who then held "regnum provinciæ", adding that the first named ("Bercthuno") was also killed by "Caedualla" and that the latter’s successor "Ini" maintained the province under servitude[1206].  Roger of Wendover names (in order) "Ella, Cissa, Aethelwaldus, Berthunus, Aldhunus" as the kings of the South Saxons[1207].  Florence of Worcester records that "Ceadwalla rex Gewissorum" killed "ducem Suth-Saxonum Beorhthunum" and subjugated "provinciam illam"[1208]

 

3.         ALDHUN (-after 688).  Bede records that "Caedualla iuvenis…de regio genere Geuissorum" killed "regem Aedilualch" and ravaged his province, but was expelled by "ducibus…regis Bercthuno et Andhuno" who then held "regnum provinciæ", adding that the first named ("Bercthuno") was also killed by "Caedualla" and that the latter’s successor "Ini" maintained the province under servitude[1209].  Roger of Wendover names (in order) "Ella, Cissa, Aethelwaldus, Berthunus, Aldhunus" as the kings of the South Saxons[1210]

 

 

1.         ECGWALD (-after 685).  King of the South Saxons.  "Cædwalla rex" (King of Wessex) granted land in Sussex to bishop Wilfred by charter dated 685, subscribed by "Ecguald subregulus"[1211]

 

 

Brother and sister, parents not known. 

1.         NOTHHELM (-[705]).  He succeeded as King of the South Saxons, presumably appointed by Wessex.  "Nothelmus rex Suthsaxonum" granted land at Aldingbourne, Sussex by charters dated 694 and 696 to "Nothgide sorori mee" to found a monastery[1212].  The latter charter was countersigned by Cenred King of the West Saxons, reflecting the latter's domination of the South Saxon kingdom at the time. 

2.         NOTHGYTH .  "Nothelmus rex Suthsaxonum" granted land at Aldingbourne, Sussex to "Nothgid sorori mee" under charters dated 694 and 696[1213]

 

 

It is not known how the following two individuals may have been related to each other or to the other kings of the South Saxons: 

1.         WATTUSKing of the South Saxons.  "Wattus rex" countersigned the [692] charter of King Nothhelm1212

 

2.         NUNNA (-after 714).  [It is possible that he was the same person as Nunna, relative of King Ine:  the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 710 "Ine and Nunna, his kinsman" fought "against Geraint king of the Britons"[1214].  No indication has been found about the precise relationship between Nunna and King Ine.]  King of the South Saxons.  "Nunna rex Suthsaxonum" granted land at Sidlesham, Sussex to Beadufrido by charter dated 714[1215]m ÆTHELTHRYTH, daughter of ---.  "Edeldrid regina" subscribed the 714 charter of "Nunna rex Suthsaxonum"1215

 

 

It is not known how the following small family group and individuals may have been related to each other, if at all. 

1.         ÆTHELBERHTKing of the South Saxons.  "Ethelbertus rex Sussaxonum" granted land at Wittering, Sussex to Dioszan for construction of a minister by the king's sister (unnamed) by charter, subscribed by "Offa rex"[1216], dated [747/65] but presumably to be redated to after 757, the date of King Offa's accession in Mercia.  m OSENDRED, daughter of ---.  "Osenedred regina" subscribed the 747 charter of "Ethelbertus rex Sussaxonum"1216

2.         sister .  An unnamed sister of "Ethelbertus rex Sussaxonum", whose charter dated [747/65] referred to her constructing a minster on the land transferred1216.  

 

 

1.         EALDWULF (-765 or later).  King of the South Saxons.  "Alduulf rex" made a grant of land at Stammer, Burleigh, Sussex to "Hunlab comite meo" (who has not been identified), the charter for which dated 765 was subscribed by "Ælhuuald rex" and "Osiai rex", and also by "Offa rex Merciorum"[1217]m CYNETHRITH, daughter of ---.  "Cynethrith regina" subscribed the 765 charter of "Alduulf rex"1217

 

2.         ÆLHWALD (-765 or later).  King of the South Saxons.  "Alduulf rex" made a grant of land at Stammer, Burleigh, Sussex to "Hunlab comite meo", the charter for which dated 765 was subscribed by "Ælhuuald rex" and "Osiai rex"1217

 

3.         OSIAI (-765 or later).  King of the South Saxons.  "Alduulf rex" made a grant of land at Stammer, Burleigh, Sussex to "Hunlab comite meo", the charter for which dated 765 was subscribed by "Ælhuuald rex" and "Osiai rex"1217

 

4.         OSMUNDKing of the South Saxons.  "Osmundus rex" granted land at Ferring, Sussex to "Walhere comito meo" by charter dated 762[1218].  "Osmundus rex" granted land at Henfield, Sussex to "Warbaldo comito meo" by charter dated 770[1219].  "Osuualdus dux Suthsax", "Osmund dux" and "Oslac dux" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 18 Aug 772[1220]

 

5.         OSWALD .  "Osuualdus dux Suthsax", "Osmund dux" and "Oslac dux" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 18 Aug 772[1221]

 

6.         OSLAC .  "Osuualdus dux Suthsax", "Osmund dux" and "Oslac dux" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 18 Aug 772[1222]

 

 

 

 

Chapter 8.    KINGS of WESSEX 534-944, KINGS of ENGLAND 944-1066

 

 

 

A.      EARLY KINGS of WESSEX 534-611, 674-676

 

 

Bede names the three Germanic tribes which invaded Britain as "Saxonibus, Anglis, Iutis", adding that the Saxons were ancestors of "Orientales Saxones, Meridiani Saxones, Occidui Saxones" (people of Essex, Sussex and Wessex)[1223].  In common with the founder kings of the other main Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Cerdic first king of the West Saxons is recorded as descended from Woden.  This mythical descent is set out in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1224]: "Woden/Bældæg/Brand/Frithugar/Freawine/Wig/Gewis/Esla/Elesa/Cerdic".  Bede records that the kings of "Occidentalium Saxonum" were formally called "Geuissæ"[1225], after one of these mythical ancestors, although in later genealogies and histories this name was superseded. 

 

The early history of Wessex is poorly documented, compared in particular with that of the kingdoms of Kent and Northumbria.  The influence of Christianity was limited in early Wessex.  There is no reference to Wessex in the mid-6th century De Excidio Brittaniæ of Gildas or in Nennius’s Historia Brittonum.  Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, compiled in the late 720s/early 730s, contains some isolated references to the kings of Wessex but they are insufficient to enable their genealogy to be reconstructed adequately.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and a West Saxon genealogical Regnal List produced in the late 9th century, are therefore the only sources which provide information on the family relationships of the early kings of Wessex.  Both sources link all the kings into one family, with long descents traced through different parallel junior lines which include no information on the individuals concerned except their names, although the Chronicle and the Regnal List differ in some points of detail which cannot be reconciled into one definitive version.  As noted in the Introduction to the present document, it appears that the compilers of these records were motivated more by a desire to demonstrate a linear succession of kings, in order to emphasise continuity, rather than by a quest for factual accuracy.  Nevertheless, the Chronicle does include some genealogical information about the kings of Wessex which appears reliable.  This comprises precise details of family relationships between individual kings, particularly between the mid-6th and mid-7th centuries, which do not form part of the lines of descent.  For the purposes of the present chapter, such information has been treated as "core" around which some family reconstruction can be hazarded.  Apart from that, the information in the extended lines of descent has been noted but has, for the most part, not been considered reliable enough to show precise relationships in this chapter.   

 

The dating of events in all sources relating to Wessex is suspect.  This is exacerbated by the relatively infrequent inter-marriage or other contact between the kingdom of Wessex and the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, resulting in a relative absence of outside data points against which information about the West Saxon royal family can be verified. 

 

 

 

1.         CERDIC (-[534]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "two princes, Cerdic and Cynric his son" landed in Britain in 495 at "Certicesora" and fought "against the Welsh" on the same day[1226].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cerdic and Cynric slew a Welsh king…Nazaleod" in 508[1227].  He installed himself as CERDIC King of the West Saxons.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 519 "Cerdic and Cynric obtained the kingdom of the West Saxons"[1228].  According to the chronicler Æthelweard, who translated an early version of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle into Latin in the late tenth century, Cerdic conquered his kingdom "by 500"[1229].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 519 "Cerdic and Cynric" fought "the Britons" at "Cerdicesford"[1230].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 527 "Cerdic and Cynric" fought "the Britons" at "Cerdiceslaeg" and in 530 captured the Isle of Wight[1231].  These extracts suggest that Cedric only controlled parts of present day Hampshire and south Wiltshire, from Southampton to Winchester and Salisbury.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 534 of "Cerdic"[1232].  Roger of Wendover records the death in 533 of "Certic primus rex occidentalium Saxonum"[1233].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Certic primus rex Westsexe" ruled for eighteen years[1234]

 

2.         CREODA .  According to the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List, Cynric was the son of Creoda, son of Cerdic.  Creoda is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

 

3.         CYNRIC (-[560]).  The family relationship, if any, between Cerdic and Cynric is reported differently in different sources.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "two princes, Cerdic and Cynric his son" landed in Britain in 495 at "Certicesora" and fought "against the Welsh" on the same day[1235].  According to the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List, Cynric was the son of Creoda, son of Cerdic, although if this was correct it would be unlikely that the reports in the Chronicle of Cerdic and Cynric having operated together over nearly forty years were accurate.  Creoda is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cerdic and Cynric slew a Welsh king…Nazaleod" in 508[1236].  He ruled from [519] as CYNRIC King of the West Saxons.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 519 "Cerdic and Cynric obtained the kingdom of the West Saxons"[1237].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 519 "Cerdic and Cynric" fought "the Britons" at "Cerdicesford"[1238].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 527 "Cerdic and Cynric" fought "the Britons" at "Cerdiceslaeg" and in 530 captured the Isle of Wight[1239].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "his son Cynric" continued to reign for 26 years after the death of "Cerdic" in 534[1240].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynric" fought the Britons in 552 at "Searoburh" [Old Sarum][1241].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynric and Ceawlin" fought the Britons in 552 at "Beranburh" [Barbury castle][1242].  The date of Cynric's death is based on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle specifying that "Ceawlin obtained the kingdom of Wessex" in 560[1243].  Roger of Wendover records the death in 559 of "Kenricus rex occidentalium Saxonum"[1244].  Henry of Huntingdon records that "Certic primus rex Westsexe…Kinric filius eius" ruled for twenty-six years[1245].  If these dates of all the events reported in this paragraph are correct, Cynric would have had what appears to be an impossibly long active career, which throws much of the information into doubt.  One child: 

a)         CUTHA [II] (-after 597).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Cutha son of Cynric" when recording the accession of the former’s son "Ceolwulf" in 597[1246].  [Two] children: 

i)          [CEOL [Ceolric] (-597).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records in 591 that "Ceol" ("Ceolric" in manuscript E) reigned five years[1247].  Florence of Worcester names "Ceol filius Cuthwlfi, fratris Regis Ceaulini" when recording his accession[1248].  William of Malmesbury also names Ceol as son of Cutha (who, from the context, is assumed to be the person named in the present document as Cutha [II])[1249], but this relationship is shown in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only in one addition to one manuscript which purports to state the ancestry of King Cynegils[1250].  He succeeded in 591 as CEOL King of Wessex.  The date of his death is assumed from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recording that "Ceolwulf" began to reign in Wessex in 597[1251].  Ceol was allegedly the father of Cynegils King of Wessex:  an addition in manuscript A of the Chronicle, under 611 notes that "that Cynegils was the son of Ceol, the son of Cutha, the son of Cynric"[1252], although it is not clear whether this was contemporary with the main part of the paragraph or a later addition.  According to another part of the Chronicle, King Cynegils’s father was Cuthwine, supposedly son of King Ceawline:  a later paragraph, under 688, outlining the descent of King Ine, says that "Cynegils" was the son of "Cuthwine, the son of Ceawlin, the son of Cynric"[1253]

ii)         CEOLWULF (-[611]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceolwulf…son of Cutha, son of Cynric…" began to reign in Wessex in 597, adding that he "ever fought and made war against the Angles…the Welsh…the Picts or…the Scots"[1254].  William of Malmesbury names Ceolwulf as son of Cutha[1255].  He succeeded in 597 as CEOLWULF King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceolwulf fought against the South Saxons" in 607[1256].  The date of his death is assumed from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recording that "Cynegils succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 611[1257].  Roger of Wendover records the death of "Ceolwulfo rege occidentalium Saxonum" in 610[1258]

 

 

The following two individuals were allegedly related to Cerdic and Cynric, although the precise relationship is not known.  It should be noted that the sources quoted below do not specify that the two were brothers: 

1.         STUF.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "the West Saxons Stuf and Wihtgar" landed in 514 at "Certicesora"[1259].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cerdic…and Cynric…gave the Isle of Wight to their two nefan Stuf and Wihtgar"[1260]

 

2.         WIHTGAR (-544, bur Wihtgarabyrg).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "the West Saxons Stuf and Wihtgar" landed in 514 at "Certicesora"[1261].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cerdic…and Cynric…gave the Isle of Wight to their two nefan Stuf and Wihtgar"[1262].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 544 of "Wihtgar" and his burial at "Wihtgaraburh"[1263].  According to Asser, Stuf or Wihtgar were ancestors of Oslac, father of Osburgh, who was the first wife of Æthelwulf King of Wessex[1264] but the precise lineage is unknown. 

 

 

Two brothers: 

1.         CEAWLIN (-593).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynric and Ceawlin" fought the Britons in 552 at "Beranburh" [Barbury castle][1265].  In a much later section, the Chronicle names Ceawlin as son of Cynric, in its recitation of the ancestry of Æthelwulf King of Wessex[1266].  This leaves the impression of an after-thought, as none of the passages in the earlier parts of the Chronicle which record Ceawlin’s activity state that he was Cynric’s son.  He succeeded in 560 as CEAWLIN King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin" succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex in 560[1267].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin and Cutha" fought against "Æthelberht" [King of Kent] in 568 and "drove him into Kent", and "slew two princes Oslaf and Cnebba at Wibbandun"[1268].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthwine and Ceawlin" fought against "the Britons" in 577 and "slew three kings, Coinmail, Condidan and Farinmail" at "Dyrham", and captured "three cities Gloucester, Cirencester and Bath"[1269].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin and Cutha" fought against "the Britons" in 584 at "Fethanleag", where Cutha was killed, and captured "many villages and countless booty"[1270].  Stenton suggests[1271] that this place was near Stoke Lyne in north Oxfordshire, and that Ceawlin was defeated in the battle, based on the Chronicle stating that he "departed in anger to his own [territories]", as well as the lack of records of any further advance during his reign.  Roger of Wendover records the death of "Cissa rege australium Saxonum" in 590, adding that "regem occidentalium Saxonum Ceaulinum" acquired his kingdom[1272].  Bede names "Caelin rex Occidentalium Saxonum" as second of the kings who had authority over the southern provinces, south of the river Humber[1273].  Presumably this is based on his victories as reported in the Chronicle, although the reports do not suggest that his authority extended so far north in England.  Whatever the truth of the matter, King Ceawlin suffered reverses towards the end of his life as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records in 592 that "there was great slaughter at Adam’s Grave" [in Alton Priors] and "Ceawlin was expelled", although it is unclear from the text whether the two events were linked[1274].  William of Malmesbury records that he was banished from the kingdom after being defeated at Wodnesbeorh[1275], presumably by Ceol who is recorded in 591 as King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 593 of "Ceawlin and Cwichelm and Crida"[1276].  Kirby points out that Ceawlin's reign is much shorter according to the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List[1277].  [Two children:]

a)         [CUTHA [III] (-killed in battle Fethanleag 584).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin and Cutha" fought against "the Britons" in 584 at "Fethanleag", where Cutha was killed, and captured "many villages and countless booty"[1278].  Florence of Worcester names "Ceaulin rex Occidentalium Saxonum et filius eius Cutha" when recording the same event[1279].  William of Malmesbury also records that King Ceawlin had a son named Cutha "cut off in battle"[1280].  Cutha, son of King Ceawlin, is added in later paragraphs of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as the ancestor of later kings, which suggests that the relationship with Ceawlin was added only by the later chroniclers.  Cutha was allegedly the ancestor of Cædwalla King of Wessex:  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cædwalla began to contend for the throne" in 685, adding that he was "son of Cœnberht, son of Cadda, son of Cutha, son of Ceawlin, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1281].] 

b)         [CUTHWINE .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthwine and Ceawlin" (no relationship specified between the two) fought against "the Britons" in 577 and "slew three kings, Coinmail, Condidan and Farinmail" at "Dyrham", and captured "three cities Gloucester, Cirencester and Bath"[1282].  Florence of Worcester names "rex Occidentalium Saxonum Ceaulin et filius suus Cuthwine" when recording the same event[1283].  Cuthwine is shown in subsequent paragraphs of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the ancestor of several later kings, these lines of descent providing examples of the dubious genealogies which link the later kings of Wessex into one family, as discussed in the introduction to this chapter.  Cuthwine was allegedly the father of Cynegils King of Wessex:  the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, under 688, outlining the descent of King Ine, says that "Cynegils" was the son of "Cuthwine, the son of Ceawlin, the son of Cynric"[1284].  However, this is contradicted by an earlier paragraph in the chronicle which states that Ceol King of Wessex was Cynegils’s ancestor: an addition in manuscript A of the Chronicle, under 611 notes that "that Cynegils was the son of Ceol, the son of Cutha, the son of Cynric"[1285], although it is not clear whether this was contemporary with the main part of the paragraph or a later addition.  Cuthwine was allegedly also the ancestor both of ætheling Oswald (the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Cuthwine as son of Ceawlin, but only in a later passage which records the ancestry of ætheling Oswald[1286]) and of Ine King of Wessex (manuscript A of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ine succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 688 and ruled thirty-seven years, adding that he was "the son of Cenred, son of Ceolwald…brother of Cynegils…sons of Cuthwine, son of Ceawlin, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1287], although according to William of Malmesbury King Ine descended from Cuthbald, supposedly brother of King Cynegils[1288]).] 

