Egbert, King of Wessex

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Ecgberht III, Ƿestseaxna Cyning

Also Known As: "Egbert d'Angleterre / King of Wessex", "king from 802 until his death in 839"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wessex, England
Death: Died in Wessex, England
Place of Burial: Winchester Cathedral, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Ealhmund, Under King Of Kent and NN of Kent
Husband of Rædburh, Queen Consort of Wessex
Father of Aethelwulf, King of Wessex
Brother of Saint Alburga Last Name

Occupation: King of Wessex vv.802, Kent 827, King of England, First king of England, King, Konge, koning van Wessex, King of Wessex
Managed by: Private User
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About Egbert, King of Wessex

Egbert of Wessex (also spelled Ecgberht, Ecgbert or Ecgbriht; 769 or 771 – 839) was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne.

Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain Wessex's independence against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia and ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain".

Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858.

Sources

-------------------- Egbert (also spelled Ecgberht, Ecgbert or Ecgbriht; 769 or 771 – 839) was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne.


Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain Wessex's independence against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia and ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain".


Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egbert_of_Wessex -------------------- BIOGRAPHY: Egbert, is regarded as the first King of England. He reigned from 802 to 829 (839?). He was born about 775 and fled from his cousin Brethrick, taking refuse in the court of Charlemagne, where he stayed for about twelve years, serving as one of his captains. On the death of Brethrick, who was poisoned by his wife, Egbert returned to England. In 802 at Winchester he was crowned King of the West Saxons. He subdued West Wales, or Cornwall, defeated the King of Mercia at Ellandune, annexed Kent and in 829 he became overlord of all the English kings and gave the name of England to the whole realm. There are still in existence some coins struck by Egbert, though these are now extremely rare. In 835 Egbert defeated a formidable army of Danes at Hingston Down in Cornwall, when they attempted to invade England. He died in 839, and was buried at Westminster. He married Lady Readberga (Redburga). He was succeeded by his son, Ethelwulf.

BIOGRAPHY: King of Wessex, 802-827. Was the first King of all England, 827-836. The male line of kings descend from him to Edward the Confessor, the female line to the present time. -------------------- First King of all England, Reigned 800-838 -------------------- Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egbert_of_Wessex -------------------- Egbert (also spelled Ecgberht, Ecgbert or Ecgbriht; 769 or 771 – 839) was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne. Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain Wessex's independence against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia and ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain". Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858. Historians do not agree on Egbert's ancestry. The earliest version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Parker Chronicle, begins with a genealogical preface tracing the ancestry of Egbert's son Æthelwulf back through Egbert, Ealhmund (thought to be Ealhmund of Kent), and the otherwise unknown Eoppa and Eafa to Ingild, brother of King Ine of Wessex, who abdicated the throne in 726. It continues back to Cerdic, founder of the House of Wessex. Egbert's descent from Ingild was accepted by Frank Stenton, but not the earlier genealogy back to Cerdic. Heather Edwards in her Online Dictionary of National Biography article on Egbert argues that he was of Kentish origin, and that the West Saxon descent may have been manufactured during his reign to give him legitimacy, whereas Rory Naismith considered a Kentish origin unlikely, and that it is more probable that "Egbert was born of good West Saxon royal stock" Egbert's wife's name is unknown. A fifteenth century chronicle now held by Oxford University names Egbert's wife as Redburga, but this is dismissed by academic historians in view of its late date. Offa of Mercia, who reigned from 757 to 796, was the dominant force in Anglo-Saxon England in the second half of the eighth century. The relationship between Offa and Cynewulf, who was king of Wessex from 757 to 786, is not well documented, but it seems likely that Cynewulf maintained some independence from Mercian overlordship. Evidence of the relationship between kings can come from charters, which were documents which granted land to followers or to churchmen, and which were witnessed by the kings who had power to grant the land. In some cases a king will appear on a charter as a subregulus, or "subking", making it clear that he has an overlord. Cynewulf appears as "King of the West Saxons" on a charter of Offa's in 772;[9] and he was defeated by Offa in battle in 779 at Bensington, but there is nothing else to suggest Cynewulf was not his own master, and he is not known to have acknowledged Offa as overlord. Offa did have influence in the southeast of the country: a charter of 764 shows him in the company of Heahberht of Kent, suggesting that Offa's influence helped place Heahberht on the throne.[11] The extent of Offa's control of Kent between 765 and 776 is a matter of debate amongst historians, but from 776 until about 784 it appears that the Kentish kings had substantial independence from Mercia. -------------------- EGBERT, KING OF WESSEX (r. 802-839)

