Wessex kings

The House of Wessexalso known as the House of Cerdic Cerdicingas in Old English [2]refers to the family that initially ruled a kingdom in southwest England known as Wessexfrom the 6th century under Cerdic of Wessex until the unification of the Kingdoms of England by Alfred the Great and his successors. Alfred and his successors would also be part of this dynasty, which would continue ruling in the main line all the way until Alfred's descendant, Ethelred the Unreadywhose reign in the late 10th century and early 11th century saw a brief period of Danish occupation and following his and his son Edmund Ironside 's death, kingship by the Danish Cnut the Great and his successors to Edgar himself died after a long and adventurous life sometime after The House became rulers of a unified English nation after the descendants of Alfred the Great — down to Edward the Confessor in This period of the English monarchy is known as the Anglo-Saxon period, because the two main branches of settlers were Angles in Mercia and East Anglia or Saxon in WessexEssexMiddlesexSurreySussex and Northumbria ; a smaller group of settlers, the Jutes in KentWight and in parts of east Sussexmerged with the Saxons.

Sweyn, his son Canute and his successors ruled until Edgar's niece Matilda of Scotland later married William's son Henry Iforming a link between the two dynasties. Henry II was a descendant of the House of Wessex in the female line, something that contemporary English commentators noted with approval. A coat of arms was attributed by medieval heralds to the Kings of Wessex. These arms appear in a manuscript of the thirteenth century, and are blazoned as Azurea cross patonce sometimes a cross fleury or cross moline between four martlets Or.

These arms continued to be used to represent the kingdom for centuries after their invention. They have been incorporated into heraldic charges of institutions that associate themselves with Wessex, especially Edward the Confessor, where they are used at Westminster Abbey and in the arms of the City of Westminster.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Kingdom of Wessex Kingdom of England. King of Wessex King of England. Royal houses of Europe. Britain and Ireland. Plantagenet Lusignan Ottoman Savoy. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Babenberg Habsburg Habsburg-Lorraine Ottoman. Kingdom of England. Politics Law. English language English people list. Categories : English royal houses House of Wessex.

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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a number of sources, the earlier ones are in many cases obscure. The names are given in modern English form followed by the names and titles as far as is known in contemporary Old English Anglo-Saxon and Latinthe prevalent "official" languages of the time in England.

This was a period in which spellings varied widely, even within a document. A number of variations of the details below exist. Thorn tended to be more used in the south Wessex and eth in the North Mercia and Northumbria. Separate letters th were preferred in the earliest period in Northern texts, and returned to dominate by the Middle English period onward.

The era pre-dates the emergence of some forms of writing accepted today; notably rare were lower case characters, and the letters W and U. Except in manuscripts, runic letters were an Anglian phenomenon. The early Engle restricted the use of runes to monuments, whereas the Saxons adopted wynn and thorn for sounds which did not have a Latin equivalent. Otherwise they were not used in Wessex. The chart shows their claimed descent from the traditional first king of Wessex, Cerdicdown to the children of Alfred the Great.

A continuation of the tree into the 10th and 11th centuries can be found at English monarchs family tree. These sources are all closely related and were compiled at a similar date, and incorporate a desire in their writers to associate the royal household with the authority of being a continuation of a unified line of kingship descended from a single original founder. One apparently earlier pedigree survives, which traces the ancestry of King Ine back to Cerdic.

This first appears in a 10th-century manuscript copy of the " Anglian collection " of Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies. Many of the links shown are disputed. Egbertwho became King of Wessex inwas probably of Kentish origin, and his ancestry back to Cerdic may have been invented to legitimize his claim to the throne of Wessex.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia list article. For the school, see The Kings of Wessex Academy. Anglo-Saxon England portal. Hill eds. Edward the Elder KirbyThe Earliest English Kings. London: Routledge.

It is also possible that the material may first have been joined in with the collection in a copy made in Mercia c. Yorke's theory "has met with general acceptance I cannot find any historian or archaeologist that disagrees with her conclusions ", according to Robin Bush at "Were the West Saxons guilty of ethnic cleansing? Time Team Live Channel 4.

Archived from the original on Anglo-Saxon heptarchy. Monarchs of Wessex. House of Wessex. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: uses editors parameter Articles with short description.

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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.Alfred the Great c. He was the first monarch from the British Isles to style himself as 'King of the Anglo-Saxons ' and so he is sometimes considered the first English king. Alfred started the Royal Navy in the 9th century.

Kings and Queens of Wessex

She was the daughter of Oslac, Athelwulf's butler. When he was about four, Alfred's mother, Osburga, died. He finally overcame the problem and learned to read and write by using the writings of the church.