2.         CUTHA [I] [Cuthwulf] (-[571]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ceawlin and Cutha" fought against "Æthelberht" [King of Kent] in 568 and "drove him into Kent", and "slew two princes Oslaf and Cnebba at Wibbandun"[1289].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cutha" fought against "the Britons" in 571 at "Bedcanford" and captured four villages "Limbury, Aylesbury, Benson and Eynsham", but died in the same year, adding that he was the brother of "Ceawlin"[1290].  Another manuscript of the Chronicle records the same events in respect of "Cuthwulf" but do not record his relationship to Ceawlin[1291].  Florence of Worcester records the events naming "Regis Ceaulini frater Cuthulf"[1292].  William of Malmesbury names Cutha as the brother of King Ceawlin[1293].  Cutha [I] [Cuthwulf] was allegedly the ancestor of Æscwine King of Wessex (whose succession is recorded in in 674):   the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æscwine succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 674, adding only in manuscript A that he was "the son of Cenfus, son of Cenfrith, son of Ceolwulf, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1294].  This is one of the improbable descents referred to in the introduction to this chapter and may have been provided ex post facto to justify King Æscwine's right to succeed. 

 

3.         CWICHELM (-593).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 593 of "Ceawlin and Cwichelm and Crida"[1295]

 

4.         CRIDA (-593).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 593 of "Ceawlin and Cwichelm and Crida"[1296]

 

 

 

B.      FAMILY of CYNEGILS KING of WESSEX 611-685

 

 

1.         CYNEGILS (-[641/43]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 611[1297].  There is confusion about the parentage of Cynegils, who was allegedly the son either of Ceol King of Wessex or of Cuthwine, allegedly son of King Ceawlin.  An addition in manuscript A of the Chronicle, under 611 notes that "that Cynegils was the son of Ceol, the son of Cutha, the son of Cynric".  It is not clear whether this was contemporary with the main part of the paragraph or a later addition.  However, a  later paragraph of the Chronicle, which under 688 outlines the descent of King Ine, says that "Cynegils" was the son of "Cuthwine, the son of Ceawlin, the son of Cynric"[1298].  However, this appears to be one of the suspect descents included in the Chronicle, as discussed in the Introduction to this document.  Florence of Worcester names "fratris sui Ceoli filius Cynegils" when recording his succession on the death of "Ceolwlf rex"[1299].  He succeeded in 611 as CYNEGILS joint King of Wessex, .  According to William of Malmesbury, Cynegils ruled jointly with King Cwichelm[1300].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils and Cwichelm fought at Beandun" in 614 and killed "two thousand and sixty-five Welsh"[1301].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils and Cwichelm" fought against Penda King of Mercia at Cirencester in 628 "and then they came to an agreement"[1302].  It is possible that the marriage between Cenwalh, son of King Cynegils, and Cyneburga, sister of King Penda, was arranged as part of the agreement which is referred to.  Bede records that "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rege] Cynigilso" was converted to Christianity by Birinus [the first bishop in Wessex later established at Dorchester-on-Thames], with Oswald King of Northumbria acting as godfather[1303], which dates his baptism to after 635 at the earliest.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils" was baptised in 635 by "Birinus bishop of Dorchester", with "Oswald" [King of Northumbria] as his sponsor[1304].  The date of his death is assessed from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recording that "Cenwalh" succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex in 641 (manuscript E) and 643 (manuscript A)[1305].  King Cynegils had [three] children:

a)         CENWALH (-672).  Bede records that "filius eius Coinualch" succeeded "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rege] Cynigilso" but refused baptism[1306].  He succeeded in [641/43][1307] as CENWALH King of Wessex, but abjured Christianity.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex in 643, without mentioning any relationship with his predecessors, and adds that he "ordered the church at Winchester to be built", recording in a later passage that it was built in 648[1308].  Bede records that "Coinualch" repudiated "sorore Pendan regis Merciorum" to marry a second wife, was expelled from the kingdom, found refuge with "regem Orientalium Anglorum…Anna" where he was converted to Christianity, and was subsequently restored as king in Wessex[1309].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" was expelled by King Penda in 645, although the dating is thrown in doubt by another passage which dates an event in 658 to "after his return from East Anglia where he was for three years in exile" having been expelled by King Penda for repudiating his sister[1310].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" was baptised in 646[1311].  He recovered his kingdom "after three years"[1312], presumably therefore in 648.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" gave "three thousands of land by Ashdown" to "his kinsman Cuthred", adding that the latter was "son of Cwichelm, the son of Cynegils"[1313].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he "fought at Bradford-on-Avon" in 652[1314], and fought the Welsh "at Penselwood" in 658 "driving them in flight as far as the Parret"[1315].  Bede records that Cenwalh established Agilbert as Bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames, and Wine as Bishop of Winchester in or soon after 660, but that the former was abandoned when Agilbert returned to France[1316].  Agilbert abandoned Dorchester on Wine's appointment, returning to France where he became Bishop of Paris [667/68].  Wine also abandoned his see after a dispute with King Cœnwalh in [669] and bought the bishopric of London from Wulfhere King of Mercia.  During the last years of his reign, Wessex suffered territorial losses to Mercia in the Chilterns.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 661 "Cenwalh" fought "at Posentesburh", and that Wulfhere King of Mercia "ravaged as far as Ashdown"[1317].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 661 Wulfhere King of Mercia ravaged the Isle of Wight and gave it to Æthelwalh King of the South Saxons[1318].  Bede records that, after the death of "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rex] Coinwalch", the kingdom was divided between "subreguli" for ten years[1319].  This is not reflected in the succession of monarchs set out below, but the truth of the matter is obscure.  "Coenuualla basilieos Westsaxonum" granted land at Mere, Somerset to abbot Beorhtwald by charter dated 670[1320].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" died in 672 and that "Seaxburh his queen reigned one year after him"[1321]m firstly ([628], repudiated 645) CYNEBURGA of Mercia, daughter of PYBBA of Mercia & his wife ---.  It is possible that her marriage was part of the "agreement" reached between her brother Penda King of Mercia and Cynegils King of Wessex in 628 after the battle of Cirencester which is referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1322].  Bede records that "Coinualch" repudiated "sorore Pendan regis Merciorum" to marry a second wife[1323].  The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified.  m secondly (645) SEAXBURG, daughter of --- (-674).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" died in 672 and that "Seaxburh his queen reigned one year after him"[1324].  She succeeded in 672 as SEAXBURG Queen of Wessex[1325].  William of Malmesbury records that she "levied new forces, preserved the old in their duty ruled her subjects with moderation and overawed her enemies"[1326]

b)         [CENTWINE (-after 685).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Centwine succeeded to the kingdom" in 676, adding that he was "the son of Cynegils, son of Ceolwulf"[1327].  Kirby expresses doubt about the accuracy of this affiliation as Aldhelm, in his verses about King Centwine's daughter Bugge, did not refer to her grandfather as the first Christian king in Wessex[1328].  He succeeded King Æscwine in 676 as CENTWINE King of Wessex.  "Centwine Saxonum rex" granted land in Somerset to abbot Hæmgils by charter dated 682[1329].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 682 "Centwine drove the Britons as far as the sea"[1330].  He is not mentioned by Bede.]  m ---, sister of EORMENBURH [second wife of ECGFRITH King of Northumbria].  The Vita Wilfridi records that the wife of "regem Occidentalium Saxonum…Centwine" was "soror Irminburgæ reginæ", adding that she hated Wilfrid[1331].  Centwine had one child: 

i)          BUGGE .  One of Aldhelm’s Carmina Ecclesiastica refers to a church built by "Bugge…Centvvini filia regis"[1332]

c)         CYNEBURH.  Bede records that "regem Nordanhymbrorum Osualdum" married "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rege] Cynigilso…filiam" after her father was baptised[1333].  The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified.  m (635 or after) OSWALD King of Northumbria, son of ÆTHELFRITH King of Bernicia [Northumbria] & his wife Ucha of Deira [Northumbria] ([602/03]-killed in battle Maserfelth 5 Aug [641/42], bur Beardeneu [Beardney] Monastery, Lindsey, transferred to Gloucester 906). 

2.         [CWICHELM (-636).  There is confusion about the parentage of Cwichelm.  He is named with Cynegils in two passages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dated 614 and 628 (see below), neither of which specify any family relationship between the two.  A later paragraph in the Chronicle, under 648, names Cwichelm as son of Cynegils[1334].  On the other hand, William of Malmesbury states that Cwichelm was the brother, not son, of Cynegils and also says that they ruled jointly[1335].  The chronology of the various events described suggest that it is more likely that Cwichelm was Cynegils’s brother than his son, assuming that they were related at all.  He succeeded as CWICHELM joint King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils and Cwichelm fought at Beandun" in 614 and killed "two thousand and sixty-five Welsh"[1336].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynegils and Cwichelm" fought against Penda King of Mercia at Cirencester in 628 "and then they came to an agreement"[1337].  Bede records that "rege Occidentalium Saxonum…Cuichelmo" sent "sicarius…Eumer" to assassinate Eadwine King of Northumbria "primo die paschae iuxta amnem Deruuentionem"[1338].  This event is dated to 626 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1339].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cwichelm" was baptised in 636 at Dorchester-on-Thames and died the same year[1340].]  m ---.  The name of Cwichelm’s wife is not known.  Cwichelm had [one child]: 

a)         [CUTHRED [Eadred] (-661).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cenwalh" gave "three thousands of land by Ashdown" to "his kinsman Cuthred", adding that the latter was "son of Cwichelm, the son of Cynegils"[1341], although manuscript E of the Chronicle names the donee "his kinsman Eadred" without specifying the relationship more precisely[1342].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred" was baptised at Dorchester in 639 by Birinus who stood sponsor for him[1343].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred son of Cwichelm and king Cœnberht" both died in 661[1344]

3.         [CUTHBALD .  He was allegedly the ancestor of Ine King of Wessex:  according to William of Malmesbury, King Ine was the great nephew of King Cynegils, descended from the king's brother Cuthbald[1345].  He is not named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, according to which King Ine was descended from Cuthwine, supposedly son of Ceawlin King of Wessex:  manuscript A of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ine succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 688 and ruled thirty-seven years, adding that he was "the son of Cenred, son of Ceolwald…brother of Cynegils…sons of Cuthwine, son of Ceawlin, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1346]

 

 

 

C.      FAMILY of ÆSCWINE KING of WESSEX 674-676

 

 

1.         ÆSCWINE (-676).  King Æscwine was allegedly descended from Cutha [I] [Cuthwulf]:  the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æscwine succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 674, adding only in manuscript A that he was "the son of Cenfus, son of Cenfrith, son of Ceolwulf, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1347].  This is one of the improbable descents referred to in the introduction to this chapter and may have been provided ex post facto to justify King Æscwine's right to succeed.  He succeeded in 674 as ÆSCWINE King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æscwine" fought Wulfhere King of Mercia at "Biedanheafde" before 675[1348].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 676 of "Æscwine"[1349]

 

 

 

D.      FAMILY of CÆDWALLA KING of WESSEX 685-688

 

 

1.         CŒNBERHT (-661).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred son of Cwichelm and king Cœnberht" both died in 661[1350].  Two children: 

a)         CÆDWALLA ([658/59]-Rome 20 Apr 689, bur St Peter's Rome).  Cædwalla was allegedly descended from Cutha [III], supposedly son of King Ceawlin: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cædwalla began to contend for the throne" in 685, adding that he was "son of Cœnberht, son of Cadda, son of Cutha, son of Ceawlin, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1351].  This provides another example of the suspect lines of descent which are referred to in the introduction to this Chapter.  Bede records that, after the death of "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rex] Coinwalch", the kingdom was divided between "subreguli" for ten years and records that "subregulis Caedualla" removed the other rulers[1352].  He succeeded in 685 as CÆDWALLA King of Wessex.  "Cædwalla rex" granted land in Sussex to bishop Wilfred by charter dated 685, subscribed by "Ecguald subregulus"[1353].  Bede records that "Caedualla iuvenis…de regio genere Geuissorum" killed "regem Aedilualch" and ravaged his province, but was expelled by "ducibus…regis Bercthuno et Andhuno" who then held "regnum provinciæ", adding that the first named ("Bercthuno") was also killed by "Caedualla" and that the latter’s successor "Ini" maintained the province under servitude[1354].  Bede records that "Caedualla" conquered "insulam Vectam" and killed "duo regii pueri fratres…Aruladi regis insulæ" who had escaped from the island to "proximam Iutorum provinciam…in locum…Ad Lapidem"[1355].  He laid waste to Kent in 686, with his brother Mul, the latter being burnt to death by the people of Kent.  King Cædwalla laid waste to Kent once more in 687 in revenge for the burning of his brother.  "Cædwalla rex Saxonum" granted land at Farnham, Surrey to Cedde, Cisi and Criswa (none of whom have been identified) by charter dated 688[1356].  Bede records that "Occidentalium Saxonum…[rex]…Caedualla" abdicated after reigning for two years and went to Rome where he died[1357].  In his general chronology, he dates this event to 688[1358].  Paulus Diaconus records that "Cedoal rex Anglorum Saxonum" left on a pilgrimage to Rome where he was welcomed by Cunincpert King of the Lombards[1359].  Bede records that, in the third year of the reign of Aldfrid King of Northumbria, "Caedwalla rex Occidentalium Saxonum" abdicated after ruling for two years and went to Rome where he was baptised by Pope Sergius on Easter day in 689 with "Petri nomen", died "XII Kal Mar", and was buried in the church of St Peter[1360].  Bede records the monumental inscription of "Caedual qui et Petrus rex Saxonum" who died "XII Kal Mai" aged 30[1361].  Paulus Diaconus records that he was buried "in basilica beati Petri" and quotes his epitaph[1362].  The Chronicle of Abingdon Monastery quotes the epitaph of "regis Cedwallæ"[1363]m [CENTHRYTH, daughter of ---].  Leland’s Collectanea records that "Ceadwala cum conjuge mea Kendritha" made a donation to Canterbury, St Augustine (undated) but gives no further details[1364].  This charter is not included in The New Regesta Regum Anglorum so may be spurious.    

b)         MUL (-murdered in Kent 687).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cædwalla and Mul" ("Cædwalla and Mul his brother" in manuscript E) laid waste to Kent and the Isle of Wight in 686[1365].  His brother installed him as MUL King of Kent.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Mul was burned to death in Kent and twelve men with him" in 687, after which "Cædwalla again laid waste to Kent"[1366]

 

 

 

E.      FAMILY of INE KING of WESSEX 688-728

 

 

1.         CENRED .  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Cenred as son of Ceolwald[1367].  Under-King in Wessex, possibly in Dorset.  He was one of the chief advisers in putting together his son's code of law in 694.  Cenred had four children: 

a)         INE (-Rome [728]).  Ine was allegedly descended from Cuthwine, supposedly son of Ceawlin King of Wessex:  manuscript A of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ine succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" in 688 and ruled thirty-seven years, adding that he was "the son of Cenred, son of Ceolwald…brother of Cynegils…sons of Cuthwine, son of Ceawlin, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic"[1368].  However, a later source states that Ine was descended from Cuthbald, supposedly brother of King Cynegils:  according to William of Malmesbury, King Ine was the great nephew of King Cynegils, descended from the king's brother Cuthbald[1369].  He succeeded King Cædwalla in 688 as INE King of Wessex.  "Ini rex Westsaxonum" granted land in Berkshire to abbot Hean by charter dated 687 which was subscribed by "Ethelridi regis Merciorum"[1370].  According to Stenton, "Ine was a statesman with ideas beyond the grasp of any of his predecessors"[1371].  The conquest of Devon was probably completed during his reign, starting with the establishment of a monastery at Exeter in 690 or shortly before.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 694 "the Kentishmen came to terms with Ine" and gave him "thirty thousands" as compensation for the death of Mul[1372].  Ine promulgated a new code of laws in 694, more detailed than any of its predecessors, including the establishment of the annual payment of church-scot by all free men, which was paid in kind at Martinmas at a rate in proportion to land held and generally consisted of a number of measures of grain[1373].  The bishopric of Shelborne was established in 705, with Aldhelm (abbot of Malmesbury) as its first bishop, its diocese being the more recently conquered lands of Dorset, Somerset and Devon[1374].  The first West Saxon synods met under his presidency.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 715 "Ine and Ceolred" [King of Mercia" fought "at Adam’s grave"[1375].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 721 "Ine killed Cynewulf"[1376].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ine fought "against the South Saxons" in 722, and in 725 when he killed "Ealdberht" there[1377].  Bede records that "Ini", successor of Cædwalla, reigned for 38 years before abdicating and leaving for Rome[1378].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ine went to Rome" in 728[1379]m ÆTHELBURG, sister of ÆTHELHEARD, later King of Wessex, maybe a descendant of Cynebald (-Rome [728]).  The primary source which records that she was sister of Æthelheard has not yet been identified.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "queen Æthelburh destroyed Taunton, which Ine had built" in 722[1380].  William of Malmesbury records that she encouraged her husband to undertake his pilgrimage to Rome in 726 and accompanied him[1381]

b)         INGELD (-718).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ingeld brother of Ine" died in 718[1382].  According to the generally accepted ancestry of the 9th century kings of Wessex, Ingeld was the direct ancestor of Ealhmund King of Kent, who was the father of Ecgberht King of Wessex.  This supposed ancestry is set out in a passage of the Chronicle dated 855, which lists the ancestors of Æthelwulf King of Wessex, and states that Ealhmund was "son of Eafa, son of Eoppa, son of Ingeld…brother of Ine king of Wessex", adds their alleged direct line of ancestors back to Cerdic, first King of Wessex, Cerdic’s mythical ancestry back to Woden, and even Woden’s alleged descent from Noah and "Adam the first man"[1383].  This is clearly one of the dubious lines of descent of the kings of Wessex which are discussed in the introduction to the Chapter. 

c)         CWENBURH.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Cwenburh and Cuthburh" as sisters of Ingeld and Ine[1384].  She and her sister founded Wimborne Abbey, where Cwenburh became Abbess. 

d)         CUTHBURH.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Cwenburh and Cuthburh" as sisters of Ingeld and Ine, adding that Cuthburh married Aldfrith king of Northumbria "but they parted during their lifetime" and founded the monastic community at Wimborne[1385].  After her repudiation, she became a nun at Barking.  She was canonised, her feast day is 3 Sep[1386]m (separated before [696/97][1387]) as his first wife, ALDFRITH King of Northumbria, illegitimate son of OSWIU King of Northumbria & his mistress --- ([650]-Driffield 14 Dec 704). 