As King of Wessex, Egbert inherited the mantle of 'bretwalda' - an Anglo-Saxon term meaning a ruler with overall superiority to other rulers - after the decline of Mercian power under Offa. He came to power in 802 and died in 839, but little else is known about his brief reign. 
Official Website of the Royal Family - http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page16.asp
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Egbert, is regarded as the first King of England. He reigned from 802 to 829 (839?). He was born about 775 and fled from his cousin Brethrick, taking refuge in the court of *Charlemagne, where he stayed for about twelve years, serving as one of his captains. On the death of Brethrick (who was poisoned by his wife), Egbert returned to England. In 802 at Winchester he was crowned King of the West Saxons. He subdued West Wales, or Cornwall, defeated the King of Mercia at Ellandune, annexed Kent and in 829 he became overlord of all the English kings and gave the name of England to the whole realm. There are still in existence some coins struck by Egbert, though these are now extremely rare. In 835 Egbert defeated a formidable army of Danes at Hingston Down in Cornwall, when they attempted to invade England. He died in 839, and was buried at Westminster. He married *Lady Readberga (Redburga). He was succeeded by his son, *Ethelwulf. 
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Known as the first King of All England, he was forced into exile at the court of Charlemagne, by the powerful Offa, King of Mercia. Egbert returned to England in 802 and was recognized as king of Wessex. He defeated the rival Mercians at the battle of Ellendun in 825. In 829, the Northumbrians accepted his overlordship and he was proclaimed "Bretwalda" or sole ruler of Britain.

-------------------- Egbert (also spelled Ecgberht, Ecgbert or Ecgbriht; 769 or 771 – 839) was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne.

Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain the independence of Wessex against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia, ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain".

Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egbert_of_Wessex

Leo: Europäische Stammtafeln, J.A. Stargardt Verlag, Marburg, Schwennicke, Detlev (Ed.), Reference: II 78. -------------------- http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/kingdoms/802.html

825 - King Egbert of Wessex defeats the mighty Mercians at the Battle of Ellandon. He invades Kent and expels King Baldred. The former's son, Aethwulf, is installed as King of Kent. The sub-Kingdoms of Essex, Sussex and Surrey submit to Egbert. The Mercians are allowed to retain Berkshire and its boundaries are formally set. Aethelstan of East Anglia begins to re-assert East Anglian independence. King Beornwulf of Mercia invades East Anglia, but is killed in battle. He is succeeded by one Ludecan. The men of Cornish Dumnonia clash with the Saxons of Devon at the Battle of Gafelford (Camelford or Galford). First written record of the county of Devon in the Saxon form of the name.

827 - Aethelstan of East Anglia establishes himself as King of that country after killing King Ludecan of Mercia in battle. Ludecan is succeeded in Mercia by Wiglaf, father-in-law (and probably distant cousin) of the late King Ceolwulf I's daughter.

828 - King Egbert of Wessex is recognized as overlord of other English Kings. He overruns Mercia, ousts King Wiglaf and attempts to rule directly from Wessex.

829 - King Enred of Northumbria and King Egbert of Wessex clash at the Battle of the River Dore. Supposed submission of Northumbria to Wessex overlordship.

830 - King Wiglaf regains control of Mercia from Wessex.

832 - Northumbrian Lothian is attacked by King Angus II of the Scots & Picts. He defeats the superior forces of Prince Aethelstan at Battle of Aethelstaneford.

c.833 - Rise of a Dux Sigeric II of Essex under Mercian patronage.

835 - The Isle of Sheppey comes under Viking attack.

836 - The army of King Egbert of Wessex is defeated by invading Vikings at the Battle of Carhampton.

838 - The British of Dumnonia join forces with the Vikings and attack Wessex. King Egbert defeats them at the Battle of Hingston Down.

839 - Death of King Egbert of Wessex & All England. His son, King Aethelwulf of Kent succeeds as King of Wessex. Aethelwulf's brother, Aethelstan, is made sub-King of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. Death of King Aethelstan of East Anglia. He is succeeded by one Aethelweard.

850-858 - King Kenneth mac Alpin of Alba (Scotland) invades Northern Northumbria six times, burning Dunbar and Melrose.

851 - Death of sub-King Aethelstan of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. He is succeeded by his nephew, Aethelbert.

852 - Death of King Bertwulf of Mercia. He is succeeded by his kinsman, Burghred.

853 - Mercia and Wessex attack Powys.

855 - Death of King Aethelweard of East Anglia. He is the last of the Royal House of East Anglia and a successor from their homeland in Angeln is sent for. A distant cousin, Edmund, arrives and takes the throne.

858 - Death of King Aethelwulf of Wessex. He is succeeded by his son, Aethelbald.

860 - Death of King Aethelbald of Wessex. He is succeeded by his brother, sub-King Aethelbert of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. These latter kingdoms are formally merged with Wessex. The Viking Chief Weland, based in the Somme, sails to England and attacks Winchester. He is defeated and returns home. First written record of the county of Berkshire.

