Aethelbald, King of Wessex

Sherborne, Dorset, UK

Aethelbald, King of Wessex's Geni Profile

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Æthelbald

Also Known As: "King of Kent & Essex /Ethelbert/", "England"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wessex, UK
Death: Died in Sherbourne, Dorsetshire, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Aethelwulf, King of Wessex and Osburga, Queen Consort of Wessex
Husband of Judith, Queen of Wessex, Countess of Flanders
Brother of Æthelstan of Wessex, King of Kent; Ethelswith, Queen of Mercia; Aethelbert, King of Wessex, Essex & Kent; Ethelred I 'the Pious', King of Wessex & Kent and Alfred the Great, King of the Anglo-Saxons

Occupation: King 858 - 860, Roi de Wessex
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Aethelbald, King of Wessex

Æthelbald of Wessex

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Æthelbald

King of Wessex

Aethelbald.jpg

Reign 856 - 20 December 860

Born 834[1]

Birthplace Wessex, England

Died December 20, 860

Place of death Wessex

Buried Sherborne Abbey

Predecessor Æthelwulf

Successor Æthelbert

Consort Judith

Father Æthelwulf

Mother Osburga

King Æthelbald of Wessex or Ethelbald (Old English Æþelbald) (means roughly 'Noble Bold') was King of Wessex from 856 to 860. He was the second of the five sons of King Æthelwulf of Wessex and Osburga.[1].

In 850, he received the rank of Ealdorman[citation needed]. In 855 he became regent of Wessex while his father, Æthelwulf, visited Rome, his elder brother Æthelstan having died in around 851. His brother Æthelbert was left in charge of Kent.

Æthelwulf returned a year later, having taken as his second wife, the Carolingian King Charles the Bald's thirteen-year-old daughter Judith.[2] According to Asser, during Æthelwulf's absence there may have been a plot hatched to prevent the king's return either by Æthelbald, or by Ealhstan, Bishop of Sherborne and Eanwulf, Ealdorman of Somerset, or by all three. It is probable that Æthelbald was involved in such a plot due to hearing about his father's marriage to Judith.[citation needed] The marriage to a Frankish princess who had her own royal lineage could have produced heirs more throne-worthy than Æthelbald's.

To avoid a civil war, Æthelwulf allowed Æthelbald to continue to rule Wessex itself while he retained Kent and the other eastern parts of the kingdom.[2] The absence of any coins in Æthelbald's name during this period suggests the coinage continued to be in Æthelwulf's name until his death. After Æthelwulf's death, Æthelbald became sole king of the West Saxons, with his younger brother becoming king of Kent.

He was crowned at Kingston upon Thames and later made himself unpopular with the church by marrying Judith, his father's young widow. The relationship was deemed incestuous and in direct contravention of church law. Her outraged father, Charles the Bald, intervened and forced his daughter into a nunnery[citation needed]. She later eloped with Baldwin, Count of Flanders, making her the ancestress of another Queen of England, Matilda of Flanders, the consort of England's first Norman King, William the Conqueror.

Despite all this, Æthelbald was a popular king[citation needed]. He died at Sherbourne in Dorset on 20 December 860, aged around 26 or 27[1], after a four-year reign. He was greatly mourned by his people, although Bishop Asser describes him as being 'headstrong and arbitrary'. However, Asser's opinion demonstrates bias because of the Æthelbald's uncanonical marriage.[citation needed].

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BIOGRAPHY: General Notes:

King of WESSEX Reigned 856/858-860.

BOOKS

Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "Aethewulf, Son of Ecgbert King of West Saxons, King of Wessex 839- Deposed 856, Died 858, Mar =2 Judith Daughter of Charles II The Bald King of France =ii Aethelbald...Aethelbald King of Wessex 856-860, Mar (2)Judith his stepmother =iii Baldwin I Count of Flanders, Died 860."