His life as an adult would be as a nobleman and possibly, if he survived his four older brothers, as king, someday. Before he was seven years old, he had traveled to Rome twice. They stayed in Rome a year and returned through France. That same October, they were married at Verberie in northern France. While Alfred and his father were in Rome and France,his older brother Athelstan had died.

wessex kings

He gave the rule over Wessex to his son Ethelbald. He took over the rule of KentEssexSussex and Surrey ruling Wessex as the under-king with his child bride Judith sharing his throne. Ethelbald, now the undisputed king, next did the unexpected. He married his and Alfred's stepmother Judith.

Ecgberht, King of Wessex

According to Asserall men in England were horrified. He united all of Wessex into one kingship. The next brother to rule Wessex was Ethelbert. The Vikings plundered Winchester the chief city of Wessex and obtained a great deal of plunder.

wessex kings

As they returned to their ships they were ambushed by Anglo-Saxons from Hampshire and Berkshire.Egbert also spelt Ecgberht c. In the s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessexbut on Beorhtric's death in Egbert returned and took the throne. He was the father of Athelwulf of Wessex.

Egbert was the son of Ealhmund, King of Kent. As a youth Egbert was seen as a problem for Beorhtric. He didn't want Egbert in England. While Offa was considering doing just that, Egbert fled Mercia and at some point left England.

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This is at the time Frankish ports were closed to English ships and trading. Offa had offended Charlemagne by his son marry one of Charlemagne's daughters. In Beorhtric died. Egbert returned to become King of Wessex, probably with military aid from Charlemagne. His first few years as king are not well recorded.

It is very probable that he used this time to reorganize his army and his administration.

House of Wessex Family Tree

In Egbert invaded Cornwall and brought it under his rule. In the new king of Mercia, Beornwulfinvaded Wessex. Beornwulf had extended his authority over KentEssex and Middlesex. Essex was later lost to the Danes. Egbert then defeated all of Mercia in This title was also on coins made in the former Mercian port of London.

Egbert died 4 February Even so, he remained the most powerful king during his time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Egbert King of Wessex Egbert of Wessex as represented in a 19th century book. But the events in his life suggest he may have been gone thirteen years.

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wessex kings

Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last changed on 13 Novemberat See Terms of Use for details. Egbert of Wessex as represented in a 19th century book.Athelstan was brought up in the Midlands and not as a member of the Wessex establishment.

But in he did become king, and he turned out to be one of the greatest of all the Anglo-Saxon rulers. He embarked on a whirlwind campaign taking in the whole of England. He enforced the submission of the kings of the Scots, the Strathclyde Welsh, the Cumbrians, the north Welsh and even the Cornish - all within one year. Bya King of Wessex had not only become king of all the English people, but also 'Emperor of the World of Britain'. The rulers of continental Europe now queued up to marry their sons to women of the English royal family.

England was suddenly sitting at the high table of Europe's political and intellectual elite. Continental writers talked of England's bravery in driving out 'the pirates' the Vikings and praised their efforts to restore learning, 'making Britannia famous through the world of the liberal arts'.

It is no exaggeration to say that a new phase in British history had been inaugurated. Athelstan's half brothers followed his lead. By the mid-century, the existence of England as a unitary kingdom was no longer in doubt. Edgar, the son of Athelstan's brother Edmund hence the great-grandson of Alfredbecame king of all England in He enjoyed a balmy time in which tremendous wealth was ploughed into the monasteries, and a Golden Age of English art and culture ensued.

The products of English manuscript painters in particular are among the great glories of insular art. Edgar was known as Pacificusthe Peaceable - or perhaps one should translate this as 'one who could impose his peace without having to fight'. There is very little known about his reign apart from its efficient administration - and perhaps that's a sign of how powerful he was.

InEdgar was able to have a great imperial coronation in Bath, in the presence of his subject kings. Bath was probably chosen because of its imperial overtones: an ancient Roman city with still-standing Roman walls and monuments, including the Roman baths.

The English kings were now the rulers of Britannia. They were the most powerful rulers of the land since the Romans, and they were aware of it.

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In less than a century, Alfred's dynasty had broken out from a few square miles of marshland to become Emperors of Britain. Next Previous. Home Explore the BBC.

Egbert of Wessex

This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. The birth of England 2. Under one law 3. Bede, Angles and angels 4. A ruler of kingdoms 5. Alfred the Great 6. The Wessex dynasty 7. Essential glue Print entire article. Explore the BBC. BBC Homepage. Contact Us. It appears that his son, Athelstan, was not intended to be king - although he was the first born of Edward's many children, he seems to have been viewed as illegitimate.

Birth of England: The Wessex Kings. Anglo-Saxon Law and Order. Activity: Anglo-Saxon Coins. Quiz: Birth of England.This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. Details for many of the later English monarchs are confirmed by a number of sources.