 

 

1.         NUNNA (-after 710).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 710 "Ine and Nunna, his kinsman" fought "against Geraint king of the Britons"[1388].  No indication has been found about the precise relationship between Nunna and King Ine.  same person as…?  NUNNA (-after 714).  King of the South Saxons.  "Nunna rex Suthsaxonum" granted land at Sidlesham, Sussex to Beadufrido by charter dated 714[1389]m ÆTHELTHRYTH, daughter of ---.  "Edeldrid regina" subscribed the 714 charter of "Nunna rex Suthsaxonum"1215

 

2.         EALDBERHT (-killed in battle [Sussex] 725).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Ealdberht the exile fled into Surrey and Sussex" in 722[1390].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ine fought "against the South Saxons" in 725 and killed "Ealdberht" (manuscript E adding "the prince whom he had banished")[1391]

 

3.         OSWALD ætheling (-730).  Oswald was allegedly descended from Cuthwine, supposedly son of Ceawlin King of Wessex:  the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelheard and prince Oswald" fought in 728, adding that Oswald was "the son of Æthelbald, son of Cynebald, son of Cuthwine, son of Ceawlin"[1392].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 730 of "Oswald the prince"[1393]

 

 

 

F.      FAMILY of ÆTHELHEARD KING of WESSEX 728-739

 

 

Brother and sister, maybe descendants of Cynebald.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "their direct paternal ancestry goes back to Cerdic" but gives no details[1394]

1.         ÆTHELHEARD (-[739/41]).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelheard his kinsman" succeeded King Ine and ruled for fourteen years[1395].  He succeeded Ine in 728 as ÆTHELHEARD King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelheard and prince Oswald" fought in 728[1396].  "Athelardus rex Westsaxona" granted land at Pouholt, Somerset to abbot Coengisl by charter dated 729[1397].  Wessex's power was much diminished under Æthelheard, with Æthelbald King of Mercia annexing a considerable part of Wessex beyond Selwood[1398].  The Continuator of Bede records the death in 739 of "Edilhartus Occidentalium Saxonum rex"[1399].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of "king Æthelheard" in 740 (manuscript E) and 741 (manuscript A)[1400]m FRITHUGYTH, daughter of --- (-after 737).  "Fridogitha regina" subscribed the charter of "Athelardus rex Westsaxona" dated 7291397.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "bishop Forthhere and queen Frithugyth journeyed to Rome" in 737[1401].  Florence of Worcester records that "episcopus Scireburnensis ecclesiæ Fortherus et Frithogitha Occidentalium Saxonum regina" left for Rome, undated[1402]

2.         [ÆTHELBURG (-Rome [728]).  The primary source which records that she was sister of Æthelheard has not yet been identified.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "queen Æthelburh destroyed Taunton, which Ine had built" in 722[1403].  William of Malmesbury records that she encouraged her husband to undertake his pilgrimage to Rome in 726 and accompanied him[1404]m INE King of Wessex, son of CENRED under King of Wessex (-Rome [728]).] 

 

 

 

G.      KINGS of WESSEX 740-802

 

 

1.         CUTHRED, son of --- (-756).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred" ("Cuthred his kinsman", in manuscript E) succeeded on the death of "king Æthelheard", in 740 (manuscript E) and 741 (manuscript A), and ruled sixteen years and "resolutely made war against king Æthelbald" [King of Mercia][1405].  King Cuthred was a "kinsman" of King Æthelheard, according to William of Malmesbury, but the precise relationship is not specified[1406].  He succeeded King Æthelheard in [739/41] as CUTHRED King of Wessex.  Cuthred was presumably reconciled to Æthelbald King of Mercia as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelbald and Cuthred fought against the Welsh" in 743[1407].  "Cudredus rex Westsaxona" confirmed previous grants to Glastonbury Abbey by charter dated 745[1408].  "Cuthredus rex" granted land to Winchester St Peter and St Paul by charter dated 749[1409].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "king Cuthred fought against Æthelhun, the presumptuous ealdorman" in 750[1410].  The Continuator of Bede records that "Cudretus rex Occidentalium Saxonum" rebelled against "Aedilbaldum regem et Oengusum" in 750[1411].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred fought against Æthelbald" [King of Mercia] at "Beorgfeord" in 752[1412], apparently maintaining the independence of Wessex until his death[1413].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cuthred fought against the Welsh" in 753[1414].  Simeon of Durham records the death in 755 of "Cuthred king of the West Saxons", stating that "Sigberht" succeeded him[1415].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of "Cuthred" in 756[1416].  The Continuator of Bede records the death in 757 of "Cyniuulfus rex Occidentalium Saxonum", but this is inconsistent with other primary sources[1417]

 

2.         CYNRIC (-killed 748).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynric prince of Wessex" was killed in 748[1418].  He was presumably a relative of King Cuthred but the precise relationship has not been ascertained. 

 

 

Two brothers, their parents are not known, but the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "their direct paternal ancestry goes back to Cerdic", without providing any details of a line of descent[1419]:

1.         SIGEBERHT (-murdered after 757).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Sigeberht" succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex and ruled one year, after the death of "Cuthred" in 756[1420].  Simeon of Durham records the death in 755 of "Cuthred king of the West Saxons", stating that "Sigberht" succeeded him[1421].  William of Malmesbury records that Sigeberht "seized the kingdom" on the death of King Cuthred in 756[1422], succeeding as SIGEBERHT King of Wessex.  William of Malmesbury describes him as "a man of inhuman cruelty among his own subjects and noted for excessive cowardice abroad"[1423].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf and the councillors of Wessex" deprived "Sigeberht his kinsman of his kingdom for unlawful actions, with the exception of Hampshire" in 757, adding that Sigeberht retained Hampshire "until he slew the ealdorman who remained faithful to him longer than the rest" upon which Cynewulf "drove him away into the Weald [where] he lived until a herdsman stabbed him at the stream of Privett"[1424]

2.         CYNEHEARD (-murdered 786, bur Axminster).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf", after ruling sixteen years, "wished to expel a prince called Cyneheard…brother of…Sigeberht", adding that Cyneheard murdered King Cynewulf "at Merantun" where the king was visiting "a mistress" but was killed by "ealdorman Osric and Wigfrith [the king’s] thane"[1425].  The Chronicle of Abingdon Monastery names "Kineuuardo, Sigeberti prædecessoris sui fratre" as the murderer of King Cynewulf[1426].  Simeon of Durham records that "Kinnulf king of the West Saxons" was put to death by "the perfidious tyrant Kynheard" in 783, adding that Cyneheard was killed by "duke Osred"[1427].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cyneheard" was buried "at Axminster"[1428]

 

 

1.         CYNEWULF (-murdered Merantum 786, bur Winchester).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf and the councillors of Wessex" deprived "Sigeberht his kinsman of his kingdom for unlawful actions…" in 757[1429].  The precise relationship, if any, between Cynewulf and Sigeberht is not known, but the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "their direct paternal ancestry goes back to Cerdic", without providing any details of a line of descent[1430].  He succeeded in 757, after deposing King Sigeberht, as CYNEWULF King of Wessex.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf" fought "great battles against the Welsh"[1431].  "Kinewulf rex" granted land in Wiltshire to Malmesbury abbey by charter dated 758[1432].  "Cynulf rex Uuest Saxsorum" subscribed a charter issued by "Æthilbald rex non solum Mercensium", granted land at Tockinham, Wiltshire to abbot Eanberht, dated 757[1433].  Wessex was once more a dependency of Mercia soon after Cynewulf's succession, but he recovered much of the territory which Wessex had lost to Æthelbald King of Mercia[1434].  "Cyneuulf rex occidentalium Saxonum" subscribed a charter of "Offa rex Merciorum" dated 772[1435].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf and Offa fought around Benson" [Bensington, near Dorchester-on-Thames] in 779 and that "Offa took the village"[1436] by Offa King of Mercia, who began recapturing the territories over which he had lost control in Berkshire.  "Cyneuulf rex occidentalium Saxonum" wrote to Lullus, dated to [757/86] in the compilation[1437].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf", after ruling sixteen years, "wished to expel a prince called Cyneheard…brother of…Sigeberht", adding that Cyneheard murdered King Cynewulf "at Merantun" where the king was visiting "a mistress" but was killed by "ealdorman Osric and Wigfrith [the king’s] thane"[1438].  A later passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of King Cynewulf in 786[1439].  Simeon of Durham records that "Kinnulf king of the West Saxons" was put to death by "the perfidious tyrant Kynheard" in 783[1440].  The Continuator of Bede records the death in 757 of "Cyniuulfus rex Occidentalium Saxonum", but this is inconsistent with other primary sources[1441].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Cynewulf", ruled for thirty-one years and was buried "at Winchester"[1442]

 

 

1.         BEORHTRIC (-802, bur Wareham).  His ancestry is unknown, although the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that "his direct paternal ancestry goes back to Cerdic" without giving details[1443].  It is likely that this was polemic to boost his credentials to succeed to the throne, as discussed in the Introduction to this document.  The Chronicle of Abingdon Monastery names "Brihtricus frater eius" when recording that he succeeded "Kineuulfo Westsaxonum rege"[1444], but this is the only source so far identified which suggests a family relationship between Beorhtric and his predecessor.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Beorhtric king of the West Saxons succeeded to the kingdom" after he death of King Cynewulf in 786[1445].  He succeeded King Cynewulf in 786 as BEORHTRIC King of Wessex, under Mercian overlordship.  He inaugurated a new West Saxon coinage at Winchester or Southampton[1446].  "Beorhtric" granted land in Somerset to "Wigferth præfectus" (who has not been identified) by charter dated 794[1447].  "Beorhtrich rex occidentalium Saxonim" subscribed a charter of "Egeferth rex Merciorum" dated 796[1448].  "Beorhtric rex" granted land at Crux Easton, Hampshire to "Lulla princeps" by charter dated 801, subscribed by (in order) "Wor princeps", "Wiohstan princeps", "Wigfreth princeps" and "Wiohtbrord princeps", "Æse princeps" and "Ealhmund princeps"[1449].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Beorhtric king of the West Saxons" died in 802 after ruling sixteen years and was buried "at Wareham"[1450]m (789) EADBURH of Mercia, daughter of OFFA King of Mercia & his wife Cynethryth (-after 802).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the marriage of Beorhtric and "Eadburh daughter of Offa" in 789[1451].  According to William of Malmesbury[1452], her marriage was arranged as part of King Offa's agreement to betray Ecgberht of Wessex who had sought refuge in Mercia after being expelled by King Beorhtric.  "Edbirtus rex" granted land at Butleigh, Somerset to "Eadgils minister" by charter dated 801[1453].  As no king of that name is known at the time, it is assumed that this is the charter of Queen Eadburh.  A domineering queen, she poisoned her adversaries, and maybe also accidentally poisoned her husband: William of Malmesbury recounts that King Beorhtric drank "of the same potion, unknown to the queen" which she had used to poison "a youth much beloved by the king"[1454].  She fled to the court of Charlemagne who placed her in a monastery from which she was later expelled[1455].  She died in poverty in Pavia[1456]

 

 

 

H.      KINGS of WESSEX 802-944, KINGS of ENGLAND 944-1066

 

 

1.         EALHMUND, son of [EAFA & his wife ---] (-after 784, maybe after 801).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "rex Ealhmundus" was "in Cantia rex" in 784, adding that "this king Ealhmund was the father of Egbert, the father of Æthelwulf"[1457].  He succeeded as EALHMUND King of Kent, in 784 or before.  The generally accepted parentage of Ealhmund, according to which he was descended from Ingeld, brother of Ine King of Wessex, is open to debate.  This supposed parentage is set out in a later passage, dated 855, in another manuscript of the Chronicle, which lists the ancestors of Æthelwulf King of Wessex, states that Ealhmund was "son of Eafa, son of Eoppa, son of Ingeld…brother of Ine king of Wessex", adds their alleged direct line of ancestors back to Cerdic, first King of Wessex, Cerdic’s mythical ancestry back to Woden, and even Woden’s alleged descent from Noah and "Adam the first man"[1458].  This is clearly one of the dubious lines of descent of the kings of Wessex which are discussed in the introduction to the Chapter.  The problem is to decide the point at which fact gives way to fabrication.  It is possible that this point occurs very early in the line of ancestry, and that there is doubt whether Ealhmund was even the son of "Eafa" as claimed in this passage.  "Eafa" and his supposed father "Eoppa" are not named in any other sources which have so far been identified, although "Ingeld…brother of Ine" is noted in a single passage of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dated 718 which records his death.  The absence of any mention of Ealhmund’s parentage in the earlier passage in the Chronicle dated 784 certainly suggests doubt about the line of ancestry which is reported in 855.  By the latter date, few people alive could have challenged Ealhmund’s reported parentage from personal acquaintance with his parents.  This suggestion of course assumes that the Chronicle was a living document which was composed over time, with successive passages being added by different authors as time passed.  This hypothesis is plausible, but is impossible to prove or disprove.  If it is correct, it is possible that Ealhmund was not related to the family of the earlier kings of Wessex at all.  Looking elsewhere for his possible ancestry, it is interesting to note that Ealhmund's predecessor as king of Kent was named Ecgberht, the name which Ealhmund gave to his own son, and which was a name not previously used in the royal families of Wessex, at least so far as can be ascertained from the surviving primary sources.  If this speculation is correct, it would of course mean that the usually represented ancestry of Ecgberht King of Wessex would require reconsideration.  "Ealmundus rex Canciæ" granted land at Sheldwich, Kent to Hwitrede abbot of Reculver by charter dated 784[1459].  Mercian involvement in Kentish affairs appears to have increased again in 785-789[1460].  Presumably King Ealhmund was deposed as King of Kent by Offa King of Mercia as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in a much later passage recalls that "the Kentishmen … formerly … had been wrongly forced away from their allegiance to his [Ecgberht King of Wessex's] kinsmen"[1461].  This event may have taken place in 789, the date when King Ealhmund's son Ecgberht is later described in the Chronicle as having been expelled from England by Beorhtric King of Wessex and Offa King of Mercia[1462].  "Ealhmund princeps" subscribed a charter of "Beorhtric rex" dated 801[1463], but this may be a different individual who has not been identified.  If the identity of Ealhmund’s wife is as suggested below, the individual named in the 801 charter must certainly have been a different person from Ealhmund King of Kent.  m ---.  The name of Ealhmund's wife is not known.  It is possible that she was ---, daughter of ---, who married secondly Alhmund [of Northumbria].  According to a manuscript which recounts the founding of Wilton Monastery, “Elburga, filia Alqmundi martyris, filii Alrudi regis Northumbrorum” was “soror Egberti Regis, ex parte regis”, clarifying that he was Ecgberht King of Wessex (“quia Egbertus fuit filius Alqmundi, filii Offæ Regis, de prosapia Inæ”)[1464].  As Alhmund of Northumbria’s death is dated to 800, Ealhmund of Wessex would have been her first husband.  The reliability of this manuscript is not known.  The document dates the founding of Wilton abbey by King Echberht to 773, which is clearly anachronistic, and shows that it cannot be relied upon entirely.  It is probably safer to treat the narrative with caution until some other corroboration is found in another source.  Ealhmund & his wife had one child: 

a)         ECGBERHT ([769/80]-839).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Egbert succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" after the death of Beorhtric in 802, in a later passage describing him as Ecgberht as son of Ealhmund, and in another passage which setting out his complete ancestry from his son Æthelwulf King of Wessex[1465].  On Beorhtric's death, he established himself in 802 as ECGBERHT King of Wessex, rebelling against Mercian overlordship.  

-        see below.   

 

 

ECGBERHT, son of EALHMUND Under-King of Kent & his wife --- ([769/80]-4 Feb or [Jun] 839, bur Winchester Cathedral).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Egbert succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex" after the death of Beorhtric in 802, in a later passage describing him as Ecgberht as son of Ealhmund, and in another passage which setting out his complete ancestry from his son Æthelwulf King of Wessex[1466].  According to the Chronicle, Ecgberht was expelled from England in 789 by King Beorhtric after he unsuccessfully challenged Beorhtric's succession[1467].  It may be significant that "England" rather than "Wessex" is specified in this passage of the Chronicle.  Ecgberht's father was king of Kent around this time, and it is possible that the expulsion was from Kent, maybe a consequence of his father being deposed as Kentish king.  According to William of Malmesbury, Beorhtric was allied with Offa King of Mercia at this time.  He explains that Ecgberht had sought refuge with King Offa after his expulsion by King Beorhtric, but that the latter bribed Offa for Ecgberht's surrender and was offered Offa's daughter in marriage in return[1468].  Ecgberht sought refuge at the Frankish court until [792][1469].  Under-King in Kent in [796][1470].  On Beorhtric's death, he established himself in 802 as ECGBERHT King of Wessex, rebelling against Mercian overlordship.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he ravaged the Britons of Dumnonia (Cornwall) 815[1471].  He defeated Beornwulf King of Mercia in 825 at Ellendun [=Wroughton, Wiltshire], which marked the end of Mercian ascendancy.  King Ecgberht immediately sent his son Æthelwulf with a large army into Kent, which submitted to him along with Surrey, Sussex and Essex.  East Anglia, in revolt against Mercia, turned to Ecgberht for protection[1472].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ecgberht conquered Mercia in 829[1473], taking the title rex Merciorum, from evidence provided by a limited number of coins[1474], but lost control of Mercia again in 830.  He exacted tribute from Eanred King of Northumbria in 829.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the first Danish raiders landed at Sheppey in 835 and King Ecgberht was defeated by Viking invaders at Carhampton in 836[1475], but defeated the Vikings at Hingston Down, Cornwall in 838[1476], which is probably when Cornwall was integrated into Wessex.  "Ægberhtus rex occidentalium Saxonum" granted land at Canterbury to "Ciaba clericus", jointly with "Æthelwulfi regis filii mei", by charter dated 836[1477].  "Æthelwulf rex Cancie" was co-grantor of land in Kent with "Egberthus rex occident Saxonum pater meus" by charters dated [833/39] and 838 respectively[1478].  Despite his successes, he does not seem to have claimed overlordship over all the southern English or referred to himself as king of England.  He is listed as eighth bretwalda in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1479], supplementing the original list given by Bede.  William of Malmesbury records that King Ecgberht died "after a reign of thirty-seven years" and was buried at Winchester[1480].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Ecgberht died in 839[1481]

m ([789/92]) REDBURGA, daughter of ---.   The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified.  According to Weir, she is said to have been "sister of the king of the Franks", who at the time was Charles I, later Emperor "Charlemagne", but her identity is uncertain[1482].  The primary source on which this is based has not been identified.  If her origin was Frankish, King Ecgberht presumably married her during his exile at the Frankish court between [789/792]. 