The Formation of England 550-1042, HPR Finberg, 1974, Paladin, p122-123: "...Of more immediate practical consequence was the family compact by which Ethelwulf bound his four sons. The details are complex and ambiguous, but the brothers apparently agreed that whichever of them lived the longest should suc- ceed to the undivided inheritance, thus excluding from the kingship any children the others might leave. In the event that only one of Ethelwulf's grandsons lived to dispute this arrangement, which ensured that the estate of the royal house should not be dissipated by division among the coheirs, and that future kings of Wessex should dispose of ample resources in land and money, enabling them to reward their trusty thegns and to surround the monarch with unprecedented splendour...

"...For the short remainder of his reign [Ethelwulf in 856] contented himself with the government of the eastern provinces, allowing his eldest son, Ethelbald, to rule in Wessex proper. Ethelwulf died in 858...

"King Ethelbald survived his father only two and a half years (858-860)."

The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, England 857: "Ethelbald, son of Ethelwolf, King of England 857-860..."

ANCESTRAL FILE

Ancestral File Ver 4.11 FLGQ-JW Ethelbald King of WESSEX Born Abt 840 Wantage Berkshire England.

MARRIAGE: Marriage Information:

Ethelbald married Queen Judith West Franks WESSEX, daughter of King Charles FRANCE, II and Queen Ermentrude WEST FRANKS. (Queen Judith West Franks WESSEX was born in 844 in , , France and died after 870.)

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Alfred «den Store» var konge av Wessex og Kent 873 - 901.

Etter farens død hjalp han sine eldre brødre i kampen mot de normanniske vikingers innfall.

For angelsakserne var første halvdel av 800-tallet en grusom tid. De hedenske mennene fra nord benyttet seg av de stadige indre urolighetene i smårikene i Øst-England og underla seg etter hvert hele denne delen av landet, brente kirker og klostre og slo uten barmhjertighet i hjel både munker og nonner. En vikinghøvding hugget med egen hånd ned en gammel ærverdig abbed som sto for høyalteret og leste messen, og fra bøndene tok de buskap og hester og spente eierne selv for plogen.

Angelsaksernes redningsmann i nøden ble kong Alfred av Wessex, det sydligste av de angelsaksiske smårikene. Han ble konge i 873 da han var 23 år gammel. Etter utallige forbitrede kamper med «danene», som vikingene gjerne ble kalt, var angelsaksernes krefter nå nesten uttømt, og det så ut som om hele England skulle komme i de fremmedes vold. Alfred måtte flykte og holde seg skjult i skog og myrer. I 878 forskanset han seg på øya Ætelney. Han opplevde mange eventyr som folkesagnene har romantisert og utbrodert. En tid bodde han forkledd i en gjeterhytte. Men i hemmelighet sendte han bud til alle som ville ta opp kampen mot undertrykkerne at de skulle møte fullt væpnet på et bestemt sted. En dag hadde gjeterens kone satt ham til å passe noen brød som hun holdt på å steke, mens hun stelte med noe annet arbeid. Men da hun kom tilbake var brødene brent. «Din latstokk,» ropte hun forarget og slo til ham med bakstefløyten, «spise brødet vårt, det kan du, men passe det duger du ikke til.» I det samme trådte Alfreds sendebud inn og meddelte sin konge at de angelsaksiske frivillige nå var samlet og bare ventet på sin anfører. Og nå fikk kona til sin forferdelse vite hvem det var hun hadde behandlet så lite ærbødig. Men Alfred bare smilte, takket vertsfolkene sine og gikk.

Danenes hær lå i en befestet leir. For å skaffe seg rede på fiendens styrke og forsvarstiltak skal Alfred selv ha gitt seg i vei dit, forkledd som en omvandrende harpespiller. Danene ble så begeistret for spillemannen som sang og spilte så vakkert, at de holdt ham tilbake i flere dager. Men da Alfred hadde utforsket alle svake punkter i fiendens leir, smøg han seg tilbake til sine egne. Neste dag førte ha dem mot danene og tilføyde fienden et så grundig nederlag at de måtte overgi seg på nåde og unåde. Vikingene ga ham gisler som sikkerhet for at de skulle la Wessex i fred, og høvdingen deres lot seg døpe sammen med tredve av sine fornemste menn. Noen år senere brøt de riktignok freden, og nå hadde de fått forsterkninger av nye vikingflokker hjemmefra, men Alfred beseiret dem igjen etter en hard kamp.

