Aethelswith, Queen of Mercia

Pavia, Lombardia, Italia

Aethelswith, Queen of Mercia's Geni Profile

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About Aethelswith, Queen of Mercia

Suggested birth years: 833, c. 838, 840, c. 846

Suggested death years: 888, 889


Ethelwulf ring:AD 839-858, Laverstock, Wiltshire, England

Ethelswith ring: AD 853-888, Aberford, West Yorkshire, England

The larger ring bears the name of King Ethelwulf of Wessex (reigned 839-58), father of Alfred the Great. The smaller one has an image of the Lamb of God and the letters A and D (Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God). Engraved on the back is the name of Ethelwulf’s daughter, Ethelswith, who was married to King Burgred of Mercia. The rings were probably royal gifts or symbols of office.

Diameter: 28 mm (Ethelwulf) Diameter: 26 mm (Ethelswith)

The British Museum PE MLA 1829,1114.1 and PE MLA AF.458

British Museum: Two royal gold finger rings

Æðelswyð (?)1

F, #102619, d. between 888 and 889

Last Edited=8 Sep 2005

    Æðelswyð (?) was the daughter of Æðelwulf, King of Wessex and Osburga (?). She married Burgræd, King of Mercia, son of Beorhtwulf, King of Mercia and Sædryð (?), after 2 April 853 at Palace of Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. (2) 

She died between 888 and 889 at Paris, France, while on a pilgrimage to Rome. (2) She was buried at Pavia, Italy.

    Æðelswyð (?) was a nun after 874. (2)

Children of Æðelswyð (?) and Burgræd, King of Mercia

-1. Beorhtnoð æthling (?)+ d. c 880 (1)

-2. Beorhtweald, Ealdorman of Kent (3)

Forrás / Source:

Æthelswith (c. 838-888) was the only known daughter of King Æthelwulf of Wessex. She became Queen Æthelswith when she married King Burgred of Mercia in 853. The couple had no issue. Her marriage probably signalled the subordination of Burgred to his father-in-law and the Saxon kingdom at a time when both Wessex and Mercia were suffering Danish (Viking) raids. Burgred also had ongoing problems with the Kingdom of Powys on his western border and in 853 Æthelwulf subjugated the Welsh state on Burgred's behalf.

Repeated Danish incursions over the years gradually weakened Mercia militarily and in 868 Burgred was forced to call upon Æthelswith's brother King Æthelred of Wessex to assist him in confronting an entrenched Danish army at Nottingham. This was the last time the Saxons came to the aid of the Mercians and is also notable as the occasion on which Alfred the Great, another brother of Æthelswith's, married his Mercian wife Ealhswith.

Burgred's reign lasted till 874 when the Vikings drove him from the kingdom and he fled to Rome with Æthelswith. He died shortly after. Æthelswith lived on in Italy, to be buried at Pavia in 888.

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Aethelswith, Queen of Mercia's Timeline