King Ecgberht had two children: 

1.         ÆTHELWULF ([795/810]-13 Jan 858, bur Winchester).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelwulf as son of Ecgberht[1483].  He succeeded his father 839 as ÆTHELWULF King of Wessex

-        see below

2.         EADGYTH (-Polesworth Abbey ----, bur Polesworth Abbey).  A manuscript of Polesworth Monastery records that “sancta Editha sorore regis Athulphi” was a nun at the abbey[1484].  Another manuscript which narrates the foundation of Polesworth Monastery in more detail, but is stated in Dugdale’s Monasticon to date from 1640, records that “Egbrycht the king had on son…Arnulfe and a dowhtur…Edith”, and that the latter was made abbess[1485]

 

 

ÆTHELWULF, son of ECGBERHT King of Wessex & his wife Redburga --- ([795/810]-13 Jan 858, bur Winchester Cathedral).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelwulf as son of Ecgberht[1486].  Kirby suggests[1487] that Æthelwulf could have been born as late as 810, although this would not be consistent with the supposed date of his father's marriage and is unlikely to be correct if Æthelstan (see below) was King Æthelwulf's son.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 825 "Egbert king of Wessex…sent his son Æthelwulf…and Wulfheard his ealdorman to Kent with a great force" where they expelled King Baldred[1488].  "Æthelwulfi regis filii mei" was co-grantor of land at Canterbury to "Ciaba clericus" with "Ægberhtus rex occidentalium Saxonum" by charter dated 836[1489].  "Æthelwulf rex Cancie" was co-grantor of land in Kent with "Egberthus rex occident Saxonum pater meus" by charters dated [833/39] and 838 respectively[1490].  Under-King of Kent, Essex, Sussex and Surrey 825-839.  He succeeded his father in 839 as ÆTHELWULF King of Wessex, crowned [later in 839] at Kingston-upon-Thames.  Danish raids intensified during his reign.  Great damage was done in Lindsey, East Anglia and Kent in 841, and Southampton was plundered in 842.  Before 850, King Æthelwulf had settled the ancient dispute with Mercia about the lands to the west of the middle Thames by transferring Berkshire from Mercia to Wessex[1491].  He defeated a large Danish army south of the Thames at Aclea in 851 after it had stormed Canterbury and London and driven Burghred King of Mercia to flight[1492].  King Æthelwulf made a pilgrimage to Rome in 855, leaving the government in the hands of his son Æthelbald.  At the request of Pope Benedict III, he made a public distribution of gold and silver to the clergy, leading men of Rome and the people[1493].  William of Malmesbury records that Æthelbald rebelled against his father during his absence and, after returning, King Æthelwulf abdicated part of his realm in Wessex in favour of his son to avoid civil war, continuing to rule in the other part of Wessex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex[1494].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of King Æthelwulf two years after returning from Rome and his burial at Winchester[1495]

[m] [firstly] ([815/20]) ---.  There is no direct proof of this supposed first marriage.  However, the likely birth date of King Æthelwulf's son Æthelstan suggests a substantial age difference with his brothers, indicating that he was probably not born from the same mother. 

m [secondly] ([830/33]) OSBURGA, daughter of OSLAC Ealdorman of the Isle of Wight & his wife --- (-[852/55]).  Asser names "Osburga…daughter of Oslac the famous butler of King Æthelwulf…a Goth by nation" as the mother of King Alfred, specifying that her father was descended from "the Goths and Jutes…namely of Stuf and Whitgar two brothers…who…received possession of the Isle of Wight from their uncle King Cerdic"[1496].  She is named as mother of King Alfred by Roger of Hoveden, who also names her father, specifying that he was "pincerna regis"[1497]

m [thirdly] ([Verberie-sur-Oise] 1 Oct 856) as her first husband, JUDITH of the Franks, daughter of CHARLES II "le Chauve" King of the West Franks & his first wife Ermentrudis [d’Orléans] ([844]-after 870).  The Annales Bertiniani record the betrothal in Jul 856 of "Iudith filiam Karli regis" and "Edilvulf rex occidentalium Anglorum" after the latter returned from Rome and their marriage "Kal Oct in Vermaria palatio", during which "Ingmaro Durocortori Remorum episcopo" set a queen's diadem on her head[1498].  She and her father are named by Roger of Hoveden when he records her marriage to King Æthelwulf[1499].  Her husband placed her "by his own side on the regal throne", contrary to normal practice according to Asser, who also says that the subservient position previously given to the queen was adopted in Wessex after the reign of King Beorhtric because of the unpopular influence of his queen Eadburh of Mercia[1500].  Queen Judith married secondly ([858/59]) her stepson, Æthelbald King of Wessex.  The Annales Bertiniani record the marriage of "Iudit reginam" and "Adalboldus filius eius [=Edilvulf regis]" in 858 after the death of her first husband[1501].  She eloped with her future third husband, Baudouin I Count of Flanders, around Christmas 861 and married him at Auxerre end-863.  The Annales Bertiniani record that Judith returned to her father after the death of her second husband, lived at Senlis "sub tuitione paterna", and from there was abducted by "Balduinum comitem" with the consent of her brother Louis, her father consenting to the marriage the following year[1502].  Flodoard names "Balduini comitis et Iudita…Karoli regis filia, Edilvulfo regi Anglorum qui et Edelboldus in matrimonium"[1503]

[Mistress (1): ---.  The uncertain nature of the precise relationship of King Æthelberht to the royal family is explained below, one of the possibilities being that he was an illegitimate son of King Æthelwulf by an unknown concubine.] 

King Æthelwulf & his [first wife] had one child:

1.         ÆTHELSTAN ([820/26]-[851/53]).  The sources are contradictory concerning the parentage of Æthelstan.  One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that Æthelstan was the second son of King Ecgberht, but another says "Æthelwulf, son of Ecgberht, succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex, and he gave his son Æthelstan the kingdom of Kent and Essex and of Surrey and of Sussex"[1504].  If Æthelstan was the son of King Æthelwulf, he must have been considerably older than his brothers, and therefore probably not born from the same mother.  Æthelstan's birth date is estimated from his appointment as under king in 839, on the assumption that this was unlikely to have been before he was a teenager.  Weir[1505] states that Æthelstan (whom she places as King Ecgberht's son) had a son named Ethelweard who was under-King of Kent and who died in 850, but the source on which this is based is not known.  According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Æthelstan was under-King of Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex in 839[1506].  "Ethelstan/Æthelstan rex" subscribed three charters of King Æthelwulf granting lands in Kent dated 841, 842 and 845[1507].  "Edelstan rex Kancie" granted land at Rochester, Kent to "Ealhere princeps", jointly with King Æthelwulf, by charter dated 850[1508].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that he and his ealdorman Ealhere defeated a Danish force at sea off Sandwich [851][1509].  Asser records that "king Athelstan, son of king Æthelwulf, and earl Ealhere slew a large army of pagans in Kent at…Sandwich" in 851, and that "earl Ealhere with the men of Kent" fought more pagans "in the island…Tenet" in 853 where Ælhere was killed[1510].  It is assumed that Æthelstan died before 853 as he is not named as having taken part in this second battle.  Æthelstan had [one possible child]: 

a)         [ÆTHELWEARD (-850).  Weir[1511] states that Æthelstan (whom she places as King Ecgberht's son) had a son named Ethelweard who was under-King of Kent and who died in 850, but the primary source on which this is based is not known.] 

King Æthelwulf & his [second] wife had [five] children:

2.         ÆTHELBALD ([835/40]-20 Dec 860, bur Sherborne Abbey, Dorset).  "Edelbaldus filius suus" fought with King Æthelwulf at Temesmuthe, London and in Kent in 851[1512].  He was appointed under-king in Wessex when his father left for Rome in 855.  Asser records that "king Ethelbald and Ealstan bishop of…Sherborne, with Eanwulf earl of the district of Somerton are said to have made a conspiracy together that king Ethelwulf, on his return from Rome, should never again be received into his kingdom" and that "many ascribe [the plot] solely to the insolence of the king, because the king was pertinacious in this matter, and in many other perversities…as also was proved by the result of that which follows"[1513].  After his return, Æthelwulf abdicated part of his realm in favour of his son, who succeeded as ÆTHELBALD King of Wessex, while his father continued to rule in the other part of Wessex and in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex.  Stenton says that Æthelwulf did this "to avoid a civil war" after learning that "his eldest son and some of the leading men of Wessex were resolved that he should not be received as king" after returning to England[1514].  Presumably he bases this on the report by Asser.  The new conclusions referred to below regarding the possible illegitimacy of King Æthelwulf's son Æthelberht suggest another possible explanation.  Æthelberht, most likely older than his half-brother Æthelbald, may have been the ring-leader of the plot.  King Æthelwulf may have wished to control Æthelberht's ambitions by installing his oldest legitimate son as king during his own lifetime.  Asser's report blaming Æthelbald may have been due to the chronicler's evident disapproval of the king's marrying his stepmother after his father's death (see below).  In fact, this rather surprising marriage may also have been motivated by the need to reinforce Æthelbald's possibly weak power-base in the face of a continuing threat from his more powerful older half-brother Æthelberht.  "Adelbaldus ex occidentalium Saxonem" granted land at Teffont, Wiltshire to "Osmund minister" by charter dated 860, subscribed by (in order) "Iudith regis filius [sic]" and "Osric dux"[1515].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 860 of King Æthelbald and his burial at Sherborne[1516]m ([858/59], separated) as her second husband, his stepmother, JUDITH of the Franks, widow of ÆTHELWULF King of Wessex, daughter of CHARLES II "le Chauve" King of the West Franks & his first wife Ermentrudis [d’Orléans] ([844]-after 870).  Asser records that when King Æthelwulf was dead, his son Æthelbald married Judith daughter of Charles king of the Franks "contrary to God's prohibition and the dignity of a Christian, contrary also to the custom of all the pagans…and drew down much infamy upon himself"[1517].  The Annales Bertiniani record the marriage of "Iudit reginam" and "Adalboldus filius eius [=Edilvulf regis]" in 858 after the death of her first husband[1518].  Roger of Hoveden also records this second marriage of Judith[1519].  Roger of Wendover records the marriage and adds that Æthelbald repudiated his wife in penitence for the marriage[1520].  "Iudith regis filius [sic]" subscribed a charter of King Æthelbald dated 860[1521].  This presumably refers to Judith, Æthelbald's wife.  Although it is not impossible that Queen Judith had a daughter by her first husband, her own date of birth indicates that it is unlikely that such a child could have been born before [858], in which case the daughter would probably not have been considered old enough to have subscribed a charter in 860.  The "regis filius [=filia]" reference is nevertheless surprising (why not "regina"?), although one explanation is that it refers to her as daughter of the Frankish king rather than her relationship to the Wessex royal family.  Another simpler explanation is that it was simply a copyist's error.  The Annales Bertiniani record that Judith returned to her father after the death of her second husband, lived at Senlis "sub tuitione paterna", and from there was abducted by "Balduinum comitem" with the consent of her brother Louis, her father consenting to the marriage the following year[1522].  Judith eloped with her future third husband, Baudouin I Count of Flanders, around Christmas 861 and married him at Auxerre end-863.  Flodoard names "Balduini comitis et Iudita…Karoli regis filia, Edilvulfo regi Anglorum qui et Edelboldus in matrimonium"[1523]

3.         ÆTHELSWITH ([838/41]-in Italy 888, bur Pavia).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Æthelwulf gave his (unnamed) daughter in marriage to King Burghred[1524].  Asser records that in 853 after Easter King Æthelwulf "gave his daughter to Burhred king of the Mercians…at the royal vill of Chippenham"[1525].  Her name is confirmed by the charter of "Burgred rex Mercensium" dated 855 subscribed by "Æthelswith regina"[1526].  It is assumed that Æthelswith was her father's legitimate daughter by his wife Osburga, but this is not certain.  She was probably older than her brothers Æthelred and Alfred in view of her 853 marriage, although the possibility of an infant marriage cannot be excluded.  Æthelswith had no known children from whose birth dates one could calculate their mother's age.  "Æthelswith regina" was co-grantor with King Burgred in a grant of land at Upthrop to Wulflaf dated 869[1527].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 888 "ealdorman Beocca and queen Æthelswith who was king Alfred's sister took the alms of the West Saxons and of king Alfred to Rome", one manuscript specifying that she "passed away on the way to Rome", another that she was buried in Pavia[1528].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that she was buried "at Ticinum"[1529]m (Chippenham after Easter 853) BURGHRED King of Mercia, son of --- (-Rome after 874).  He turned to Æthelwulf King of Wessex in 853 for help against the Britons of Wales, and was given his daughter in marriage[1530].  "Burgred rex Mercensium" granted lands to bishop Alhhun under charter dated 855, and was co-grantor with his wife in a grant of land at Upthrop to Wulflaf dated 869[1531].  The 855 charter shows that the Danes were in Mercia around the Wrekin in that year[1532].  King Burghred, in alliance with his brothers-in-law King Æthelred and Alfred of Wessex, gathered near Nottingham in 868 to fight the Danes but bought peace from them without fighting.  However, the Danish army moved on Repton in late 873, and Burghred was forced out in 874.  He left for Rome where he spent the rest of his life. 

4.         ÆTHELRED ([844/47]-[15/22] Apr 871, bur Wimborne Minster, Dorset[1533]).  Weir estimates that Æthelred must have been born in [840][1534].  However, it is likely that he was no more than a young adolescent in 860, presumably not powerful enough to prevent his being displaced in the succession by his older half-brother Æthelberht.  "Æthelred/Ethered filius regis" subscribed charters of King Æthelberht dated 860, 863 and 864[1535].  He succeeded his brother in 866 as ÆTHELRED I King of Wessex, crowned soon after at Kingston-upon-Thames.  Danish incursions increased during his reign, Asser recording that the invaders wintered for the first time in East Anglia[1536].  King Æthelred and his younger brother Alfred allied themselves with their brother-in-law Burghred King of Mercia to fight the Danes near Nottingham in Autumn 868, but Burghred bought peace without fighting.  In 870, the Danes moved against Wessex, establishing winter quarters at Reading.  Following an unsuccessful attack on Reading, Æthelred and Alfred defeated the Danes at Ashdown, but were themselves defeated at Basing in early 871.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 871 "after Easter" (dated to 15 Apr in 871, according to Cheney[1537]) of King Æthelred and his burial at Wimborne[1538].  Florence of Worcester records the death "post Pascha" of "rex Ætheredus" and his burial "IX Kal Mai in Winburnan"[1539]m (868) WULFTHRYTH, daughter of --- ([848/53]-).  "Wulfthryth regina" subscribed one of the two charters of King Æthelred I dated 868[1540], which suggests that she married during that year.  Her birth date range is estimated from her having given birth to two known children before the death of her husband in 871. Her parentage is not known.  However, the importance of Ealdorman Wulfhere's position at the court of King Æthelred I is shown by the position of his name among subscribers to the king's charters: he was first subscriber, even before the king's brother Alfred, in a charter dated 862, and second subscriber, after the queen, in a charter dated 868[1541].  It is tempting therefore to speculate that Æthelred's queen was Wulfthryth, daughter of Wulfhere Ealdorman & his wife ---, especially with the common use of the root "Wulf-" in their names.  King Æthelred I & [his wife] had two children:

a)         ÆTHELHELM ([868/70]-898).  King Alfred, under his will probably dated to [879/88], bequeathed estates at Aldingbourne, Compton, Crondall, Beeding, Beddingham, Burnham, Thunderfield and Earhing to "my brother's son Æthelhelm"[1542].  He is named in the will before his brother Æthelwold, and received more extensive estates, suggesting that Æthelhelm was his father's older son.  "Æthelhel[m] dux" subscribed the same undated charter of King Alfred as his brother Æthelwald, although curiously Æthelhelm is not given the epithet "filius regis" in the charter, in contrast to Æthelwald.  Æthelhelm had [one possible child]: 

i)          [ÆTHELFRITH (-904 or after).  According to Anscombe[1543], Æthelfrith was the son of Æthelhelm, son of Æthelred I King of England.  However, this is unlikely to be correct from a chronological point of view.  Any grandsons of King Æthelred could not have been born before [890] at the earliest, while Ealdorman Æthelfrith was definitely active in 901, and even as early as 884 if the subscriptions of charters of that date refer to the same person.  Kelly accepts that "the generations are too crowded" but does not analyse the impact of the chronology on the viability of the proposed descent[1544].  "Æthelferth ealdorman/dux/comes" and "Æthelfrith dux" subscribed two charters of Æthelred Ealdorman of Mercia in 884 and four charters of King Edward dated between 901 and 904[1545].  "Æthelfrith dux" was also granted land at Wrington, Somerset by King Edward under a charter dated 903[1546]

-         ANGLO-SAXON NOBILITY.] 

b)         ÆTHELWOLD ([869/71]-killed at the battle of the Holm [902/05]).  King Alfred, under his will probably dated to [879/88], bequeathed residences at Godalming, Guildford and Steyning to "my brother's son Æthelwold"[1547].  He is named in the will after his brother Æthelhelm and received fewer estates than his brother, suggesting that Æthelwold was his father's younger son.  "Athelwald filius regis" subscribed a charter of King Alfred[1548], undated, but the reference to his predecessor (King Æthelred I) as "regis" may indicate that it should be dated to the earliest years of King Alfred's reign, although after the birth of the king's son Edward[1549] whose name is listed among the subscribers immediately after Æthelwold.  "Æthelwald dux/ealdorman" subscribed two charters of King Alfred dated 882 and 884, in the latter he was recorded first in the list of subscribers[1550].  An infant on the death of his father in 871, he was passed over for the succession in favour of his uncle Alfred.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 899 "Æthelwold son of his [King Eadward’s] paternal uncle seized the manor at Wimborne and at Christchurch", that the king "encamped at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne" in which Æthelwold had barricaded himself but that the latter later escaped "to the host in Northumbria"[1551].  Florence of Worcester records that "regis Eadwardi patruelis, clito Æthelwoldus" seized "regiam villam Tweoxebeam…Winburnan", that King Eadward assembled his troops "in loco…Baddanbyrig…prope Wiburnan" and forced Æthelwold to flee north where he allied himself with the Danes, and in a later passage his death in battle[1552].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "Æthelwold came hither from oversea to Essex with the fleet which was accompanying him" (manuscript A) or "with all the ships he could muster and which had given him allegiance" in 904, and that "he seduced the host in East Anglia…harried across Mercia" in 905, but was killed in battle "between the dikes and the Wissey" with "king Eohric" [identified as the Danish king of East Anglia] killed at the battle of the Holm [902/05][1553].  Stenton suggests that these events should more accurately be dated to 901 and 902[1554]m ([899]) --- .  The name of Æthelwold's wife is not known.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 899 "was the lady arrested whom he [Æthelwold] had abducted without the king's consent…because she had taken the vows of a nun"[1555].  According to Florence of Worcester, Æthelwold married a nun from Wimborne, without King Edward's permission, and was forced to return her to the convent[1556]

5.         ÆLFRED (Wantage, Berkshire 849-26 Oct 899, bur Newminster Abbey, Winchester, transferred to Hyde Abbey, Winchester).  Asser records the birth in 849 of Alfred, son of King Æthelwulf, at Wantage in Berkshire[1557].  He succeeded his brother in 871 as ALFRED King of Wessex.   