Ved å bygge krigsfartøy og møte vikingene ute på havet, sparte han sitt folk for mange lidelser og satte seg også i større respekt hos fienden enn noen av hans forgjengere eller de frankiske kongene hadde maktet. Og med tiden smeltet også de nordboerne som hadde bosatt seg i England og angelsakserne sammen til ett folk.

Så snart Alfred hadde avsluttet sin heltemodige og beundringsverdig utholdende kamp for å vinne sitt rike tilbake, begynte han av all kraft å arbeide for å styrke forsvaret både til lands og til vanns, og her tok han lærdom av fienden han hadde kjempet mot i så mange år. Fred og orden trygget han med et stort lovverk, hvor han som ledende prinsipp satte ordene: «Alt det som Dere ikke vil at menneskene skal gjøre mot Dere, skal Dere heller ikke gjøre mot dem!» Krig og leirliv hadde ikke brutalisert Alfreds humane livssyn. Sin skildring av hvordan en konge bør være, har han innledet med følgende ord: «Makt er i og for seg intet gode, men blir det bare så sant dens innehaver selv er god.»

I hele sin ferd som hersker minner Alfred meget om frankernes største konge, hvis veldige materielle ressurser riktignok var mange ganger større enn angelsakserens. Som Karl «den Store» elsket Alfred de gamle saksiske sangene og kronet sin kongegjerning med et iherdig arbeid for å gjenopprette den angelsaksiske kulturen som hadde gått sterkt tilbake under danenes herjinger. Alfred var også vitebegjærlig og full av kunnskapstørst og satte seg som mål å utbre lese- og skriveferdigheten blant sine undersåtter ved å opprette skoler. Hans ganglige virksomhet på alle områder skaffet ham hans landsmenns takknemlighet både i samtid og ettertid og innbrakte ham også hedersnavnet «den Store». For engelskmennene er «den engelske nasjons skaper» blitt nasjonalhelten fremfor noen og hans liv er av deres kjæreste historiske minner. «Den vise kongen» er i folketradisjonen blitt til en engelsk Salomo, hvis ry for ubestikkelig rettferdighet er slått fast på en temmelig drastisk måte i fortellingen om hvordan han på en og samme dag hengte 44 urettferdige dommere. Dette er bare en av alle de anekdotene som i tidens løp er blitt knyttet til minnet om den gode og folkekjære fyrsten «som på en gang var konge, far og oppdrager for sitt folk», for å sitere en berømt engelsk historiker.

Alfred døde sannsynligvis i år 900. Hans sønn og sønnesønner fortsatte det verket han hadde påbegynt og fullførte det ved å underlegge seg flere andre engelske småriker og skape et stort samlet rike med London som hovedstad. Men i sin sønnesønns sønnesønn, Ethelred II med tilnavnet «den Rådville» fikk Alfred derimot en uverdig etterfølger.

Tekst: Tore Nygaard

Kilder:

Carl Grimberg: Menneskenes liv og historie, bind 7, side 362-365. Dictionary of National Biography. Mogens Bugge: Våre forfedre, nr. 217. Bent og Vidar Billing Hansen: Rosensverdslektens forfedre, side 103.

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Legacy

Most of Alfred's reforms can be seen in the basis of the creation of England. The institutions he formed for governing the land became the eventual basis for parliamentary systems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as well the United States Congress.

Those institutions would eventually make England the dominant power in the British isles and eventually throughout the world in the form of the British Empire, the Commonwealth, and even the United States.