863 - King Osbert of Northumbria engages in a major dispute for Royal Power with a rival claimant named Aelle. He is variously described as Osbert's brother or specifically not of Royal descent. Osbert is badly defeated, though not expelled from his kingdom. King Aelle II wields power in Northumbria, but the Civil War continues.

865 - Death of King Aethelbert of Wessex. He is succeeded by his third son, Aethelred I. The 'Great Heathen Army' of Vikings, led by Princes Ivarr the Boneless and Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia), invades East Anglia (supposedly in revenge for the execution of their father, King Ragnar Lothbrok). King Edmund of East Anglia buys peace with a supply of horses.

866 - 'The Great Heathen Army' of the Vikings ride north to Northumbria and mount a surprise attack on the City of York which they quickly capture.

867 - The rival monarchs of Northumbria, Aelle II and Osbert, join forces to expel the Vikings, but are thoroughly defeated at the Battle of York by Princes Ivarr the Boneless and Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia). Osbert is killed, while Aelle II is supposedly captured and 'Spread-Eagled', for complicity in the murder of the invaders' father, King Ragnarr Lothbrok. Deira passes into Viking hands and what is left of the Northumbrian Royal Court flees north into Bernicia. Egbert I is established as a puppet King of Northumbria. The Viking armies make forays into Mercia. They are besieged at Nottingham by a joint Saxon force under Kings Aethelred I of Wessex and Burghred of Mercia. The Vikings withdraw to York.

869 - While Prince Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) remains in York, his brothers, Ivarr the Boneless and Ubbe Ragnarrson, turn their 'The Great Heathen Army' on East Anglia once more. They are resisted by King Edmund.

870 - King Edmund of East Anglia is captured by Princes Ivarr the Boneless and Ubbe Ragnarson of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) who give him to their archers for use as target practice at Hellesdon. His head is then chopped off. He is buried in a small chapel near the place of his death and later revered as a saint. His brother, St. Edwold, flees to Cerne Abbas and becomes a hermit. The Vikings allow native sub-kings to rule in East Anglia for a while, starting with King Oswald. The Fens are ravaged by the invaders. The local people take refuge in Peterborough (Medshamstead) Abbey (Cathedral), but they are all slaughtered and the Abbey destroyed. Prince Ivarr the Boneless leaves for Northumbria and then Dublin where he becomes King. Coldingham Priory is destroyed by his Viking raiders. Ivarr's brother, Halfdan Wide-Embrace moves the Viking army to Wessex via the Thames and takes Reading which he makes his headquarters. The Vikings clash with Ealdorman Aethelwulf of Berkshire at the Battle of Englefield. The invaders are driven back to Reading and besieged by King Aethelred I and his brother, Alfred. Ealdorman Aethelwulf is killed in the fighting. The Danes are victorious and drive the English into the marshes.

871 - The English retreat onto the Berkshire Downs. Prince Halfdan Wide-Embrace of Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) is joined by a 'Great Summer Army' under Prince Bagseg and together they march out after the Saxons. Prince Alfred of Wessex leads the English against them in the Battle of Ashdown. His brother, King Aethelred I of Wessex, joins in after having been delayed at his prayers. The English are victorious and many Vikings, including Prince Bagseg, are killed. Further, less fortunate, clashes, however, occur at the Battle of Basing and the Battle of Martin. King Aethelred I is mortally wounded at the latter and dies soon afterward. He is buried at nearby Wimborne Minster. He is succeeded by his brother, Alfred. King Alfred fights the Danes at the Battle of Wilton and his severely defeated.

872 - King Alfred the Great of Wessex buys a peace with the Vikings and they remove the 'Great Heathen Army' from Reading to London. Death of King Egbert I of Northumbria. The Vikings install one Rigsige in his place.

873 - The 'Great Heathen Army' of Vikings returns to York from where they attack Mercia. They capture the Royal capital at Repton and spend the winter there.

874 - From their base at Repton the Vikings drive King Burgred of Mercia into exile, conquer his kingdom and install his political opponent, Ceolwulf, as sub-King there. He was probably a member of the House of Ceolwulf I.

875 - 'The Great Heathen Army' of Vikings is divided. Prince Halfdan Wide-Embrace Sjaelland & Uppsala (Scandinavia) takes a contingent back to York to consolidate his position there, while the 'Great Summer Army' moves on Cambridge under Guthrum, Oscetel and Anund. This latter force then returns to Wessex. King Alfred the Great fights them in a Naval engagement. -------------------- Egbert was King of Wessex from 802 until his death in 839. His father was Ealhmund of Kent. In the 780s Egbert was forced into exile by Offa of Mercia and Beorhtric of Wessex, but on Beorhtric's death in 802 Egbert returned and took the throne.