-        see below

6.         [OSWEALD (-875 or after).  "Oswald filius regis" subscribed a charter of King Æthelred I dated 868, listed immediately after "Ælfred filius regis" and before "Wulfthryth regina"[1558].  If he was the son of King Æthelred, he would probably have been named before his uncle Alfred in this charter.  It is more likely that Osweald was another son of King Æthelwulf, listed in the document after his older brother Alfred, although it is also possible that he was the son of either of King Æthelred's older brothers, King Æthelbald or King Æthelberht.  The root "Os-" in his name suggests a connection with Osburga, the mother of Alfred.  "Oswealdus filius regis…" subscribed a charter dated 875 under which Eardwulf granted property to Wighelm[1559].  It is interesting to note that this is not the only example where the son of a previous king continues to be referred to in charters as "filius regis" after the death of his father and succession of his brother[1560].  Presumably Osweald died soon after this date as no later record of him has been found.] 

[King Æthelwulf had one illegitimate child by Mistress (1):]

7.         [ÆTHELBERHT ([830/35]-[865/66], bur Sherborne Abbey, Dorset).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Æthelberht as king Æthelbald's brother when recording his succession in 860[1561], and as the brother of Æthelred when recording the latter's succession in [865/66][1562].  King Æthelberht's more uncertain relationship with the royal family is deduced from the will of King Alfred, probably dated to [879/88], which refers to the inheritance "which my father King Æthelwulf bequeathed to us three brothers Æthelbald, Æthelred and myself" specifying that "Æthelred and I entrusted our share to our kinsman king Æthelberht on condition that he should return it to us…fully…and he then did so"[1563].  This certainly suggests that Æthelberht could not have been the full brother of Æthelbald, Æthelred and Ælfred.  There appear to be four possibilities to explain this unexpected wording and the precise family relationship between King Æthelberht and King Æthelwulf: (1) He was Æthelwulf's illegitimate son by a concubine, although if this is correct it is not clear why Alfred would have used the imprecise word "kinsman" to refer to such a close relation as his half-brother; (2) he was related by blood more remotely, maybe the king's nephew through the male line by birth, but adopted by the king as his son and treated as such at court, in which case "brother" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle should be interpreted as "adopted brother"; (3) he was the son of Osburga, King Æthelwulf's wife, by an earlier marriage, and so was the uterine half-brother to Kings Æthelbald, Æthelred and Ælfred, although if this is correct it is unclear why he would have been appointed under-king in Kent in 855 (see below); (4) he was the legitimate son of King Æthelwulf by an earlier marriage, and therefore the king's oldest legitimate son, although if this is correct it is unclear why he would have been passed over when his father died in favour of King Æthelbald.  None of these alternatives is obviously correct, although cases (1) and (2) appear somewhat more probable than (3), and (4) appears to be the least likely.  Whatever the precise nature of Æthelberht's relationship to the family, it appears from King Alfred's will that the succession of Æthelberht as king was irregular in some way.  Æthelberht's seniority, and probable position of power during the lifetime of King Æthelwulf, is demonstrated by "Æthelberht rex" subscribing Æthelwulf's charter dated 855 which granted land at Rochester, Kent to Dunn[1564].  From this, it has been concluded that he was appointed under-King in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex around the time King Æthelwulf left for Rome in 855.  However, this is puzzling, as it would imply that he was most senior of the potential heirs at the time, no mention being made in the records of any corresponding appointment for Æthelbald, despite the fact that, according to the will of Alfred, he was the oldest legitimate heir.  Æthelberht's appointment in these territories must have been withdrawn at some stage, as King Æthelwulf himself governed Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex as part of the land which he allocated to himself under the arrangement for dividing the kingdom with his son Æthelbald after his return to England.  A possible explanation for these difficulties is that Æthelberht was the ring-leader of the plot against King Æthelwulf during the latter's absence and therefore was disgraced after the king's return.  The elevation of Æthelbald to the under-kingship at the time may therefore have been designed by King Æthelwulf to strengthen Æthelbald's position for eventual succession to the whole kingdom, at the expense of Æthelberht.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that, after the death of Æthelwulf in 858, his "two sons succeeded to the kingdom: Æthelbald to Wessex and Æthelberht to Kent and to Essex and to Surrey and to Sussex"[1565].  This would imply that some rehabilitation had taken place, assuming it is correct that he had been disgraced earlier, or that Æthelberht's position remained strong enough after his father's death to force Æthelbald to share the realm with him.  "Æthelbearht rex" granted land in Kent to "Wulflaf minister" by charter dated 858, subscribed by "Ethelmod dux"[1566].  After Æthelbald's death in 860, Æthelberht succeeded to the whole kingdom as ÆTHELBERHT King of Wessex[1567].  If it is correct that Æthelberht was not a full brother of Æthelbald, he presumably displaced the latter's less powerful brothers Æthelred and Alfred, who would have been the rightful successors but who were probably both still minors at the time.  "Athelbert rex" granted land at Dinton, Wiltshire to "Osmund minister" by charter dated 860, subscribed only by "Athelred filius regis"[1568].  Danish incursions increased during the reign of Æthelberht, the largest Danish army yet landing in East Anglia in Autumn 865.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Æthelberht "reigned five years and his body lies at Sherborne"[1569], in a later passage that "Æthelred brother of Æthelberht" succeeded in 866[1570].] 

 

 

1.         OSFERTH (-after [879/88]).  King Alfred, under his will probably dated [879/88], named "my kinsman Osferth" last among his beneficiaries, before naming his wife Ealswith.  It is not known how Osferth may have been related to Alfred, although the root "Os-" in his name suggests that the relationship may have been through Alfred's mother Osburga. 

 

 

ÆLFRED, son of ÆTHELWULF King of Wessex & his [second] wife Osburga --- (Wantage, Berkshire 849-26 Oct 899, bur Winchester Cathedral, transferred to Hyde Abbey, Winchester, later called the New Minster[1571]).  Asser records the birth in 849 of Alfred, son of King Æthelwulf, at Wantage in Berkshire[1572].  "Ælfred filius regis" subscribed charters of Kings Æthelwulf, Æthelberht, Æthelred I in 855, 862 (anachronistic), 864 and 868[1573].  Asser records that in 853, his father sent him to Rome where Pope Leo IV baptised him[1574].  He succeeded his brother in 871 as ALFRED King of Wessex.  After the Danish victory at Wilton in May 871, King Alfred agreed to pay Danegeld for the first time as the price for ceasing further attacks.  After a second invasion of Wessex in 875/77, during which Wareham in Dorset and Exeter were occupied, Alfred again bought peace in 877.  He was forced to flee westwards in the face of a third invasion in 878 during which Chippenham was occupied, and took refuge at Athelney in Somerset.  King Alfred's subsequent counter-offensive proved more effective, as he defeated the Danes under Guthrum at Edington in Wiltshire in May 878.  After mixed successes against the Danes in East Anglia in 885, and his occupation of London in 886, Alfred made a peace treaty with Guthrum which lasted until 892.  "Ælfred rex" subscribed a charter of "Æthelred dux et patricius gentis Merciorum" dated 887[1575].  The Danish offensive of 892/96 was less successful and no further Danish attacks on Wessex are recorded after 896.  King Alfred is famous for the fleet of ships built to his design in the hope of defeating the Danes while they were still at sea, considered as forming the basis for the modern English navy.  Having learnt Latin late in life, Alfred was responsible for English translations of five Latin works between 892 and 899: Gregory the Great's Cura Pastoralis, Orosius's History of the Ancient World, Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica, Boethius's De Consolatione Philosophae, and a collection which starts with the Soliloquies of St Augustine.  He was also responsible for a collection of laws, although these were largely refinements of the works of his predecessors Ine King of Wessex, Offa King of Mercia and Æthelberht King of Kent.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of King Alfred on 26 Oct 899[1576].  King Alfred, under his will probably dated to [879/88], made bequests (in order) to "Edward my elder son", his unnamed younger son, his unnamed eldest, middle and youngest daughters, "my brother's son Æthelhelm…my brother's son Æthelwold…my kinsman Osferth" and Ealswith[1577]

m (Winchester 868) EALHSWITH, daughter of ÆTHELRED "Mucil" Ealdorman of the Gainas & his wife Eadburh (-Winchester 5 or 8 Dec 905[1578], bur Winchester, St Mary's Abbey, transferred to Winchester Cathedral).  Asser records the marriage in 868 of Alfred and "a noble Mercian lady, daughter of Athelred surnamed Mucil earl of the Gaini…[and] Edburga of the royal line of Mercia"[1579].  Roger of Hoveden records the names of her parents, specifying that her mother was related to the kings of Mercia.  "Ealhswith mater regis" subscribed a charter of King Edward dated 901[1580].  She founded the convent of St Mary's at Winchester, and became a nun there after her husband died.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in [902/05] of "Ealhswith"[1581]

King Alfred & his wife had [seven] children:

1.         ÆTHELFLÆD ([869]-Tamworth 12 Jun 918, bur Gloucester Cathedral).  Asser names (in order) "Ethelfled the eldest…Edward…Ethelgiva…Ethelwitha and Ethelwerd" as the children of King Alfred & his wife, specifying that Ethelfled was married to "Ethered earl of Mercia"[1582].  "Egelfledam Merciorum dominam" is named by Roger of Hoveden first in his list of King Alfred's daughters by Queen Ealhswith[1583].  "Æthelflæd conjux" subscribed a charter of "Æthelred dux et patricius gentis Merciorum" granting land in Oxfordshire to the bishopric of Worcester dated 887[1584].  "Æthelflæd" also subscribed the joint charter of King Alfred and "Æthelred subregulus et patricius Merciorum" dated 889[1585], the charter of "Æthered" dated 901, and three charters of King Edward dated 903 and 904, in the last of which her name is listed immediately after her husband's and before "Æthelswitha regina"[1586].  Known as the "Lady of the Mercians", she effectively governed Mercia after her husband's death "save only London and Oxford"[1587].  Florence of Worcester records that she carried out a plan of fortress building to protect Mercia from the Danes, at Bridgenorth in 912, Tamworth and Stafford in 913, Eddisbury Hill in Cheshire and Warwick in 914, and Chirbury and Runcorn in 915[1588].  Her Mercian troops played a decisive part in her brother's offensive against the Danes in the Midlands in 917, conquering Derby and Tempsford where they killed the Danish king of the East Angles, and Leicester in early 918[1589].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 918 of Æthelflæd "12 days before midsummer at Tamworth in the eighth year of her rule over Mercia as its rightful lord" and her burial at Gloucester St Peter's church[1590]m ([end 889]) ÆTHELRED Ealdorman of western Mercia, son of --- (-912). 

2.         EADMUND (-young).  Asser names (in order) "Ethelfled the eldest…Edward…Ethelgiva…Ethelwitha and Ethelwerd besides those who died in their infancy one of whom was Edmund" as the children of King Alfred & his wife[1591].  While Asser does not specify where Edmund fits in the order of births, it is a fair assumption that he was the eldest son otherwise he may not have been deemed worthy of mention.  According to Weir[1592], Edmund was crowned in the lifetime of his father, but it is assumed that this is based on a misreading of the charter of King Alfred dated 898 which was subscribed by "Eadweard rex"[1593]

3.         EADWEARD ([872]-Farndon-on-Dee near Chester 17 Jul 924, bur Winchester Cathedral).  "Eadwardum" is named by Roger of Hoveden as the younger of King Alfred's sons by Queen Ealswith[1594].  He succeeded his father in 899 as EDWARD "the Elder" King of Wessex.   

-        see below

4.         ELFREDA .  The Book of Hyde names "Elfredam virginam" as second of the four daughters of King Alfred & his wife[1595].  She is not named by Asser as one of the children of King Alfred. 

5.         ÆTHELGIVA (-[896], bur Shaftesbury Abbey).  Asser names (in order) "Ethelfled the eldest…Edward…Ethelgiva…Ethelwitha and Ethelwerd" as the children of King Alfred & his wife, specifying that Ethelgiva "was dedicated to God and submitted to the rules of a monastic life"[1596].  "Ethelgivam sanctimonialem" is named by Roger of Hoveden second in his list of King Alfred's daughters by Queen Ealswith[1597].  Nun at Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset, elected the first Abbess in [888][1598].  The Book of Hyde names "Elgivam virginam" as third of the four daughters of King Alfred & his wife, specifying that she was "Schaftlouiæ abbatissa"[1599].  A document which narrates the foundation of Athelney Monastery records that “regis Alfredi” installed “filiam propriam Algivam” as abbess after founding the monastery[1600]

6.         ÆLFTHRYTH of Wessex ([877]-7 Jun 929, bur Ghent, St Pieter).  Asser names (in order) "Ethelfled the eldest…Edward…Ethelgiva… Ethelwitha and Ethelwerd" as the children of King Alfred & his wife[1601].  "Elfthtritham" is named by Roger of Hoveden third in his list of King Alfred's daughters by Queen Ealswith[1602].  She is called "Æthelswitha" by Asser[1603].  "Elftrudis" is named as wife of Count Baudouin II in the Cartulaire de Saint-Bertin[1604].  This marriage represented the start of a long-lasting alliance between England and Flanders, founded on their common interest of preventing Viking settlements along the coast.  "Elstrudis comitissa…cum filiis suis Arnulfo et Adelolfo" donated "hereditatem suam Liefsham…in terra Anglorum in Cantia" to Saint-Pierre de Gand, for the soul of "senioris sui Baldwini", by charter dated 11 Sep 918[1605].  The Annales Blandinienses record the death in 929 of "Elftrudis comitissa"[1606].  The Memorial of "filia regis Elstrudis…Balduini…domini" records her death "VII Iunii"[1607].  An undated charter, dated to [962], recording the last wishes of "marchysi Arnulfi", notes that "pater meus et mater mea" were buried in the abbey of Saint-Pierre de Gand[1608]m ([893/99]) BAUDOUIN II "le Chauve" Count of Flanders, son of BAUDOUIN I Count of Flanders & his wife Judith of the Franks [Carolingian] ([863/65]-[10 Sep] 918, bur St Bertin, transferred 929 to Ghent, St Pieter). 

7.         ÆTHELWEARD ([880]-16 Oct 922, bur Winchester Cathedral[1609]).  Asser names (in order) "Ethelfled the eldest…Edward…Ethelgiva …Ethelwitha and Ethelwerd" as the children of King Alfred & his wife[1610].  "Egelwardum" is named by Roger of Hoveden as the younger of King Alfred's sons by Queen Ealhswith[1611].  "Æthelweard filius regis" subscribed charters of King Edward dated 900, 901 (three), 903 and 904[1612] (in all but two of which he is named first in the list of subscribers), and "Æthelweard frater regis" subscribed two charters dated 909 (in both of which he is named first in the list of subscribers, ahead of the king's sons)[1613].  Simeon of Durham records the death "XVII Kal Nov" in 922 of "Ethelward the Atheling brother of King Eadward" and his burial in Winchester[1614]m ---.  The name of the wife of Æthelweard is not known.  Æthelweard & his wife had [three] children: 

a)         [TURKETUL (-3 Jul 975, bur Croyland Abbey).  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland names Turketul Chancellor of King Æthelstan, later abbot of Croyland, as "eldest son" of Æthelweard, bother of King Eadweard[1615].  This has not been corroborated in any other source so far consulted.  The same source records that Turketul became a monk at Croyland in the second year of the reign of King Eadred[1616].  A further clue about his ancestry is provided by Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland recording that Turketul's "kinsman Osketul" was installed as Archbishop of York[1617].  The same source records the death of Turketul "V Non Jul" in 975 and his burial in the church at Croyland[1618].] 

b)         ÆLFWIN (-killed in battle Brunanburh 937, bur Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire).  King Æthelstan donated property to Malmesbury for the souls of "patruelium meorum Æthelwardi clitonis videlicet Ælfwinis et Æthelwinis" by three charters dated 937[1619].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that King Æthelstan's "two kinsmen, Elwin and Athelstan, the sons of his uncle Ethelward" were killed in battle by the Danes at Bruneford[1620]

c)         ÆTHELWIN (-killed in battle Brunanburh 937, bur Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire).  King Æthelstan donated property to Malmesbury for the souls of "patruelium meorum Æthelwardi clitonis videlicet Ælfwinis et Æthelwinis" by three charters dated 937[1621].  Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that King Æthelstan's "two kinsmen, Elwin and Athelstan, the sons of his uncle Ethelward" were killed in battle by the Danes at Bruneford[1622]

 

 

EADWEARD, son of ALFRED King of Wessex & his wife Ealhswith ([872]-Farndon-on-Dee near Chester 17 Jul 924, bur Winchester Cathedral[1623]).  "Eadwardum" is named by Roger of Hoveden as the younger of King Alfred's sons by Queen Ealswith[1624].  "Edward/Eadweard filius regis" subscribed charters of King Alfred dated 871 and 892 (two)[1625].  He defeated the Danes at Fareham 893.  "Eadweard rex" subscribed a charter of King Alfred dated 898[1626], implying that he was crowned in the lifetime of his father.  He succeeded his father in 899 as EDWARD "the Elder" King of Wessex, crowned 31 May or 9 Jun 900 at Kingston-upon-Thames.  He was faced soon after by the rebellion of his first cousin Æthelwold, son of Æthelred I King of Wessex, whom he finally defeated at the battle of the Holm in [902/05].  King Edward attacked the Danes in Northumbria in 909 and forced them to accept peace on his terms.  The Danes countered by raiding Mercia as far as the Bristol Avon, but Edward defeated them at Tettenhall 5 Aug 910.  In 911, Edward occupied London and Oxford, and in Summer 912 he attacked the Danes in Essex.  King Edward continued northwards in 915, occupying Bedford.  Edward began a major offensive against the Danes in the Midlands in 917, helped by the Mercian troops of his sister Æthelflæd.  After his sister's death in 918, King Edward seized Tamworth to ensure the loyalty of Mercia, but left his niece Ælfwynn in nominal authority in Mercia until the winter of 919 when he had her taken to Wessex, marking the final integration of Mercia into Wessex.  This was followed by the submission to him by the Welsh kings of Gwynedd, Dyfed and the lands between Merioneth and Gower, which made King Edward overlord of major parts of Wales.  Edward then turned his attention to the reconquest of the remaining Danish colonies south of the river Humber, which he completed by 920, culminating with the submission to him of Rægnald King of York, Ealdred of Bamburgh and the king and people of Strathclyde[1627].  He was suppressing a revolt in Chester when he died.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of King Edward at Farndon-on-Dee in Mercia in 924 and his burial at Winchester[1628]

m firstly ([892/94]) ECGWYNN, daughter of --- (-[901/02]).  Roger of Hoveden names "muliere nobilissima Egcwinna", but does not refer to her as "regina" in contrast to King Edward's third wife[1629].  Florence of Worcester says that the mother of Edward's first born son was "a woman of very noble birth named Egwina"[1630].  According to William of Malmesbury, she was "an illustrious lady" but at another point in his text calls her "a shepherd's daughter"[1631].  The Book of Hyde names "Egwynna..quædam pastoris filia" as concubine of King Eadweard[1632].  Roger of Wendover names "concubine…Egwynna" as mother of King Edward’s "filium…primogenitum Ethelstanum"[1633].  The accession of her son King Æthelstan in 924 was challenged apparently on the grounds that he was "born of a concubine"[1634].  However, Æthelstan is named ahead of his half-brother Ælfweard in the list of subscribers in two charters of their father[1635], indicating his seniority and presumably implying the legitimacy of his parents' union. 