But the earliest kings of Wessex predate many written sources. This is a later name given to the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England during the early Middle Ages. By the close of the ninth century the last four independent kingdoms of England had been reduced to just one.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Map of England c. An image of Cerdic, King of Wessex. The death of Penda of Mercia. Bishop Wilfrid receiving a charter from Caedwalla, King of Wessex. Egbert, King of Wessex, from an illuminated manuscript. Athelwulf, King of Wessex. Alfred the Great, King of Wessex.

The death of Cynewulf, King of Wessex. She ruled Wessex for a year or two after the death of her husband, Cenwalh. It was extremely rare for a woman to rule in her own right in Wessex and she was the only woman to appear in a Wessex regnal list.

Was a subking in Wessex. Genealogie Online.

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Retrieved Categories : Kings of Wessex Lists of heads of state. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last changed on 4 Augustat See Terms of Use for details.At their father's behest and by mutual agreement, Alfred's elder brothers succeeded to the kingship in turn, rather than endanger the kingdom by passing it to under-age children at a time when the country was threatened by worsening Viking raids from Denmark.

Since the s, the Vikings had been using fast mobile armies, numbering thousands of men embarked in shallow-draught longships, to raid the coasts and inland waters of England for plunder. Such raids were evolving into permanent Danish settlements; inthe Vikings seized York and established their own kingdom in the southern part of Northumbria.

The Vikings overcame two other major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, East Anglia and Mercia, and their kings were either tortured to death or fled. Finally, in the Danes attacked the only remaining independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Wessex, whose forces were commanded by King Aethelred and his younger brother Alfred.

At the battle of Ashdown inAlfred routed the Viking army in a fiercely fought uphill assault. However, further defeats followed for Wessex and Alfred's brother died. As King of Wessex at the age of 21, Alfred reigned was a strongminded but highly strung battle veteran at the head of remaining resistance to the Vikings in southern England. In earlythe Danes led by King Guthrum seized Chippenham in Wiltshire in a lightning strike and used it as a secure base from which to devastate Wessex.

Local people either surrendered or escaped Hampshire people fled to the Isle of Wightand the West Saxons were reduced to hit and run attacks seizing provisions when they could. With only his royal bodyguard, a small army of thegns the king's followers and Aethelnoth earldorman of Somerset as his ally, Alfred withdrew to the Somerset tidal marshes in which he had probably hunted as a youth.

It was during this time that Alfred, in his preoccupation with the defence of his kingdom, allegedly burned some cakes which he had been asked to look after; the incident was a legend dating from early twelfth century chroniclers. A resourceful fighter, Alfred reassessed his strategy and adopted the Danes' tactics by building a fortified base at Athelney in the Somerset marshes and summoning a mobile army of men from Wiltshire, Somerset and part of Hampshire to pursue guerrilla warfare against the Danes.

In MayAlfred's army defeated the Danes at the battle of Edington. According to his contemporary biographer Bishop Asser, 'Alfred attacked the whole pagan army fighting ferociously in dense order, and by divine will eventually won the victory, made great slaughter among them, and pursued them to their fortress Chippenham After fourteen days the pagans were brought to the extreme depths of despair by hunger, cold and fear, and they sought peace'.

This unexpected victory proved to be the turning point in Wessex's battle for survival. Realising that he could not drive the Danes out of the rest of England, Alfred concluded peace with them in the treaty of Wedmore. King Guthrum was converted to Christianity with Alfred as godfather and many of the Danes returned to East Anglia where they settled as farmers.

InAlfred negotiated a partition treaty with the Danes, in which a frontier was demarcated along the Roman Watling Street and northern and eastern England came under the jurisdiction of the Danes - an area known as 'Danelaw'. Alfred therefore gained control of areas of West Mercia and Kent which had been beyond the boundaries of Wessex.

To consolidate alliances against the Danes, Alfred married one of his daughters, Aethelflaed, to the ealdorman of Mercia. Alfred himself had married Eahlswith, a Mercian noblewoman, and another daughter, Aelfthryth, to the Count of Flanders, a strong naval power at a time when the Vikings were settling in eastern England. The Danish threat remained, and Alfred reorganised the Wessex defences in recognition that efficient defence and economic prosperity were interdependent. First, he organised his army the thegns, and the existing militia known as the fyrd on a rota basis, so he could raise a 'rapid reaction force' to deal with raiders whilst still enabling his thegns and peasants to tend their farms.

Second, Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England. These were fortified market places 'borough' comes from the Old English burh, meaning fortress ; by deliberate royal planning, settlers received plots and in return manned the defences in times of war. Such plots in London under Alfred's rule in the s shaped the streetplan which still exists today between Cheapside and the Thames.

This obligation required careful recording in what became known as 'the Burghal Hidage', which gave details of the building and manning of Wessex and Mercian burhs according to their size, the length of their ramparts and the number of men needed to garrison them.