Little is known of the first 20 years of Egbert's reign, but it is thought that he was able to maintain the independence of Wessex against the kingdom of Mercia, which at that time dominated the other southern English kingdoms. In 825 Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia, ended Mercia's supremacy at the Battle of Ellandun, and proceeded to take control of the Mercian dependencies in southeastern England. In 829 Egbert defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and drove him out of his kingdom, temporarily ruling Mercia directly. Later that year Egbert received the submission of the Northumbrian king at Dore. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle subsequently described Egbert as a bretwalda, or "Ruler of Britain".

Egbert was unable to maintain this dominant position, and within a year Wiglaf regained the throne of Mercia. However, Wessex did retain control of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey; these territories were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking under Egbert. When Egbert died in 839, Æthelwulf succeeded him; the southeastern kingdoms were finally absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex after Æthelwulf's death in 858.

Historians do not agree on Egbert's ancestry. The earliest version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Parker Chronicle, begins with a genealogical preface tracing the ancestry of Egbert's son Æthelwulf back through Egbert, Ealhmund (thought to be Ealhmund of Kent), and the otherwise unknown Eoppa and Eafa to Ingild, brother of King Ine of Wessex, who abdicated the throne in 726. It continues back to Cerdic, founder of the House of Wessex. Egbert's descent from Ingild was accepted by Frank Stenton, but not the earlier genealogy back to Cerdic. Heather Edwards in her Online Dictionary of National Biography article on Egbert argues that he was of Kentish origin, and that the West Saxon descent may have been manufactured during his reign to give him legitimacy, whereas Rory Naismith considered a Kentish origin unlikely, and that it is more probable that "Egbert was born of good West Saxon royal stock".

Egbert's wife's name is unknown. A fifteenth century chronicle now held by Oxford University names Egbert's wife as Redburga who was supposedly a relation of Charlemagne that he married when he was banished to Francia, but this is dismissed by academic historians in view of its late date. He is reputed to have had a half-sister Alburga, later to be recognised as a saint for her founding of Wilton Abbey. She was married to Wulfstan, ealdorman of Wiltshire, and on his death in 802 she became a nun, Abbess of Wilton Abbey. He was believed at one time to also be the father of Saint Eadgyth of Polesworth and Æthelstan of Kent.

At a council at Kingston upon Thames in 838, Egbert and Æthelwulf granted land to the sees of Winchester and Canterbury in return for the promise of support for Æthelwulf's claim to the throne. The archbishop of Canterbury, Ceolnoth, also accepted Egbert and Æthelwulf as the lords and protectors of the monasteries under Ceolnoth's control. These agreements, along with a later charter in which Æthelwulf confirmed church privileges, suggest that the church had recognised that Wessex was a new political power that must be dealt with. Churchmen consecrated the king at coronation ceremonies, and helped to write the wills which specified the king's heir; their support had real value in establishing West Saxon control and a smooth succession for Egbert's line. Both the record of the Council of Kingston, and another charter of that year, include the identical phrasing: that a condition of the grant is that "we ourselves and our heirs shall always hereafter have firm and unshakable friendships from Archbishop Ceolnoth and his congregation at Christ Church."

Although nothing is known of any other claimants to the throne, it is likely that there were other surviving descendants of Cerdic (the supposed progenitor of all the kings of Wessex) who might have contended for the kingdom. Egbert died in 839, and his will, according to the account of it found in the will of his grandson, Alfred the Great, left land only to male members of his family, so that the estates should not be lost to the royal house through marriage. Egbert's wealth, acquired through conquest, was no doubt one reason for his ability to purchase the support of the southeastern church establishment; the thriftiness of his will indicates he understood the importance of personal wealth to a king. The kingship of Wessex had been frequently contested among different branches of the royal line, and it is a noteworthy achievement of Egbert's that he was able to ensure Æthelwulf's untroubled succession. In addition, Æthelwulf's experience of kingship, in the subkingdom formed from Egbert's southeastern conquests, would have been valuable to him when he took the throne.

Egbert was buried in Winchester, as were his son, Æthelwulf, his grandson, Alfred the Great, and his great-grandson, Edward the Elder. During the ninth century, Winchester began to show signs of urbanisation, and it is likely that the sequence of burials indicates that Winchester was held in high regard by the West Saxon royal line.

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Egbert, King of Wessex's Timeline

769
769
Wessex, England
795
795
Age 26
Wessex Kingdom, England
802
802
- 839
Age 33
802
Age 33
827
827
Age 58
King of Wessex
838
November 19, 838
Age 69
Wessex, England
839
839
Age 69
Winchester Cathedral, London, England
????
Wessex, England
????
King of, England, 829-838/9