m secondly (901 or before) ÆLFLÆD, daughter of ealdorman ÆTHELHELM & his wife Ælswitha --- (-920, bur Winchester Cathedral[1636]).  "Elffled coniux regis" subscribed a 901 charter of King Edward[1637].  The Book of Hyde names "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda" as first wife of King Eadweard[1638].  Roger of Wendover calls her "secunda regina sua…Alfleda, Elfelmi comitis filia"[1639]

m thirdly (920) EADGIFU, daughter of SIGEHELM Lord of Meopham, Cooling and Lenham in Kent & his wife --- (-26 Aug 968, bur Canterbury Cathedral).  "Eadgifu regis mater" subscribed charters of Kings Edmund and Eadred between 940 and 953[1640].  Eadgifu recited her title to land at Cooling by charter dated 959 which names her father Sigelm and records that he was killed in battle[1641].  King Eadred granted land in Berkshire to "Aedgyfu regis mater" in 945[1642].  King Eadred granted land at Felpham, Sussex to "Eadgifu famula dei matri mee" by charter dated 953[1643].  She appears to have supported her grandson Edgar against Eadwig in 957, the latter depriving her of her property.  "Eadgifu hil ealdan moder/predicti regis aua" subscribed charters of King Edgar dated [959/63] and 966[1644]

King Edward "the Elder" & his first wife had three children:

1.         ÆLFRED ([893/94]-[901]).  "Elfredus filius regis" subscribed a charter of King Edward dated 901, named first in order of the subscribers before that of "Ethelwardus filius regis" (assumed to be King Edward's younger brother) and "Æthelstan filius regis" (assumed to be King Edward's son).  Assuming this entry is not a mistake, Ælfred must have been either the brother or the son of King Edward.  If the brother, it is likely that he was older than Æthelweard whom he precedes in the list.  If the son, it is likely that he was older than Æthelstan.  Looking at naming patterns, it is more likely that he was King Edward's son as there appears to be no case in the Wessex royal family before [1016/17][1645] of a son being named after his father.  In addition, there is no reason to doubt that Asser's list of the children of King Alfred is not exhaustive, as he even names his son Edmund who died in infancy.  This speculation is corroborated by the Book of Hyde which names "Athelstanum…et Elfredum et Edgytham" as the children of King Eadweard "ex concubina Egwynna"[1646], although this suggests that Ælfred was younger than Æthelstan.  It is assumed that Ælfred died soon after the date of this charter as no other references to him have been found. 

2.         ÆTHELSTAN ([895]-Gloucester 27 Oct 939, bur Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire[1647]).  Roger of Hoveden gives his parentage, specifying that he was his father's oldest son[1648].  "Æthelstan filius regis" subscribed charters of King Edward dated 901 (named in the list of subscribers after "Elfredus filius regis" and "Ethelwardus filius regis") and 909 (two, in both of which he is named second after "Æthelwerd frater regis")[1649].  He was brought up in the household of his uncle Æthelred ealdorman of Mercia[1650].  He succeeded his father in 924 as ÆTHELSTAN King of Wessex, and was independently recognised as King of the Mercians[1651].  He was crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames 4 Sep 925.  William of Malmesbury records that King Æthelstan's succession was challenged by "Elfred" (who has not been idenfified, unless it refers to his half-brother who in other sources is named Ælfweard)[1652].  Sihtric King of York proposed an alliance with him in 925, sealed by his marriage to Æthelstan's sister.  After the death of his brother-in-law, Æthelstan invaded York and expelled Sihtric's son and successor Olaf.  The rulers of Scotland, Strathclyde and Bamburgh acknowledged Æthelstan as overlord at Eamont near Penrith 12 Jul 927.  He agreed the frontier with the Welsh princes along the river Wye at a meeting in Hereford in [930], exacting a heavy tribute from them.  He also agreed the frontier with the Britons of Cornwall along the river Tamar in [931], and installed a British bishop in the recently established see of St Germans.  In 934, he launched an attack on Scotland, the army pressing as far as Fordun in Kincardineshire, the navy ravaging the coast up to Caithness.  He helped Alain de Porhoët re-establish himself as Comte de Vannes et de Nantes in Brittany in 936.  He was able to build a network of alliances with neighbouring foreign powers through the marriages of his half-sisters.  He defeated a joint invasion by Olaf Guthfrithson (claimant to the kingdom of York), Constantine King of Scotland and Owen King of Strathclyde at Brunanburh in 937.  In many of his charters he is described as "King of the English and ruler of all Britain"[1653].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death 27 Oct [940/41] of King Athelstan[1654]

3.         EADGYTH ([895/902]-, bur Tamworth).  The Book of Hyde names "Athelstanum…et Elfredum et Edgytham" as the children of King Eadweard "ex concubina Egwynna", specifying that Eadgyth married "Sirichio regi Northanhymbrorum" and was buried at Tamworth[1655].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that "King Athelstan [gave] Sihtric king of Northumbria…his sister in marriage" at Tamworth 30 Jan 925[1656].  Her marriage was arranged to seal the alliance which Sihtric King of York proposed to her brother.  After her husband's death, she became a nun at Polesworth Abbey, Warwickshire in 927, transferring to Tamworth Abbey, Gloucestershire where she was elected Abbess.  Later canonised as St Edith of Polesworth or St Edith of Tamworth, her feast day is 15 or 19 July[1657]m (Tamworth 30 Jan 926) as his second wife, SIHTRIC "Caoch" Danish King of York, son of --- (-[926/27]). 

King Edward "the Elder" & his second wife had [nine] children:

4.         EDFLEDA (-bur Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire[1658]).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Edfleda, Edgiva, Ethelhilda, Ethilda, Edgitha, Elfgiva" as the six daughters of King Eadweard & his wife "Elfleda", specifying that Edfleda became a nun[1659].  A manuscript which recounts the founding of Wilton Monastery, records that “rex Alrudus” (referring to Alfred King of Wessex) installed “Elfledæ infantis, et filiæ principis Edwardi senioris” at Wilton abbey[1660].  It is not known whether this refers to King Eadweard’s daughter Edfleda, but in any case the report must be anachronistic considering the date of death of King Alfred and the likely dates of birth of King Eadweard’s children.  Nun, maybe at Winchester[1661]

5.         [ÆTHELFLEDA (-bur Romsey Abbey, Hampshire).  The Book of Hyde names "Elfledam sanctam" as first of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that she was buried "apud Romeyam"[1662].  It is possible that this is the same daughter who is called "Edfleda" by William of Malmesbury.] 

6.         EADGIFU ([902/05]-26 Sep after 951, bur Abbaye de Saint-Médard de Soissons).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Edfleda, Edgiva, Ethelhilda, Ethilda, Edgitha, Elfgiva" as the six daughters of King Eadweard & his wife "Elfleda", specifying that Edgiva married "king Charles"[1663].  The Book of Hyde names "Edgivam" as second of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that she married "Karolo regi Francorum filio Lodowyci"[1664].  Her birth date range is estimated from the birth of Eadgifu's son in [920/21].  If this is correct, Eadgifu must have been one of King Edward's oldest children by his second marriage.  She fled with her two-year-old son to England in 923 after her first husband was deposed.  She returned to France in 936.  Abbess of Notre Dame de Laon, until 951.  Flodoard records in 951 that “Ottogeba regina mater Ludowici regis” married “Heriberti...Adalberti fratris” and that “rex Ludowicus iratus” confiscated “abbatiam sanctæ Mariæ...Lauduni” from her and donated it to “Gerbergæ uxori suæ[1665]m firstly ([917/19]) as his second wife, CHARLES III "le Simple" King of the Franks, son of LOUIS II "le Bègue" King of the West Franks & his second wife Adélaïde [d'Angoulême]  (posthumously 17 Sep 879-Péronne 7 Oct 929, bur Péronne St Fursy).  m secondly (951) HERIBERT Comte "le Vieux" [de Vermandois], son of HERIBERT [II] Comte de Vermandois [Carolingian] & his wife Adela de Paris [Capet] ([910/15]-[980/984]).  He succeeded his brother Robert in 967 as Comte de Meaux et de Troyes. 

7.         ÆLFWEARD (-Oxford 2 Aug 924, bur Winchester Cathedral).  "Ælfweard filius regis" subscribed two charters of King Edward dated 909, in both of which he was named third in the list of subscribers after "Æthelweard frater regis" and "Æthelstan filius regis"[1666].  The Book of Hyde names "Ethelwardum…et Edwynum" as the two sons of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda"[1667].  According to William of Malmesbury, he was "deeply versed in literature"[1668].  William of Malmesbury says that "King Edward therefore dying, was shortly followed by his legitimate son Ælfweard"[1669], which could be interpreted as indicating that Ælfweard briefly succeeded his father as king before his own early death, although the more likely interpretation of the text is simply that Ælfweard died soon after his father.  At another point in his narrative, Malmesbury asserts that Ælfweard's half-brother Æthelstan succeeded "as his father had commanded in his will"[1670], which appears to exclude the possible accession of Ælfweard.  Florence of Worcester records that King Eadward left his kingdom to "Æthelstano filio", and that not long afterwards "filius eius Ælfwardus" died "apud Oxenafordam"[1671].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 924 of "his [King Edward's] son Ælfweard…at Oxford" 16 days after his father died and his burial at Winchester[1672]

8.         EADWINE (-drowned English Channel 933, bur St Bertin's Abbey, Flanders).  The Book of Hyde names "Ethelwardum…et Edwynum" as the two sons of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda"[1673].  According to William of Malmesbury, he was accused of involvement in the plot by Ælfred against his half-brother King Æthelstan, was "driven into exile" but was drowned at sea while crossing the Channel, although the chronicler appears sceptical about the truth of the story[1674].  Simeon of Durham records that "King Ethelstan ordered his brother Eadwin to be drowned in the sea" in 933[1675].  The Annales Blandinienses record the death in 932 of "Edwinus rex Anglorum", which suggests that Edwin may have had Flemish support for his rebellion and that they recognised him as king[1676]

9.         ÆTHELHILD (-bur Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire[1677]).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Edfleda, Edgiva, Ethelhilda, Ethilda, Edgitha, Elfgiva" as the six daughters of King Eadweard & his wife "Elfleda" renounced "the pleasure of earthly nuptials…in a lay habit"[1678].  The Book of Hyde names "Etheltildam deodictam" as third of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that she was buried "Wyltoniæ"[1679].  Nun at Wilton. 

10.      EADHILD (-937).  William of Malmesbury names (in order) "Edfleda, Edgiva, Ethelhilda, Ethilda, Edgitha, Elfgiva" as the six daughters of King Eadweard and his wife "Elfleda", specifying that Ethilda married "Hugh"[1680].  The Book of Hyde names "Ethyldam" as fourth of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that she married "pater Hugonis Capet"[1681].  Flodoard mentions, but does not name, "filiam Eadwardi regis Anglorum, sororem coniugis Karoli" when recording her marriage to "Hugo filius Rotberti" in 926[1682]m ([926]) as his second wife, HUGUES "le Grand" de France [Capet], son of ROBERT I King of France & his second wife Béatrix de Vermandois ([898]-Dourdan, Essonne Jun 956, bur Saint-Denis).  At the time of his betrothal, he sent sumptuous gifts to King Athelstan, including spices, jewels, richly caparisoned horses, three holy relics and a gold crown[1683].  He was granted the title Duc des Francs 25 Dec 936. 

11.      EADGYTH ([908/12][1684]-26 Jan 946, bur Magdeburg Cathedral).  The Book of Hyde names "Edgitham et Elgimam" as fifth and sixth of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that they were both sent to "Henrico Alemanorum imperatori" and that the former married "filio sui Othoni"[1685].  Thietmar names "Edith…daughter of King Edmund of England" when recording her marriage during the lifetime of Otto's father, in a later passage stating that she urged her husband to begin establishing the city of Magdeburg[1686].  The Annalista Saxo records the wife of Otto as "Ediht filiam Ehtmundi regis Anglorum"[1687].  Thietmar records her death 26 Jan "in the eleventh year" of the reign of her husband, after 19 years of marriage, and her place of burial[1688]m (Sep 929) as his first wife, OTTO of Germany, son of HEINRICH I "der Vogelsteller/the Fowler" King of Germany & his second wife Mathilde --- (23 Nov 912-Memleben 7 May 973, bur Magdeburg cathedral).  Associate King of Germany, with his father, 930.  He was elected OTTO I "der Große" King of Germany 7 Aug 936.  Crowned Emperor at Rome 2 Feb 962.  

12.      ÆLFGIFU.  The Book of Hyde names "Edgitham et Elgimam" as fifth and sixth of the six daughters of King Eadweard by his first wife "Elfelmi comitis filia Elfleda", specifying that they were both sent to "Henrico Alemanorum imperatori" and that the latter married "cuidam duci iuxta Alpes"[1689], who has not been identified.  Hroswitha of Gandersheim describes her as "Adiva … younger in years and likewise inferior in merit" to her older sister Eadgyth, confirming that she accompanied to Germany to provide an alternative choice of bride for Otto of Germany[1690].  According to William of Malmesbury, she married "a certain Duke near the Alps"[1691].  Some possibilities have been suggested concerning the identity of the husband of Ælfgifu.  A marriage with Boleslaw II "der Fromme" Duke of the Bohemians seems improbable chronologically.  Although Duke Boleslaw's birth date is not known, the birth of his younger brother Strakhvas is recorded on 28 Sep 929[1692].  If this is correct, it seems unlikely that Boleslaw could have been born much earlier than 925 at the earliest, whereas Ælfgifu was probably born in the range [910/15] assuming that she was of marriageable age when she went to Germany with her sister.  Another possibility is Ludwig Graf im Thurgau, son of Rudolf I King of Upper Burgundy, who, according to Europäische Stammtafeln[1693], married "Edgifa, daughter of Edward I King of England".  The latter suggestion is chronologically implausible, assuming that it refers to Ælfgifu's younger half-sister Eadgifu who was married according to William of Malmesbury to "Louis Prince of Aquitaine" (see below), as King Rudolf's children were probably born between 880 and 900.  A third possibility is that “iuxta Alpes” should be interpreted as meaning the area south of the Alps, indicating south-eastern France or northern Italy, although it would be fruitful to speculate on the identity of Ælfgifu’s husband if this is correct given the number of possibilities, especially if the title “duci” should be interpreted broadly.  m ---. 

King Edward "the Elder" & his third wife had four children:

13.      EADMUND (921-murdered Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire 26 May 946, bur Glastonbury Abbey[1694]).  "Eadmundus regis frater" subscribed charters of King Æthelstan dated 931 and 939, under the latter also being the grantee of land at Droxford, Hampshire[1695].  He fought with his half-brother King Æthelstan at Brunanburh in 937[1696].  He succeeded his half-brother in 939 as EDMUND King of Wessex, crowned 29 Nov 939 at Kingston-upon-Thames.  Olaf Guthfrithson King of Dublin invaded England in 939 and by the end of that year had occupied York.  In raids on northern Mercia the following year, King Olaf took Tamworth and nearby land, and under a treaty agreed with King Edmund took the whole of modern Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  King Olaf continued by invading Northumbria over the Tees, but died before the end of 940.  King Edmund regained the lost territories from Olaf's successor Olaf Sihtricson in 942.  King Edmund brought Northumbria under his control in 944, expelling both Olaf Sihtricson and Rægnald Guthfrithson from York.  From that time he may be regarded as king of a united England.  He ravaged Strathclyde in 945.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death on St Augustine's day 946 of King Edmund[1697].  Simeon of Durham records that King Edmund was killed "VII Kal Jun" in 946 and buried at Glastonbury[1698].  Florence of Worcester records that he was stabbed to death by Leof "a ruffianly thief" while attempting to defend his steward from being robbed[1699].  [m firstly] ([940]) ÆLFGIFU, daughter of --- & his wife Wynflæd --- (-Shaftesbury Abbey after 943).  "Alfgifu concubine regis" subscribed a 943 charter of King Edmund[1700].  This reference suggests that Ælfgifu was not married to King Edmund, corroborated by another charter of the same year1704 in which his [second] wife is differentiated by the epithet "regina" and the dating of which (if accurate) suggests that the king's relationship with both "wives" was simultaneous.  If this is correct, Ælfgifu's date of death cannot necessarily be assumed to be [944/46].  She was popularly reputed a saint after her death as St Elgiva[1701].  Ælfgifu was probably the daughter of Wynflæd as "Wynflæd aua mea" is named in King Edgar's grant of confirmations to Shaftesbury Abbey dated 966[1702]m [secondly] (943 or before) ÆTHELFLÆD, daughter of ÆLFGAR Ealdorman of the Wilsaetas & his wife --- (Damerham, Wiltshire ----Shaftesbury Abbey [after 975/92], bur Shaftesbury Abbey).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names "Æthelflæd of Damerham, daughter of ealdorman Ælfgar" as queen of King Edmund in 946[1703].  "Eadmundus rex" granted "Æthelflæd regina sua" lands in Hampshire and Dorset by charter dated 943[1704].  She became a nun at Shaftesbury Abbey.  King Edmund & his first [wife] had two children:

a)         EADWIG ([940]-1 Oct 959, bur Winchester Cathedral).  "Eaduuius filius regis" subscribed a charter of King Edmund dated 941[1705].  As an infant, he was passed over for the succession in 946 in favour of his uncle.  "Eadwig rex" subscribed a charter of King Edmund dated 946 and "Eadwig cliton" one of King Eadred dated 956[1706].  He succeeded his uncle in 955 as EADWIG King of England, crowned [26] Jan 956 at Kingston-upon-Thames.  The people of Mercia and Northumbria rebelled against him in 957 and elected his brother Edgar king, after which the River Thames formed the boundary between the two kingdoms[1707].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death 1 Oct 959 of King Eadwig[1708]m ([955], separated 958) ÆLFGIFU, daughter of [EADRIC & his wife Æthelgifu] (-Gloucester [Sep 959][1709]).  There is no direct proof that Ælfgifu whose will is dated to [966/75] was the same person as the wife of King Eadwig but this looks likely.  Ælfgifu and her husband were separated on grounds of consanguinity by Oda Archbishop of Canterbury[1710], but the precise relationship has not been found.  Weir dates the death of Ælfgifu to [Sep 959][1711] but the source on which this is based is not known and the date is inconsistent with the dating of the will.  The will of "Ælfgifu" dated to [966/75] devises estates at Mongewell and Berkhampstead to "Ælfweard and Æthelweard and Ælfwaru", grants to "my sister Ælfwaru…all that I have lent her", and "to my brother's wife Æthelflæd the headband which I have lent her"[1712]

b)         EDGAR ([943]-Winchester 8 Jul 975, bur Glastonbury Abbey).  Florence of Worcester records the birth of "filium…Eadgarum" to "regi Eadmundo…sua regina sancta Ælfgiva", undated but dateable to [943] from the context[1713].  Reuniting the kingdom on his brother's death, he succeeded in 959 as EDGAR "the Peaceable" King of England.   