REF:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_the_Great

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During the short reigns of his two eldest brothers, Ethelbald and Ethelbert, Alfred is not mentioned. However with the accession of the third brother, Ethelred, in 866, the public life of Alfred began. It is during this period that Asser applies to him the unique title of "secundarius", which may indicate a position akin to that of the Celtic tanist, a recognised successor closely associated with the reigning monarch. It is possible that this arrangement was sanctioned by the Witenagemot, to guard against the danger of a disputed succession should Ethelred fall in battle. The arrangement of crowning a successor as Royal prince and military commander is well-known among other Germanic tribes, such as the Swedes and Franks, with whom the Anglo-Saxons were closely related.

In 868, Alfred is recorded fighting beside his brother Ethelred, in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the invading Danes out of the adjoining Kingdom of Mercia. For nearly two years, Wessex was spared attacks because Alfred paid the Vikings to leave him alone. However, at the end of 870, the Danes arrived in his homeland. The year that followed has been called "Alfred's year of battles". Nine martial engagements were fought with varying fortunes, though the place and date of two of the battles have not been recorded. In Berkshire, a successful skirmish at the Battle of Englefield, on 31 December 870, was followed by a severe defeat at the Siege and Battle of Reading, on 5 January 871, and then, four days later, a brilliant victory at the Battle of Ashdown on the Berkshire Downs, possibly near Compton or Aldworth. Alfred is particularly credited with the success of this latter conflict. However, later that month, on 22 January, the English were again defeated at Basing and, on the following 22 March at the Battle of Merton (perhaps Marden in Wiltshire or Martin in Dorset) in which Ethelred was killed. The two unidentified battles may also have occurred in between.

-------------------- King Æthelbald of Wessex or Ethelbald (Old English: Æþelbald) was the second of the five sons of King Æthelwulf of Wessex and Osburh. He was king of Wessex from 858 to 860.He witnessed his father's charters as a kings' son in the 840s, and in 850 he received the rank of Ealdorman. In 855 he became regent of Wessex while his father, Æthelwulf, visited Rome,his elder brother Æthelstan having died in 851 or shortly after. His younger brother Æthelbert became king of Kent.

 Æthelwulf returned a year later, having taken as his second wife, the Carolingian King Charles the Bald's thirteen-year-old daughter Judith.According to Alfred the Great's biographer, Asser, during Æthelwulf's absence there may have been a plot hatched to prevent the king's return either by Æthelbald, or by Ealhstan, Bishop of Sherborne and Eanwulf, Ealdorman of Somerset, or by all three. It is probable that Æthelbald was involved in such a plot because of his father's marriage to Judith. The marriage to a Frankish princess who had her own royal lineage could have produced heirs more throne-worthy than Æthelbald.To avoid a civil war, Æthelwulf allowed Æthelbald to continue to rule Wessex itself (or the western part of Wessex while he took Kent and the other eastern parts of the kingdom.[4] Ann Williams dates the start of Æthelbald's reign to 855, regarding father and son as joint kings from Æthelwulf's return from Rome in 856 until his death in 858.
   The absence of any coins in Æthelbald's name during this period suggests the coinage continued to be in Æthelwulf's name until his death. Æthelbald then became the king of Wessex, while Æthelbert again became king of Kent.
   Judith's charisma as a Carolingian princess was so great that rather than lose the prestige of the connection Æthelbald then married her, in spite of strong clerical opposition, as marriage to a widowed stepmother was considered incestuous.Little is known of his reign and only one charter survives, witnessed by king Æthelbald, king Æthelbert and Judith, suggesting that he was on good terms with his brother.
    Æthelbald died at Sherborne in Dorset on 20 December 860. Asser, who was hostile to Æthelbald both because of his revolt against his father and because of his uncanonical marriage, described him as "iniquitous and grasping", and his reign as "two and a half lawless years".   - From Wikipedia
 

-------------------- King after his father Aethelwulf

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Aethelbald, King of Wessex's Timeline

834
834
Wessex, UK
860
December 20, 860
Age 26
Sherbourne, Dorsetshire, UK
1927
May 21, 1927
Age 26
May 21, 1927
Age 26
December 6, 1927
Age 26
December 6, 1927
Age 26
1936
July 3, 1936
Age 26
July 3, 1936
Age 26
????
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