-        see below

14.      EADBURGA (-15 Jun 960, bur Nunnaminster Abbey, transferred to Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire).  Roger of Hoveden names her as the daughter of King Edward by "regina Edgiva", although he also attributes the king's son Eadwin and three other daughters to the king's third marriage[1714].  The Book of Hyde names "sanctam Edburgam Deo dictam...[et] Edgivam" as the two daughters of King Eadweard by his second wife "Edgiva", specifying that the former was buried "in monasterio monialium Wyntoniæ"[1715].  A nun at Nunnaminster Abbey, Winchester.  She was canonised as St Edburga of Winchester, feast day 15 June[1716]

15.      EADGIFU ([921/23]-).  The Book of Hyde names "sanctam Edburgam Deo dictam...[et] Edgivam" as the two daughters of King Eadweard by his second wife "Edgiva", specifying that the latter married "Aquitanorum principi Lodowyco"[1717].  According to William of Malmesbury, Eadgifu married "Louis Prince of Aquitaine", in a later passage specifying that he was a descendant of Charlemagne[1718].  Her husband has not been identified.  According to Europäische Stammtafeln[1719], "Edgifa, daughter of Edward I King of England" was the wife of Ludwig Graf im Thurgau, son of Rudolf I King of Upper Burgundy & his wife Willa.  This seems chronologically implausible as King Rudolf's children were probably born between 880 and 900.  If Graf Ludwig married a daughter of King Eadweard, it is more likely that she was Eadgifu's older half-sister Ælfgifu (see above).  m ---. 

16.      EADRED ([924]-Frome 23 Nov 955, bur Winchester Cathedral).  "Ædred/Eadredus frater regis" subscribed charters of Kings Æthelstan and Edmund dated between 931 and 944[1720].  "Eadredus rex" subscribed a charter of King Edmund dated 946[1721], which suggests that he ruled jointly with his brother before the latter's death.  He succeeded his brother in 946 as EADRED King of England, crowned 16 Aug 946 at Kingston-upon-Thames.  The Northumbrians swore fealty to King Eadred in 949, rebelled later that year and elected Erik "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway as their king.  Eadred laid waste the whole of Northumbria, during the course of which the monastery of Ripon was burnt to the ground[1722].  He brought Northumbria back under his lordship in 954, installing Oswulf as under-King.  King Alfred, under his will probably dated [951/55], made a bequest to "my mother land at Amesbury, Wantage and Basing"[1723].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death on St Clement's day in 955 of King Eadred at Frome, and his burial in Winchester Old Minster[1724]

 

 

EDGAR, son of EDMUND King of Wessex & his first wife Ælfgifu --- ([943]-Winchester 8 Jul 975, bur Glastonbury Abbey[1725]).  Florence of Worcester records the birth of "filium…Eadgarum" to "regi Eadmundo…sua regina sancta Ælfgiva", undated but dateable to [943] from the context[1726].  "Adgar clito" subscribed a charter of King Eadred dated 953[1727], and "Eadgar frater regis" subscribed charters of King Eadwig in 955 and 956[1728].  He was elected king in 957 by the people of Mercia and Northumbria[1729], apparently supported by his grandmother and by Dunstan abbot of Glastonbury.  Reuniting the kingdom on his brother's death, he succeeded in 959 as EDGAR "the Peaceable" King of England.  He supervised the revival of Benedictine monasticism and the reform of the English church.  He was crowned in Bath Abbey 11 May 973, followed by the ceremonial submission to his rule by six British kings[1730] at Chester.  The ceremony resulted in no change in the title used in charters when naming the king, who was referred to indiscriminately as "rex Anglorum", "totius Britannie telluris dominus", "totie Britannice insule basileus" or "rex totius Albionis".  The reform of the coinage took place in the same year, including the introduction of a system of coin management which involved regular recall and reissue of coins usually every six years, operated through a network of 40 mint towns.  The administrative sub-divisions of the shires, hundreds and wapentakes, date from Edgar's reign.  King Edgar granted autonomy to the Danish eastern part of England, which came to be known as the Danelaw, with recognition of its legal and social customs.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death on 8 Jul 975 of King Edgar[1731].  Simeon of Durham records the death "VIII Id Jul" in 975 of "King Eadgar" and his burial at Glastonbury[1732].  The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “VIII Id Jul” of “Edgarus rex Anglie…qui dedit…terræ in Burewelle et ecclesiam de Gomicestre[1733]

[m] firstly ([963], maybe repudiated[1734]) ÆTHELFLÆD, daughter of ORDMÆR Ealdorman of Devon & his wife Ealda (bur Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire).  Simeon of Durham names "Egelfled the Fair daughter of duke Ordmer" as the mother of King Eadgar's son "Eadward"[1735].  Roger of Hoveden names her "Egelfleda" and names her father[1736].  Florence of Worcester records that "Ægelfleda Candida, cognomento Eneda, Ordmæri ducis filia" was the mother of King Eadgar’s son "Eadwardum, postea regem et martyrem"[1737].  This union of King Edgar’s may have been less formal than implied by the word "marriage".  This is suggested by the contrast between the epithets applied to the king's sons in a charter subscribed by two of them dated 966: Edward (presumably born from this first marriage) is described as "Eadweard eodem rege clito procreatus", while Edmund (presumably born from the king's second marriage) was "Edmundus clito legitimus prefati regis filius"[1738].  Æthelflæd was surnamed "Eneda" according to Florence of Worcester[1739]

m secondly (965) as her second husband, ÆLFTHRYTH, widow of ÆTHELWOLD Ealdorman of the East Angles, daughter of ORDGAR Ealdorman of Devon & his wife --- (Lydford Castle, Devon ([945]-Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire [999/1002], bur Wherwell Abbey).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the marriage in 965 of King Edgar and Ælfthryth, stating that she was the daughter of ealdorman Ordgar[1740].  Simeon of Durham records the marriage of King Eadgar and "the daughter of Ordgar duke of Devonshire after the death of her husband Elfwold…duke of the East Angles" in 964[1741].  Roger of Hoveden names her, her father and her first husband, when recording her second marriage[1742].  Geoffrey Gaimar records a lengthy account of King Edgar having sent "Edelwoth" to woo "Estrueth la fille Orgar" on his behalf, and Æthelwold having married her without the king’s knowledge[1743].  King Edgar granted land in Buckinghamshire to "Ælfgifu que mihi afinitate mundialis cruoris coniuncta" in 966[1744].  "Ælfthryth regina" subscribed charters of King Edgar dated between 964 and 974[1745].  William of Malmesbury recounts that King Edgar killed Ælfthryth's first husband to enable him to marry her[1746].  She was crowned queen with her husband in 973, which was the first instance of the coronation of a queen in England.  It was alleged that she was involved in the plot to kill her stepson so her own son could succeed as King[1747].  "Ælfthryth regina" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II between 979 and 983[1748], and "Ælfthryth regis mater" between 981 and 999[1749].  She became a nun at Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire in [985].  Her son King Æthelred II granted privileges to Wherwell Abbey in 1002 for the benefit of her soul[1750]

Mistress (1): WULFTHRYTH, daughter of --- ([945]-1000).  Simeon of Durham names "the holy Wlthirtha" as the mother of King Eadgar's daughter "Eagitha"[1751].  Roger of Hoveden names her "Sancta Elfthritha"[1752].  Florence of Worcester records that "sancta Wlfthrytha" was the mother of King Eadgar’s daughter "Eadgitham"[1753].  Abbess of Wilton.  King Edgar granted "Wulfthryth abbess" land at Chalke, Wiltshire by charter dated 974[1754]

King Edgar & his first [wife] had one child:

1.         EADWARD ([963]-murdered Corfe, Dorset 18 Mar 978, bur Wareham Abbey, Dorset, transferred 979[1755] to Shaftesbury Abbey, Dorset).  Simeon of Durham names "Egelfled the Fair daughter of duke Ordmer" as the mother of King Eadgar's son "Eadward"[1756].  Florence of Worcester records that "Ægelfleda Candida, cognomento Eneda, Ordmæri ducis filia" was the mother of King Eadgar’s son "Eadwardum, postea regem et martyrem"[1757].  "Eadweard eodem rege clito procreatus" subscribed a charter of King Edgar dated 966[1758], the contrast with the epithet attached to the subscription of the same charter by his half-brother Edmund highlighting the informal nature of his parents' union.  He succeeded his father in 975 as EDWARD "the Martyr" King of England, crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames 975.  His succession was disputed by a large number of nobles who favoured his half-brother Æthelred[1759], maybe because Edward was considered unsuitable to reign due to his outbursts of rage[1760], maybe because of the inferior status of his mother.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward was murdered on 18 Mar 978 at Corfe and buried at Wareham "with no royal honours"[1761].  He was murdered "at the instigation of his stepmother"[1762].  It is not certain that she was responsible, although he was killed while visiting his half-brother by their retainers[1763].  It was alleged that miracles accumulated around his body, causing him to be regarded as a saint and martyr.  His feast day is 18 March[1764]

King Edgar & his second wife had two children: 

2.         EADMUND (-970, bur Romsey Abbey[1765]).  Simeon of Durham names "Eadmuind and Egelræd" as the sons of King Eadgar and his wife "the daughter of Ordgar duke of Devonshire…"[1766].  Roger of Hoveden gives his parentage[1767].  According to William of Malmesbury, Edmund was King Edgar's son by his first marriage[1768].  Florence of Worcester says that he was the son of the king's second marriage[1769].  "Edmundus clito legitimus prefati regis filius" subscribed a charter of King Edgar dated 966[1770].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death in 970 of "Prince Edmund"[1771]

3.         ÆTHELRED ([966]-London 23 Apr 1016, bur Old St Paul's Cathedral).  Roger of Hoveden gives his parentage[1772].  He succeeded after the murder of his half-brother in 978 as ÆTHELRED II "the Unready/Unræd/Redeles" King of England, crowned 4 Apr or 4 May 978 at Kingston-upon-Thames. 

-        see below

King Edgar had one illegitimate daughter by Mistress (1): 

4.          EADGIFU (Kemsing [961]-Wilton 984, bur Wilton Abbey[1773]).  Simeon of Durham names "the holy Wlthirtha" as the mother of King Eadgar's daughter "Eagitha"[1774]Roger of Hoveden names her "Edgita" and gives her parentage[1775]Florence of Worcester records that "sancta Wlfthrytha" was the mother of King Eadgar’s daughter "Eadgitham"[1776]Abbess of Barking and Nunnaminster (at Winchester)[1777]According to Attwater, she lived all her life at Wilton Abbey, Wiltshire, refusing the abbacy[1778]. She was canonised as St Edith of Wilton, feast-day 16 Sep[1779]

 

 

ÆTHELRED, son of EDGAR "the Peaceable" King of England & his second wife Ælfthryth of Devon ([966]-London 23 Apr 1016, bur Old St Paul's Cathedral).  Simeon of Durham names "Eadmuind and Egelræd" as the sons of King Eadgar and his wife "the daughter of Ordgar duke of Devonshire…"[1780].  Roger of Hoveden gives his parentage[1781].  When his father died, a large number of nobles promoted the election of Æthelred to succeed instead of his older half-brother, maybe because the latter was considered unsuitable due to his outbursts of rage or because of the inferior status of his mother.  He succeeded after the murder of his half-brother in 978 as ÆTHELRED II "the Unready/Unræd/Redeles" King of England, crowned 4 Apr or 4 May 978 at Kingston-upon-Thames.  Danish attacks on England recommenced in 980, with raids on Hampshire, Thanet and Cheshire.  Raids on Devon and Cornwall followed in 981, and on Dorset in 982.  A further wave of attacks started in 988 in Devon.  As part of his plan to control the Danes, King Æthelred agreed a non-aggression pact with Richard I "Sans Peur" Comte de Normandie on 1 Mar 991, designed apparently to dissuade either party from sheltering Viking marauders[1782].  After a third wave of attacks in 991, King Æthelred signed a treaty with Olaf Tryggveson (who succeeded in [995] as Olav I King of Norway) under which 22,000 pounds of gold and silver was paid in return for a promise of help in thwarting future attacks.  The treaty presumably never came into full effect, despite payment of the money, as this was only the first of a long series of "Danegeld" payments funded by heavy taxation which ultimately led to the virtual ruin of King Æthelred's government.  The attack of 994, in which for the first time Svend King of Denmark took part, resulted in some English support to declare Svend king from those who despaired of King Æthelred's government[1783].  The raids of 997/999 on Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, South Wales, Dorset and Kent, were followed in 1000 by the Danish army moving to Normandy to await the following summer.  The king's second marriage in 1002 was presumably part of his continuing efforts to prevent the Normans from allowing the Danes to use their ports from which to attack England.  King Æthelred ordered the massacre of Danes in England 13 Nov 1002[1784], which included the death of Gunhild sister of King Svend, although this only resulted in intensified attacks.  In a desperate late attempt to strengthen the country's defences, King Æthelred ordered the construction of a fleet of new warships, completed in 1009.  Nearly one third of the fleet was lost as a result of the rebellion of Wulfnoth, father of Godwin Earl of Wessex, and the attempt by Brihtric, brother of Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor", to capture him[1785].  A full-scale Danish invasion came in 1013 and by the end of the year Svend King of Denmark had become de facto king of England.  King Æthelred fled to Normandy after Christmas 1013[1786], but after Svend's death in Feb 1014 he was invited back, on condition he improved his rule[1787].  By end-Apr 1014, Æthelred counter-attacked the Danes in Lindsey, after which the Danish fleet, under King Svend's son Knud, withdrew to Denmark.  In August 1015, Knud of Denmark invaded England again.  During the latter part of King Æthelred's reign further trouble was caused by the treachery of his son-in-law Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor", appointed Ealdorman of Mercia in 1007.  He acquired a position of considerable influence over the king, only to defect to Knud after this last invasion.  The Danes controlled Wessex by the end of 1015, and Northumbria in early 1016, turning their attention to London and the south-east after King Æthelred died.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death on St George's day 1016 of King Æthelred[1788].  The Libellus de Anniversariis of Ramsey Monastery records the death “IX Kal Mai” of “Ethelredus rex Angliæ, qui dedit Brochtune[1789]

[m] firstly ([980/85]) [ÆLFGIVA], daughter of ---.  The information about the parentage of the first "wife" of King Æthelred is contradictory.  According to Florence of Worcester’s genealogies, she was Ælfgiva, daughter of Ealdorman "Ægelberht", as he names "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1790].  (It should be noted in passing that this is the only example of the root "Ægel-" being found in an Anglo-Saxon name; it is therefore possible that "Ægelberhti" represents a transcription error, maybe for "Æthelberhti".)  On the other hand, Ailred Abbot of Rievaulx records that she was ---, daughter of Thored Ealdorman of York, naming "filia Torethi…comitis" as the mother of "Edmundum" [King Edmund "Ironsides"][1791].  The Estoire de Seint Aedward le Rei, written in [1245], must have used Ailred as its source as it states that the first wife of King Æthelred II was the daughter of "Count Torin"[1792].  Roger of Wendover is unspecific, noting that "rex Ethelredus" married "cujusdam ducis filiam" by whom he fathered "filium…Eadmundum", although in a later passage he says that King Eadmund had "matrem quondam ignobilem fœminam"[1793].  No trace of King Æthelred’s first wife has been found in any other contemporary document.  In charters dated 996, King Æthelred's mother countersigns "Ælfthryth regina", but there is no mention of the king's wife.  This suggests that Ælfgiva (if indeed that was her name) was an "unofficial" wife, having a similar status to Æthelflæd, first "wife" of King Eadgar, King Æthelred’s father.  The will of her son ætheling Æthelstan, dated [1014], refers to "the soul of Ælfthryth my grandmother who brought me up" but makes no mention of his mother[1794], which suggests that she played little part in his early life.  This seems suprising if she was in fact the mother of all King Æthelred's children who were not born to his known wife Emma, as is generally reported in most secondary sources.  There must therefore be some doubt whether [Ælfgiva] was the king's only wife or concubine before his marriage to Emma de Normandie. 

[m] [secondly] [---.  No direct information has been found on this supposed second "wife" of King Æthelred.  However, as noted above, there must be some doubt whether Ælfgiva, if indeed that was her name, was the king’s only wife or concubine before his marriage to Emma de Normandie.  In addition, no information has been found in any of the primary sources so far consulted which identifies the mother of King Æthelred’s children, generally attributed by secondary sources to his first marriage, other than his three sons Eadmund, Eadwig and Æthelstan.  It is therefore possible that King Æthelred had more than one "unofficial" wives or concubines who may have been the mother(s) of some or all of his children.  It is even possible that the unnamed daughter of Ealdorman Thored (referred to by Ailred of Rievaulx) was not the same person as Ælfgiva (named by Florence of Worcester) and that they were both "married" to King Æthelred, either at the same time or one after the other.  If this is correct, the sources are contradictory regarding the identity of the mother of King Eadmund "Ironsides".] 

m [secondly/thirdly] (betrothed 1000, 1002[1795]) as her first husband, EMMA de Normandie, daughter of RICHARD I "Sans Peur" Comte de Normandie & his second wife Gunnora --- ([985]-Winchester 14 Mar 1052, bur Winchester Cathedral, Old Minster[1796]).  Guillaume de Poitou names “genitrix Emma filia Ricardi primi, genitor Ædelredus rex Anglorum” as parents of “Edwardus ac Alveradus[1797].  Guillaume of Jumièges names “Emma...secunda Hadvis...tertia Mathildis” as the three daughters of Richard and his wife “Gunnor ex nobilissima Danorum prosapia ortam”, adding that Emma married “Edelredo regi Anglorum” by whom she was mother of “rex Edwardum et Alvredum[1798].  The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "Emma Anglorum regina" as sister of "dux Normannie Richardus II"[1799].  Emma was described by Henry of Huntingdon as "Emma Normanorum gemma"[1800], although it is not known whether this was a particular indication of her beauty or mere hyperbole.  She adopted the name "ÆLFGIFU" in England[1801].  "Ælfgifu regina" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II between 1002 and 1012, also referred to as "Ælfgifu conlaterana regis"[1802].  Her first husband sent her to her brother's court in Normandy in 1013 after the invasion of Svend King of Denmark[1803].  She was living in Normandy in 1017 when King Æthelred's successor King Canute proposed marriage to her.  She married King Canute as her second husband (2 or 31 Jul 1017).  Guillaume of Jumièges records that, after the death of “Edelredus rex”, “Emmam reginam” married “rex...Chunutus...Christiano more”, and names their children “Hardechunutum postmodum regem Danorum et filiam...Gunnildem quæ nupsit Henrico Romanorum Imperatori[1804].  Roger of Wendover records the marriage in Jul 1018 of "Cnuto" and "ducem Ricardum…Emmam sororem suam et regis Ethelredi relictam"[1805].  After the death of her second husband, she continued to live at Winchester.  After the election of her step-son as regent in early 1036, it was recognised that she would continue to live there to look after the interests of her son Harthacnut (then absent in Denmark), who had nominally succeeded his father as King of England and Denmark.  It is likely that she encouraged her sons by her first husband, Edward and Alfred, to join her.  After Harold was recognised as King of England in 1037, Queen Emma was expelled from England and took refuge at Bruges[1806].  She commissioned the work later known as the Encomium Emmæ Reginæ from a Flemish convent at Saint-Omer, maybe St Bertin's, designed to promote her son Harthacnut's claim to the English throne.  Harthacnut joined her in Bruges in early 1040, and after the death of King Harold, they returned together to England.  After the accession of Edward "the Confessor" to the English throne, Emma appears to have supported the rival claim of Magnus King of Norway[1807].  Whatever the truth of this, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward did confiscate her property in 1043[1808].  She seems to have spent the last years of her life in retirement in Winchester[1809].  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the death of "Ælfgifu Emma, the mother of king Edward and of king Harthacnut" in 1052[1810]

King Æthelred II & his first [wife] had [six] children:

1.         ÆTHELSTAN ([986]-killed in battle after 25 Jun 1014[1811]).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1812].  "Æthelstanus filius regis/clito/ætheling" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 993 and 1013, his name being recorded consistently first among his brothers and specified as "primogenitus" in 1004[1813].  He was killed fighting the Danes[1814].  Ætheling Æthelstan, under his will dated [1014], made bequests (in order) to "my father King Æthelred, my brother Eadmund, my brother Eadwig, Ælfmær…Godwine, Wulfnoth's son…my foster mother Ælfswith, my mass priest Ælfwine, my seneschal Ælfmær, Sigeferth…Æthelweard the Stammerer and Lifing…Leofstan the brother of Leofwine Cwatt…Leofmær of Bygrave, Godwine the Driveller, Eadric son of Wynflæd…", names "Ælfmær, Ælfric's son" and refers to "the soul of Ælfthryth my grandmother who brought me up"[1815]

2.         ECGBERHT (-1005).  "Ecgbyrht/Ecbyrhtus filius regis/clito" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 993 and 1005, in all cases named directly after his brother Æthelstan, consistent with Ecgberht being the second son[1816].  If this is correct, it is assumed that Ecgberht was the son of King Æthelred’s "wife" Ælflæd, although he is not specifically named by Florence of Worcester as one of her children. 

3.         EADMUND ([990]-30 Nov 1016, bur Glastonbury Abbey).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1817].  "Eadmundus filius regis/clito/ætheling" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 993 and 1015, the last dated 1015 being signed "Eadmund regie indolis soboles"[1818].  He succeeded his father in 1016 as EDMUND "Ironside" King of England

-        see below

4.         EADRED (-[1012]).  "Eadred regis filius/clito" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 993 and [1012/13][1819], a charter dated 1011 specifying "Eadred tercia proles regia"[1820].  Eadred was named after "Eadmund" in all lists in which the two appear, consistent with his being his father's fourth son.  If this is correct, it is assumed that Eadred was the son of King Æthelred’s "wife" Ælflæd, although he is not specifically named by Florence of Worcester as one of her children.  "Eadric clito" subscribed a charter of King Æthelred II dated 1005[1821].  As this charter is not one subscribed by "Eadred", it is reasonable to assume that this is a copyist's error rather than that King Æthelred had another son of this name.  "Eadred clito" countersigned his father's 1006 charter making grants to St Alban's, signing fifth among the brothers[1822]

5.         EADWIG (-murdered 1017, bur Tavistock Abbey, Devon[1823]).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1824].  "Eadwius/Eadwig filius regis/clito" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1000 and 1014[1825].  He is named after his brother Eadred in the lists of subscribers, indicating that Eadwig was the fifth son.  Eadwig countersigned his father's charter dated 1002 which grants land at Codicote, Hertfordshire to Ælthelm, signing fifth among his brothers[1826], and "Eadwig clito" his father's 1006 charter which made grants to St Alban's, signing sixth[1827].  Ætheling Æthelstan, under his will dated [1014], made bequests to "…my brother Eadmund, my brother Eadwig…"[1828].  He was banished "by the counsel of the perfidious ealdorman Eadric" and murdered on the orders of King Canute[1829].  Simeon of Durham records that King Canute outlawed "the Atheling Edwy the brother of king Eadmund who was called King of the Churls" in 1017[1830]

6.         EADGYTH (-after 11 Nov 1021).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1831].  Roger of Hoveden names her as the daughter of King Æthelred when recording her first marriage[1832].  There appears to be no primary source proof corroborating her supposed second marriage.  Florence of Worcester records that King Canute expelled "Turkillum…comitem cum uxore sua Edgitha" from England 11 Nov, dated to 1021[1833].   Presumably Thorkill married her after joining forces with Æthelred II King of England.  Freeman says that "I suspect that it was Eadric’s widow whom Thurkill married. At the same time I cannot lay my hand on any authority for Thurkill’s wife being a daughter of Æthelred; but it is very likely and such a connection would account for Cnut’s jealousy of him"[1834].  However, this would place the marriage to after 25 Dec 1017, when Eadric "Streona" was murdered, during the reign of King Canute who would most likely have arranged or approved the marriage, suggesting that it is illogical to suggest that the marriage would have been the basis for "Cnut’s jealousy".  m [firstly] (1009) EADRIC "Streona/the Acquisitor", son of --- (-murdered 25 Dec 1017).  One of the main advisers of King Æthelred II from [1006], he acquired a position of considerable power but gained a reputation for treachery.  He was made Ealdorman of Mercia in 1007[1835].  He changed sides several times during 1014/1016, wavering between Edmund "Ironside" or Canute depending on who had the upper hand at the time, but finally abandoned Edmund's cause at the battle of Ashingdon.  Canute appointed Eadric as Ealdorman of Mercia in 1017, but had him murdered in 1017.  [m secondly (1018 or after) THORKELL "Havi/the Tall", son of [STRUTHARALD King in Skane] (-killed in battle 1039).] 

King Æthelred II & his [first/second] [wife] had [five] children:

7.         EADGAR (-[1012/15]).  "Eadgarus filius regis/clito" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1001 and 1008[1836].  He is named after his brother Eadwig in the lists of subscribers, consistent with Eadgar being the sixth son.  Eadgar countersigned his father's charter dated 1002 which grants land at Codicote, Hertfordshire to Ælthelm, signing sixth among his brothers[1837], and "Eadgar clito" his father's 1006 charter which made grants to St Alban's, signing seventh[1838]

8.         ÆLFGIFU ([990/95]-).  She is named as daughter of King Æthelred by Roger of Hoveden, when he records her marriage[1839].  Her birth date range is estimated from her having given birth to her daughter before 1016.  m ([1009/16][1840]) as his third wife, UHTRED Earl of Northumbria, son of WALTHEOF Earl of Northumbria & his wife --- (-murdered 1016).   

9.         WULFHILD .  The Jomsvikinga Saga records that "Ulfkell Snillingr" married "Ulfhildi dottur Adalrada konungs"[1841]m ULFCYTEL "Snillingr/the Valliant", son of --- (-killed in battle Ashingdon Oct 1016[1842]).  Ealdorman of East Anglia. 

10.      daughter.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle names Athelstan as "the king's son-in-law", killed by the Danes after they landed near Ipswich[1843].  Simeon of Durham names "Ethelstan the son-in-law of king Ethelred" among those killed in battle by the Danes "in East Anglia…Ringmere"[1844]m ÆTHELSTAN, son of --- (-killed in battle Ringmere 5 May 1010). 

11.      daughter (-after 1051).  Abbess of Wherwell.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that the abbess of Wherwell was the king's sister but does not name her when recording that she received Queen Eadgyth in 1051 after the disgrace of her family[1845]

King Æthelred II & his [second/third] wife had three children:

12.      EADWARD ([1005]-Palace of Westminster 5 Jan 1066, bur Westminster Abbey[1846]).  Guillaume de Poitou names “genitrix Emma filia Ricardi primi, genitor Ædelredus rex Anglorum” as parents of “Edwardus ac Alveradus[1847].  "Eadweard clito/filius regis" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 1005 and 1015[1848].  He is named after his half-brother Eadgar in all documents in which the two are mentioned together, consistent with Edward being the junior of the two.  Edward fled England for Normandy with his mother in 1013 after the invasion of Svend King of Denmark.  Anointed king of England during the lifetime of his father[1849], probably in 1015 when his older half-brother, later King Edmund, was in dispute with their father over his unauthorised marriage.  This assumes that Edward returned to England from Normandy with his father.  According to Orderic Vitalis, Edward and his brother Alfred were living in exile in Normandy when Duke Robert left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem in [1035][1850].  "…Hetwardi, Helwredi…" witnessed the charter dated to [1030] under which Robert II Duke of Normandy donated property to the abbey of Fécamp[1851].  After the appointment of Harold "Harefod/Harefoot" as regent of England in 1036, Edward landed along Southampton Water to rejoin his mother who, on hearing of the fate of her other son Alfred, sent Edward back to Normandy[1852].  "…Hatuardus Rex…" witnessed the charter dated to [1042] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy donated "nostras insulas Serc et Aurrene, propter medietatem Grenere" to the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, supported by "Rannulfo filio Anschitilli"[1853].  He returned to England in 1041 and was "sworn in as future king" according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1854].  On his half-brother's death, he was elected EDWARD "the Confessor" King of England in London, crowned at Winchester Cathedral 3 Apr 1043[1855].  His relations with his mother were strained as she appears to have supported the claim of Magnus King of Norway to the English throne on the death of King Harthacnut[1856].  Whatever the truth of this, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that King Edward confiscated her treasury in 1043[1857].  Godwin Earl of Wessex enjoyed a position of power during King Edward's reign, marrying his daughter to the king in 1045.  However, the king's relations with Earl Godwin became tense after a dispute over the appointment of a new archbishop of Canterbury in 1050.  In 1051, Earl Godwin refused the king's order to punish an affray at Canterbury, in which one of Eustache Comte de Boulogne's men was killed.  The dispute escalated, and 1 Sep 1051 Godwin made a show of force against the king with his two older sons near Tetbury.  Leofric Earl of Mercia and Siward Earl of Northumbria supported King Edward, and battle was avoided.  Godwin and his family were given five days' safe conduct to leave the country by the king's council 8 Sep 1051[1858].  It was probably about this time that Edward promised the throne to Guillaume II Duke of Normandy, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the duke's visit to England in 1051[1859].  Earl Godwin was restored in 1052, after another show of force.  After Godwin's death in 1053, his son Harold assumed his earldom and became as powerful in the kingdom as his father had been.  It appears that King Edward gradually withdrew from active government, becoming more involved in religious matters and especially planning the construction of Westminster Abbey, which was finally consecrated 28 Dec 1065 although Edward was by then too infirm to attend.  Despite his earlier promise of the succession to Guillaume Duke of Normandy, on his deathbed King Edward bequeathed the kingdom to Harold Earl of Wessex, a choice which was accepted unanimously by the members of the council.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the king's death "on the vigil of…Epiphany" and his burial in Westminster abbey the next day[1860].  King Edward was canonised 7 Feb 1161, his feast day is 13 Oct[1861]m (23 Jan 1045) EADGYTH, daughter of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha ([1020/22]-Winchester 18 Dec 1075, bur Westminster Abbey).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1045 "king Edward took to wife Edith the daughter of Earl Godwin, ten days before Candlemas"[1862].  Her husband confined her to Wherwell Abbey in 1051 when the rest of her family was banished, but she was brought back to court when her father was restored the following year.  She commissioned the Vita Ædwardi Regis from a foreign clerk, probably from Saint-Omer, setting out the history of her family.  She continued to live around Winchester after the Norman conquest, and appears to have been treated well by King William I[1863].  Florence of Worcester records the death "XIV Kal Jan" in [1074] of "Edgitha regis Haroldi germana quondam Anglorum regina" at Winchester and her burial at Westminster[1864]

13.      ÆLFRED (after 1005-Ely 5 Feb 1036, bur Ely Cathedral).  Guillaume de Poitou names “genitrix Emma filia Ricardi primi, genitor Ædelredus rex Anglorum” as parents of “Edwardus ac Alveradus[1865].  "Ælfred clito" subscribed two charters of King Æthelred II dated 1013 and 1014[1866].  He fled to Normandy with his mother in 1013.  He and his brother Edward were living in exile in Normandy when Duke Robert left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem (in [1035])[1867].  "…Hetwardi, Helwredi…" witnessed the charter dated to [1030] under which Robert II Duke of Normandy donated property to the abbey of Fécamp[1868].  He landed in England in 1036 with his brother Edward to rejoin their mother at Winchester, but was arrested by Godwin Earl of Wessex's troops.  He was taken first to Guildford, surrendered to King Harold's servants, then taken to Ely, where he was blinded and died soon after from his injuries, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which places the blame for the murder on Earl Godwin[1869].  Guillaume de Poitou records that “Alveradus” came to England and that “Godwinus comes” captured him, sent him to “Londoniam regi...Heraldo” who imprisoned, blinded and killed him[1870]

14.      GODGIFU [Goda] (-before 1049).  Her parentage is stated by Orderic Vitalis, who says that Godgifu went into exile in Normandy with her brother[1871] in 1013.  According to Orderic Vitalis, her first marriage was arranged by Robert II Duke of Normandy[1872], indicating that she probably did not return to England after leaving for exile.  However, this information is suspect, assuming that the charter of "Robertus Rex", which names "Comes Drogo…cum duobus fratribus Fulcone…et Rodulpho necnon uxore cum filiis supra memorati Drogonis", is correctly dated to 1025 as Duke Robert did not succeed as duke of Normandy until 1027[1873].  Another possibility is that Drogo's children at that date were born from an earlier otherwise unrecorded marriage.  There is no indication of the birth dates of his known children, but the fact that none of them was given a typically Anglo-Saxon name also suggests that Godgifu may not have been the mother of all or any of them.  Godgifu's second marriage is referred to by Florence of Worcester[1874]m firstly ([1025 or before]) DREUX [Drogo] Comte de Mantes et du Vexin, son of GAUTHIER [II] "le Blanc" Comte de Mantes, d'Amiens et du Vexin & his wife Adèle --- (-[13 Aug] 1035).  m secondly ([1036]) as his first wife, EUSTACHE [II] Comte de Boulogne, son of EUSTACHE [I] Comte de Boulogne & his wife Mathilde de Louvain (-[soon after 1070/1087]). 

 

 

EADMUND, son of ÆTHELRED II King of England & his first wife Ælflæd ([990]-30 Nov 1016, bur Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset[1875]).  Florence of Worcester’s genealogies name "Ælfgiva, comitis Ægelberhti filia" as mother of King Æthelred’s three sons "Eadmundum, Eadwium et Æthelstanum" and his daughter "Eadgitham"[1876].  Roger of Wendover records the birth in 981 of "rex Ethelredusfilium…Eadmundum"[1877], but this date is probably inaccurate if it is correct (as shown above) that Eadmund was his father’s third son, given King Æthelred’s birth in [966].  "Eadmundus filius regis/clito/ætheling" subscribed charters of King Æthelred II dated between 993 and 1015, the last dated 1015 being signed "Eadmund regie indolis soboles"[1878].  His name was listed after his brother Ecgberht, before the latter's disappearance from the records in 1005, consistent with Edmund being the third son.  He subscribed his father's charter dated 1002 which granted land at Codicote, Hertfordshire to Ælthelm, signing third among the brothers[1879], and "Eadmundus clito" subscribed his father's 1006 charter making grants to St Alban's, also signing third[1880].  Ætheling Æthelstan, under his will dated [1014], made bequests to "…my brother Eadmund, my brother Eadwig…"[1881].  After the murder of the brothers Sigeferth and Morcar, leading thegns in northern England, Edmund abducted and married Sigeferth's widow against his father's wishes.  In Sep 1015, he proceeded north to retake the properties of his wife's first husband which had been confiscated by the king[1882].  In early 1016, Edmund devastated northwest Mercia in alliance with Uhtred Earl of Northumbria, but returned to London to rejoin his father shortly before he died.  He was immediately proclaimed king on his father's death in 1016 by an assembly of northern notables and burghers of London[1883], succeeding as EDMUND "Ironside" King of England, crowned at Old St Paul's Cathedral in Apr 1016.  The Witan had offered the throne to Knud of Denmark, to whom a group of nobles and church dignitaries from southern England swore allegiance at Southampton[1884].  King Edmund reconquered Wessex from Danish forces, and relieved London from the siege imposed by a Danish fleet.  The Danes turned their attention to Mercia, Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor" defecting back to King Edmund's forces at Ayl